The number of credit cards in the U.S. is predicted to reach 1 billion, and the majority of Americans held between two and three credit cards each in 2017, according to Statista. Because credit cards are likely to play an important role in a person’s finances for years to come, it is a good idea to understand just how they differ. This information will help you when it comes time to choose a new card. Read on to find out which banks offer credit cards and which networks process their transactions so that you can find the card that is right for you.
Major Credit Card Issuers
The credit card issuer is the bank or financial institution that is backing the card. Typically, cards display the issuer’s logo on either the top or the back of the card. The issuer is the one who decides whether you are approved for the card and at what terms. It locks in your interest rate and sets your credit limit.
Card issuers are also responsible for paying each of the merchants when you shop with your card, collecting monthly payments from you when you use the card and providing customer service. Finding the best credit card for your needs requires comparing the cards you qualify for to determine which terms and rewards suit you.
Major bank credit card issuers include the following institutions. Learn about the best credit cards they offer:
Major Credit Card Networks
A credit card network acts as a go-between for the card issuer and the merchant by processing each of credit transaction. It also regulates the use of the credit cards and determines where the credit cards can be used. In most cases, you’ll see the network’s logo on the front of the card, such as in the bottom corner.
Well-known credit card networks include:
American Express and Discover are unique in that they serve as both issuers and networks.
More on Credit Cards
- Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Best Low-Interest Credit Cards
- 10 Best Student Credit Cards
- Watch: What Banks Should Millennials Use?
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