A charge card is a card that provides a payment method enabling the cardholder to make purchases which are paid for by the card issuer, to whom the cardholder becomes indebted. The cardholder is obligated to repay the debt to the card issuer in full by the due date, usually on a monthly basis, or be subject to late fees and restrictions on further card use. It can also be a smart card.
Though the terms charge card and credit card are sometimes used interchangeably, they are distinct protocols of financial transactions. Credit cards are revolving credit instruments that do not need to be paid in full every month. There is no late fee payable so long as the minimum payment is made at specified intervals (usually every thirty days). The balance of the account accrues interest, which may be backdated to the date of initial purchase. Charge cards are typically issued without spending limits, whereas credit cards usually have a specified credit limit that the cardholder may not exceed.
Though originally charge account identification was paper-based, in 1959 American Express became the first charge card operator to issue embossed plastic cards to ISO/IEC 7810 ID-1 standard. Cards have an embossed bank card number complying with the ISO/IEC 7812 numbering standard.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. (alternative form of chargecard English)
Usage examples of "charge card".
In the billfold he found thirty-six dollars, a Visa charge card and a plastic-encased social security card both made out to Bill Johnson, and a receipt for an insured package.
There certainly wasn't much cash in KC's pocket, so she handed over her charge card again.
Some of them were from you, including the letter with the photograph and charge card.
It was the only charge card that he had left, and he never missed sending the bank in Chicago the monthly minimum payment of $10.
Mysteriously, Ford's Dine-O-Charge card, issued on a planet over five thousand light years away, seemed to present the hotel's computer with no problems.
I'd hocked my few pieces of good jewelry and sold my living room sleep sofa to one of my neighbors to make my charge card payments.
There are kids that get their anti-establishment milkman's overalls in the Marsha Jordan Shop with their own charge card.