You don’t always think about it, but a credit card is also a loan. Credit, the word says it itself. Those who have been on holiday undoubtedly know the benefits of a credit card. But are there also disadvantages associated with, for example, a VISA or Mastercard?
A credit card is a payment card in which your payments or cash withdrawals are not immediately debited from your account, but are usually settled at a fixed time in the month. The issuer of the credit card, usually your bank, therefore gives you money for a short period. But not only banks sell credit cards. Large companies also often issue their own credit card, such as supermarket chains or airlines. Regardless of who you take a credit card with, you must sign a credit agreement anyway. So carefully read the information sheet and the conditions of your contract before you sign.
Credit cards work just like debit cards (Maestro, Bancontact / MisterCash) with a payment system. For credit cards, these are, for example, VISA, Mastercard or American Express. Where Belgian debit cards can only be used to a limited extent outside Belgium and Europe, credit cards are accepted by many traders worldwide. You can use the credit card for:
- payments (Always request proof of the transaction.)
- Payments remotely (By telephone or the internet.)
- withdrawals at ATMs (note, this costs money.)
A credit card is accepted in many places, both in Belgium and abroad. If you handle it with care, it is a relatively safe payment method. After all, with a credit card you need less cash in your pocket. The advantage of a credit card is that you only have to pay for your purchases and withdrawals after a certain period. You get credit for a while, as it were. With a credit opening you can also spread the payments from your settlement over time. You do pay interest for this. Like any form of borrowing, the credit card also has a number of disadvantages. Contacting money with your credit card is expensive and only advisable in an emergency situation.
A credit card is reasonably susceptible to fraud, although extra measures have recently been taken to reduce fraud susceptibility. The pin code associated with the credit card, a credit card chip and the option to block your card immediately are examples of this. Those who are careful do not leave their credit card lying around and never give it to anyone else. Keep your pin code secret and do not write it down anywhere. Learn the code by heart. If your card is lost or stolen, have your card blocked immediately by calling Card Stop on 0032 70 344 344. And report the theft to the police station.
Apply for a credit card
A credit application is easy to arrange. Of course it is wise to first compare the various credit cards, providers and options with each other before you make a choice. The application process usually takes 2 weeks because credit card providers work according to a certain procedure that takes some time. A NBB test is always carried out with the application. It is therefore not possible to obtain a credit card when you have registered debts. A solution for this is a prepaid credit card.
Start your application for a credit card here!