What’s the Difference Between a Charge Card and a Credit Card?

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Million Mile Secrets reader Vince commented:

According to Chase, the Ink Bold card has been discontinued due to “confusion” by users about the spending limits, which changed from month-to-month.  Most users never understood the difference between a charge card (like Ink Bold) and a credit card (like Ink Plus), and probably still don’t.

Maybe Daraius can devote an article or even a short series explaining the difference?

What's The Difference Between A Charge Card And A Credit Card

Do You Know the Difference Between a Charge Card and a Credit Card?

Difference Between a Charge Card and a Credit Card

A credit card, like the Chase Ink Plus card, has a fixed spending limit (credit limit).  This means you can spend up to your credit card limit every month.  With a credit card, you do NOT have to pay your balance in full.

You can make minimum payments over time.  However, I do NOT recommend this because you’ll pay interest.

Whereas a charge card, like the American Express Platinum card, does NOT have a fixed spending limit. But that doesn’t mean that you can spend an unlimited amount on it.  It just means that the bank will evaluate the maximum purchase which you can make.

However, you have to pay your balance in full every month, something you should always do to avoid paying interest.

A charge card is good for folks who have high monthly expenses that vary each month such as Big Spenders.

Most banks don’t offer charge cards, and instead offer credit cards.  However, American Express offers many charge cards.

Here are some examples of American Express credit cards and charge cards:

American Express
Credit Cards
AMEX EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express
The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express
Hilton HHonors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
American Express Charge Cards
The Business Gold Rewards Card From American Express OPEN
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Bottom Line

Not knowing the difference between a credit card and a charge card can cost you a lot of money.  Credit cards have a set spending limit and can be paid over time.

While charge cards have no preset spending limit and have to be paid in full each month.

American Express offers the most charge cards.

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3 responses to “What’s the Difference Between a Charge Card and a Credit Card?

  1. I always have a question. What happens if you have a charge card and do not pay in full each month? Will banks charge interest? And how much is the interest? Because it doesn’t set an interest rate at the time you apply the card. And if you do not pay in full after due day, can you still spend with that charge card?

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