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Taking the confusion out of banking

If you don't know your APR from your EAR, or your excess from your equity, help is at hand. We've included five jargon terms for each of our product ranges. If you don't see the term you want here, we've included a handy link that will take you through to the full glossary.

Credit cards


The Annual Percentage Rate is the rate you will be charged on your credit card balance over the course of a year. It takes into account the interest you pay, how often you make repayments, and any other additional charges such as processing fees. Any company issuing a credit card must provide you with the APR so that you can compare different offers and decide which is the best for you. Make sure you are aware of other factors such as rewards, interest free periods, balance transfer offers and purchase offers. These can affect how much you spend with your card.

Balance transfer

The transfer of money you owe on another credit card, store card or loan to the balance on another credit card. If you are opening a new credit card account, the interest rate on your balance transfer may be as low as 0% for the introductory period. Balance transfers may include a handling fee this will be clearly communicated within the product details.

Cashback credit cards

A credit card that will pay you back in cash a small percentage of all the purchases you make on your card. You must still clear your balance before the end of the interest free period or the interest charged will probably be more than the cashback received.

Chip and PIN

A security technology that replaced the former method of signing your name to confirm a purchase. The use of a PIN (personal identification number), rather than a signature which can be forged, makes this a more secure system. Our new contactless payment technology system speeds up this process whilst retaining the same high level of security.

Contactless payment technology

A new, quick and easy way to pay for purchases of £20 or under. Simply hold your Barclays debit or credit card against the reader at the till. Enjoy the same fraud protection as Chip and PIN. All new Barclays debit or credit cards now come with integrated contactless payment technology.

Need other terms explained? See our Credit cards Jargon Buster

Current accounts terms

Gross rate per annum

The amount of interest paid on an account before the deduction of any income tax.

Chip and PIN

A new way of paying with credit, debit and charge cards in the UK that's designed to cut the cost of card fraud. When you use your card to pay for goods at shops, restaurants, petrol stations etc, you'll enter a four-digit personal identification number (PIN) into keypads at the checkout instead of signing to authorise the transaction.

Connect card

The name of your Barclays Bank debit card. You can use it to withdraw money from cash machines and pay for things in shops and other outlets.


The process of presenting cheques to the drawer's bank for payment. For example, if a friend writes you a cheque, you pay it into your account. Your bank then sends it to your friend's bank, which decides if it will honour it. It should do if your friend has enough money in the account. If the cheque is returned unpaid, you will be advised by post. The process takes several days, which is why payments into your account may take a while to show up on statements.


A service offered by most supermarkets and some pubs. It allows you to withdraw cash from your current account when you shop using your debit card. The total amount - the cost of your shopping or drinks plus the cash - is deducted from your current account.

Need other terms explained? See our Other accounts Jargon Buster

Insurance terms


Your assets are the goods that you own, including your property, car, household goods such as furniture or jewellery, cash, savings, investments, land or anything that has a tangible value.


The amount of an insurance claim that will be paid by you and is normally subtracted from the claim amount by your insurer. For example if your mobile phone is stolen and a replacement costs £250 and your excess is £100, your insurer will pay you £150. A standard or minimum excess applies to most types of insurance policy and aims to reduce the cost of cover by limiting claims for small amounts. You could be able to specify a higher excess, known as a voluntary excess, in order to reduce your premium further.

Home Emergency Cover

Additional home insurance that covers emergency repairs for services in your house that you rely on such as electricity, plumbing and heating.

Legal Expenses Cover

Insurance against any fees you might incur for consulting or hiring a lawyer, or other expenses from legal proceedings. This is usually offered as an optional cover, but may be included in your basic policy. Legal expenses cover is frequently offered with home or motor insurance.

Voluntary excess

You may be able to specify a higher excess, known as a voluntary excess, in order to reduce your premium. The excess is the amount of an insurance claim that will be paid by you and is normally subtracted from the claim amount by your insurer.

Need other terms explained? See our Insurance Jargon Buster

Savings terms


The Annual Equivalent Rate shows what the earnings on your savings would be if interest was paid and compounded once each year. If you have an account that pays interest monthly or quarterly you will only get the full AER rate if you leave the interest in the account for the entire year. Use the AER to compare rates on different accounts and decide which one works best for you.

Fixed rate

A rate of interest that is fixed on the day of investment.

Gross pa

The amount of interest paid on an account before the deduction of income tax. Like the AER, you can use the gross pa figure to compare different savings accounts and decide which one works best for you.

Tiered interest rate

As your balance grows the interest rate applicable may increase to a higher rate.

Variable rate

A rate of interest that can go up or down throughout the lifetime of the savings account.

Need other terms explained? See our Savings Jargon Buster

Barclays Bank PLC. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register number: 122702). Barclays Bank PLC subscribes to the Lending Code which is monitored and enforced by the Lending Standards Board. Further details can be found at Barclays Insurance Services Company Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register number: 312078).

Barclays Bank PLC. Registered in England. Registered no. 1026167. Barclays Insurance Services Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered no. 973765. Registered office for both: 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP. ‘The Woolwich’ and ‘Woolwich’ are trademarks and trading names of Barclays Bank PLC. Barclays Business is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC.


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