Credit and debit cards
Credit and debit cards are a very safe and convenient way to pay for goods and services in shops or online anywhere in the world.
Unlike cash or cheques, if something goes wrong when paying by card, you benefit from a range of protections.
- A credit card allows you to borrow up to a credit limit, and to make flexible repayments. You can pay off in full by a set date without incurring interest, or pay back a lesser amount which normally means you’ll be charged interest.
- A debit card is linked to your current account. The amount of the purchase is usually debited from your available balance on the same day, although it can take a few days for your statement to be updated. In the UK, debit cards are generally free to use.
Some cards also provide contactless payments for purchases of up to £30. Contactless cards have exactly the same security protections as non-contactless cards.
A growing number of mobile, wristband and watch options can be used for contactless payment and are equally secure. Some of these can be used for purchases over £30.
There is more information on contactless cards in the dedicated section of our website.