Most major credit cards-which include Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express-are issued by banks, credit unions or other financial institutions.
Many credit cards attract customers by offering incentives such as airline miles, hotel room rentals, gift certificates to major retailers and cash back on purchases.
These types of credit cards are generally referred to as rewards credit cards. To generate customer loyalty, many
national retailers issue branded versions of credit cards, with the store’s name emblazoned on the face of the cards.
Although it’s typically easier for consumers to qualify for a store credit card than for a major credit card, store cards may only be used to make purchases from the issuing retailers, which may offer cardholders perks such as special discounts, promotional notices, or special sales.
Some large retailers also offer co-branded major Visa or Mastercard credit cards that can be used anywhere, not just in retailer stores.
Secured credit cards are a type of credit card where the cardholder secures the card with a security deposit.
Such cards offer limited lines of credit that are equal in value to the security deposits, which are often refunded after cardholders demonstrate repeated and responsible card usage over time. These cards are frequently sought by individuals with limited or poor credit histories.