Choosing between cards


With a credit card, you are actually borrowing money from the bank - to effect payments or to withdraw money. You are allowed a credit limit that is a maximum amount that you may borrow on your card. You will then review your monthly statement (available through Internet Banking or mailed to you) showing what you have borrowed using your card. This total will include transactions with your card from the last statement, any balance carried forward from the previous month and any interest charged.

Debit cards enable purchases of goods or cash withdrawals from your bank account. The amount in your account is how much you can afford to spend. You will not receive a separate statement for using your debit card - your transactions will be included in your bank account statement. There are credit and debit cards which may also be used outside Malta.

If you don't wish to incur debts, a debit card may be suitable for you. It is safer than carrying cash around and the amount in your bank account is basically how much you can afford to spend!

Before you opt for a credit card, consider whether a credit card will be an occasion to spend beyond what you can afford. You may postpone paying with a credit card, but in the end you will have to pay your bill. The more you delay paying, the more interest you will be charged on any outstanding balances.

A credit card allows you to postpone payment and not incur any interest if you pay your balance in full by the due date which is written down on your statement. Look out for the "interest free" period and the interest you will be charged if you postpone payment.

When you receive your new card you should cut up and dispose of your old card securely.

The provision of a debit or credit card is governed by a framework contract which the bank is required to give you. For more information about your rights when using a debit or credit card (or any payment instrument), click here.

The APR is not the interest rate. It is an indication of the total cost of credit to a cardholder, expressed as an annual percentage of the amount of such credit. The total cost of the credit is not only the interest rate applicable on your credit limit, but includes any initial or annual fees. The APR is an accepted method by which consumers may compare different cards.

The APR assumes that you will spend the credit limit in full on local purchases, at the start of the agreement with the bank and that repayment is made in 12 equal instalments inclusive of interest.

The APR does not include penalty fees and other fees which you may be charged if you don't settle your bill on time. Neither does it include charges if you use the card abroad or when you withdraw cash from an ATM. The APR does not apply to debit cards.

You will be charged interest on the statement total if you do not pay the full balance by the due date. Depending on your card's terms and conditions, interest may be charged from the date of each purchase, or cash withdrawal. There is no interest on debit cards.

This is the number of days where no interest on purchases is charged if you pay off the balance by the due date. So you could get interest-free credit on purchases for up to 56 days. There is no interest free-period on cash advances or withdrawals -interest starts being charged the moment you withdraw cash.

Provides protection against loss, theft or damage for personal goods purchased using a premium card (you therefore need to pay with your card for a claim to be valid under this policy). Prospective applicants need to check on the availability, terms and conditions applicable. Not all banks offer this type of cover and limits of cover vary between cards.

Make sure you know which phone number of your bank you need to dial if you have to report a missing card. It is your responsibility to phone your bank as soon as you notice that your card is missing. Phone straight away, whether you are in Malta or abroad. Do not delay. Your bank is able to take your call at any time of day and night, every day. If you phone from abroad, do not forget to include the prefix for Malta 00356 before each phone number.

APS Bank Limited
During office hours: 2142 2622
After office hours: 2123 4821

Banif Bank Malta plc
During office hours: 2260 1000
Freephone: 8007 3200

Bank Of Valletta plc
At any time: 2123 4821

HSBC Bank Malta plc
At any time: 2148 3809

Lombard Bank Malta plc
During office hours: 2558 1789
After Office Hours: 2123 4821

Last updated: Sep 07, 2016