If you have a bank account, you are probably familiar with the financial products that banks offer. Today banks benefit their clients with a variety of tools that facilitate economic and financial transactions. Examples of these tools are debit and credit cards.
Thanks to the debit and credit cards, the purchase processes are now simpler. If you want to buy something, instead of carrying cash with you, you can pay for it with one of your cards. Now having debit or credit cards even allows you to make purchases online, without having to go to a physical store.
Some banks even offer promotions and rewards for using their cards to pay for goods and services. However, there are differences between using a debit card and a credit card. Do you know these differences? Here we explain them to you.
Debit cards are financial instruments that you usually get when you create a checking or savings account at the bank. If you use your debit card to pay for a good or service, you are only using the amount of money you have in your account. That is, if you try to buy something that costs more than the amount of money in your account, the bank will not make the transaction.
You may think that debit cards only make it easier for you to buy in the sense that you don’t have to pay with cash. However, by using the debit card you can get some additional benefits. For example, some stores will offer you discounts for paying with a certain card. Or for making a cash payment for products that are also offered for payment on credit.
Is it free to have a debit card?
It is usually free. As we mentioned, the bank offers you a debit card when you create an account. This is why, you should not pay anything for the plastic on the card. However, you may want to take into account the maintenance costs of the account when you create it.
Is it safe to use debit cards?
You can use your debit card for ATM withdrawals and as a key to access your bank accounts on the web. However, this possibility makes debit cards a bit unsafe. If someone steals your debit card and somehow has access to your personal identification number, you risk losing your money. We have seen many stories of people losing their savings this way. Unfortunately, banks are legally protected from these situations, so you may not be able to get your money back if you are in this situation.
Credit cards allow you to have money you don’t have available in your bank account to make payments. When you use a credit card, the bank “lends” you a certain amount of money. This amount of money is known as a credit card limit. When they loan you the money, the bank will set a time period in which you must pay back the money you used. In addition, the bank will set an annual interest rate on the amount you owe. This interest rate varies depending on the bank and the type of credit card.
The minimum amount you must pay each month will be calculated based on the amount of money the bank has lent you and the interest rate. The amount of interest to be paid will decrease if you pay amounts greater than the minimum amount each month.
Is it expensive to have a credit card?
First, in order for the bank to assign you a credit card, you will need to maintain movement between your accounts above a certain amount. When you have a credit card, you must pay, in addition to interest, maintenance costs, and fees for various services.
Is it safe to use credit cards?
Yes, banks usually offer insurance for your credit card. This way, the bank can reimburse you in case of theft, loss, fraud, among others.
In conclusion, both types of cards have their advantages and disadvantages. Having a debit card limits you to using only the money you have in your account. On the other hand, you should be very careful when using your credit cards. Misuse will leave you in debt to the bank. However, with organized use of credit cards you can build a good credit history and make a profit.
Tell us about your experience using credit and debit cards.