If the whole idea of getting a credit card sounds strange to you; this article will provide indepth knowledge on credit cards and credit card companies; you will get to see the top providers and make comparisons. You will also learn how to apply for a credit card and get approved easily.

Credit Card

A credit card is a small plastic payment card, issued by a bank or any authorized financial institution that enables the cardholder to purchase goods and services on credit. The process is simple – the card issuer (usually a bank) provides a revolving account and grants a line of credit to the cardholder, the cardholder can then borrow funds from the account for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance.
A credit card differs from a charge card, where it needs the balance to be repaid in full each month, meanwhile a credit card enables the consumer a continuing balance of debt, subject to interest being charged. Also a credit card differs from a cash card, which can be used like currency by the owner of the card. A credit card typically involves a third-party entity that pays the seller and is reimbursed by the buyer.

Types of Credit Card

1. Secured credit cards
A secured credit card is a credit card secured by a deposit account owned by the cardholder, who is typically expected to deposit between 100% and 200% of the total amount of credit needed.
If a cardholder deposits $1,000, they will be given credit in the range of $500-1,000. Sometimes credit card issuers offer incentives on the secured card portfolios. If this is the case, the deposit required may be significantly less than the required credit limit, and can be as low as 10% of the desired credit limit. This deposit is then held in a special savings account.
The cardholder of a secured credit is expected to make regular payments, as with a regular credit card, but in the event of default on a payment, the card issuer has the option of recovering the cost of the purchases paid to the merchant out of the deposit.
Secured credit cards enables a person with a poor credit history or no credit history to obtain a credit card which might not otherwise be available. Service charge and fees for secured credit cards often exceed those charged for ordinary non-secured credit cards.

2. Business credit cards
Business credit cards are specialized credit cards issued in the name of a registered business and can only be used for business purposes. Business credit cards offer a number of features specific to businesses, they offer special rewards in areas such as shipping, office supplies, travel and business technology.
Often the applicant’s personal credit score is used by most issuers when evaluating these applications, also income from a variety of sources may be used to qualify, this means these cards may be available to businesses that are newly established. Business credit cards are offered by almost all major card issuers namely; American Express, Visa, and MasterCard in addition to local banks and credit unions.

3. Digital Cards
This is a digital cloud-hosted virtual representation of any kind of identification card or payment card, such as a credit card.

4. Prepaid Cards
A “prepaid credit card” has no credit offered by the card issuer, the cardholder spends money which has been “stored” through a prior deposit by the cardholder or someone else, such as a parent or employer. However, it carries a credit-card brand (such as Discover, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or JCB) and can be used in similar ways just as though it were a credit card.
Prepaid credit cards do not require PIN, though exceptions apply with the EMV chip. These cards do require a PIN if the payment is processed via chip and PIN technology.
After the card is purchased, the cardholder loads the account with any amount of money, up to the predetermined card limit and then uses the card to make purchases the same way any typical credit card is used.

Top Credit Card Companies

1. VISA
Visa is a credit card widely accepted by over 8 million merchants. It encompasses traditional benefits and premium rewards, Visa personal credit cards offer a wide variety of benefits for cardholders around the globe. Mobile cardholders can save themselves time and shop online using Visa Checkout.

2. MasterCard- 191M Cardholders
This is the second most major credit card network in the United states. MasterCard offers benefits like easy bill pay and personal information protection using chip technology.
MasterCard processes transactions in over 210 countries in more than 150 currencies.

3. Chase – 93M Cardholders
Chase is the top issuer of general-purpose credit cards in the U.S. A significant share of the market is taken up by its revenue.
With rewards from companies like Disney and Southwest Airlines, chase guarantees high customer satisfaction for it’s credit cards

4. American Express- 58M Cardholders
American Express (AMEX) is the world’s largest issuer of credit cards in terms of transactions, averaging 6 billion transactions per year.
It has active service in over 130 different countries, it primarily accepts high-income cardholders with robust credit scores.

5. Discover – 57M Cardholders
This is ideal for people with good credit. Discover offers numerous cash back and travel promotional offers on its credit cards.
Dependable fraud protection keeps customers are safe while they spend. They also have good offerings for students and businesses alike.

6. Citibank – 48M Cardholders
Citibank is a major banking institution for customers with above average credit standing. Citi cards have two primary rewards programs available: Simplicity and Thank You.

7. Capital One – 45M Cardholders
Capital One has a credit card that suits you, whether your credit score is excellent or poor. Capital One is attentive to the needs of every cardholder. It provides premium benefits and invaluable tools for everyone.

8. Bank of America – 32M Cardholders
Bank of America created the first general-use credit card. Its award-winning online and mobile banking makes handling credit cards much easier for it’s responsible cardholders.

9. Wells Fargo – 24M Cardholders
Wells Fargo credit cards offers diverse financial assistance, it has a wealth of opportunity for everyday Americans.

Other Credit Card Institutions includes:

  • US Bank- 18.5M Cardholders

US Bank credit card offer includes; Cards for rebuilding credit for first timers, students, small businesses and for the general populace

  • USAA – 10M Cardholders

USAA members receive cash back, rewards points, low rates, credit building, and many more. It offers many cards that award customers with points that never expire and have no cap.

  • Credit One- 6M Cardholders

Credit One has discounted deals offers for its cardholders. Plus cash back programs and monthly credit store tracking.

  • Barclaycard US – 418K Cardholders

Barclaycard is a reliable option for responsible borrowers in good standing, Barclaycard is known for its co-branded credit cards in partnership with well-known travel, entertainment, retail, educational and financial institutions.

  • First PREMIER Bank

First PREMIER Bank is the largest issuer of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the country. It takes care of its subprime consumers by offering transitional credit cards as a foundation to building a good history.
Borrowers start off with low credit limits to encourage responsible spending, and anyone with poor credit is welcome to apply.

  • PNC

A popular brand east of the Mississippi River, PNC Financial services issues secure credit cards to individuals and small businesses with strong credit history.
Most of PNC’s credit card holders (60%) have high credit scores. PNC cardholders enjoy lower rates and great rewards for their financial responsibility.

Best Credit Card Offers

  • Top Travel & Airline Credit Card – Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Top No Annual Fee Credit Card – Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • Top Cash Back Credit Card for Everyday Spending – Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Top Rewards Credit Card – Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  • Top Cash Back Credit Card for Flat-Rate Reward – Barclaycard Cash Forward™ World MasterCard®
  • Top Balance Transfer Credit Card – Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
  • Top 0% APR Credit Card – Citi Simplicity® Card
  • Top No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Card – Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
  • Top Fair Credit Card – Discover it® Cashback Match™
  • Top Low Interest Credit Card – Discover it®
  • Top Limited Time Offer – Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card
  • Top Business Credit Card – Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • Top Business Charge Card – The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
  • Top Gas Card – Bank of American® Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Top Hotel Credit Card – Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
  • Top Unsecured Credit Card for Bad Credit Card – Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa®
  • Top Secured Credit Card for Bad Credit – Capital One® Secured MasterCard ®
  • Top Student Credit Card – Discover it® Chrome for Students

How to Apply for a Credit Card Online

  • Compare your credit card options;
    The first step to finding the right card is comparing what’s available to you. Unsure of the kind of card you want to apply for? Go online and search the different credit card options and compare them.
  • Click through to the online application;
    Once you’ve identified the card you want to apply for, simply click “ Go to Site” from the comparison tables or review pages. This opens up a secure online application form that you’re required to fill out in order to apply. This application form varies depending on what card you’re applying for.
  • Provide your details and submit.
    You’ll need to fill out some certain information about yourself in the form, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete (depending on the card issuer).