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.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Bank Card

    Any card issued against a depositary account, such as an ATM ...
  2. Exit Visa

    A government-issued document granting an individual permission ...
  3. Base II

    A data processing network operated by Visa USA for the clearing ...
  4. Universal Default

    A practice whereby a credit card issuer increases a credit card ...
  5. Primary Account Number (PAN)

    The 14, 15 or 16 digit number that appears on the primary account ...
  6. Authorized Transaction

    A credit card purchase for which the merchant has received approval ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    How Visa Counts On Your Free-Spending Ways

    In a world where people lived within their means, Visa and its competitors would not exist.
  2. Investing

    How Visa Counts On Your Free-Spending Ways

    The credit card transaction business is so profitable, Visa Inc. doesn't even bother lending money. Here's how they make their money.
  3. Personal Finance

    Visa vs. MasterCard: Is There a Difference?

    Visa and MasterCard are two of the most widely used credit card brands. But are the differences between the two significant enough to influence consumers?
  4. Investing

    Visa to Acquire Visa Europe for 21.2 Billion Euros

    On Monday, world’s largest payment network provider Visa Inc (V) announced that it will strategically acquire its former subsidiary Visa Europe.
  5. Personal Finance

    How Credit Cards Built A Plastic Empire

    A decade before Mastercard or Visa existed, the first credit card company was introduced.
  6. Investing

    Visa Beats on Q4 Revenue and EPS, but Not Guidance

    Payment system giant Visa (NYSE: V) reported a quarter that topped analysts' estimates, but forward guidance didn't quite meet expectations. For its fiscal fourth quarter, Visa booked revenue ...
  7. Investing

    Visa Stock Upgrade by Guggenheim (V, MA)

    Shares of Visa rose as much as 2.5% Monday, reaching a session high of $77.60 after the company received an endorsement by analysts at Guggenheim.
  8. Small Business

    U.S. Visas for Entrepreneurs, Investors & Skilled Workers

    The options for getting a scarce U.S. visa. For the fourth year in a row, there will be a lottery for the H-1B visa for skilled workers.
  9. Investing

    Visa Stock Trades Ex-Dividend Wednesday (V)

    Visa will send its dividend payment on Dec. 6 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 18.
  10. Investing

    Credit Cards and the Cashless Society

    Visa and Mastercard are two great ways to play the continued transition to a cashless society.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between a prepaid credit card and a gift card?

    Although prepaid and gift cards are used in the same manner, a prepaid credit card can be used repeatedly, while a gift card ... Read Answer >>
  2. Can I use a prepaid credit card to pay bills or to transfer money to other accounts?

    Learn how prepaid credit cards enable convenient bill payments and transfers. Explore different fees charged for such transactions. Read Answer >>
Trading Center