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Credit Card Glossary - P

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Payment Cap
A contractual limit on the size of the monthly payment of an adjustable-rate mortgage or other variable rate loan.
Penalty Rate
After one or two late payments (varies between credit cards), adds several percentage points to the current APR.
Periodic Rate
The interest rate described in relation to a specific amount of time, either monthly or daily.
Personal Identification Number (PIN)
The personal security number required to be entered into a keypad at the point of sale to complete the transaction. The cardholder usually selects the number and can change it.
Platinum Card
Credit card with a higher limit and more perks than both a standard card and gold card.
Point of Sale (POS)
Use an online debit card to get a cash return at the point of sale, such as a grocery store or convenience store. Avoids ATM surcharges.
Power of Attorney
A document in which the signer authorizes someone to conduct business in his or her name -- signing title documents and checks, for example.
The applicant has passed the first round of credit-information screening. However, this does not guarantee a credit card and the company can still turn the applicant down if the credit rating is unsatisfactory.
Previous Balance
System used by card issuer basing finance charges on the amount owed at the end of the previous billing cycle. Does not include payments, credits and new purchases made during the current billing period.
Prime Rate
The interest rate a bank charges to its top customers. Many issuers use the prime rates established by large financial institutions such as Citibank or Chase Manhattan or the Wall Street Journal's prime rate average. Credit card rates are often the prime rate plus a certain percentage to cover its risk in lending and its profit margin.
The amount of money borrowed. The amount of money owed, excluding interest.
Private Label Cards
A private label card is issued by a retail outlet, such as a department store or gasoline company, and contains the logo of the retailer. It is accepted only by the retailer who issued it. Retailers partner with a bank or a card-issuing management company to back the cards.