A debit card is a card that is used to buy items or to withdraw cash from your bank account through a cash machine.

A credit card is a card that lends you money to buy items, which you have to pay back.

Credit is an agreement that allows you to buy an item and pay for it at a later date.

Each of your different cards will have a different PIN.

Debit and credit cards can be used in many different places, including:

  • High street shops
  • Online
  • Over the telephone

You may be charged for withdrawing money from a cash machine when you use your credit card.

Where can I get a debit or a credit card?

A debit card is linked to your bank account so you can get one from your bank.

You can also get a credit card from your bank. You can get a credit card from many other companies too.

Differences between debit and credit cards

With a debit card, money leaves your account as soon as you buy something.

With a credit card, money does not leave your account until you pay the bill that is sent to you by your credit card company.

Using a card abroad

You can use your bank cards abroad, both in shops and to take out cash.

If you use a card abroad, it is likely there will be additional charges.

Ask your bank or credit card provider about charges before you travel.

If you do not pay your full credit card bill on time, you will usually have to pay interest.

You must pay at least the minimum payment on your credit card bill or there will be high charges.

A credit card has a limit so you can only spend up to that amount.

A debit card is limited to the amount of money available in your account.

Things to remember about a credit card

Purchases on credit cards are funded by money that is being lent to you.

You have to keep track of what money you spend, and pay the bill when it comes.

If you miss a payment or cannot pay your bill, this can affect whether or not you can borrow money from the bank in future.

If you are struggling to pay your credit card bill, speak to your bank or credit card provider.


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