A card (usually plastic) that assures a seller that the person using it has a satisfactory credit rating and that the issuer will assure that the seller receives payment for the merchandise delivered; SYN. charge card, bank card.
Card issued by a credit company, retail outlet, or bank, which enables the holder to obtain goods or services on credit (usually to a specified limit), payable on specified terms. The first credit card was introduced 1947 in the US.
Some credit cards also act as bank cards to enable customers to obtain money more easily from various bank branches. “Intelligent” credit cards are now being introduced that contain coded information about the customer and the amount of credit still available. This can be read by a terminal connected with the company’s central computer.
Credit cards are usually made of or coated with plastic; using them may be called “paying with plastic.”
The term was coined by US writer Edward Bellamy in his novel Looking Backward 2000–1887 1888.