Types of payment cards

Banks offer their clients various types of payment cards depending on the clients’ needs. Currently on the market you will find debit, credit, prepaid and charge cards. Learn how they work, who they are for and how to get them! Learn more at

The report published by the Sanbuwan Bank shows the scale of the phenomenon. In March 2019, we used 41.298 million different types of payment cards . That’s about 60,000 more than in December 2018 and about 1.8 million more than in March 2018.

Which type is the most popular ? Debit cards rule unquestionably . At the end of the first quarter of 2019, Polish banks serviced over 27 million cards of this type. This is 1.5 million more than a year ago. The leader in this respect is the S-Fair Bank.

However, banks also offer credit cards, pre-paid and charge cards. Read how they differ, how they work, what their costs are and how to get them!


Debit card

Debit card

A debit card is also a payment card . It is issued to a personal bank account usually when opening an account. With a debit card you pay for purchases at payment terminals – contactlessly or by dragging the magnetic strip through the reader.

This is a very convenient solution for people who prefer cashless operations. You do not have to submit a separate application for this type of payment card, because the bank will usually propose it to you.

How much does a debit card cost?

Many banks do not charge a fee for making a card, but the maintenance fees vary considerably. Depending on the bank account you open, an account debit card can cost you $ 0 or even a dozen or so zlotys per month .

Can you have more than one debit card for your account?

Yes you can. For example, banks offer partner accounts, i.e. bills used by persons who are in a relationship with each other. Both persons can access the funds accumulated on the account by issuing two debit cards.


Credit card

Credit card

It is a type of payment which is associated with quick loan granting. A bank customer who pays for purchases with this card actually takes out a loan when he or she pays for the product or service just purchased.

A credit card is the opposite of a debit card. With the debit card, only the money you had at the time of purchase disappeared from your account. A credit card allows you to give money back to your bank later.

Repayment of the debt is carried out in installments – the exact terms of the contract are agreed before signing the contract for using a credit card.

The bank can offer you a repayment cycle of 20 or 30 days. During this period you will pay off the debt without any interest costs. However, if you exceed the deadlines, the fees will increase and may amount to e.g. 5%.

This type of card is only issued to customers who have been granted a credit limit by the bank. In other words, a person who is not creditworthy will not receive a credit card proposal from the bank.

In turn, the customer who has an increasingly higher creditworthiness will receive proposals for ever larger credit limits on the card.

Using a credit card is convenient because payment transactions are cashless, however, there is a risk of uncontrolled debt . That is why it is so important to think about whether you are sure you are ready to have a credit card.


Pre-paid card

Types of pre-paid payment cards have been made more popular thanks to telephony. The principle of operation is very simple: to pay by card, you must first “top up” with the appropriate amount .

Currently, prepaid cards are available in many stores, banks as well as from telephone network operators. They cost as much as you want to accumulate funds on them, e.g. $ 50. In return, you can spend the whole amount at a later time – you choose when .

There are no major restrictions on this type of card – anyone can use them, without age restrictions and without other obligations such as a bank account or credit.


Charge card

Charge card

As with credit cards, for a chargé card the bank grants a spending limit on a ‘pay back later’ basis. This time, however, the card owner must immediately repay the entire amount of debt . This type of card is associated with a personal or current bank account.

The charge limit is set based on the monthly inflow of funds to the account owner’s account. How is the debt repaid? Most often, once a month, the bank automatically charges the amount that corresponds to the sum of debts for the previous billing period.

In Poland, this type of card is usually issued to employees by employers so that they can pay for their business trips .

As you can see, different types of payment cards are available in Poland. If you want to pay for purchases with the money you have and without incurring debts, choose a debit or prepaid card.

However, if you prefer or need to take a loan for your purchases, use a credit or charge card.

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