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What is the Difference Between Debit and Credit When I Use My Bank Card?

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Some of us may not be aware of this but it is possible to use our bank card as a debit card or a credit card in a lot of shops. The decision to choose either of these options will have pros and cons and it is therefore a good idea to consider these fully before deciding on either option.  If you are using your bank card as either a credit or debit card the money is still going to be taken from your account.

How a Bank Card Can be Used as a Credit Card or Debit Card in Shops

It is important to make clear that when you use your bank card as a credit card it does not create any actual credit. It just means that you will have a bit longer before the money is going to be taken from your account. When you use your bank card to debit the transaction it is taken instantly from your account, but when you use the credit option it can take a few days before this money is removed from your account. This means that if you want to buy something today but you aren’t getting money paid into your account until to tomorrow you should be fine if you used your bank card for credit. By the time the store processed the transaction the money would be in your account.

Some stores prefer when customers debit their transactions rather than use their bank card for temporary credit. This is because in some cases they will need to pay a fee for processing the credit transactions; although in a lot of cases this won’t be so. In any case, most shops will be happy for your custom no matter which option you choose.

Should You Use Your Bank Card as a Debit or Credit Card?

The main disadvantage of using your bank card for temporary credit is if the money isn’t there when the transaction is processed there could be financial penalties. So if you buy something expensive with your bank card as a credit transaction because you are expecting a payment into your bank; you will have problems if that payment doesn’t arrive. Some banks can have high penalties for going overdrawn without permission unless you already have some type of overdraft agreed. If you don’t pay back the money quickly you could end up paying a lot of money on interest and bank letters.

It is worth noting that there seems to be more protection for a bank card is used for creating credit than a debit card in those cases where your card is stolen. If your card has been stolen, and you fail to report it quick enough, you might have to pay charges on the money that was debited to your account. If they use your bank card like a credit card though you will never be liable because you are protected by the same regulations that govern credit card use.

Read more about the differences between credit card and debit card:

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Meet the Author

Anthony Carter currently resides in Fife, Scotland with his wife Lisa, and their three wonderful children. As a senior editor for various publications, if he's not reading and writing, you would find him photographing and traveling to some of the most far-flung locations around the world.


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