Santa Claus comes around just once a year. In the meantime, there are Credit Cards.
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    Difference between Debit & Credit Card

    There are significant differences between debit cards and credit cards. A debit card can be availed by any individual who has a current or savings account in his/her name and have deposited a sum of money in it. A debit card holder can use his/her card to make purchases, provided he/she has funds available in the account. A credit card is offered by lenders to those who fulfil various eligibility criteria. For people who apply for a credit card, a separate credit card account is opened in which the credit limit specified by the lender is available. This credit can be used by the borrower as a short-term loan and has to be repaid by the due date. An interest will be levied on the outstanding amount on the credit card.

    Various other differences between a debit card and credit card are highlighted below:

    Debit Card Credit Card
    Only the funds available in the current/savings account can be used to make transactions. Credit available in the credit card account can be used to make transactions.
    The availability of funds is based on the investment made to the account. The availability of funds is based on the credit limit set by the lender.
    Interest is earned on the deposit available. Interest is levied on the outstanding balance.
    EMI facility is not available on debit cards. EMI facility is available on credit cards.
    No repayment required. Repayment of outstanding amount can be made either as revolving credit (payment of minimum due amount on the credit card account or payment of more than minimum due on the card and less than total outstanding amount) or the borrower can choose to pay the total outstanding amount by the due date.
    Charges include joining fee, processing fee, annual fee, etc. Charges include joining fee, processing fee, annual fee, late payment fee, prepayment penalty/ foreclosure charges.
    Monthly bank statement is sent to the borrowers. Monthly credit statement is sent to the borrowers with details of bills, transactions, total credit outstanding, minimum amount due and due date of payment.
    Any savings/current account holder can avail a debit card. In order to avail a credit card, the applicant must fulfill the lender’s eligibility criteria. Factors such as the CIBIL score or credit history, existing relationship or transaction history with the bank, debt-to-income ratio, etc. affect the individual’s credit card eligibility and approval.
    Fraud liability offered by the Bank/ financial institution is low in the case of a debit card. Unlike a debit card, credit cards come with high fraud liability and insurance cover for losses incurred from the theft and misuse of a credit card.
    The transactions made on a debit card does not affect an individual’s credit history. Transactions made on the credit card is reflected on an individual's credit history and is reflected in his/her CIBIL score.
    Overdraft facility is limited in the case of a debit card. Overdraft facility is available on credit cards. However, an overlimit fee is chargeable on the same.

    Differences between ATM card, credit card and debit card

    While all three are plastic forms of currency, there are quite a few differences between ATM cards, credit cards and debit cards. Given below are the major differences between the three:

    ATM cards can be used at ATM’s only

    While this might seem obvious, the statement is quite a significant one. ATM cards have one purpose, and one purpose only - to enable you to withdraw cash from an ATM. They cannot be used to pay for groceries or a bill at a restaurant, for example, as they can only be read by an ATM machine, which in turn dispense cash from your savings or current account.

    Debit cards can be used anywhere, but require access to real-time funds

    If you’re looking for a card that can be used for transactions as well as to withdraw cash, then a debit card is the one for you. Debit cards can be used at ATM machines to withdraw funds that are already available to you. In other words, once the withdrawal is complete, the money will be debited from your savings/current account in real time. The same goes for purchases made using your debit card at restaurants, malls, cinemas, etc.

    If you do not have sufficient funds in your account at the time of making a purchase using your debit card, the transaction would go through if your card is linked to an overdraft account (which would permit you to withdraw a set sum that is over and above the amount you actually have in your bank account). If you have not linked your card, the transaction would not go through and the card will be declined.

    Some debit cards could also entitle you to cashback, or a return of a portion of the amount you spent on your card. This facility depends on the type of debit card you possess and on other factors such as the type of transaction and the place the transaction is being made.

    Credit cards can be used anywhere and function like mini-loans

    A credit card is, for all intents and purposes, a loan that the bank provides you at the time of making a purchase. Credit cards are not directly linked to your savings or current account, meaning there is no real-time deduction of money every time you make a purchase using your credit card.

    You will have to make a monthly payment at the end of your credit card billing cycle, where you will be required to make a payment towards your outstanding amount.

    You can choose to either pay off the whole amount or pay only a fraction of the cost, known as the minimum amount due. The balance amount, if any, attracts interest, which will accrue until the entire amount has been paid off.

    Applying for a credit card affects your credit score, which is the basis of your creditworthiness. Financial institutions look at your credit score before approving a loan or a credit card, as the score is used to judge whether or not you will be able to repay the loan or outstanding amount on your credit card.

    Credit cards also come with more additional benefits in the form of extended warranties or special offers, such as cash back, frequent flyer miles, etc. In this way, choosing the right credit card to suit your needs would result in you being able to raise your credit worthiness through informed spending, making it easier for a future credit card application or loan application to be accepted.

    These are some of the differences between an ATM card, debit card and credit card. There are many banks in India that offer these cards and people are advised to research before they apply.   

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