Credit Card Basics

A basic understanding of credit cards is important for responsible use. Use these resources to learn key credit card terms, different card types, and how to pick the best card for you.

Explore Credit Card Basics

Marriott's Thimphu Le Meridien property.
Marriott Bonvoy Program Guide: How To Earn and Use Points
A United plane prepares to taxi.
United MileagePlus Rewards Guide: How to Earn and Use Miles
A JetBlue passenger plan sits on a runway.
JetBlue TrueBlue Guide: How To Earn and Use Points
A Hyatt Place in Austin, TX.
World of Hyatt Guide: How To Earn and Use Points
A plane waits at the gate to taxi and take off.
Capital One Venture Rewards Program Guide: How To Earn and Use Points
A woman holds a credit card.
What Is Mastercard?
A woman makes a credit card purchase.
What Is Cash Back?
Girl shopping online using a credit card
What Is a Private Label Credit Card?
A kayaker enjoys a trip down the Orinoco River.
How Does Credit Card Travel Accident Insurance Work?
A traveler uses her co-branded card at an airport lounge.
What Is a Co-Branded Credit Card?
A shopper uses her credit card to make an online purchase.
What Is CVV2?
Two men drinking together and looking at a smartphone at a craft-beer bar
What Are "Cash-Like" Credit Card Transactions?
Young woman looks over her credit card statement
Statement Closing Date vs. Payment Due Date: What's the Difference?
An HR manager expenses a work brunch.
What's the Difference Between Small-Business and Corporate Credit Cards?
Man in suit tows wheeled luggage while walking in airport
How Credit Card Lost or Delayed Baggage Insurance Works
A credit card customer smiles about a successful attempt to get a retention offer.
What Are Credit Card Retention Offers?
A college student hangs out with friends during a break between classes.
What’s the Difference Between Student and Secured Credit Cards?
A bakery owner holds a business credit card in her hand as she prepares to place an order on her laptop
Business Credit Cards That Don't Require a Personal Guarantee
A business owner makes an inventory purchase with his business credit card.
Does Your Business Credit Card Have These Benefits?
Man at cafe uses credit card to make online purchase
Here’s How To Get a Business Credit Card
A traveler waits for her flight to Iceland.
What Is Credit Card Trip Insurance?
A Southwest passenger plane prepares for takeoff.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Guide: How to Earn and Use Points
A young consumer considers his 0% APR options.
What’s the Difference Between 0% Balance Transfers and 0% Purchases?
A destroyed screen can cost hundreds to fix if you don't have credit card cellphone insurance.
Credit Cards That Offer Cellphone Insurance
A credit card user checks her extended warranty feature.
What Is the Credit Card Extended Warranty Feature?
A credit card customer contacts her issue about purchase protection.
What Is Credit Card Purchase Protection?
A shopper looks over paperwork after being denied a return.
What Is Credit Card Return Protection?
A young consumer calls his credit card company to downgrade.
How to Downgrade Your Credit Card to Drop the Annual Fee
Woman checking a gift card balance
Here Is a Look at the Gift Card Rules for Expiration and Service Fees
Credit cards hang from a clothesline
Is It OK to Get Multiple Cards From the Same Credit Card Issuer?
A women with a credit card looking at a computer
Pros and Cons of Secured Credit Cards
graphic showing two people on top of stack of books with a ruler and pencil. the words "financial rules of thumb" are in the middle
What Is the Credit Utilization Rule of Thumb?
Illustration listing the key features of prepaid credit cards
Prepaid Cards: The Safer Alternative to Credit Cards
A credit card application
What Does Annual Income Mean When Applying for a Credit Card?
Credit limit
What Is a Credit Limit?
credit card numbers
Where Does Your Credit Card Number Come From?
Concerned woman reading papers in her kitchen
What Is a Returned Check Fee?
The difference between a credit card and a debit card
Learn the Difference Between a Credit Card and a Debit Card
how to build and maintain an 800 credit score: keep credit card balances below 30% of the credit limit, make on-time payments, monitor your credit closely, do research to avoid too many credit inquiries, let negative information fall off your credit report after seven years
How to Finally Get Your Credit Score Above 800
A young woman holding an unsecured credit card with a smile on her face.
What Is an Unsecured Credit Card?
Hand pushing a mini shopping cart that holds a credit card across a desk
The Difference Between Revolving and Non-Revolving Credit
Credit cards on a padlock
Learn to Identify Reasons for a Credit Card Account Cancellation
things to consider before taking out a cash advance. cash advances are one of the most expensive types of credit card transactions
Why You Should Never Get a Credit Card Cash Advance
Contactless debit credit card
Find the Best Credit Card for Your Needs
A borrower looks over his debt balances.
A Quick Lesson in Debt Types: Secured vs. Unsecured Debts
Lost wallet laying on a park bench
Tips on What to Do If You Find Someone's Lost Credit Card
Denied credit card application
11 Reasons You Can't Get a Credit Card
Young woman using credit card to pay online bills
Ways to Get Your First Credit Card
A quaint small town main street beckons visitors under an illustrated overlay that reads "Our Money's on Travel."
How To Plan a Big Award Trip to a Small Town
Couple signing paperwork with a banker
What Is a Credit Line?
A woman holds a credit card while talking on the phone
How Do I Go About Getting a Credit Limit Increase On My Credit Card?
A student looks at her credit card and smartphone
What Is Credit?
Credit Card Application Form
Find out How Long It Takes to Get Approved for a Credit Card
Overhead view male shop owner swiping digital tablet credit card payment in plant shop
Here's a Guide to Paying Online With a Credit Card
graphic showing two people on top of stack of books with a ruler and pencil.
Rule of Thumb for Earning Cash-Back Rewards
Delta air
Delta SkyMiles Guide: How to Earn and Use Miles
Happy woman holding a credit card and smiling
What's the Difference Between a Charge Card and a Credit Card?
Is there a minimum age for credit cards?
Image shows someone sliding a credit card into a card reader, but the screen says it's expired. Text reads: "What should you do when your credit card expires? Check your mail—typically, a new card will automatically be sent to you. Activate the new card before using it. Shred your old card to prevent theft."
Here's What Happens When Your Credit Card Expires
Image shows a man in distress looking at a credit statement. Text reads: "A few reasons why your credit card may have been declined: your loan balances are too high; your credit card balances are too high; you didn't completely fill out the application; you have limited credit history; your income is to low; you have too many credit cards."
If Your Credit Card Application Was Denied, Here Are Possible Reasons
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