A wallet-sized plastic card that allows holders to buy goods and services based on an agreement with a bank or other financial institution — a promise — to repay the amount. In other words, credit cards provide instant consumer loans. The card issuer grants a line of credit to buy goods or services or to offer a cash advance. A credit card is different than a charge card, which requires repayment in full each month. Credit cards require that you pay at least a minimum amount each month. Interest is continually charged on the remaining balance.