What Is a Credit Card?

In-Store Purchases
In-Store Purchases
Source: TSYS 2017 U.S Consumer Payment Study

A credit card is a small plastic card issued by a bank, building society or other financial institution that allows the holder to purchase goods or services on credit. Cardholders can also borrow money from a bank with a credit card that allows such transactions. However, if the cardholder does not pay off the loan during the established ‘grace’ period, interest will accrue on the unpaid amount. Credit card holders have to keep in mind that credit card interest rates are generally much higher than interest on other kinds of loans, so they have to pay off their charges on time in order to avoid paying a lot more.

Payment type perceived as most safe in the US1
In 2017, 36% of Americans chose cash as the safest option for in-store purchases, compared to 2016, when 32% considered credit cards the safer option. For online purchases, however, 43% of consumers continue to consider credit cards the safest payment option, followed by 25% who prefer PayPal.

creadit card payments

Online Purchases

Source: TSYS 2017 U.S Consumer Payment Study

 1TSYSⓇ (2018, March). 2017 TSYSⓇ US Consumer Payment Study [Report].

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