Credit Card vs ATM Card: [Head-to-head Comparison]

Credit Card vs ATM Card

Confusion regarding bank cards is common. As there are different cards serving different purposes, choosing a card that benefits you is hard to find. Lack of information can often lead you to get the wrong card. 

Maybe your closed one told you to get a particular card and you got it without knowing its purpose. And now, you don’t know what to do with it. It happens!

It is important to either ask the bank to tell you about different cards or do prior research. If you haven’t done any research yet, I got you. Here, I am going to explain the difference and various aspects of two different banking cards that are commonly used by people and offer versatile benefits. 

So, let me explain the contrast of credit cards vs ATM cards:

Is Credit Card The Same As ATM Card?

Basically, both credit cards and ATM cards are used to serve the same purpose. Below, you know the details about both credit cards and ATM c

  • Credit Cards:

Credit cards are used for postpaid transactions. You get a certain credit line and you can make transactions according to the limit without deducting the amount immediately from your account. It is like a short-term loan that you need to pay back within a certain time. 

If you fail to repay the amount within the due date, you would need to pay interest. If you pay the amount late, you need to give late fees and fines. 

The basic difference between an ATM and a credit card is that the amount is deducted from your account immediately when you use an ATM card while there are some procedures for deducting the amount from your account when you use a credit card. 

However, you get better compensation benefits by using a credit card than an ATM card. Losing a credit card would charge you a maximum of $50. And if no fraudulent activity occurs, you don’t pay any fee at all. 

  • ATM Cards:

The full form of ATM is Automated Teller Machines. The ATM card allows you to withdraw cash using an ATM machine. Some banks provide ATM cards that can be used to deposit money directly to any account at any time. 

But to do any of the tasks, be it withdrawing or depositing money, you need to enter a PIN that is unique for each user. The amount that you take out using the ATM card gets deducted from the account affiliated with the card. 

If you by any chance lose your card, report the bank immediately to block your card so that no unauthorized transactions are made. However, if you report after 2 days of a fraudulent activity done, you may need to pay a fee of a maximum of $50. 

If you report within 60 days of losing the card, you would need to pay a bigger amount that can go up to $500. If you report after 60 days, you would be liable for the full amount that is lost from the account. 

3 Key Differences Between Credit And ATM Cards:

Here, are the 3 key differences between credit and ATM cards:

Card TypeATM CardCredit Card
Immediate Money Deduction While PurchasingYesNo
Pay Later After Purchasing NoYes
Liability Cost$50 to $500 depending when you report it to the authority Max of $50 and no liabilities if no fraudulent incidents occur 

Credit Card vs. ATM Card: Which Is The Best For You?

Stating one option better is difficult as it depends on what you need. But in general, I would suggest having both with you as both have several benefits to offer. 

Credit cards are great for emergency purposes, global usage, and buying expensive commodities. But you may lose track of your expenditure while using a credit card. It is good for you only if you can use it wisely and smartly. 

Besides, credit cards offer better customer protection. You provide a minimal liability charge in case of fraudulent incidents. But the liability costs in ATM cards are expensive. 

But if you can’t pay the due amount within the deadline, you need to pay interest and late fees. If you don’t pay the due amount for a long time, you would be in trouble. The issuer can even block your credit card. 

On the other hand, as you get to know the amount you have spent using an ATM card, you can keep track and know how much you can spend. Also, you get to spend only the amount you have in your account. So, there is no case of exceeding the limit or late fees. 

Therefore, the way you use decides which card is the best for you.

ATM Cards With A Mastercard Or Visa Logo:

If you have an ATM card with a Visa or Mastercard logo on it, don’t panic because your card can be used for versatile purposes. 

These types of ATM cards are not only used for withdrawing and depositing money but can be used as a debit or credit card too. These cards can be swiped at the point of purchase like in a restaurant, superstore, or medicine store to make a transaction. 

You need to enter the PIN if you are using the ATM card as a debit card. If you use it as a credit card, you may not need to enter the PIN. 

The basic difference of using the ATM card as a debit or credit card is that the amount gets deducted immediately from your account when you use it as a debit card. On the other hand, the amount gets deducted from your checking account after a few days of using it as a credit card. 

Can You Use A Credit Card At An ATM?

Yes, you can use a credit card to withdraw cash. But this is not the best thing to do. 

When you take a cash advance, you need to pay high fees too. Not only that. Lenders would consider you as a careless credit card user when you take a cash advance. This would affect your credit score as well as your credit history. 

Therefore, though you can get a cash advance, it is suggested not withdrawing cash using a credit card. 


Now you have learned the differences between an ATM card and a credit card. You have understood how they function and what their uses are. 

Now it is your decision to choose which one would serve your financial demands. Think carefully and select wisely to make the best use of your money. 

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