A credit card is a small thin plastic card of about the size 3⅛ X 2⅛ inches, issued to users of a kind of payment system where the card is utilized to make payments to merchants via a banking system that allows the cardholder to make the required payment at a later date. The holder can purchase goods and services with the promise to the issuer to pay back the debt on a prescribed time, when the credit card bill is sent to the user. The credit card issuer funds a line of credit to the user who can draw on the loaned amount to pay for merchandise bought at various outlets. So, basically credit cards offer a cash advance to the consumer.
The birth of these cards took place in the United States in the 1920’s when companies such as oil or fuel and hotels extended these plastic cards to their frequent customers so that they could make purchases at their relevant stores on a credit basis. Around 1950 came in the Diners Club credit card and in 1958 the popular American Express card also known as AMEX. It was followed by the BankAmericard in 1959, which later came to be known as the VISA credit card. MasterCard followed suit and the two credit cards soon became the largest consumer oriented credit cards catering to users worldwide.
The credit card displays basic information that identifies the user, such as a name, picture or signature, thereby authorizing the holder to use the card to make payments to merchants by charging the purchases to his/her account. All accrued charges are billed regularly, as per the issuer’s billing conditions along with applicable interest rates set by the banking institution offering the cards. You are allowed a certain time within which to make your payment either in full or in part with at least the minimum amount paid before the due date to avoid additional charges. You must be very careful how you use your credit cards, as excessive usage can land you in trouble.
To use the card, either you or the vendor will swipe the card through a reader, after which the EDC software at the POS where you are using your card will contact the organisation or financial institution via a modem to authenticate the request and get approval for the payment. Once approved (takes a few minutes), the sale is considered paid for. Credits cards have their advantages and disadvantages too. They have made life easier for the consumer, as they do not have to carry big amounts of cash any more. Purchasing power has gone up because of the increased credit limit; besides, the cards are accepted at all major establishments, for making online purchases and are ideal for those who travel abroad frequently.
However, these cards can be quite tempting and can cause involuntary spending resulting in financial crunches. You should not make unnecessary purchases or buy things that you cannot afford because after all, you will have to pay for them in the end. Credit cards entail high interest rates and various other fees that can make you pay more than what you paid for the goods if dues are not paid in time. Missed credit card payments can affect your credit score badly too. Also they face a security threat while being used for online purchases.
Although there are various cards that you can choose from, VISA and MasterCard top the list as they have a wider acceptance worldwide. But is there a difference between the two credit cards, you may want to ask? VISA and MasterCard are almost similar, as they are used for making payments. They are global credit card companies that actually do not issue cards themselves. Instead they collaborate with national and international banking institutions and housing societies to set up payment systems. They also create and regulate the rules and principles according to which all card transactions may be authorised and administered.
There isn’t much difference between the two cards, as they are both accepted worldwide at over 20 million merchant enterprises in more than 150 countries. While VISA offers you complete online transaction security through its new “Verified by VISA” protection programme, MasterCard provides the “Secure Code” method to its users. Both credit cards offer interesting rewards schemes that you can consider when getting a card from either of the companies. It is advisable to shop around before you decide on a credit card, as applicable fees and interests can vary greatly.
If you are an online gambler looking for a credit card that is acceptable at most of the gaming and betting sites, VISA and MasterCard are acceptable at almost all online bookmakers, sportsbooks, betting exchanges, poker rooms and casinos. However, those having MasterCard credit cards can be at a slight loss, as although it allows you to deposit funds into your online betting account, it does not let you withdraw money from the betting account to your card. This could be a great disadvantage to the punters, as they would have to find another withdrawal method to get their funds transferred to their local bank accounts.
Also with VISA cards issued in certain countries like the US, China, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, south Korea, Malaysia, Guam and New Zealand, one might face difficulties in withdrawing funds to the card. Even those who have credit cards with the option to withdraw funds to the card have limited withdrawal facility: a sum equivalent to what they had deposited with their card, which means any winnings that they might have will have to be withdrawn using an alternate withdrawal method. Also when you make credit card deposits, you are sometimes required to pay a processing fee of 1.5% to 3% of the amount that you wish to deposit while in some cases there may be an additional cash advance charge as well.
Although these credit cards offer some great features, they are not the best option for use at online gambling sites; besides most banking institutions do not accepts funds raised from gambling activities. You could use them to fund an e-wallet account instead and transfer funds from your e-wallet to your betting account and vice-versa. You could then transfer all your winnings easily from the e-wallet to your local bank account.
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