What Does "POS" Mean on My Credit Card?

Written by michelle renee
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What Does "POS" Mean on My Credit Card?
"POS" means using a credit or debit card at a "Point Of Sale". (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

With all the financial jargon, technical terms and acronyms associated with banking contracts and credit agreements, sometimes it can be difficult for the average consumer to decipher his own credit card statement. Knowing the terms and abbreviations typically used in financial documents can help you keep track of where your money is spent. Once term, found on credit card statements, is "POS."

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What Does "POS" Stand For?

The acronym POS stands for "Point Of Sale". Generally this means the exact location where a purchase is made and payment is completed. This may include face-to-face sales transactions as well as purchases made online. Whether you are standing at a cashier counter or checking out an online shopping trolley, the precise place where your payment is made for goods or services ordered or received is considered the point of sale -- or POS.

What Is A POS Transaction?

When is comes to deciphering your credit card and bank statements connected to your ATM and debit cards, the term POS refers to all purchases made using your PIN -- Personal Identification Number. When you use your PIN to make a payment the funds are instantly withdrawn for your checking or savings account eliminating interest, late charges or ATM fees for cash withdrawals.

Aren't All Transactions POS Transactions?

Though most purchases are indeed made at a points of sale -- according to financial terminology -- only those made with a PIN are considered POS transactions. If you choose to use the credit option when processing your payment it will not be considered a POS transaction, you will be required to sign for your purchase and will not have the option to receive cash back. Debit (POS) transactions do not require a signature and unlike credit transactions, you may receive cash back at the register without paying ATM fees.

Common POS Transaction Locations

If you've been using your PIN to complete debit transactions you will probably notice numerous POS transactions when reviewing your credit card and bank statements. Some of the most common places where such transactions are made are at department stores, grocery stores, hair salons, gas stations and restaurants. Most major retailers and grocers accept credit and debit cards at their POS terminals, but smaller, independently-owned establishments may not offer both options.

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