My credit card just got "upgraded". Tucked in among all the notes about new benefits I've got access to is this line:

Please note: Your credit line/credit limit will now be referred to as a Credit Access Line.

Does this change in terminology represent any change in how the credit card works?

  • Can you edit and add country tag – Dheer Dec 28 '15 at 3:39
  • Have the terms and conditions of your card changed? If so how? – DJClayworth Dec 28 '15 at 3:59
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    I think it is just a term change, no effect. Otherwise they would need to explain the difference. The term does not carry an implicit meaning. – Aganju Dec 28 '15 at 6:28
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    @Aganju I believe the term change does actually make a difference. TTT's response below explains how a credit access line and credit limit differ. That is, if the poster is referring to mail from Chase, at least, as I recently got this same information. – Ryan Dec 28 '15 at 15:50

Some banks (Chase bank is one of them) do differentiate between "credit limit" and "credit access line". A "credit limit" is a hard limit which you cannot go over, whereas a "credit access line" is the maximum amount you can revolve between statements, but you can still charge more than your access limit in any one statement. For example, if your credit limit is $5,000, and you have charged $4,995 in a billing cycle, and now try to buy something for $6, it will be declined. But if your credit access line is $5,000, that same $6 charge would go through. Perhaps charges of $500 over your limit might go through as well. When it comes time to pay your bill, your minimum payment will be all overages plus your normal minimum payment as if your credit was completely maxed out.


  • You can overspend in a month if you need to.


  • If you are close to maxed out and are carrying a balance each month, your minimum payment could be higher than you are used to.
  • Most banks don't tell you what your true hard limit actually is, so once you are over the limit you never actually know if your card is going to be denied or not.
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