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What Is A Credit Card?

Feb 25, 2008
As almost every part of the world is going into a "cashless society", more and more people are using plastic to pay for their purchases and transactions. A credit card is just a small but powerful piece of plastic rectangle that does wonders for you.

Rarely can you see a wallet which does not contain bank cards nowadays. This ends the era of having to write checks or count bills and coins to pay for your transactions. This also means the end of your fears in carrying large amounts of cash with you. To sum it up, affinity cards are defined as a credit system that allows an individual to borrow money on the fly from any financial institution or any bank and authorize them to use the money to make payments for purchases or transactions.

As soon as you charge something, the bank or financial institution will send a bill to the consumer for transactions or purchases done. You as a consumer have options to either pay the full amount of your bill or pay a partial amount but unless you pay the amount in full, some interest rates will be charged to you according to the agreement you signed earlier.

When you have this powerful plastic card, you can pay for purchases and transactions without hassles. Shopping in malls and department stores and even online shopping is made much easier because to make a payment, the cashier at the checkout counter will just have to swipe your card into a special processing machine. If you are shopping online, you just need to enter your details like account number and expiry date on the merchant's website. After it is verified, your purchases and transactions are already paid.

Eight main credit card organizations are operating to cater to the needs of customers worldwide. This includes the American Express, Discover, Citi, Diners Club, JCB, VISA and MasterCard. Of the eight organizations, the most popularly used worldwide are Master card and VISA. In addition, there are hundreds of establishments who are also credit card suppliers but they have tie-ups with various banks and organizations to issue cards on their behalf.

You have to file an application form which stands as an agreement between you and the credit card supplier which could be a bank or any financial institution. Once your application is approved, you will be given a plastic card which contains security information about your account. This is electronically encoded and can be seen at the back of your card as a magnetic strip.

You can then use your plastic money to make payments when you go shopping in stores or order items online. However, you can only use your cards if the particular merchant or shop you are going to buy something from accepts transactions through it.

If you need instant cash, you can also use your credit card to withdraw cash from automatic cash machines or ATMs anywhere. Lately, ATMs have sprouted like mushrooms everywhere operating on 24-hour/7-days a week basis so you can freely withdraw cash anytime.
About the Author
If you are looking for advice on credit card consolidation or credit card debt relief or consolidation credit cards, visit us now. Credit Card Consolidation Secrets is a goldmine for information on all aspects of credit card consolidation.
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