Millions of Poles use credit cards for their everyday purchases. Over half of them, according to the Poles report, own wallet – we love bargains, consider the card to be a convenient payment method. It seems that we know and like them. Do you know how this card works? For ease of use, we’ve prepared answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
What’s the difference between a credit card and a debit card?
The credit card is associated with the account with a specific amount of money granted by the bank, called the credit limit. By using it, you spend bank money, not your own. Every month you get a summary of all purchases and withdrawals from the ATM that you made with the card. The statement also indicates the amount and repayment date of the money used.
The case with the debit card is different. This is a card associated with an individual bank account, ie account card. When using it, you use your own money, so you must remember that the lack of money on the account also means the inability to spend money using the card.
With the help of both cards you can pay in shops and online or withdraw cash from an ATM.
Does the use of a credit card automatically mean the need to borrow and pay interest to the bank?
No. A loan understood as debt, on which you have to pay interest, is only an option that you can use, but you don’t have to. By using a credit card, you use the Bank’s money, which you must give back by the deadline indicated on the statement. If you return the entire amount to the Bank, you will not pay interest on purchases paid for by card. Because you take advantage of the privileges of the interest-free period – you give back as much as you borrowed (plus the fee for handling the card, if any). Cash withdrawals from ATMs are an exception – interest is accrued immediately and it is worth remembering.
In addition, you can easily control expenses by setting your own limits on individual transactions, also made via the Internet or contactless. You can do it in Online Banking or through the bank’s hotline. You can also block the possibility of making cash transactions if you limit your expenses to cashless payments only.
What is the ‘reference period’ and what is the ‘interest-free period’?
The billing period lasts a month and ends with a summary in the form of a statement from the card’s account. Since then you have more than 20 days to repay the card. In the summary you will find all transactions made with the card, payments to the card’s account and accrued fees and interest, if any. It also contains information about the sum of money used at the end of the period, the minimum amount to be repaid and the repayment date. You can check this information on a regular basis, eg via Internet Banking.
Is using a credit card secure?
Using a credit card is the most secure. First of all, losing a card does not mean losing money – all you have to do is reserve it quickly and nobody will be able to use it. Secondly, your liability for unauthorized transactions is limited by law to only $ 50 from the time it is lost until you report it to the Bank. Thirdly, you have the option of using the so-called chargeback, ie additional protection in the event that the seller fails to fulfill his obligations – we wrote about it in a special text on our blog – Do not stand in queues and enjoy shopping.
Where can I pay by credit card?
You can use the money available on your credit card around the world – you’ll pay for shopping at traditional stores and the Internet, as well as services and withdraw cash from any ATM. A credit card can also be helpful when traveling outside Poland. Instead of exchanging money at an exchange office, you can conveniently pay by credit card abroad.
The cost of currency conversion at Sanbuwan Consumer Bank is small – in the case of a transaction in Euro it is only 1.26%, and in the case of a currency other than Euro 2.52%.
How do you repay your credit card?
You have many options for paying off the card:
- only the minimum amount indicated in the statement – its amount is 5% of the limit used, min. 50 dollars + installment amount, if you spread the transaction into installments,
- more than the minimum amount, which is as much as you can,
- debt balance indicated in the statement – then you can take advantage of the loan without interest.
Why do I need a credit card – if I have a debit card?
It’s worth using a credit card if:
- You lack your own money for unexpected expenses.
- You want to book a hotel, flight or rent a car abroad.
- You are thinking about additional funds, eg for holidays.
- You want to be able to use the bank’s money without interest.
- You value independence and want constant access to extra money