Ask Difference

Credit Card vs. Debit Card — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on September 19, 2023
A credit card allows you to borrow money up to a certain limit to make purchases, which you repay later. A debit card deducts money directly from your bank account when you make a purchase.
Credit Card vs. Debit Card — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Credit Card and Debit Card


Key Differences

A credit card allows you to make purchases by borrowing money up to a pre-set limit, which you'll need to repay with interest if not paid off within a specific period.
Conversely, a debit card is directly linked to your bank account, and the money for any transaction is instantly deducted from that account.
Credit cards often come with rewards, cash-back options, and the possibility of building credit history, features usually not provided by debit cards.
Debit cards generally offer less fraud protection than credit cards because they are directly connected to your bank funds.
Credit cards can help you make large purchases and pay them off over time, whereas debit cards are useful for everyday transactions and help in keeping spending in check.

Comparison Chart

Source of Funds

Borrowed from bank
Directly from your account


Usually incurs interest
No interest

Overdraft Potential

Usually not



Fraud Protection

Usually stronger
Generally weaker

Compare with Definitions

Credit Card

Credit cards may come with annual fees and interest rates.
She was looking for a credit card with no annual fee.

Debit Card

Debit cards may come with overdraft protection for a fee.
She opted out of overdraft protection for her debit card.

Credit Card

Credit cards come with a pre-set spending limit defined by the credit issuer.
His credit card had a limit of $5,000.

Debit Card

Debit cards are generally not used to build credit history.
Using a debit card won't affect your credit score.

Credit Card

Credit cards often offer rewards and cash-back options.
She chose a credit card that gave her airline miles.

Debit Card

Debit cards require sufficient account balance for transactions.
His debit card transaction was declined due to insufficient funds.

Credit Card

A credit card is a payment card that allows you to borrow funds to make purchases.
She used her credit card to buy a new laptop.

Debit Card

A debit card is a card that directly deducts money from your bank account for purchases.
He paid for groceries using his debit card.

Credit Card

Credit cards can help build credit history when used responsibly.
His responsible credit card use improved his credit score.

Debit Card

Debit cards are usually issued by your bank and linked to your checking or savings account.
She received a debit card when she opened her new checking account.

Common Curiosities

What is a Credit Card?

A credit card is a card that lets you borrow money to make purchases, which you repay later.

What is a Debit Card?

A debit card is a card that takes money directly from your bank account for purchases.

Do Credit Cards build credit history?

Yes, responsible use of a credit card can help build your credit history.

Do Debit Cards have fraud protection?

Generally weaker than credit cards because it's linked directly to your bank account.

Can I go into debt with a Debit Card?

Typically no, unless you opt for overdraft protection.

Do Debit Cards have interest rates?

No, debit cards do not have interest rates as they use your own money.

Do Debit Cards build credit history?

No, using a debit card does not affect your credit score.

Do Credit Cards have interest rates?

Yes, if you don't pay off the full balance, you'll incur interest.

Can Credit Cards offer rewards?

Yes, many offer rewards, cash-back, or miles.

How do I get a Credit Card?

You apply through a bank or credit issuer, who will evaluate your creditworthiness.

Is there a spending limit on Debit Cards?

Usually, the limit is your account balance.

Is there a spending limit on Credit Cards?

Yes, credit cards have a pre-set spending limit.

Do Debit Cards offer rewards?

Rarely, and if so, usually less generous than credit cards.

Do Credit Cards have fraud protection?

Yes, generally they offer strong fraud protection.

Can I go into debt with a Credit Card?

Yes, if you spend more than you can repay, you'll go into debt.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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