A credit card is a payment card issued to users as a system of payment. It allows the cardholder to pay for goods and services based on the holder's promise to pay for them. The issuer of the card creates a revolving account and grants a line of credit to the consumer (or the user) from which the user can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance to the user.
A credit card is different from a charge card: a charge card requires the balance to be paid in full each month. In contrast, credit cards allow the consumers a continuing balance of debt, subject to interest being charged. A credit card also differs from a cash card, which can be used like currency by the owner of the card. A credit card differs from a charge card also in that a credit card typically involves a third-party entity that pays the seller and is reimbursed by the buyer, whereas a charge card simply defers payment by the buyer until a later date.
The size of most credit cards is 3 3⁄8 × 2 1⁄8 in (85.60 × 53.98 mm), conforming to the ISO/IEC 7810 ID-1 standard. Credit cards have an embossed bank card number complying with the ISO/IEC 7812 numbering standard. Both of these standards are maintained and further developed by ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 17/WG 1. Before magnetic stripe readers came into widespread use, plastic credit cards issued by many department stores were produced on stock ("Princess" or "CR-50") slightly longer and narrower than 7810.