Credit, debit, girocard...?: These are the main differences

Credit, debit, girocard...?: These are the main differences

There are now many different cash cards in our wallets. What we associate with the cards is often the account behind them. Be it a private bank account, a credit card for business trips. Enough with the half-knowledge! We provide an overview of the various functions and features.


Although the EC card was replaced by the girocard back in 2007, the old name is often used. Anyone who has a checking account at a bank receives a checking card that is linked to this account. It was first used to withdraw money from this bank free of charge. In Germany, however, it can also be used for contactless payments without any problems. Abroad, this only works if the card is supported by the credit card organizations, such as Visa or Mastercard. In this case, the corresponding logo V-Pay or Maestro is on the card. However, the latter was abolished in 2023, which also limits the performance of the girocard. Another major drawback is that online payments are not possible with any girocard.

Debit card

The debit card also bears a logo of the credit card organizations, such as Visa or Mastercard. Nevertheless, it is linked to the checking account just like the girocard. Amounts paid with one of the two cards are debited immediately. This gives good control over daily spending. The debit card can be used internationally for contactless and uncomplicated payments at online stores as well as in stationary retail. However, cash withdrawals are usually limited to a certain number each month or are subject to fees. In addition, debit cards often cannot be used for larger deposits, as rental car providers or hotels, for example, do not accept them.

Credit card

Unlike giro and debit card, the credit card is settled only once a month by the total amount. As a result, the sum may become quite large. Apart from that, a credit card has all the advantages: it allows contactless payment in stores, can be used in online stores, works internationally without any problems and can be used for all deposits. So for merchants and consumers, the credit card is the best solution with the highest flexibility.


Activate debit and credit card

With the appropriate EVO upgrade, you also receive debit and credit card acceptance and can benefit from many advantages:

  • more sales, more customers
  • more spontaneous purchases & higher purchase values
  • additional international customers

So an EVO upgrade is always worthwhile. In addition, an estimated 99% of Germans own a debit card and 54% a credit card - and the trend is rising.

Ask now


Two tricks if you can't tell debit and credit cards apart: Either look to see if money is debited monthly or immediately, or look for the little word "debit," which is usually on debit cards.

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