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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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Open loop

Open loop is a term used to describe general purpose cards that carry the American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa logo and can be used wherever those cards are accepted. Open-loop cards have a price for their convenience -- they are more likely to carry fees. Closed-loop cards, by contrast, can be used only in a single store or group of stores, but almost never come with fees.