charge card

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A plastic card entitling the holder to purchase goods or services either up to a prescribed limit or (in some cases) without limit, provided that payment in full is made at regular intervals (usually monthly). Some charge cards are issued by retailers and may only be used in that retailer’s outlets. However, most charge cards are issued by financial services companies (e.g. American Express, Diners’ Club) and these have a wide acceptability similar to credit cards. The main difference between a charge card and a credit card is that the former does not allow the customer to roll over credit from month to month (although some cards now allow for large purchases to be paid off over a longer period). Charge card users therefore pay a fixed annual fee rather than interest. Because charge cards were formerly issued very selectively, they are more prestigious than other forms of credit card.

Subjects: Accounting.

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