Debit cards and credit cards are plastic cards that enable you to access funds when you need them. But do you think they are the same? Think again. This guide will weigh in on the credit card vs debit card debate in terms of their similarities and differences.
What is a debit card?
Do you have a savings or current bank account? Were you given a plastic card to enable you to make ATM withdrawals and POS payments? What you have there is a bank debit card. This card is linked to your bank account and whenever you use it for purchases, your savings account is debited – hence the name debit card.
The main purpose of a debit card is to facilitate cashless payments. It eliminates the need to carry cash around – guaranteeing your safety against thieves. A debit card also makes payments for everyday purchases easier, since you can present the card to a cashier to pay for purchases. The fund is instantly transferred from your bank account to that of the beneficiary you pay to.
What is a credit card?
A debit card is linked to your money in your savings account – but a credit card is linked to the money of the credit card provider. So what you have on your credit card is a loan that must be repaid with interest when you use it to make purchases.
You are indebted to your credit card company when you use your card to make purchases or settle a debt. Your credit card issuer pays the merchant on your behalf and you repay your issuer after an agreed period. The period for repaying your credit card company is known as the credit card payment due date.
What are the similarities between debit and credit cards?
Here are some similarities between the two:
- They come in plastic and virtual forms, but OneCard has a metal credit card variant.
- They can be used to make online and offline payments.
- They can be used to check account balances, transaction history, and perform other financial transactions.
- They facilitate cashless transactions and eliminate the need to carry cash around.
What are the differences between debit and credit cards?
Here are the key differences between the two:
- You must fund your bank savings account before using your debit card, but this is not so with credit cards.
- The money you spend with your debit card is your own, but the fund you spend with your credit card is a loan to be repaid.
- Periodic interest can be added to your debit card to increase your savings, but the periodic interest added to a credit card is a debt.
- Using credit cards attracts reward points, cashback, and purchase discounts among other exclusive perks; but this is not so with using debit cards.
- Credit cards come with higher security against fraud since the funds are not transferred immediately, but you can lose your money if unauthorised persons access your debit card.
- You can get unlimited amounts of personal loans against your debit card, but the loan you get against your credit card is pre-determined based on your credit score.
- You cannot use your debit card to build your credit score, but credit cards are great for building credit ratings.
Can you get both debit and credit cards?
Yes, you can acquire both debit and credit card for financial transactions. But you must be skilled at using both for the best purposes so that you don’t end up getting into debt. Your winner between a credit card vs debit card is yours to pick – on your lifestyle and financial goals.
Debit cards and credit cards are similar in terms of physical look and design, but they perform different financial functions. The money you spend with your debit card is your bank savings, but the funds you spend with your credit card is a loan to be repaid in due course. Both have their own set of advantages and can get you terrific deals, discounts, and offers to match.