A cardholder is an individual, merchant or a corporate individual to whom a credit card is issued. The cardholder is the person or company who opens a credit card account and makes purchases using that respective credit card.

Often representatives for a merchant or company to whom that credit card is not issued to in name may legitimately borrow a card for corporate use. This is a common and necessary occurrence for companies in which the leadership is occupied running the company, while employees may need to make necessary purchases to sustain business. If proper cardholder address and Address Verification System (AVS) numbers are available to that “cardholder,” a purchase or other transaction can be made, especially those that are considered Card Not Present scenarios, such as online purchases or mail order purchases. Live in-person purchases are usually impossible in this proxy cardholder scenario, since in-person purchases require personal identification that matches with the name printed on the corporate credit card being used.