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How Banks Make Money with Credit Cards?

It is a well-known fact that credit card companies make a lot of money. But have you ever wondered how they manage to do this? Interest, transaction fees, and fees paid to individual cardholders are the three main sources of revenue for credit card companies.

Another fact that many of you may or may not be aware of is that credit card users are not the only ones who must pay a fee to use their cards; retailers may also pay a fee to accept credit cards.

The Workings of Credit Card Companies

The term "credit card firms" usually refers to two types of businesses: issuers and networks.

Issuers are the people who create money.

The credit cards are issued by banks and credit unions, respectively. When you use a credit card, you are usually borrowing money from the card issuer. Retail credit cards, which usually bear the name of a store, a gas station, or another merchant, are issued under a contract between a bank and the retailer. As a result, these cards are known as co-branded credit cards.


Networks are the businesses that handle the multiple credit card transactions that take place. MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and a few others are the main networks used around the world. American Express, for example, is both an issuer and a network.

When a credit card is used, money moves electronically through many hands, from the issuers to the networks to the merchant's bank. The network also assists in ensuring that the transaction is credited to the correct cardholder (i.e., you) so that the issuer can charge you.

What is the source of the income for the Credit Card Companies?

The moneymaking method of your credit card company has fairly some characteristics to that equation. The main part of this equation is you, i.e., the credit cardholder, and the merchant you shop with.


Perhaps the foremost obvious approach that card issuers generate financial gain from credit cards is interest payments created by consumers. This makes up the most important portion of their income, with anyone who carries a balance from month to month paying interest on their debt (unless the credit card features a 0% rate thanks to a balance transfer or introductory rate, for example).

Consumers will avoid interest charges through paying their balance off every month. A helpful means of doing thus is to line up an on the spot debit to mechanically pay off the quantity each month. Alternatively, an easy calendar alert in associate degree electronic diary to clear a balance might also fulfil to assist cardholders avoid paying interest.

Consumer fees

Credit cards charge customers a range of fees, as well as annual fees, fees for late payment of a balance, charges for retreating cash, also as a non-sterling transaction fee once the card utilized abroad.

For several consumers, it's attainable to seek out a credit card that gives comparatively low levels of fees. For example, there are a variety of credit cards obtainable that don't charge annual fees, whereas a wide range of travel cards could cut the price of paying when abroad.

  1. Annual Fee: Annual fees are generally charged on those credit cards that come with high reward rates along with cards for the credit card seekers that do not have such a great credit score.
  2. Cash Advance Fees: This is the fees charged by the credit card issuer when a cardholder makes use of his or her credit card to obtain cash at an ATM facility. Generally, there is a percentage charged on the amount of cash withdrawn, with a minimum amount set.
  3. Balance Transfer Fees: When you transfer your outstanding dues from a credit card to another one in order to obtain a lower rate of interest, you are generally applicable to pay a fee. Some cards might waive off this fee for a fixed introductory period.
  4. Late Payment Fees: If a cardholder is unable to pay the minimum monthly payment amount by the due date, he or she will be charged a late fee. Some cards might waive off this fee or not have it at all.

Merchant fees

Credit card issuers additionally generate financial gain from charging merchant fees. they're generated once a merchandiser accepts a credit card payment, with the retailer paying a proportion of the worth of the sale to the credit card issuer. This is often around 1.75% and is called an interchange rate.

The credit card network also charges retailers a fee per transaction. Networks embrace Visa and Mastercard, for example, with them charging around 0.12% per transaction.

The existence of merchant fees can mean that credit card issuers are willing to supply sizeable amounts of cashback and rewards reciprocally for card usage. As such, customers will receive cash or vouchers from rewards points over the long run, merely from using their card where possible.

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