Well - debit cards, credit cards, regular ATM cards and charge cards are the means of getting cash, or getting some kind of transaction done. These cards would not need you to carry any kind of physical cash. Yes, as you stated they work on varying principles. You need to use them with utmost care and having proper knowledge about the cards you are going to use would be much important.
Types of debit cards
1.Visa Debit cards - These cards are issued as per the norms of bank's tie up with VISA payment provider. The cards are secured by VbV (Verified by VISA) platform. You can opt for overdraft facility with them.
2.VISA Electron - These again are the result of the tie up with VISA. The difference lies in the fact that these cards do not allow overdraft.
3. Master card debit cards - If a bank has tie up with MasterCard payment service, you will get a MasterCard debit card. The MasterCard gives access to worldwide funds transfer. It uses MasterCard SecureCode platform.
4. Contactless Cards - These cards do not need you to swipe your card for making transactions. Just tapping the card the payment terminal will enable the payment. The cards also allow you waving the card against the terminal, or using a NFC terminal.
5. RuPay cards - It is a domestic payment service introduced by NPCI - National Payment Corporation of India. These work under National Financial Network switch.
6. Maestro cards - Maestro is a premier card service from Master Card. It facilitates easy and hassle free international transactions. It works across 100 plus countries around the globe.
Furthermore, there are variations in the card usage format and the annual fees depending on the type of the card you opt for. These include Classic cards, premium cards, platinum cards and international cards. The annual fees will change as per card type you opt for.
Credit cards too can be of several types. Depending upon the tie up that card issuing bank, or financial institute has with the card issuer ( also referred to as payment provider) you can opt for VISA, Master or Maestro cards as indicated in case of debit cards above.
Apart from that, the broad classification of credit cards can be done on following lines -
1. Silver cards - If you are under a nominal salary range, you may need to opt for silver card. The card can be availed for a small membership fees. There is a interest free credit period that may range up to 60 days. These carry a lower withdrawal limits.
2. Gold cards - If your credit score is quite higher, you will be eligible for Gold credit card. The card comes with a slightly higher annual fee. However, you get higher credit and withdrawal limits. The Gold card provides a better reward points benefit. It may include additional bonuses in the form of travel insurance. Add on card and special cashback offers.
3. Platinum cards - The cards offer you high range of benefits in terms of usage for dining, entertainment, shopping etc. The annual fee can range up to Rs, 5000. The card entitles you to privilege offers like vouchers from top brands, better and enhanced reward points, priority memberships to renowned organisations etc.
Please note that those enlisted above are meant as a broader classification of the card types available in India or elsewhere. The actual offers, type and fees will depend on the exact bank you choose. There are other types of cards ( both debit and credit) that specifically tie up with specific brands. These are normally termed as Co-Branded cards. Some of the prime examples could be IRCTC SBI Platinum credit card and HDFC SnapDeal credit card.
You may need to get more information from the specific bank you want to get a credit or debit card from.
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