Credit and Debit Cards

What’s the difference between the two?

A credit card allows you to spend money you don’t physically have in your account up to a pre-arranged limit, it allows you to borrow money on credit and pay at a later date.

You then have a choice of paying off the bill in full by a set date with no interest or paying at least a minimum amount and spreading the repayments over a period of time. You’ll have to pay interest on the balance if you do this, therefore, the quicker you pay off your balance, the less interest you’ll pay. Typically incurs a cost paid yearly to the bank.

A debit card only allows you to spend what you have in your account, unless you have an agreed overdraft. As you’re probably aware, some debit cards are now contactless, which means you don’t need to enter your PIN if the purchase is for less than £30. Contactless is when you see people just tapping their card onto the paying machine to pay instead of typing in a pin. It’s normally free to have contactless on your card, you’ll need to check with your bank.

Further Reading on the Barclays Website

Where can you get them?

All banks.

Find the best credit card with Money Saving Expert

How to set up a bank account…

You can do it either in branch, over the phone or online.

You’ll need to bring with you or have handy, proof of identity (passport, driving licence etc.) and proof of address (a recent utility bill or phone bill), if you don’t have these ask the bank what other alternatives they accept.

The bank will run a credit check to understand your credit history.

Please note, it’s essential to read through the terms and conditions before opting for a credit or debit card, and ensure you are fully aware of any hidden costs that you can incur. If you have any questions, your bank will have a customer service number to call or go into your bank to ask the question. It’s always better to be doubly sure what you are signing up for.