Credit Card Issuer vs Card Network

Credit card issuers and card networks are the two major players involved in credit card transactions. Some card networks, like American Express and Discover, are also issuers. They have extra control over the card management and approvals because of this.

What Are All the Names and Logos on The Card?

Credit cards have many different company names and logos on them. Often, the business or bank that wants to offer the card to their membership base will have their name on the card. The network nearly always has its logo on the back as well. Many people know that the logo on the back has to do with where the card is accepted and that some merchants tend to take certain cards and not others. This has a lot to do with the card network managing the transactions.

Card networks are able to help offer acceptance for customers. They will often build a client base on travel routes and offer perks and purchasing protection based on when and where people use their cards. You’ll find that some card networks cater to clients who vacation a lot in certain areas or do business on known routes. Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover are major credit card networks.

Where Does the Issuer Come In?

All the logos and contracts may have you wondering, what is a credit card issuer?

According to the experts at SoFi, “Credit card issuers are financial institutions responsible for making credit cards, managing the application and approval process for credit cards, and keeping credit card accounts running smoothly.” These are the people you rely on for help when you have a question or an issue about your balance or a replacement card.

Issuers will ultimately choose what type of card to give you. Whether you are looking for a basic card to start building credit with, a specialty card, or a rewards card, you’ll want to look for an issuer that is likely to approve you at the limit you want for the type of account you want.

According to the experts at SoFi, “A credit card issuer is the one to determine an applicant’s credit card interest rate and limit, the type of cardholder benefits offered, and the fee structure for the credit card. Generally, credit card issuers aren’t the ones to process merchant transactions, but they do decide whether to approve or decline a charge.”

This is an important thing to note when you are considering opening or closing cards. The issuer reviewing your application will have their own preferences about whether to approve you or not which will often vary from issuer to issuer.

Issuers Handle Final Transaction Approval and Limits

In the end, you can think of your card issuer as the one approving your transaction. They also determine your loan amount and whether they will issue you the card when you put in your initial application.

Many people benefit from transferring card balances at certain points. Doing solid research and talking with representatives from prospective card issuers as you manage your credit limits can maximize your credit availability, get you more perks, and earn you more rewards as you use your cards.

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