German consumers are increasingly paying with “plastic”. They appreciate the flexibility and security that shopping with an EC or credit card offers. At every supermarket checkout, there is now a terminal for payment by EC card.
Many customers use the offer and simply have the purchase price debited from their checking account. Paying with a “bank card” should not be confused with shopping by credit card.
Differences between EC and credit cards
An EC card does not offer any delay in payment to the user, all sales are immediately offset against the checking account. So you can not spend more than your own account, including overdraft, gives. Only the credit card also offers a real loan, whoever pays with it only has to pay for its sales later. The individual items are first accumulated and then debited once a month from the current account.
This is the rule and does not involve any costs for the user. Only those who want to pay off their credit card debt in small installments have to pay interest on the loan. You don’t get very far abroad with the EC card, but with a real credit card you are welcomed almost everywhere with open arms.
The credit card belongs in every travel bag, in some cases you can only book hotels or rental cars with a plastic card. Each credit card has an individual limit, which is based on the income of the user. Low earners or people with negative Schufa, therefore have no chance to get a real credit card. But there is an almost equivalent alternative for them: the prepaid credit card.
How does the prepaid credit card work?
A prepaid credit card works on the same principle as a prepaid card for cell phones. The users first have to step in and top up their credit. The card can only be used as long as credit is available.
The acceptance of the prepaid credit card corresponds to that of a real credit card. Although it does not offer a real loan, it enables everyone to make cashless payments.