When you open your bank in Canada, you will be given a debit card, also called a bank card. This card enables you to directly access funds from your bank account to pay for purchases or withdraw cash from an ATM machine. (Whenever possible, only withdraw cash from your own bank’s ATM, as other ATMs often charge withdrawal fees).
A credit card allows you to make purchases that you must pay back later. A credit card can be a great thing, but it can also be a dangerous thing. Compound interest applies monthly to all outstanding balances, so the best situation is to pay your entire bill every month. Make sure you understand how interest and payments work for your credit card, and be cautious of getting into steep credit card debt. Having a credit card that you pay off the balance for on a monthly basis is a great way to build a credit score in Canada, which is important for anyone hoping to stay in Canada permanently.
Chip and Tap
In Canada, most debit and credit cards, ATMs, and payment terminals use EMV or “chip” technology. You can insert your chip card into the payment machine rather than using the magnetic stripe. Chip payment requires that you enter a PIN to confirm your payment.
Some cards have a “tap to pay” contactless feature enabled, which allows you to pay by simply touching your card to the payment terminal with no need to input your PIN. There are usually low limits on how much and how often you can pay with this method to prevent theft. Talk to your bank about the “tap to pay” feature.