With a traditional “credit” card, you charge items on your account and receive a bill later, which you have the option to pay in full or in part (at least as much as the “minimum payment due”). If you don’t pay the account in full, the remaining balance will carry over to the next month and you’ll be charged interest on it. This is referred to as revolving credit.
The other type of card, often referred to as a “charge” card, doesn’t allow you to carry a balance from month to month; you have to pay off the total balance when you get your bill. These cards offer the convenience of plastic without the danger of getting into debt or paying high interest charges.
Both kinds of cards are offered under a variety of labels (gold, platinum, premier, and the like), each one offering different features and benefits. The gold and platinum types of cards are typically offered to consumers who have an excellent credit history.