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What is a Charge Card?

You may be asking, “What is a charge card and how does it differ from credit card?” Find out the key differences between charge cards and credit cards, and learn about the benefits that charge cards offer and how they can benefit you. Explore BestCards.com’s detailed reviews and find your ideal card today.

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Divvy Credit Card

Divvy Credit Card
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good , Fair
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Ideal for companies that struggle with expense reports, reimbursements, receipts, and expensive annual service contracts
  • Combines seamless expense management software with business cards so you never have to process another expense report
  • No interest rates
  • No annual fee
  • No contract, no obligations
Rates & Fees
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: See Terms
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms
Credit Card Deals
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Save up to 30% on prescription refills 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
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Buy now, pay later with PayPal. Buckle Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
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Save 20% off sitewide 1800flowers.com Offer Expires on Jul 07, 2022 See Details
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Enjoy free standard shipping when you spend $49+ 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
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Save 5% at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Quinta Inns & Suites Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
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Get 10% off when you book online GO Shuttle Offer Expires on Oct 10, 2021 See Details
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Save 3% on all purchases Boost Mobile Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
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Rent a Wheels pedal-less E-Bike for safe and efficient Wheels Labs, Inc. Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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Save 8% on all purchases Godiva Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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Save 1% on all purchases over $40 Red Robin Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

Brex Mastercard® Corporate Credit Card

Brex Mastercard® Corporate Credit Card
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • 10-20X higher limits than traditional business credit cards
  • No personal guarantee required
  • No fees and no interest charges
  • Create virtual credit cards for your team as soon as you're approved
  • Built-in QuickBooks, NetSuite, and Xero integrations
Rates & Fees
    Credit Card Deals
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    Over 150,000 hotels in top destinations. Book now! Reservations.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2023 See Details
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    33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
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    Bundle Sale: Get 35% off Tuffy Stereo Security Console and $75 off Alpine Radio. Morris 4x4 Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
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    FREE Shipping and returns with any MOLECULE purchase. MOLECULE Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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    New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
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    50% off Starter Kits. Candid Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
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    Shop New Textbooks with Free Shipping! AbeBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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    Special Offer 49% Off an Annual Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95! ABCmouse.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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    Save 5% AVIS Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
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    Save 5% Budget Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details

    American Express® Business Gold Card

    American Express® Business Gold Card
    • Regular Purchase APR 14.24% to 22.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
    • Annual Fee $295
    • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
    • Processing Network American Express
    Best Benefits
    • Pick 2 categories for the 4X bonus
    • 4X points made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
    • 4X points at gas stations
    • 4X points at restaurants
    • 4X points for shipping
    • 4X points on advertising (online, TV, radio)
    • Earn 1X points on all other purchases
    • Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more
    Rates & Fees
    • Regular Purchase APR: 14.24% to 22.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
    • Penalty APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
    • Annual Fee: $295
    • Late Payment Penalty Fee: $39 or 2.99% of any past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater
    • Return Payment Penalty Fee: $39
    Credit Card Deals
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    Spend $250 or more, get $50 back One Kings Lane Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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    Spend $250 or more, get $50 back Omni Hotels & Resorts Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
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    Spend $175 or more, get $35 back Hampton by Hilton & Hilton Garden Inn Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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    $25 off purchase of $250+ Central Restaurant Products Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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    20% off nail lamps Nail Superstore Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
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    40% off for 2 years Invoiced Offer Expires on Mar 03, 2022 See Details
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    10% off your initial contract Signifyd Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
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    Get $100 off your first order Faire Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
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    40% off for up to 12 months Intuit QuckBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
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    Up to 50% off FedEx shipping FedEx Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

    American Express® Green Card

    American Express® Green Card
    • Regular Purchase APR See Pay Over Time APR
    • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
    • Annual Fee $150
    • Credit Needed Excellent
    • Processing Network American Express
    Best Benefits
    • Earn 3X points on all eligible travel (flights, hotels, transit, taxis, tours, ridesharing)
    • Earn 3X points at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery
    • Earn 1X points on all other purchases
    • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits to pay for your CLEAR® membership
    • Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases
    • Baggage insurance plan up to $1,250
    Rates & Fees
    • Regular Purchase APR: See Pay Over Time APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
    • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
    • Penalty APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
    • Annual Fee: $150
    • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
    • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
    Credit Card Deals
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    Spend $250 or more, get $50 back One Kings Lane Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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    Spend $250 or more, get $50 back Omni Hotels & Resorts Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
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    Spend $175 or more, get $35 back Hampton by Hilton & Hilton Garden Inn Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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    $25 off purchase of $250+ Central Restaurant Products Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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    20% off nail lamps Nail Superstore Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
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    40% off for 2 years Invoiced Offer Expires on Mar 03, 2022 See Details
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    10% off your initial contract Signifyd Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
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    Get $100 off your first order Faire Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
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    40% off for up to 12 months Intuit QuckBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
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    Up to 50% off FedEx shipping FedEx Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

    The Plum Card® from American Express

    The Plum Card® from American Express
    • Annual Fee $0 for the first year. After that, $250
    • Credit Needed Excellent
    • Processing Network American Express
    Best Benefits
    • Receive 1.5% discount when you pay your bill within 10 days of your statement closing date
    • Up to 60 days to pay with no interest
    • Choose whether to receive your bill at the beginning, middle, or end of the month
    • Annual fee waived the first year
    • No preset spending limit
    • Employee Plum Cards for no additional fee
    Rates & Fees
    • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year. After that, $250
    • Late Payment Penalty Fee: $39 or 1.5% of the past due amount, whichever is greater
    • Return Payment Penalty Fee: $39
    Credit Card Deals
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    Spend $250 or more, get $50 back One Kings Lane Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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    Spend $250 or more, get $50 back Omni Hotels & Resorts Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
    card
    Spend $175 or more, get $35 back Hampton by Hilton & Hilton Garden Inn Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
    card
    $25 off purchase of $250+ Central Restaurant Products Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
    card
    20% off nail lamps Nail Superstore Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
    card
    40% off for 2 years Invoiced Offer Expires on Mar 03, 2022 See Details
    card
    10% off your initial contract Signifyd Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
    card
    Get $100 off your first order Faire Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
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    40% off for up to 12 months Intuit QuckBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
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    Up to 50% off FedEx shipping FedEx Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

    The Platinum Card® from American Express

    The Platinum Card® from American Express
    • Regular Purchase APR See Pay Over Time APR
    • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
    • Annual Fee $695
    • Credit Needed Excellent
    • Processing Network American Express
    Best Benefits
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year
    • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
    • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more when you select one qualifying airline
    • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required
    • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection
    • VIP status and $200 Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually
    • Complimentary Gold status in Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs
    • Complimentary membership in premium car rental programs
    • $240 Digital Entertainment statement credit
    • $175 CLEAR statement credit
    • $300 Equinox Statement credit
    Rates & Fees
    • Regular Purchase APR: See Pay Over Time APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
    • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
    • Penalty APR: See Rates & Fees
    • Annual Fee: $695
    • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
    • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
    Credit Card Deals
    card
    Spend $250 or more, get $50 back One Kings Lane Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
    card
    Spend $250 or more, get $50 back Omni Hotels & Resorts Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
    card
    Spend $175 or more, get $35 back Hampton by Hilton & Hilton Garden Inn Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
    card
    $25 off purchase of $250+ Central Restaurant Products Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
    card
    20% off nail lamps Nail Superstore Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
    card
    40% off for 2 years Invoiced Offer Expires on Mar 03, 2022 See Details
    card
    10% off your initial contract Signifyd Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
    card
    Get $100 off your first order Faire Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
    card
    40% off for up to 12 months Intuit QuckBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
    card
    Up to 50% off FedEx shipping FedEx Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

    The Business Platinum Card®

    The Business Platinum Card®
    • Regular Purchase APR 14.24% to 22.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
    • Annual Fee $595
    • Credit Needed Excellent
    • Processing Network American Express
    Best Benefits
    • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
    • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year
    • Fine Hotels + Resorts Program grants an average total value of $550 in perks at over 1,100 properties, like daily breakfast for two, 4pm check-out, and more
    • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell
    • Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more
    Rates & Fees
    • Regular Purchase APR: 14.24% to 22.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
    • Penalty APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
    • Annual Fee: $595
    • Late Payment Penalty Fee: $39 or 2.99% of any past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater
    • Return Payment Penalty Fee: $39
    Credit Card Deals
    card
    Spend $250 or more, get $50 back One Kings Lane Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
    card
    Spend $250 or more, get $50 back Omni Hotels & Resorts Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
    card
    Spend $175 or more, get $35 back Hampton by Hilton & Hilton Garden Inn Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
    card
    $25 off purchase of $250+ Central Restaurant Products Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
    card
    20% off nail lamps Nail Superstore Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
    card
    40% off for 2 years Invoiced Offer Expires on Mar 03, 2022 See Details
    card
    10% off your initial contract Signifyd Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
    card
    Get $100 off your first order Faire Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
    card
    40% off for up to 12 months Intuit QuckBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
    card
    Up to 50% off FedEx shipping FedEx Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

    Charge Cards vs Credit Cards

    The phrase “charge card” is often used interchangeably with “credit card.” This is understandable, as the term refers to a card that can hold charges, and credit cards certainly fit that description. However, charge cards technically fit into their own category of payment, with their own advantages and disadvantages.

    They function similarly to credit cards when it comes to making purchases, but have a few unique differences when it comes to paying the bill. These deviations may make them better or worse options for certain cardholders.

    How Does a Credit Card Work?

    Most consumers are familiar with how credit cards work – but not charge cards. First, an issuer reviews a credit card application to determine if the applicant qualifies. If approved, the issuer uses the applicant’s credit history (including their FICO scoring model credit score) to determine the size of their credit line and the interest rate.

    Then, the applicant can begin to make purchases using the card. At the end of each month, the issuer provides a statement balance and requests payment. The cardholder has the option to make the required minimum payment, cover the entire balance, or pay somewhere in between.

    Any funds leftover on the account will begin to accrue interest – unless it’s a 0% intro APR card. Though a charge card can technically be considered a type of credit card, they operate quite differently in these key aspects:

    • Interest and Balances
    • Late fees
    • Annual fees
    • Spending limits

    How Does a Charge Card Work?

    A charge card is basically a type of credit card with more restrictions, but no interest. Credit cards and charge cards both follow the “pay later” model, allowing you to make purchases and receive a bill at the end of the month. This payment structure means charge cards can affect your credit as well. Some also provide rewards for your spending.

    However, charge cards can’t carry a balance from month to month as credit cards can – you’re required to pay the balance in full every month. This means you won’t have to pay interest charges, but it can also cause trouble if you spend more than you can afford. While these cards don’t charge interest, charge cards are known for their high late fees, which average around 3% of the balance after the due date expires.

    You also don’t get a preset spending limit with a charge card. Instead, charge card issuers examine your credit, payment history, and income before it approves a purchase. This can give you more wiggle room if you need to make a large purchase, though issuers closely monitor hefty charge card balances and report to the major credit bureaus. Finally, whereas some credit cards are free, all charge cards cost an annual fee.

    Where to Get a Charge Card

    Since charge cards have been largely replaced by credit cards, you won’t find a huge variety. In fact, American Express is the only of the major credit card issuers that currently offers these cards, along with a selection of Amex credit cards. An American Express charge card often comes with an abundance of luxurious travel perks, impressive membership rewards points – and a high annual fee to match.

    Perhaps the most famous of the charge cards is the Platinum Card from American Express. There is also the famed Centurion Card, which is only available to VIPs and by invitation (through a high spending threshold of over $250,000 per year or more. At the entry-level, the American Express Green Card is an excellent option, given it’s quality travel rewards and relatively low $95 annual fee.

    Do Other Issuers Offer Charge Cards?

    While American Express might be the name most commonly associated with charge cards, there are other options available. Many commercial cards are charge cards. These are;t business credit cards, but are similar in that they are offered to large corporations. Some of these cards are used for purchasing bull items for fleets, such as gas charge cards from Conoco, for example.

    In terms of consumer charge cards, there aren’t many non-Amex charge cards on the market today. These products tend to be boutique and custom offers from specialized brands and not something the average consumer would hold or use every day.

    Some cards for bad credit are actually charge cards and not traditional credit cards. Some examples of charge cards for bad credit include merchandise cards from Horizon Card Services:

    Cards like the Group One Card Card offer quick approval, a fast and easy application process, and no credit check. like Horizon or the Group One Platinum, lets consumers build a positive credit history, thanks to regular reporting one of the major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Even better, there’s no security deposit requirement, as is the case with secured credit cards.

    Related Article: What Are Catalog Credit Cards? 

    he Chime Credit Builder Visa® Secured Credit Card is a credit-builder product from Chime – a fintech that offers an assortment of financial products and services with no hidden fees.  The card is also unique in that it is a charge card.  Payments with the Chime Credit Builder Visa are made with the funds the user moves from their Chime savings account automatically, meaning users never have to worry about late fees or missed payments – their credit limit is their credit-builder account balance. This process means users can expect their FICO credit score to rise as much as 30 points, on average – opening up the opportunities for more lucrative rewards credit cards down the line.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of a Charge Card

    With how charge cards work, there are plenty of pros and cons to weigh before you decide to get one. For one thing, your card can get very expensive if you have trouble paying your balance in full each month. On the other hand, you’ll never have to worry about credit limits or interest rates if payments aren’t a problem for you. Plus, you can still get access to plenty of worthwhile rewards for your purchases, including travel credits.

    Because charge cards have no preset credit limit, they are only for people with excellent credit – or at least a very good credit score. Charge cards are not really a tool to build credit. Rather, a charge card is something like a personal finance payment card for someone with excellent credit to take advantage of and use for their everyday needs.

    Find the Best Charge Cards

    When weighing your options between charge cards vs credit cards, it’s important to find information from an unbiased source. The team at BestCards strives to fill that need with our collection of in-depth reviews and informative articles. With these resources, you’re sure to find the best cards for your wallet in no time!

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