charge card


Definition of charge card

Examples of charge card in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This card/band not only serves as your boarding pass and cabin key, but also as your onboard charge card, since cruise ships are essentially cashless environments. Elissa Garay, Condé Nast Traveler, "A First-Timer's Guide to Cruising," 14 Aug. 2019 Hernandez recommends redeeming charge card perks for gift cards when times are tough. Carmen Wong Ulrich, Good Housekeeping, "Spend Less, Give More," 15 Nov. 2011 The improper or questionable transactions on the charge cards made up a tiny fraction of roughly $15 million in purchases during the 2016-2017 school year, according to the audit. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Audit flags questionable expenses at Anchorage School District," 30 Apr. 2018 Both city policy and state law prohibit using government charge cards for personal purchases. Dan Klepal, ajc, "Former Atlanta CFO repays $10k Paris hotel bill after AJC stories," 27 June 2018 Brenner added that the Acorns card’s weight and sleek design is meant to impart a sense of status in the same way as the Chase card or the American Express Centurion charge card, known as the black card. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "The Latest Must-Have for Millennials? Fancy Debit Cards," 1 July 2018 The school district launched the charge card program in 2012 as a way to streamline low-dollar purchases and save money. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Audit flags questionable expenses at Anchorage School District," 30 Apr. 2018 The charge card dates to the 1920s, when stores started issuing embossed metal plates with paper signature strips that allowed customers to settle the bill later. Stacy Cowley,, "Credit card signatures are about to become extinct," 8 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'charge card.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of charge card

1950, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for charge card

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for charge card

The first known use of charge card was in 1950

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More Definitions for charge card

charge card


Financial Definition of charge card

What It Is

A charge card is a plastic card issued by a financial institution that allows the user to make purchases with funds borrowed from that financial institution.

How It Works

Colloquially speaking, a charge card is the same as a credit card. When a person uses a charge card to make a purchase, he is essentially authorizing the charge card issuer to pay the merchant on his behalf. The merchant must verify that the charge card is the user's by swiping the magnetic strip on the back of the credit card or obtaining identification in other ways (via a PIN number or other identification). Merchants generally like to take charge cards because they are almost immediately paid by the card issuer. Merchants must pay a fee to the card processing company for each transaction, however.

Here is the primary difference between charge cards and credit cards: Credit cards have limits, meaning that there is a maximum amount the user can borrow. The issuer determines the limit based on the user's credit rating and credit history. Charge cards have no limit. Charge cards are not the same as debit cards, which allow the user to withdraw funds directly from his or her own checking account to make purchases.

Here's another difference: Charge cards require the user to pay his or her balance in full, usually on a monthly basis. There is no paying the balance over time, as is the case with credit cards. Many charge cards also charge a yearly fee, late payment fees, cash-advance fees and foreign-currency conversion fees.

Why It Matters

Charge cards allow users to avoid carrying cash, earn frequent-flier miles, or earn other "rewards." They are usually accepted around the world. In many cases, the cardholder can get cash advances through ATMs as well. Many charge cardholders underestimate the time and money it takes to pay off the monthly balances. It is also important to note that charge card numbers are often stolen; therefore, it important for users to protect their privacy and to check their credit reports frequently.

Source: Investing Answers

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