Today, bank cards are more and more popularly used as a modern payment method. But what is a bank card? Types of bank cards What is the current status and characteristics of each type? The following article helps you better understand the bank card and the type of card that is right for you.

What is a Bank Card?

Bank cards are cards issued by banks or financial companies. This is a payment tool with many features such as: withdrawing money, transferring money, paying bills, saving and performing transactions linked to electronic applications.

You can use your bank card to pay for purchases without cash. When needed, you can withdraw money, transfer money with the balance in the card or you can use money first and then pay later.

all kinds of goods
There are many types of bank cards available today.

In terms of card form, bank cards are made from plastic, rectangular in shape with standard length: 85.6mm (3.37 Inch), width: 53.98mm (2.13 Inch).

On the front and back of the bank card there is information as below.

Card front:

  • Card number, card validity date.
  • Account name.
  • Name and logo of the card issuer.
  • Name of the card type.
  • Card Chips

Back of card:

  • The magnetic stripe contains encrypted information.
  • Cardholder’s signature.
  • The logo of the domestic card switching organization.

Learn about What is an ATM card?

Popular Bank Cards

Credit Card (Credit Card)

A credit card is a type of payment that allows its holder to “spend first, pay later”. The bank will give you a spending limit to pay your bills and refund at the end of the statement period.

Credit card features:

  • Credit card holders are exempt from interest up to 45 days depending on the bank.
  • Income is required to open the card.
  • Credit card transfers are not possible (very few banks allow transfers, and only transfers within the system).
  • Credit card holders can regularly participate in discounts and promotions

see more: Which bank credit card should I make?

Debit Card (Debit Card)

A bank-provided debit card included with the opening of a payment account at a bank, allowing the cardholder to use the funds they have in the account. You can pay, transfer, withdraw cash at ATM or perform other transactions within your funds.

See details: What is a debit card?

Prepaid cards

You do not need to open a bank account to make a prepaid card, you can even buy this card at the branch without having an ID card. You just need to load money into this card and spend, the amount in the card is also your spending limit; so the card is likened to a phone SIM.

See details: What is a prepaid card?

How to Distinguish Types of Bank Cards Today

Currently, there are many types of bank cards, but they can be divided into the following groups:

Sort by Source of Consumption Money in Card

According to the source of consumption in the card, there are the following types of cards:

Credit Card (Credit Card)

A credit card is a cashless payment card that allows you to spend first, pay later. The bank will give you a spending limit, you use this limit to pay bills when shopping online or paying at a POS machine.

the trust
Credit cards have pre-paid and post-paid features.

In essence, it is a loan to spend first and then repay according to the prescribed term. Therefore, only those who have income or can prove to be able to repay can make this card.

Debit Card (Debit Card)

Debit card is a card with basic banking features, most commonly used today. Some of the features of this card are: bill payment, money transfer, withdrawal, account inquiry, phone top-up, savings deposit, etc.

Prepaid Card (Prepaid Card)

This type of card does not need to open a bank account, you just need to load money into the card and then use the deposited amount. Currently, there are two types of prepaid cards: identity cards and non-identified cards, which can be used to withdraw cash or transfer money.

Bank Card Segmentation By Territory

The Bank of Vietnam will issue two types of cards in parallel, allowing the connection of an individual account opened at a bank: domestic card and international card.

I know the bank
Clearly distinguish the types of bank cards.

Local card

Features of the domestic card include:

  • Scope of card use in the country.
  • You can withdraw money at ATMs in the country.
  • You can shop at websites in Vietnam.
  • Service costs are quite cheap.

International Card

The international card has the following features:

  • Scope of use both internationally and domestically.
  • Withdrawals can be made at ATMs worldwide.
  • Shopping on domestic and foreign websites.
  • International cards also have cards such as debit cards, credit cards, prepaid cards, ….
  • Some card names such as: Master, Visa, American Express, JCB, Western Union, …
  • Service fees of international cards are usually quite high.

Classification of Bank Cards According to Technology

Technically divided into two types of bank cards are chip cards and magnetic cards.

Card from

  • Magnetic cards have only 1 type.
  • A plastic card with a magnetic tape on the back.
  • Information will be stored on magnetic tape.
  • Poor durability, magnetic tape can be easily scratched.
  • The amount of information stored is quite small.
  • Safety is not high because magnetic tapes are easily counterfeited.

Chip cards

Chip cards have 3 types: contactless card, contact card, dual interface card with the following characteristics:

  • Chip cards have a chip on the front of the card and a magnetic tape on the back of the card.
  • Information can be stored on both chips and magnetic tape.
  • The amount of storage is quite high because the chip is overwriteable.
  • The amount of information stored is quite a lot.
  • The level of security is quite high because it can be stored in both magnetic tape and chip with high encryption.

Classification of Bank Cards by Issuer

Divided by bank cards with cards issued by banks and non-banking organizations.

  • Bank-issued card: is a card directly issued by a bank in Vietnam.
  • Cards issued by non-banks: are cards issued by organizations such as Mastercard, Visa, UnionPay, EuroPay, JCB, American Express,….

See details: What is Visa card?

Differentiate Bank Cards By Card Limit

Bank cards divided by limit will have standard cards, gold cards, and platinum cards:

  • Standard bank card (Classic): credit limit from 10 to 50 million VND
  • Gold bank card (Gold): credit limit over 50 million VND
  • Platinum bank card (Platinum): limit can be up to hundreds of millions, depending on your income

So Which bank card should I make?

Notes When Opening a Bank Card

Understanding the concepts and characteristics of different types of bank cards helps you to have full knowledge when opening a card. However, some of the notes below should not be overlooked.

Rules for using bank cards

  • Check the information when receiving the card: Cardholder’s name, card number, validity date, expiration date, etc. are correct with the registered information.
  • Change PIN when receiving debit card.
  • Users should set a PIN that is not related to personal information such as date of birth, phone number, ID number, etc.
  • Do not write the PIN on the card and do not share the new PIN with others.
  • Do not disclose information on the front and back of the card, especially credit cards.
  • Register for Internet Banking/Mobile Banking service to monitor and check fluctuations related to personal accounts and card limits.

Store your bank card properly

This is VERY IMPORTANT in the process of using a bank card. You should pay attention to preserving the card according to some suggestions below:

  • Do not bend or fold the card.
  • Do not place the card near electronic devices that can transmit or have strong magnetism.
  • The black magnetic tape on the back must be intact to avoid loss of card data.

Use a bank card at an ATM

When using a bank card at an ATM, you should note:

  • Security ATM PIN: cover the PIN with your hand, enter the PIN quickly…
  • If you detect strange devices or unusual signs at the card reader slot, keyboard, etc., you must stop the transaction and immediately notify the bank for timely handling.
  • To be on the safe side, you should change your PIN regularly.

Use a bank card to pay

  • The payment must be in front of you and the payment amount must match on the invoice
  • Retain payment invoices for comparison in case of need.
  • Pay at reputable and legal websites, avoid data theft.
  • Use the online payment function only when needed and log out immediately after completing the transaction.

Lost bank card, what to do?

When you lose your bank card, the first thing you need to do is contact the hotline of the bank to open the card to request a card lock. Then go to the nearest bank branch to carry out the card re-issuance procedure.

List of switchboard phone numbers of some banks are as follows:

  • Vietcombank: 0243 824 5716 (in Hanoi), 083 914 3896 (In Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Argibank: 1900 55 88 18 (24 hours service)
  • BIDV Bank: 1900 9247 VND
  • Vietinbank: 1900 558 868 – 024 3941 8868
  • Techcombank: 1800588822
  • Sacombank Bank: 1900 5555 88 – 0888 5555 88
  • ACB Bank: 1900 54 54 86 – 028 38 247 247.
  • VIB Bank: 1800 8180 VND
  • TPbank: 1900 58 58 85 (24/7 support)


The era of information technology development, ownership bank cards really necessary for many people. Using a bank card helps you reduce the risks related to cash, especially when traveling or working. Hope the above information of will be useful to you.

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