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A copy of the general conditions of a credit card

Last Edit: 30/11/18

Credit card providers sometimes include a copy of the 'general conditions' -- typically a small leaflet -- of their credit card when they post customers a paper copy of their monthly statement.

The front page of a leaflet, which is a copy of the general conditions of a credit card; Royal Bank Inside page one and two, of a copy of the general conditions of a credit card; Royal Bank
(Pictured: A copy of the general conditions of a credit card; Royal Bank of Scotland)

So, what information is typically included in a copy of the 'general conditions' of a credit card? The following information is usually to be found:

  1. Cards: Will provide information about how the card is issued (sent to the customer), the PIN number for the card, and how keep security details securely.
  2. Card transactions: Will explain foreign currency transactions, credit limits, money transfers on the Internet, balance transfers, and recurring transactions.
  3. Charges and tax: Will usually direct the customer to check the Charges Tariff leaflet (sometimes sent each month with the general conditions leaflet).
  4. Statements: Will explain how monthly statements can be sent to the card owner, either through the postal service, or digitally (email, Internet).
  5. Lost or stolen cards: Explains the procedure for dealing with a lost or stolen card, providing a telephone number to send in a report.
  6. Payments: Explains how payments are applied to an account, such as minimum contractual payments, installment plan fees, and if a payment exceeds the monthly balance.
  7. Ending or restricting the use of a card: The action a card provider will take if they believe a customer has broken the credit card agreement they signed.
  8. Changes to a credit card agreement: The card provider will explain the changes they can make to the credit card agreement as they see fit; such as changing the interest rate.
  9. Contact details and communication: Will explain how the card provider will contact the card owner -- post, email (Internet), secure messages via Internet banking, mobile apps, text messages etc.
  10. Disclosure of information: The card provider will explain how they may give information about the card owner when transferring the debt (balance) of the account.
  11. Waiver: Explains how the card owner may waive their rights at one time, but may not waive their rights in the future.
  12. Customer information: Provides information about how the card provider collects and processes financial and personal information about the card owner.
  13. Installment plans: Will explain how an installment plan can be offered to customers -- to pay off big transactions -- and how the installment plan will be managed.
  14. Regulatory and governing law information: Options the card owner has to make complaints, such as the Financial Ombudsman, the Financial Conduct Authority and the European Commission's online dispute resolution platform.
  15. How to contact the card provider: the customer services telephone number and postal address will be provided.

While the 'general conditions' leaflet -- provided by credit card providers -- will differ via each financial institution, it will typically include the information listed above, because the leaflet is aiming to give a general overview of how to use and manage a credit card. While the information may be technical in places, it is usually a fairly easy read, and gives a good summary that new card owner would benefit from acquainting themselves with.