Credit card or debit card? Where is the difference

What is the difference between credit card and debit card? A debit card is a bank card that can be used to make cashless payments and withdraw money from ATMs. The account at the card-issuing bank or savings bank is debited directly - in contrast to a credit card, where the collected amount is debited once a month.

In the United States, almost all banks and savings banks offer a bank card, the best known being the girocard.

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The Debit Mastercard

Meanwhile, most banks and savings banks also issue a debit mastercard, where the payment is also debited directly from the account.

Compared to a “normal bank card”, it offers additional services, as the card uses the same systems as a Mastercard credit card. Therefore, the Debit Mastercard can also be used worldwide for online shopping as well as when traveling abroad.

The Debit Mastercard can also be used for mobile payments with smartphones or smartwatches. The card data must be stored once in order to use Apple Pay, Google Pay or other mobile payment solutions from banks or savings banks. It can also be used to withdraw money from ATMs in the US and abroad.

The Debit Mastercard thus combines the advantages of two cards in one: the cost control of a debit card combined with the ability to make online payments and a worldwide acceptance previously only known from credit cards.

The Virtual Debit Mastercard

The Virtual Debit Mastercard is the first debit card that can be generated purely virtually in an app. It has all the advantages of the physical Debit Mastercard and is used primarily for mobile payment solutions.

Unlike a classic plastic card, users can create the virtual Debit Mastercard free of charge in the respective banking app and use it directly for payments with their smartphone or smartwatch.

It is immediately available in the banking app and can be added to mobile payment solutions such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. Here, too, the expenses are debited directly from the checking account.

The differences

Debit cards should not be confused with credit cards, even though there are many similarities. This is because with credit cards, the account of the house bank or savings bank is not debited directly, but the collected issued amount is debited once a month.

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Just like the debit Mastercard, Mastercard credit cards can be used to pay at more than 53 million points of acceptance worldwide. In addition, contactless payments are possible in stores and online.

The credit cards can also be stored in the wallet of the smartphone and thus be used for payments with the cell phone or the smartwatch or for the payment of digital subscriptions.