Skip to main content

What about a credit or debit card?

Posted in

Credit card

1) Credit cards are issued by banks, building societies and other organisations, for example under the MasterCard or Visa schemes. They can be used to pay for goods and services, or to obtain cash.

2) Using a credit card is a form of borrowing. This means the credit card company is only lending you the money to buy the item. You must always repay the credit card company. You will also have a limit on how much you can spend using the card. The credit card company will decide what this limit is although you may be able to request an increase to the limit.
*Warning*
Using a credit card is only free if your lender does not charge an annual fee and you always pay your balance off in full every month. If you do not pay in full each month you will have to pay back more than the items cost. This is called paying ‘interest’.

3) A written notice will be sent when the card is issued setting out your personal credit limit, the current rate of interest, and any other charges or conditions which apply. If changes are made to any of the terms, you will be told of these in a separate letter or on the monthly statement.

4) The rate of interest is called “APR”. This stands for Annual Percentage Rate. The APR is used to calculate how much the credit card company can charge you if you do not pay off what you owe every month. The higher the APR figure the more interest you will have to pay. Different cards have different APR rates. The difference may depend on your credit rating.

Debit Card

A Debit Card is a plastic card given by the bank to a bank account holder in order to be able to pay for goods and services in a different manner other than by cash or cheque. It is called "Debit" Card because it debits money directly from the account holder's bank account at the point of sale.