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Here's a glossary of educational terms to help you understand and manage your credit cards.
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Account Alerts are notifications about your account sent as an email, text message, or push notification. Alerts can remind you when your payment is due, notify you when your balance reaches a set amount, and much more. You can choose the alerts that are right for you - go to Account Alerts to get started.
Alerts: Payment is due soon
An annual fee is a yearly membership charge assessed on some business and consumer card accounts for keeping an account open. The fee helps cover the cost of delivering services and benefits such as cash-back and Ultimate Rewards. Not all Chase card products have annual membership fees.
Annual Percentage Rate (Purchase APR)
The annual percentage rate (APR), indicated in your cardmember agreement, is the rate of interest charged to your account annually for purchase transactions. It may also be referred to as the Purchase APR. Your APR is important for calculating the amount of interest charges assessed on the outstanding purchase balance on your account.
Different interest rates may be assessed to your account depending on the type of transaction made. For example, the rate assessed on a cash advance (Cash Advance APR) is often higher than the rate assessed for purchase transactions. Check your cardmember agreement for details specific to your account.
An authorized user is a person listed on an account who has rights to use the account but isn't financially liable for the account. An authorized user can't change your account information, account password or request an increase/decrease of your total credit line. For business card accounts, employee cardholders are considered authorized users.
Choose add authorized user or call the number on the back of your card to add an authorized user or employee cardholder.
Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
An unmanned electronic device that can perform basic banking functions. You can now make payments to your Chase credit card from your Chase bank account, and with cash or check at our ATMs.
You have the ability to set up recurring automatic payments from your bank account to your Chase credit card(s) each month on your payment due date (if your due date falls on a Saturday, we'll make your payment the Friday before).
When you enroll, specify the pay-from account and how much you'd like to pay (e.g. your statement balance, your minimum payment due or fixed amount). You can edit or cancel your automatic payment settings at anytime.
You can enroll in Automatic Payments on chase.com or the mobile app.
Set up automatic payments
Your available credit is the amount of your credit limit that is currently available for use.
The balance on your credit card reflects the total amount that you owe Chase.
Each monthly billing statement shows the “New Balance” on your account. This is your statement balance. If you pay your statement balance in full each month by the payment due date, you'll receive an Interest Free Period on purchases.
A balance transfer moves some or all of the amount you owe from one credit card to another, often to take advantage of a lower annual percentage rate (Purchase APR) or other promotional offer. Chase doesn't permit balance transfers from one Chase credit card to another Chase credit card. Balance transfer credit cards from Chase can help you save on interest by consolidating your higher interest rate credit card balances with other financial institutions onto one low introductory or promotional rate credit card with Chase. Fees may be associated with your balance transfer.
If you're an existing card member, choose Transfer a balance to see what offers are available to you. To compare balance transfer credit cards from Chase, choose a card for every need.
During the billing cycle, your credit card transactions are recorded and processed. At the end of the billing cycle, your credit card statement, indicating your statement balance and minimum payment due, is produced.
Your cardmember agreement contains written terms that govern your credit card account and represents a binding agreement between you and Chase. This agreement contains information on terms, conditions and responsibilities regarding interest charges, balances, payments, fees, dispute procedures, and other important information.
Cash Advance Limit (Cash Access Line)
Your cash advance limit designates the maximum amount of money Chase has agreed to loan to you at any one time in cash via cash advance or other cash-like transactions.
You can use your credit card to withdraw cash at an ATM or from one of our branches. To use an ATM, you must have a personal identification number (PIN) for the credit card. To get a PIN, please call the number on the back of your card.
Cash advances don't have an interest free period and the interest rate assessed on a cash advance is often higher than the rate assessed for purchase transactions. Check your cardmember agreement for details about your cash advance APR and other applicable fees that may apply.
What is a cash advance?
Cash Advance APR
Your cash advance APR is the annual percentage rate used to calculate interest charges on credit card cash advances and cash-like transactions processed on your account. The interest rate assessed on a cash advance is often higher than the interest rate assessed for purchase transactions. Check your cardmember agreement for details specific to your account.
The following transactions will be treated as cash advances: purchasing travelers checks, foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers or similar cash-like transactions; purchasing lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, race track wagers or similar betting transactions; and making a payment using certain third party services.
It takes just a few swipes to master the Chase Mobile app and start managing your credit card and bank accounts the same way you do at chase.com. Just download it on your mobile device and use your same chase.com sign-in.
With Chase Offers you can activate deals on the things you love in the Chase Mobile® app or chase.com. Simply sign in to the Chase Mobile app or chase.com to browse, activate and track your offers. Make sure you update your Chase Mobile app to see your offers.
In banking, compounding describes the frequency with which interest is computed and added to the principal of an account in order to arrive at a new actual balance.
Contactless Card Payments
Contactless payments use short-range proximity technology to securely complete payments between a contactless card and a contactless-enabled checkout terminal. Your contactless Chase Visa® card is a chip card that has a near-field communication (NFC) antenna, enabling close-range payments. When you tap your contactless Chase Visa® card at the contactless-enabled checkout terminal (near the Contactless Symbol), your payment is sent for authorization.
Credit Limit (Credit Access Line)
A credit limit or credit access line designates the maximum amount of money Chase has agreed to loan to you at any one time. If your balance should ever exceed the credit line, this is referred to as being overlimit.
You may request an increase to your credit limit by calling the number on the back of your credit card; you cannot submit a request online at this time. Your request for an increase to your credit line is subject to the approval of Chase.
A credit bureau is an organization which collects and distributes credit information on individuals. Creditors, such as Chase, report information to the credit bureau about a customer and retrieve information from the credit bureau about a potential customer when making the decision of whether to extend a line of credit to someone. Basically, a credit bureau stores information about how a person has demonstrated their credit responsibility such as their repayment history of past and existing loans.
Your credit card represents your credit account, as it is imprinted with your account number, name and other relevant information. The card empowers you to make purchases for goods and services under the line of credit established by the card issuer (Chase).
Credit Card Application
A credit card application refers to a customer's request to have Chase extend a line of credit.
A credit inquiry is a record of someone checking your credit information through a credit bureau. Inquiries come in two distinct categories: "hard inquiries" that occur when a business sees your credit report for the purpose of an application for credit and "soft inquiries" that occur when your credit is checked for other reasons or when you check your credit. If you apply for a new credit card, a hard inquiry record will appear on your credit report and may cause a temporary drop in your credit score. When you check your own credit report, or when it is checked for a pre-approved marketing purpose or for account management, it is considered a soft inquiry and won't harm your credit score.
Chase Credit Journey is provided to all Chase customers at no cost. Credit Journey provides access to your credit score (powered by VantageScore3.0®), monitoring alerts for credit activity, personalized insights, and credit resources to help build or maintain your credit health. Go to chase.com/creditjourney for more information.
The primary information that a credit bureau report includes is repayment history of past and existing loans. Creditors, such as Chase, report information to the credit bureau about a customer and retrieve information from the credit bureau about a potential customer when making the decision of whether to extend a line of credit to someone. You're entitled to receive a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You can request these free annual credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Your credit score is a measure of your creditworthiness and may play an important role when you apply for credit. In fact, your credit score may help determine whether or not you qualify for a loan, the kind of loan you qualify for, how much credit you qualify for and what your interest rate will be.
Chase and other lenders may use different credit scores and other types of information to make credit decisions. In addition, because the information reported on you and the calculation of the score can vary from credit bureau to credit bureau, it is possible for you to have different scores at each of the three credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
Credit Utilization Ratio
Your credit utilization ratio, expressed as a percentage, measures the amount of your credit limit that is being used. A lower rate of utilization may have a positive impact to your credit score. To calculate the credit utilization ratio of an account, divide the outstanding balance by the credit limit.
The current balance is your most recent statement balance updated to reflect payments and other transactions that have posted since your last statement was generated. Your current balance may not reflect all transactions such as your most recent transactions, pending authorizations, or interest that’s accumulated since your last statement.
The date the billing cycle ends and your statement is generated.
Daily Compounding Interest
A method of computing interest charges using a daily periodic rate, in which each day is a compounding period. On the statement’s cycle date each day's balance is multiplied by the daily periodic rate resulting in a daily interest charge. Each day's interest charges are added together to determine the total interest charge for the billing cycle.
Your account will be in default if:
If your account is in default, we may close it without notice and require you to pay your unpaid balance immediately. We can also begin collection activities. To the extent permitted by law, if you're in default because you have failed to pay us, we'll require you to pay our collection costs, attorneys’ fees, court costs, and all other expenses of enforcing our rights under your cardmember agreement.
A dispute occurs when a customer questions the validity of a charge on their account. If you suspect a charge on your account may be fraud rather than a billing error, please contact us immediately at the number on the back of your card.
You may be able to submit a dispute online. Go to chase.com/disputes for more information about how to submit a dispute.
Dispute a transaction
Dynamic Currency Conversion
With dynamic currency conversion, merchants outside the U.S. can let you pay with your credit card in U.S. dollars (USD) instead of the local currency. If you choose to pay in USD, the merchant takes care of the currency conversion.
Keep in mind: When you make purchases with your credit card outside the U.S., it may be cheaper to pay in local currency.
The effective date or payment date is the day a payment is applied toward your balance.
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Common fees and charges associated with credit card accounts include finance charges, late fees, annual fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, and returned payment fees. Check your cardmember agreement for details on what fees and charges may be associated with your account.
You should also be aware that balance transfers, checks, cash advances, and overdraft advances don't have an interest free period.
A fixed rate is an annual percentage rate (APR) that doesn't fluctuate with a financial index. This is in contrast to a variable rate, which does fluctuate with an index.
Flexible Financing Offers
When you take advantage of Flexible Financing Offers, like those available with My Chase Loan® and My Chase Plan®, you can pay those balances over time based on their offer terms and still avoid additional interest charges on new purchases.
Under normal circumstances, when a payment is made, it posts to the customer's account immediately and results in a corresponding increase in the customer's available credit. Float pay applies the customer's payment to their account, but doesn't release a corresponding amount of available credit. Instead, the release of credit is held for seven days, allowing sufficient time to ensure the customer has sufficient funds to cover the payment.
Foreign Transaction Fee
Foreign transaction fees are assessed by your credit card bank for each transaction made in currency other than U.S. dollars. This can include internet sites based outside of the U.S.
Not all Chase card products have foreign transaction fees. If you have one, it's outlined in your cardmember agreement.
Tips for using your credit card while traveling abroad
If a merchant operating outside the U.S. offers Dynamic Currency Conversion when you use your credit card at the point of sale, it still may be cheaper to pay with your credit card in local currency and incur the foreign transaction fee, if applicable. For example, let's say you want to purchase a sweater from a British retailer using your credit card; at checkout the retailer gives you the option to process the credit card payment in local currency (£85) or U.S. Dollars ($110). If you choose U.S. Dollars, the merchant has already handled the currency conversion for you. However, if you choose local currency, Visa/Mastercard handle the currency conversion ($105) and your credit card bank assesses a foreign transaction fee (3%, totaling $108.15), if applicable.
Note: all figures and conversions are for illustrative purposes only
In the banking industry, fraud is typically defined as illegal activity or usage of an account or information which can potentially affect another individual's credit status. Go to Fraud Protection to learn the steps we take to keep your information safe and what you can do to be even more secure.
We help safeguard your account using sophisticated real-time fraud monitoring. We monitor fraud 24/7 and can text, email or call you if there's any unusual activity on your account. To assist us, please update your phone number in case we need to contact you quickly.
Interest charges refer to one type of finance charges, which accrue on an account as a result of revolving a balance that is subject to an interest rate. In essence, interest charges is the amount assessed for allowing you to pay a portion of the balance, rather than pay the account in full immediately.
Different interest rates may be assessed to your account depending on the type of transactions made. Some interest charges may begin to accumulate on the day of a transaction, if that type of transaction doesn't have an interest free period. For example, cash advances don't have an interest free period and the rate assessed on a cash advance is often higher than the rate assessed for purchase transactions. Check your cardmember agreement for details specific to your account.
How is interest charged on my Chase credit card?
Interest Free Period
The interest free period, also known as the grace period, is the period in which you can pay a balance in full without accruing interest charges on new purchases. Your due date will be a minimum of 21 days after the close of each billing cycle. We won't charge you interest on new purchases if you pay your entire balance or Interest Saving Balance by the due date each month.
Interest free periods for Business accounts may vary. Balance Transfers, Checks, Cash Advances, and Overdraft Advances don't have an interest free period.
Some credit card products may offer a promotional or introductory rate with an extended interest free period for a limited amount of time.
An interest rate is used to compute interest charges on credit accounts. Please refer to your annual percentage rates indicated in your cardmember agreement for the specific rates for purchases (Purchase APR) and other transactions on your credit card account.
Interest Saving Balance
When you take advantage of Flexible Financing Offers, we won't charge you interest on new purchases if you pay your entire Interest Saving Balance by the due date each month.
If your Interest Saving Balance for any billing cycle is less than your minimum payment due, your Interest Saving Balance amount will reflect your minimum payment due to avoid a late fee.
Some credit card products may offer a promotional or introductory rate with an extended interest free period for a limited amount of time. Check your cardmember agreement for details specific to your account.
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If you're behind on a payment, we may charge a late payment fee. For more information, please see your cardmember agreement.
How do I avoid paying late fees?
Minimum Payment Due
The minimum payment due is the minimum amount that must be paid to keep your account current. If you make only the minimum payment each period, you'll pay more in interest charges and it'll take you longer to pay off your balance. If we don't receive your minimum payment by the payment due date, you may have to pay a late fee of up to $37.00.
My Chase Loan®
My Chase Loan® allows you to borrow money from your credit card’s available credit with no credit check, no application and no fees. Choose your loan amount and duration, then enjoy a fixed Annual Percentage Rate (APR) that’s lower than your card’s standard purchase APR. For more info, go to chase.com/MyChaseLoan.
My Chase Plan®
My Chase Plan® lets you pay off a purchase over time in fixed, monthly payments. There’s no interest for this purchase once it’s placed in a plan, just a fixed monthly fee. You can start a plan for an eligible purchase of $100 or higher in your account activity, or through the My Chase Plan dashboard. For more info, go to chase.com/MyChasePlan.
The outstanding amount on your credit card account that hasn't been paid off.
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Paid In Full
Paying in full is the act of paying the complete balance on an account.
Your due date will be a minimum of 21 days after the close of each billing cycle. We won't charge you interest on new purchases if you pay your entire balance or Interest Saving Balance by the due date each month. We'll begin charging interest on balance transfers and cash advances on the transaction date.
When you make a payment, generally, we first apply your minimum payment to the balance on your monthly statement with the lowest annual percentage rate (APR). Any payment above your minimum payment would generally then be applied to the balance on your monthly statement with the highest APR first. If you do not pay your balance in full each month, you may not be able to avoid interest charges on new purchases. We generally apply payments to balances as they appear on your monthly statement before being applied to new transactions. An example of a new transaction is a recent purchase you made that has not yet been included in the New Balance as shown on your statement.
Payment Due Date
Payments are due on the date shown on your monthly billing statement, chase.com and our mobile app.
The payoff balance is the total outstanding balance on an account required to be paid to bring the account’s balance to $0.00. You can call the number on the back of your card to request an estimate of your total payoff balance from a specialist. Your current balance, reflected on Chase.com, may not be your total payoff balance because it may not include all transactions such as your most recent transactions, pending authorizations, or interest that’s accumulated since your last statement was generated.
A periodic rate is a method of expressing the annual percentage rate (APR) over a briefer time period. To obtain your monthly periodic rate, divide your annual percentage rate (APR) by 12 (as there are 12 months in a year). To obtain your daily periodic rate, divide the annual percentage rate (APR) by 365 (as there are 365 days in a year).
The Prime Rate is a financial index upon which many variable rates are based; the Prime Rate is a key U.S. lending indicator. The Prime Rate that Chase uses as the basis for variable rates is the U.S. Prime Rate published in the Money Rates section of The Wall Street Journal two business days (not weekends or holidays) before the closing date shown on your billing statement. Chase uses the Prime Rate as the index to set variable APRs for credit card accounts. Variable APRs may increase or decrease each month if the Prime Rate changes.
A promotional rate is a special rate on an account, available for a limited amount of time, for a portion of the balance.
Purchase transactions are standard transactions made on an account to buy goods and services.
The time frame during a promotional offer that the customer must make the qualifying purchase, balance transfer, use a check that accesses the account, etc. in order to qualify for the promotional offer.
Remaining Statement Balance
The remaining statement balance is your most recent statement balance adjusted for payments, returned payments, and applicable credits since your last statement closing date. This is the remaining amount you should pay in order to avoid interest on future purchases.
Residual Interest Charges
Generally, residual interest , also known as trailing interest, is the amount of interest charged from the date the last statement was generated until the date the balance was paid in full.
If you carry a revolving balance, you may notice residual interest charges on a newly generated statement after having paid your prior statement off in full. These interest charges accrued between the date your prior statement was issued and the date the balance was paid in full.
Interest accumulates daily but isn't charged to your account balance until the end of the billing cycle. This is why you may encounter residual interest charges.
What is Residual Interest?
Returned Payment Fee
Payments submitted to Chase are occasionally refused or dishonored by the bank the payment is drawn on. The payment credit previously posted will be added back to the account balance. Depending on the circumstances, a returned payment fee may or may not be assessed and the customer may be placed on float pay status.
A revolving balance is when a customer elects not to pay their balance in full by the statement due date and instead carries a balance into the next billing cycle. The portion of the account balance that is not paid is said to “revolve.”
If there is a revolving balance on the account, the account is not in an interest free period and interest charges will accrue on the account balance and new purchases.
Your spending report shows how much you spent in each merchant category so far this year or the entire previous year.
Choose spending report to see your spending report and Year-end summary.
Your billing statement is a document generated each month during which there is a balance and / or activity on your account. The statement itemizes the activity (e.g. purchases, fees, interest, payments) which occurred on the account during the billing cycle. The statement also indicates your new balance, minimum payment due, and payment due date.
On the back of the statement is a description of interest charge calculations, a summarized description of certain account terms, including your billing rights, and other important information.
You can see your statement on chase.com or the Chase mobile app.
The statement balance is the “New Balance” amount indicated on your monthly billing statement. This amount doesn't reflect any activity that has occurred since your last statement was generated.
You can use your card in most countries outside the U.S.
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Chase provides a variety of ways for customers to earn and redeem reward benefits. If you have a Chase credit card with Ultimate Rewards® you can find information about our Ultimate Rewards program by visiting your Ultimate Rewards Points Dashboard.
A variable rate is an annual percentage rate (APR) that is set by using a margin over a financial index, such as the U.S. Prime Rate published in the Money Rates section of The Wall Street Journal. This is in contrast to a fixed rate, which doesn't fluctuate with a financial index.
Your Year-end summary shows how much you spent in each merchant category for an entire year.
Sign in to see your spending report and Year-end summary.
Zero Liability Protection
You won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
Chase's website and/or mobile terms, privacy and security policies don't apply to the site or app you're about to visit. Please review its terms, privacy and security policies to see how they apply to you. Chase isn’t responsible for (and doesn't provide) any products, services or content at this third-party site or app, except for products and services that explicitly carry the Chase name.