Mastercard Credit and Debit Cards

Mastercard Credit and Debit Cards are issued through banks and other financial institutions. With the exception of certain specialty cards such as Health Benefits Cards and Purchasing Cards, any card bearing the Mastercard Logo can be accepted as a form of payment at any business that has a merchant account.

Credit Card

Mastercard credit cards give you the option to borrow money against a line of credit set by the credit card issuer. When you use your Mastercard card for purchases, they are later reflected on your monthly bill. In the meantime, the card-issuing bank pays the merchant. When you receive your monthly Mastercard bill, you are actually paying the bank for the purchases. Credit cards differ from debit cards because you will be charged interest on any credit card purchases not paid in full by the end of the month.

Debit Card

Although Mastercard debit cards offer the same level of convenience as credit cards, they work differently. A debit card takes funds directly out of your bank account at the time of the purchase. They are able to do this by placing a hold on the amount of the purchase. In the following step, the merchant sends the transaction to their bank although it may take a few days for it to hit their account. Nevertheless, the hold may be released before the transaction goes through.

Unlike credit cards, you need to have a personal identification number (PIN) to use a debit card for most purchases. A PIN is also required for use at ATMs.  Nowadays, however, some merchants accept debit cards without a PIN.