DEFINITION of 'Visa Card'

A credit, debit or prepaid card branded by Visa Inc., a major payments technology company. Visa cards are available to individual and business consumers with excellent, good, poor or no credit. Each card has different terms that reflect the consumer’s credit worthiness. A Visa credit card for consumers with excellent credit might offer cash back rewards and a low interest rate, while a Visa prepaid card that must be funded before it can be used might be appropriate for a consumer with poor credit.

BREAKING DOWN 'Visa Card'

Numerous financial institutions issue Visa cards to consumers. Each issuer sets its own terms and conditions for the Visa cards it offers and decides which consumers to offer Visa cards to. The common thread among all these cards issued by different financial institutions is that they can be used at any merchant that accepts Visa cards. Visa cards are accepted by businesses in more than 200 countries and territories.

The merchants that accept Visa cards pay Visa Inc. a small percentage of the amount of each Visa card transaction a consumer makes in exchange for the service Visa Inc. provides of allowing the merchant to accept credit cards and increase sales by making purchasing safer and more convenient for consumers. The financial institution that issues the Visa card assumes the risk of repayment, while the merchant gets paid when the sale is completed. Visa cards, like other cards, make it possible for consumers and merchants to exchange payments in person, online or by phone.

Financial institutions may also issue Visa cards that offer specific benefits when shopping with a particular retailer. For example, the Amazon Rewards Visa issued by Chase, gives consumers 3% cash back on all Amazon purchases they make using the card, and the L.L.Bean Visa card issued by Barclays, gives consumers 3% cash back on all L.L.Bean purchases they make with the card.

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