Credit Card Glossary

Additional Cards
Cards issued on an account not in the primary or secondary name. Additional cardholders are authorized to charge to the card and make payments. They can also check the balance and available credit on the account. Additional cardholders are not authorized to make changes to the account. Please remember that you are responsible for all charges made to the card in addition to any balance transfers and cash advances, including any Overdraft Protection amounts advanced, made by any additional cardholders added to the account.

Annual Fee
A fee that may be charged once a year for maintaining an account and for any special services, depending on the specific terms of your card account.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
The periodic rate, expressed as an annual amount, used to compute the interest charge on an outstanding balance.

Authorization
The approval by the credit card issuer for a merchant or another affiliate to complete a credit card transaction.

Automatic Payment
A free service which automatically makes credit card payments by transferring funds from your checking or savings account to your Wells Fargo credit card account. Get details about Automatic Payment

Available Credit
The amount of unused credit available. Available credit is computed by subtracting the outstanding balance from your total credit line.

Average Daily Balance
The average balance for each day in the billing period, calculated by adding all daily balances together and dividing that total amount by the number of days in the billing period.

Balance
An outstanding amount of money. A checking or savings account balance refers to the amount of money in a particular account. A credit card balance refers to the amount owed. See also Outstanding Balance.

Balance Transfer
Allows you to use the available credit on one credit card and pay off another, ideally with a lower cost. Learn more about balance transfers.

Billing Cycle
The number of days in the billing period. It includes the day after the previous close date through the current closing date of the account.

Cardholder Agreement
The Cardholder Agreement details the Terms and Conditions of your credit card account and includes information such as the rate, fees and other cost information associated with the account.

Cash Advance
A cash advance is an advance of funds from your card account. Cash advances are typically more expensive than other credit card transactions and fees may also apply to each cash advance taken on an account. Typically there is no grace period for a cash advance and interest begins to acrue immediately. You will need to refer to the specific terms of your account to determine the cost of any card transaction, including cash advances. 

Credit
Credit is a promise to repay a debt for purchases you make. It allows you to buy something today and pay for it later. Building a good credit history can help you buy a house or even get a job.

Credit Bureau
A credit-reporting agency that checks credit information and keeps files on people who apply for and use credit. The Credit Bureau produces a Credit Report, which is a record of a consumer’s level of indebtedness and bill paying behavior. The agencies compile the report and release it to lenders and others as permitted by law.

Credit Line
Also known as Credit Limit, this is the maximum amount you can carry as the balance on your credit card. If you exceed this amount, an Over-the-Credit-Limit-Fee may be imposed.

Credit Score
Also known as a credit rating. Many lenders use this numeric calculation of your credit report to obtain a fast, objective measure of your credit risk, and consider your score when deciding whether or not to approve a loan.

Float
When a cardholder makes a purchase or obtains an advance, the transactions may not post for a few days. The charge amount is not added to the balance of the account until the transaction does post. The time between purchase and posting is referred to as the float.

Grace Period
The period between the date of the credit card billing statement and the date payment in full must be received before interest begins to accrue on new purchases.

Interest
Interest is the fee for borrowing money. Interest is listed on your credit card statement as Interest Charge.

Interest Rate
The percent, per unit of time, that a bank or financial institution charges a customer for borrowing money. See Annual Percentage Rate.

Introductory Rates
Credit cards often offer lower introductory APRs as special promotional offers. These are typically only given on a limited time basis and after the introductory period, the rate usually returns to the standard rate on the account. It’s important to read the terms and conditions for all credit cards to fully understand how long the introductory rate will last and what the rate will be at the end of the introductory period.

Issuer
An issuer (or issuing member) is a financial institution which issues credit cards such as Visa® or MasterCard®.

Late Payment Fee
The charge that may be imposed if the Minimum Monthly Payment is not received by the Payment Due Date.

Linked Account
Sometimes a credit card account may be linked to another account so that funds may be transferred electronically between accounts. For information about your specific accounts, please refer your account terms.

Minimum Interest
Please refer to your Customer Agreement and Disclosure Statement for the minimum interest on your specific credit card account.

Minimum Monthly Payment
The minimum dollar amount that must be paid each month to prevent a credit card account from being delinquent. The amount is based on the percentage of your Outstanding Balance or a minimum fixed amount, depending on the terms of the account.

Outstanding Balance
The amount you owe on your credit card. This is the balance used to calculate payments and on which interest is charged.

Overdraft Protection
This is a feature offered on many credit card accounts that allows a customer to link their checking account to their credit card for purposes of covering any overdrafts that may occur on the checking account. Fees and terms may vary from account to account. Please check the terms of your account for details if you are interesting in learning more about Overdraft Protection.

Over-the-Credit-Limit-Fee
The fee that may be imposed if your outstanding balance exceeds your credit limit.

Payment Due Date
The date when your payment must reach your bank to avoid a late payment fee (if applicable).

PIN
Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) are secret numbers that customers use to access their accounts via ATMs.

Prime Rate
Many credit cards use the "prime rate" as a base rate (e.g., "prime + 12%"). The prime rate used is taken from the Money Rates column of The Wall Street Journal. The prime rate is merely a base rate used to make loans to certain borrowers. It is not necessarily the lowest or best rate at which loans are made. Wells Fargo discloses the manner the rate is determined in our Customer Agreement and Disclosure Statement. Refer to your specific account terms to determine if this applies to your account.

Purchases
Credit card charges you make at merchants. Purchases usually have a lower APR than other account transactions such as cash advances.

Secured Credit Card
A credit card that requires you to pledge collateral to receive credit. Often, your credit line is determined by the amount you deposit into a Collateral Account.

Unsecured Credit Card
A credit card that is not secured with collateral. A customer may qualify for unsecured credit based on their credit history and financial strength.