What’s a bank card and the way does it work

A bank card is an unsecured mortgage facility which is generally issued within the type of a small plastic card that may simply slot in a pockets and contains the bank card particulars, such because the bank card quantity and card identify, and different encoded info on a pc chip or magnetic strip as proven beneath.

Credit Card example
Caption: Instance of a plastic bank card from Westpac New Zealand

A bank card is a handy manner of borrowing cash because it offers you with a line of credit score which is at all times out there to you if you want it. Bank cards might help you handle brief time period money stream issues by permitting you to shortly and simply borrow cash for brief time period use. Digital variations of bank cards additionally exist that may be loaded onto a smartphone or onto a multi-card gadget.

Credit score Card Suppliers

The three greatest bank card firms that make up the worldwide bank card fee community embrace: Mastercard®, Visa and American Specific®. American Specific tends to subject its bank cards instantly, whereas Mastercard and Visa typically accomplice with banks and monetary establishments to subject their bank cards.

How do Credit score Playing cards Work?

You often apply for a bank card with a Financial institution, Monetary establishment or instantly with the bank card suppliers equivalent to Amex. While you apply for a bank card you may nominate your most credit score restrict and this is able to be assessed by the bank card issuer and a most credit score restrict could be assigned to your bank card.

In some instances, the bank card supplier might assign a credit score restrict decrease than the quantity you’ve nominated, particularly if the quantity you nominated is increased than the quantity allowed for the bank card sort. Bank cards additionally typically have minimal credit score limits, so when you nominate an quantity decrease the the minimal restrict you’ll be allotted the minimal restrict. This credit score restrict is a line of credit score that you need to use to make purchases in retailer or on-line and even withdraw as money instantly from the ATM.

Curiosity Free Interval:

Bank cards supply curiosity free intervals of often about 55 days (some playing cards supply fewer or extra curiosity free days). In the course of the curiosity free interval, you wouldn’t be charged any curiosity on purchases you make, however when you fail to payback your bank card steadiness by the final day of the curiosity free interval you’ll be charged curiosity on the quantity owed.

You will need to be aware that interest-free intervals do NOT typically apply to money withdrawals made together with your NZ bank card. While you withdraw money instantly utilizing your bank card, it often begins to incur curiosity on the exact same day. Additionally, money withdrawal typically attracts the next rate of interest than purchases.

Be aware: some curiosity free bank cards do supply curiosity free intervals of about 6 to 12 months, however this isn’t frequent and solely applies to particular no curiosity bank cards.


Some NZ bank cards supply reward factors only for utilizing them. It is because bank card suppliers equivalent to Mastercard and Visa cost companies a price for every bank card transaction you make. Rewards typically come within the type of reward factors schemes wherein you earn reward factors for each greenback you spend. You may then use the amassed reward factors for purchases, or in some instances, redeem your factors for money.

Bank card suppliers additionally generally supply different advantages equivalent to free journey insurance coverage, journey lounge entry, buy safety and extra. You’ll find an inventory of rewards playing cards on our Rewards bank cards web page.

Stability Switch:

Some bank cards supply steadiness transfers, which let you switch your present bank card debt from one other card and repay at a decrease fee of typically 0% for mounted interval.


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