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Credit Card Glossary: Terms and Definitions

Plain vanilla

A “plain-vanilla” credit card is the type the industry used to offer commonly — a simple card with no features. The industry evolved to offer multiple cards that offered many benefits, but also confused many consumers. Whether a return to “plain vanilla” cards was desirable became part of the debate over the Credit CARD Act of 2009.

Terms from A-Z

Search the CreditCards.com glossary for every credit-related term from "account holder" to "zombie debt." Select a letter for alphabetized terms and definitions.

cCarbon-paper packetsCard issuerCard-linked loyalty offersCard memberCard member agreementCard-not-present (CNP) transactionsCard-not-present fraudCard-present (CP) transactionsCard-present fraudCard-present transactionsCard readerCardersCardholderCardholder agreementCardingCarding forumsCash advanceCash advance checkCash advance feeCash advance rateCash backCash cardCasherCashingChapter 11 bankruptcyChapter 13 bankruptcyChapter 7 bankruptcyCharge-back periodCharge cardCharge-offCharge-off rateChargebackChip-and-PIN cardsChip and signatureChip cardChip-enabled terminalChoice of lawChurningClaims and defensesClearingCloningClosed-end loanClosed loopCo-branded cardCo-signerCOB fraudCollateralCollectionCollection-proofCombined guaranteeCommercial cardsCommercial credit scoreCommunity propertyConcierge serviceconjoined accountConsumer credit fileConsumer credit reportConsumer Financial Protection BureauContact chip cardContactless chip cardContactless paymentsConvenience checksConvenience feeCorporate credit cardCramdownCredit bureauCredit bureau risk scoreCredit cardCredit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009Credit CARD Act of 2009Credit card imprinter formCredit card numberCredit counselorCredit freezeCredit historyCredit inquiryCredit life insuranceCredit limitCredit lineCredit mixCredit monitoring serviceCredit mulingCredit obligationCredit ratingCredit Repair Organizations ActCredit reportCredit reporting agency (CRA)Credit scoreCredit unionCredit utilization ratioCreditors meetingCross-collateralizationCryptocurrencyCurrency conversion feeCVV