Advantages and risks of the new mixed debit-credit cards | My money

Wallets – or now mobile phones – store two types of cards: debit cards, used on a daily basis for regular purchases, and credit cards, saved for emergencies or for expenses that you do not want to pay immediately. However, this trend is going to disappear, despite the fact that consumers do not agree with it. And the thing is that banks are beginning to market a mixed product, which mixes debit and credit options in a single plastic, giving the possibility to choose at any time which one to use, with the risk of indebtedness that this entails.

The most recent example has been that of CaixaBank and the customers coming from the old Bankia, now merged with the former. Until now, the latter had subsidized debit and credit cards and the use of the second was required as one of the possible conditions for not paying commissions on their bank accounts. However, once the integration of the products of both banks takes place, that is, from November, Bankia customers will no longer have a free debit card – they will have to pay for it, if they want it, 36 euros per year-, and the cost of MyCard, a credit card with debit options, will be reduced.

Javier Mezcua, from HelpMyCash, affirms that these mixed products can be “a very useful tool if used correctly” by combining the two payment methods on a single card. “Its acceptance is greater, since by allowing to pay on credit, they can be used in certain businesses in which it is usually required to use a credit one, such as in car rental establishments,” he explains.

However, they also have their cons, which are mainly derived from the costs that certain payment methods may entail. For this reason, Mezcua recommends “carefully reading the fine print of the card, especially what is related to commissions and the interest rate applied to purchases paid in installments” and understanding how they work so as not to “fall into the error of finance purchases and pay interest inadvertently. ” And it is that depending on the bank, the payment method is chosen before using them or depending on whether a dataphone is used or is purchased with the contactless system.

  • CaixaBank. The MyCard card, which the bank has already offered for free to customers who will be part of its Day by Day program, is characterized by its payment flexibility. By default, it is configured by default to function as a credit card, with a full payment at the end of the month and without interest. Therefore, purchases made by customers will accumulate and will be withdrawn from the account on the 1st of the following month. However, it includes another option that allows the customer to pay for purchases every two days, a method that is quite similar to the classic debit model, since, depending on the trade, the charges are not always reflected in the account immediately. In addition, this two-day period can be personalized and the consumer can set a day of the week on which they want expenses to be charged or establish that it be done when the invoice reaches a certain amount. Among both options there are two others, which are the ones that may be more risky for consumers: the deferred payment method or revolving and the installment payment, both with interests that, in the case of the second, amount to 23% APR.
  • Bankinter. The Payroll Account gives a discount to the so-called Combo Card, which, according to the entity, has two sides: the Combo 1 side, which must be used when you want to pay for purchases at the end of the month, and the Combo 2 side, to use it “whenever you prefer. pay for your purchases little by little, without hassle “. To use side 2, the user must insert the card into the dataphone, while for side 1 they can use contactless mode. Both modalities are those of a credit card, although they allow you to withdraw cash on debit without commissions, only that the first does not carry interest, since the debt is not divided, while the second is of the type revolving, with an APR of up to 19%. Bankinter also has a Combo Debit + card in its offer, but it has a maintenance cost of 25 euros per year. In addition, this product also has two sides: the Now card, which works as a debit card charging purchases at the moment, and the Later card, with an option of payment at the end of the month and payment in installments (with an interest of up to 19%). In this case, the user also pays contactless if they want to use the debit mode, or introduce the plastic for the credit one.
  • Kutxabank. The OK Plus account of the Basque bank includes, without issuance or maintenance costs, the Dual VISA card that, although it allows debit cash at ATMs, works like a credit card, charging purchases at the end of the month or allowing the fractioning of the debt with interest.
  • Evo Bank. The Evo Smart Card integrates three modalities: debit (charged on the day), credit charged at the end of the month and installment credit (revolving), with an APR of 19.99%. The customer chooses a default modality, but in each purchase he can modify, through the app, if he wants that operation to be paid at the moment or postponed.
  • Santander Bank. Although it differentiates each of the payment methods in three different cards offered with the Santander One account -One debit, All in One and Aplázame-, it integrates in the second of them the option of withdrawing cash on debit at ATMs. The other big difference between the two credit products (All in One and Aplázame) is that while the first offers the modalities of total monthly payment (without interest), percentage payment (a fee that is calculated by applying a percentage on the available balance ) and payment of a fixed fee, the second only offers the last two, of the type revolving and with interest of up to 19.56% APR.

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