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How many types of cards are there and what are they?

There are several types of cards and we explain their basic features below, so you can differentiate them:


Credit cards 

These are cards associated to a credit, and any purchases or cash withdrawals are charged to that credit.

You can choose several ways to repay the amount drawn down, such as weekly, end-of-the-month or instalment repayments (a fixed monthly amount or a percentage of the amount spent). Whether or not interest is charged depends on the method of payment. A credit limit is set for each card. This credit is permanent (while the card remains operational) and, as you progressively pay off the debt, you can dispose of the credit up to the limit set.

Thus, not only can you pay on the spot, but you can also finance your purchases or cash withdrawals charging them against the card's credit regardless of the balance in your account and then settle the amount you owe according to the repayment method you have chosen.


Revolving or deferred payment cards

A revolving card is a credit card which is called thus because all the repayments are deferred. It offers no other repayment methods and interest is charged for that financing. When the amounts drawn down are paid off, they are once again available up to the corresponding limit.


Debit cards

Debit cards allow you to operate through ATMs (withdraw money, request account balances and movements, etc.) and pay at retail outlets. All the charges of the transactions you have made with this type of card are immediately deducted from your account's balance. If the balance is insufficient, the transaction cannot be made.

This card's operability is more restrictive for specific transactions involving hotels, cruise ships and car rental firms. If you plan to travel, it is therefore better to bring along a credit card.


Prepaid cards

A prepaid card's use is limited to an amount that has been previously loaded onto the card. Thus, you must first top up the card with money and then you can use it like a debit card to make the transactions you wish, including purchases and cash withdrawals.


Virtual cards

Virtual cards are not associated to any kind of plastic or physical media. They are meant to make Internet purchases, thereby avoiding the need to use a physical card.

Virtual cards offer greater security than traditional cards in Internet or mobile phone purchases, since they are only valid for a single transaction and prevent your card's real number from circulating through the Internet.

Before making a purchase, you have to access the Digital Banking service and request a "virtual card", where you will have to choose the transaction's amount and the expiry date. This generates a numbering containing the data that have to be used when making the purchase, including the card number, the expiry date and the CVC2 (a number printed at the back of the card).

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