Credit cards have become an essential part of our daily lives. Like every other service, this facility has evolved with time. Two of the most popular credit card options in today’s time are traditional credit cards and online credit cards.
Though the two may appear to be similar, there are some inherent differences between them as well. So, as a user or a prospective customer, you need to understand these details to choose the correct option.
Traditional credit cards
It is a credit facility offered by financial institutions where you can use the credit available on your card. The credit limit to be used is pre-decided as per your eligibility as a borrower. Also, you can swipe or tap the card to make payments.
Advantages of traditional credit card
- Traditional credit cards are available in the physical form so that you can use them anywhere, anytime.
- Some credit card providers enable you to customise your card with different colours and designs.
- A traditional credit card also allows you to withdraw cash to your benefit, and this is one of the most popular features.
Disadvantages of traditional card
- Since you need to carry the card everywhere, it can be a hassle at times and increases the risk of losing it, or theft, which puts you at financial risk.
- When you use it to make online credit card payment, the details of the card are often saved, which can also lead to financial insecurities.
- When we use a traditional credit card, we tend to spend more than we need. And then the amount continues to add up.
Online credit card
Virtual or online credit cards are issued against your primary physical credit card, and this card is solely accessible online and is not meant for any physical usage. All the details of credit cards, like card number, expiry date etc. everything can be viewed online.
Advantages of online credit card
- Online credit cards are more secure as they do not reveal your credit details to anyone, as only you can see them.
- Virtual cards can be accessed instantly since the process of application is online.
- You don’t have the hassle of carrying it around.
- Typically, these cards are disposable, so after use, they become inactive.
- You can manage your spending by restricting the credit limit of these cards.
Disadvantages of online credit card
- When you ask for a refund from any online shopping vendor, you must give the details of the card used for that payment. The situation can be tricky if your credit card has already expired.
- To use this card, you need to generate it every time, which can cause delay in payments.
- Also, if you want to exceed the set spending limit, you cannot use this card.
Differences between traditional credit cards and online credit cards
Here are the differences between traditional and online credit cards –
Traditional credit cards can be used for making payments in physical shops as well as in the case of online shopping. It may take significant time to complete one credit card payment as any change requires a person to look into the matter.
On the other hand, you can use a credit card apply online only for making online payments, subscription payments etc., not for manual payments. Any change, if required, can be done online, so it takes a lot less time to process the payment.
The application process for these two cards is very different. For traditional credit cards, you can apply for them online and offline, and you need to submit all the documents and details and get approval. After that, you will get your card, which will take 10-15 days.
On the contrary, online cards are applied and verified online. So, the overall time taken is significantly less.
Technically both traditional and online credit cards are secured by various measures from their providers. Still, the hackers keep finding new ways to get into the system and steal your credentials. This is one of the most disturbing elements of a traditional credit card. Since here you are using the exact details and card number, it becomes easier to infiltrate the system and hack your cards.
Wherein an online card is active for a limited period. Since it is active for one-time use, even if the card details are saved online, they are useless to the perpetrators.
Similarities between traditional credit cards and online credit card
Here are some notable similarities between these two types of credit cards –
Both types of credit cards ultimately deal with monetary transactions. So, both help in credit building. You get a good credit score when you clear all your dues on time and manage your financial account in a timely and organised way, and this will help in all your future loan applications.
In both the credit cards, you can set a credit limit. Setting up a credit limit helps in better financial management, and you do not end up overspending.
The debate between a traditional credit card and an online credit card can go on forever. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and both are better in some ways but fail in others. So, getting a credit card that fits your requirement is up to you.