Credit Card vs Debit Card – Similarities and Differences

Also termed as “plastic money”, debit cards and credit cards are financial instruments that have become a complete alternative to cash. With the ever-increasing benefits of cashbacks, reward points, safe transactions, and easy handling, these financial tools have now become the most preferred way of handling money.

While both these instruments seem to be more or less similar, the fact is that they are not. Let us first understand what is a debit card and what is a credit card, and then we will look at the major similarities and differences between them.

What is a Debit Card?

A Debit card is issued by a bank against your current account or savings account. The major point to be noted about a debit card is that it allows you to use only the amount of money that’s available in your bank account at the moment. This implies that as you make payment using your debit card, the amount of purchase will directly be debited from your current or savings account.

What is a Credit Card?

A Credit card is a financial tool that allows you to borrow funds from your credit card issuer at the luxury of making purchases as and when required. Additionally, to repay the borrowed amount, you get a grace period of around 45 days without any interest charges on the billed amount. When you buy a credit card, you get a customized credit limit, which indicates the maximum amount that you can spend using your credit card. A credit card also

Read More: How to Activate a Debit Card- Few Easy Steps to Follow

Similarities in a Debit Card and Credit Card

A lot of people mistake credit cards for debit cards and vice versa. Well, both these types of card actually have a lot of similarities between them. Let’s look at a few of these factors that justify this confusion-

  • Both of these cards look identical and have a 16-digit card number written on them
  • A debit card and a credit card have expiration date that’s mentioned on the card itself
  • In order to make a transaction, using either of these cards, you must enter a PIN (Personal Identification Number) code
  • Both, debit card and credit card can be used to make online and offline purchases
  • Both these cards can be used at an ATM in order to withdraw money

Differences Between a Debit Card and Credit Card

While both, the debit and credit cards look identical, there may be a lot of features that make them absolutely different. It is advised that you have at least one of each of these cards to fund any urgent expenses that you may have to make and to balance your finances with ease. To do so, it is important to understand how a debit card and a credit card are different from each other.

FeatureDebit CardCredit Card
UsageAllows you to make purchases using the amount in your current or savings accountAllows you to make purchases by borrowing funds from the bank
Interest chargesNo interest charges applicableInterest charges applicable on late repayment of the billed amount
Source of moneyMoney deducted/used from your current/savings accountMoney borrowed from bank/credit card issuing company
Impact on credit scoreNo impact of transactions made on the credit scoreTimely repayments work effectively on the credit score
Eligibility criteriaNo specific eligibility criteria to be fulfilledYou must meet some specific eligibility conditions of income, age, etc.
Spending LimitYou can spend as much amount as it is available in your accountYou can spend only as much amount as it granted to you in the form of credit limit by the bank
Variety of cardsNot many options to choose fromOne card for every need; a wide variety of options available depending upon your spending needs
SecurityProvide minimal security from theft or loss of the card; safe transactionsProvide complete protection against loss or theft; safe transactions
Additional benefitsNo additional benefitsOffers a lot of additional benefits such as cashbacks, reward points, vouchers, etc. to be redeemed on future purchases
Hidden expensesNo hidden expensesThere may be a few hidden expenses such as annual fee, cash withdrawal expenses, fee on foreign transactions, etc.
Cash withdrawal from ATMAllowed, without any additional chargesAllowed, with additional charges

FAQs
What is the difference between debit card and credit card?
Debit cards and credit cards have a lot of differences in terms of the source of funds, hidden expenses, additional benefits, spending limits, eligibility criteria, etc. For instance, when you use a debit card, the amount that you spend is deducted from your current/savings account, whereas when you use a credit card, the amount that you spend is deducted from the credit limit allotted to you. Additionally, there are no hidden expenses in a debit card, while there are a few in credit cards.
Are debit cards and credit cards the same?
No, debit cards and credit cards are not the same. Even though there may be a few similarities between the two, there are still a lot of major differences between them.
Which is better- debit card or credit card?
Both these types of cards have their own advantages and disadvantages. You should choose to buy either or both of these cards depending upon your needs, income, and credit capability.
Is it safe to use a debit card?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to use a debit card. However, it must be noted that debit cards provide minimal safety in case of loss or theft of the card, which is not the case with a credit card.
Do debit cards and credit cards have similar features?
Yes, debit cards and credit cards have a lot of similar features. These features include similar appearance, use of a PIN to make any transactions, etc.
Are there any additional expenses on a debit card?
No, there are no additional or hidden expenses associated with a debit card.
Is there any limit on the amount that I can withdraw using a debit card?
The maximum amount that you can withdraw per day from a debit card varies from bank to bank. The usual daily limit for withdrawals from a debit card is Rs. 20,000.
Can I withdraw cash using a credit card?
Yes, you can withdraw cash using a credit card. However, you must note that cash withdrawals using a credit card charge additional fees.
What is an ATM card?
An ATM card is any card that can be used to withdraw money from an ATM. ATM cards are basically used to withdraw cash, check account balance, or transfer funds from one account to another. These cards serve only specific purposes, unlike credit cards that are multi-functional.
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