Debit and credit cards: what exactly is the difference? | Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat, Luxembourg
29th April 2019

Debit and credit cards: what exactly is the difference?

Why are there different payment cards? Can some do more than others? When and how do you get these payment cards?

Debit cards The bank card linked to your current account

Key features of debit cards:

  • Pay in stores across Europe (European Union + Switzerland)
  • Pay contactless in stores. For amounts under €25, you do not need to enter your PIN at all. As a security measure, you do however occasionally need to enter the code for contactless payments under €25.
  • Withdraw money at ATMs in Luxembourg and Europe. With your Spuerkeess axxess debit card, withdrawals from S-BANK ATMs are always free of charge.
  • Immediate deduction of the money: your balance is debited immediately or within a few days of a purchase. You can therefore always see via S-net or at an S-Bank ATM how much money has gone out and how much is still left in the account.
With axxess START, STUDY or JOB, you automatically receive a debit card.

Dépliant: La carte axxess : comment l’utiliser ? (French and German versions only)

Credit cards More possibilities

There are various types of credit cards, such as VISA, Mastercard, Diners Club or American Express. The first two are the most widespread, however.

Key features of credit cards:

  • Pay worldwide in stores.
  • Pay via Internet e.g. you can order something online or book a trip with the credit card.
  • Generally used as a deposit e.g. if you rent a car on holiday.
  • Additional services and insurance: every credit card offers different insurance. You can easily find out about these on your bank’s website.
  • Credit limit: the credit card guarantees you a credit limit, which is set according to your personal situation. If your credit limit is set e.g. at €500, you can spend up to €500 with your credit card.
  • Delayed settlement: unlike with debit cards, here your account is not debited directly but at the end of the month. This means that if your credit limit is €500 and you have spent €500 with the credit card or withdrawn cash, then this sum is deducted from your account at the end of the month. If you have only made purchases of €200 with the credit card, then only €200 will be charged to your account.

Of course, this also means that you should have enough money in your account when the debit is made at the end of the month, or you will have a negative balance.

A small tip: you will often be asked with card payments abroad whether you would like to pay in euro or in local currency. It is always best to choose local currency, because this generally offers a better exchange rate.

With axxess, you receive your first credit card free of charge when you reach 15! If your bank adviser has not discussed this directly, you can request your credit card via S-net, our online branch, or directly at a branch.

You would like to increase your credit card limit? This is very easy via S-net! Go to your “financial position” and select your credit card. Then you just need to click on the info sign top right and choose the desired limit. Your request will be processed by the bank as soon as possible. You will be informed via an S-net message whether the limit was increased or the request declined.

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