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Credit Card Glossary: Terms and Definitions

Confused by credit card terms?'s glossary of credit card definitions will help. From account holder to Regulation Z, we have defined the most-common and most-confusing credit card terms.

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Chip-and-PIN cards
A type of "smart card," chip-and-PIN cards use computer chips to store and process information instead of, or in addition to, a magnetic stripe. A personal identification number (PIN) is required at point of sale. The technology has replaced old-style magnetic stripes in Europe and is being adopted in much of the world. The United States has been slow to adopt the technology, but has begun to do so, especially with credit cards intended for international travelers.