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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Key is a term used in the data storage and encryption that takes place during the credit card authorization process. Keys, as the name implies, lock and unlock -- in this case, data. When credit card numbers are stored or transmitted, they are electronically disguised to prevent thieves from stealing them. One commonly used method is the triple DES encryption, which has a 192-bit key.