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2 mins Read | 3 Years Ago

Credit Card vs. Debit Card: Which is Best for Shopping?

Which is better? Shopping with a Credit or Debit Card?


The festive season is here and brands are all set to offer big discounts on apparel, home décor, electronics and more. You may be tempted to shop for your favourite products, but should you be using a Credit or Debit Card?

As India is gearing up for festivities, it is also time for shopping. When it’s raining offers, you wouldn’t want to stop yourself from grabbing the best deal. Those who own a Credit Card may wonder if this is the best time to collect reward points and take advantage of various deals. Still others prefer Debit Cards. But what is a better option? Read on to know more:

How do Debit Cards work?

If you are shopping using a Debit Card, a specified amount gets debited from the bank account directly. If you have a low balance in your account, the transaction gets declined straightaway. This is one of the drawbacks of making payment through a Debit Card.

How do Credit Cards work?

As against the Debit Card, a Credit Card is an unsecured loan. When you shop using a Credit Card, you get to take advantage of deals such as vouchers, cashback offers and more. With this card, you are approved for a certain credit limit or a fixed spending limit. If your shopping bills go beyond the said limit, you can no longer make a purchase. The credit limit is based on income and type of employment. In a nutshell, it gives you the privilege to shop now and pay later. With a Credit Card, it is always advisable to pay the dues in full, rather than paying the minimum amount each month, to avoid debt.

Which is the better option for shopping?

When it comes to shopping, both a Debit and Credit Card are similar in terms of facilities and ease of use. In case you use a Credit Card for shopping, you realise benefits such as improvement in your credit history, additional discounts on brands, protection if the card is lost or stolen, extended warranties on electronics, etc.

On the other hand, this is not the case with Debit Cards, although you can avail special deals. Using a Debit Card, you can save yourself from falling into a debt trap. In rare cases, if you shop from a fraudulent website through a Debit Card, it can trickle all the money from your bank account. Both cards have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to shopping. If you are a responsible buyer, a Credit Card can be lucrative if you know how much to spend. If you fear a spiralling debt, then a Debit Card would be an ideal choice, but beware of shopping frauds.

Key differences between a Credit Card and Debit Card:

Credit limit 

  • Credit Cards have monthly credit limits. 
  • Debit Cards rely on the account balance and may have daily purchase limits. 

ATM withdrawals

  • Credit Card cash withdrawals entail fees and interest charges.
  • Debit Card cash withdrawals especially at your Bank ATM are usually free. 


  • Credit Cards offer an interest-free period (up to <50> days). 
  • Debit Cards do not incur interest as the amount is directly debited from your account. 

Annual fees 

  • Many Credit Cards have no annual fees, while some may charge an annual fee.
  • Debit Cards do not have annual or renewal fees. 


  • Credit Cards offer cashback, discounts, rewards and more.
  • Debit Cards also provide benefits like cashback and discounts.  


  • BothDebit Cards and Credit Cards are widely accepted at merchant outlets and online stores.
  • Credit Cards may be mandatory for specific transactions or websites. 


  • Credit Cards require meeting income, creditworthiness and relationship criteria. 
  • Debit Cards are readily available with a Savings Account or Current Account.

Security features

  • Both Cards offer security features like SMS, PIN and OTP. 
  • Some Credit Cards include zero liability insurance for lost or stolen Cards, a feature that Debit Cards usually lack. 


Debit Cards 

Credit Cards 

Spending limits 

Daily limits on spends and 

cash withdrawals 

Monthly credit limits based 

on the Card 

Major benefits 

What you spend is instantly 

debited from your account 

Buy now, pay later 


No repayment needed 

Enjoy 50 days of interest-free 




Debit Cards 

Credit Cards 


No interest charges 

EMI based repayment 


Get cashback and discounts 

Get cashback, discounts, 

rewards and miles 

Annual Fees 

Low to NIL 

Depends on the type of Card 

Security Features 


Zero liability insurance on lost 

or stolen Cards. PIN, OTP, SMS 




The contents of this document are meant merely for information purposes. The information contained herein is subject to updation, completion, revision, verification and amendment and the same may change materially. The information provided herein is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any jurisdiction where such distribution or use would (by reason of that person‘s nationality, residence or otherwise) be contrary to law or regulation or would subject lClCl Bank or its affiliates to any licensing or registration requirements. This document is not an offer, invitation or solicitation of any kind to buy or sell any security and is not intended to create any rights or obligations. Nothing in this document is intended to constitute legal, tax, securities or investment advice, or opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, or a solicitation for any product or service. Please obtain professional legal, tax and other investment advice before making any investment. Any investment decisions that may be made by you shall be at your sole discretion, independent analysis and at your own evaluation of the risks involved. The use of any information set out in this document is entirely at the recipient's own risk. The information set out in this document has been prepared by ICICI Bank based upon projections which have been determined in good faith by lClCl Bank and from sources deemed reliable. There can be no assurance that such projections will prove to be accurate. lClCl Bank does not accept any responsibility for any errors whether caused by negligence or otherwise or for any loss or damage incurred by anyone in reliance on anything set out in this document. The information set out in this document has been prepared by ICICI Bank based upon projections which have been determined in good faith and sources considered reliable by lClCl Bank. In preparing this document we have relied upon and assumed, without independent verification, the accuracy and completeness of all information available from public sources or which was provided to us or which was otherwise reviewed by us. Past performance cannot be a guide to future performance. 'lClCl ' and the 'I-man' logo are the trademarks and property of lCICl Bank. Misuse of any intellectual property, or any other content displayed herein is strictly prohibited.


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