Alternatives to Bank Cards
Bank cards are available in most countries around the world. In the United States, there are only two main types of bank cards: the MasterCard and the Visa. Each card offers a different level of service, and is used in a different way. Cards may be used to make purchases online or at stores. They may also be used to enter secured sites, or to make payments at restaurants. There are also debit cards, which can be used like cash to fund your purchases.
A bank card is generally a plastic card issued by a bank with a magnetic strip or bar code on it. These cards can also have access numbers, which allow authorized users to gain access to your account information and transactions. Some cards do not have access numbers but instead have magnetic strips that are used for the storage of account information and purchases. These cards may also have additional features such as a “panic” button, which allows you to instantly draw a line through the number on the card and indicate that you are in an emergency. These cards can also be used to make purchases at gas stations or convenience stores, though not at brick and mortar businesses.
MasterCard and Visa are the two major credit cards. Both use the magnetic strip technology to store cardholder information, and both also allow for purchases and cash withdrawals by using your credit card. These are usually issued at many of the same banks that issue bank cards. The major difference between these two cards is that a MasterCard is issued with a bank card and the option of purchasing merchandise from a specific retailer. A Visa is issued with no restrictions, and you are often able to make cash or electronic purchases at places that accept both credit and debit cards.
Both types of bank cards are very secure for everyday transactions. They are also both restricted to specific merchants and services, so if you are traveling, you may not be able to use your MasterCard or Visa to make purchases abroad. If you do travel overseas and need to use one of these cards, you should keep in mind that some countries do not accept all forms of these cards and will refuse you. They also usually charge a service fee for each debit card that you hold, but this fee is nominal compared to the cost of making a purchase.
The major difference between the first bank cards and today’s credit and debit cards is the layout of the card. First bank cards did not have a magnetic strip on the front of the card. Magnetic strips had been standard on credit and debit cards for several years before the first bank cards were issued. When the magnetic strip was introduced, many people complained about the sloppiness of the design, and the fact that it could not hold large amounts of information. Today’s cards have a much sleeker design, and the magnetic strip has been updated to accommodate the new technology. Also, because debit cards and most credit cards contain sensitive customer information, security is high on the list of concerns.
Another option available to those who need an account balance that allows for flexibility is checking accounts that are linked to bank cards. Checking accounts may offer a higher interest rate, but many banks may offer a greater selection of financial products to their customers. If you don’t want to get a credit card, but still need a checking account, some banks may offer a combined checking account and a credit card. While you won’t be able to spend more than you have put in your account, you will be able to withdraw money from your checking account whenever you like.
If you prefer not to take advantage of the benefits of both a checking account and a credit card, you can look into prepaid debit cards. Prepaid debit cards are purchased with pre-paid funds, and they work just like a normal credit card. You can decide how much you want to put on the card and how much you want to withdraw from the card, and you can use as much or as little of your prepaid funds as you’d like. These bank cards usually don’t come with any annual fee, and you can get a higher credit limit than you’d find with a typical credit card.
If you prefer not to have your bank account tied to a credit card, prepaid debit cards make great alternatives. You have more control over what’s in your checking account and what’s in your prepaid account. Pre-paid debit cards are convenient, easy, and efficient. In fact, you can use them to pay your bills and cash your checks at any financial institution, including ATM’s, instead of waiting for days to get a mail notice from your bank.