Developed by the Geneseo Migrant Center Inc. • Geneseo, NY 14454 with funding from the New York State Banking Department
Finanza Toolbox Materials
Credit Cards, Debit Cards
and ATM Cards
What is a Credit Card?
A credit card is a thin plastic card that can be used to buy items. A credit card
might be used to buy food or restaurant meals. A credit card allows you to pay
later for the items you bought. This is called charging. It means that you have
paid for the items with your credit card. You promise to pay when you sign the
credit card receipt in the store. Credit cards can be issued from a store, a bank or
You will be billed monthly for the items you have charged. You can pay the
entire amount owed. Or, you can pay a part of the bill each month. Your monthly
bill will tell you the minimum payment you must pay each month. Minimum
payment is the smallest amount you can pay each month. You will be charged
interest on the total amount you owe. Interest is the amount of money credit card
companies charge for using a credit card. Interest is figured in percentages. If you
pay only the minimum payment, the amount you owe will continue to grow. If
you do not pay your bill on time you can be charged a late fee. If you pay late, you
will pay more. If your card charges high interest, you will end up paying much
more than the price of the item. Each credit card has a maximum amount you are
allowed to charge. The maximum amount is called the credit limit.
What is a Debit Card?
A debit card is also known as a check card. A debit card looks like a credit card
but works like a check. When you use a debit card to pay, the money is taken
right away from your checking or savings account. You must be sure that you
have enough money in your bank account to cover the cost of the items you buy.
You will have a PIN or Personal Identification Number that you must remember
to use a de