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Credit Card Glossary: Terms and Definitions

Unsecured credit cards

Unsecured credit cards are the most common type of credit cards. They are not secured by collateral. That means that unlike secured loans, such as mortgages or auto loans, unsecured credit cards are not directly connected to property that a lender can seize of the cardholder fails to pay. Issuers of unsecured cards must make use of other means — such as the courts or garnishment — to collect unpaid debts. Customers qualify for unsecured cards based on their credit history, their financial strength and their earnings potential.

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