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Credit Card Glossary: Terms and Definitions

Confused by credit card terms? CreditCards.com'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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Breakage

In the retail and payments industry, "breakage" refers to gift cards that are lost or unused. It is also the portion of funds left on a partially used gift card that are never cashed out. Breakage is the reason that gift cards can sometimes be bought for less than face value, because the retailer can be sure a certain proportion will go unused. Also referred to as "spoilage."