Differences Between Debit and Credit Cards

debit card, credit card, multiple cards, card differences

What is the most recent financial decision you’ve made? More than likely, it was deciding which form of payment to use for your most recent transaction. Every time you make a purchase, you are faced with the decision of which form of payment you are going to use. Each different payment type has its pros and cons. When and how you use each type can have a huge impact on your personal finances. These days, plastic is the preferred currency type for most people. But the question is: which type of plastic is best for your purchase?

Here are some key differences to consider when choosing between swiping your debit card or credit card:

Access to Funds

Your debit card is linked to the funds in your checking account. Think of it like an instant personal check. Any transactions you make using your debit card are taken out right away.

Your credit card, however, has a limit. When approved for a credit card, you are given access to a line of credit. Think of it like a convenient way of borrowing money. Credit transactions are covered by the card issuer or financial institution, and you then have to pay back those funds at a later date.

Approval Process

You are able to receive a free Visa® debit card with any of our Robins Financial Credit Union checking account types, including our youth accounts.

The credit card approval process can be influenced by a number of factors, including your credit score and your income. Additionally, you must be at least 18 years of age to be a primary cardholder.

Basic Fees

Your Robins Financial Visa® debit card is free with your checking account, and has no usage fees. While some financial institutions charge a monthly fee for checking account users, your Robins Financial checking account and debit card have no monthly maintenance fee.

Most credit cards charge an annual fee, and the amount can vary depending on the card issuer. Your Robins Financial Visa® credit card has no annual fee.

Additional Fees

Please note that these fees can vary depending on the features of your specific account type.

Since your debit card uses the funds in your checking account, you could incur overdraft fees if your purchase exceeds the limit of funds available in your account. You may also be charged ATM fees if you use a non-Robins Financial ATM outside of our nationwide network of over 55,000 fee-free ATMs. However, our checking accounts offer a courtesy ATM fee refund of up to $10 per month* should you have to use a non-Robins Financial ATM.

When using your credit cards, you can be charged fees for late or missed payments on your credit card, and you will also be charged interest on your outstanding balances. Some credit card lenders charge a fee for transferring balances from your existing card to a new card. With your Robins Financial Visa® credit card, there is no balance transfer fee.

Credit Score

Your debit card has no influence on your credit score.

Your credit card, on the other hand, can greatly affect your credit score, depending on how you use it. When used responsibly, a credit card is a useful tool to help you build your credit and raise your score. However, poor use of your credit card can damage your credit score.


While debit cards don’t typically offer rewards programs, some include a variety of features and benefits associated with your checking account.

Credit cards are known for their attractive rewards and cash-back programs. Some credit cards also offer purchase-specific perks like extended warranties or travel insurance. Our Robins Financial Credit Union Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card includes these perks and more to offer you premium purchasing power. With our Scorecard® Rewards Program, you earn points on qualifying purchases that can then be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, discounts, merchandise, travel, experiences, and more!

Fraud Protection

Whether you use your Robins Financial debit card or credit card, both are covered by the added protection of Visa®. This means you will not be held liable for unauthorized charges or transactions. At Robins Financial, we are committed to keeping your accounts and your cards secure and protected.

If you’re ready to apply for a credit card, our Robins Financial Credit Union Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card is one of the best credit cards you can carry. You can view rate information and our credit card agreement online now. Apply online, stop by one of our branches, or give us a call to find out more.

*Must have qualifying checking account in good standing. ATM refund will be paid monthly at the end of the month.

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