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Glossary

Balance
The total amount outstanding n a credit card account that includes borrowing for purchases, cash advances, balance transfers and any interest or charges incurred.
Balance transfer
Where the credit from one credit card account is used to pay off part or all of another debt. The total transfer amount cannot exceed the credit limit of the account that the payment is transferred to. Often credit cardholders will request a balance transfer to take advantage of a promotional or preferential rate on a new or existing account.
Banking code
The voluntary code which has now been superceded by the Lending code.
Banking window
This is a period in the business day agreed between an acquirer and its merchant when the merchant performs its end-of-day action (for example, 22:00 – 23:00 pm).
Base rate
This is the interest rate at which the Bank of England lends to financial institutions. This rate then affects the interest rates set by banks and financial nstitutions for their own savers and borrowers. There is no direct linkage between Base Rate and the rates of interest that credit card issuers charge as these rates reflect a range of other factors.
Basic bank account
A basic bank account can be the first step towards getting a current account. It allows you to access your funds at ATMs, pay bills by standing order or Direct Debit and you'll be able to pay in cheques for free. As this is a basic bank account, you will not be able to get an overdraft or get a cheque book.
Billing cycle
The length of time between credit card statements. Credit card billing cycles are typically around one month in length.
Black card
Business card
A payment card issued, typically to smaller businesses, for staff to undertake general business-related spending (see also Corporate Card).
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