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Apply for a credit card - how long does it take?

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In order to apply for a credit card, you should have a positive credit rating and, following our credit card comparison, fill out the forms of the respective bank completely and conscientiously. The credit institution will then receive your data and will review the application. How long this takes in individual cases, can not be said in general terms. However, it is common that you will receive a response immediately. A few days will pass before the credit card is issued. However, it can also take up to several weeks. An online identity check speeds up the whole process compared to the conventional Post-Ident procedure.

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Withdrawing cash as a means of payment with your credit card - possible worldwide

Especially for frequent travelers, a credit card should be mandatory. Because there is no other method with which you can withdraw cash abroad so easily and uncomplicated. The major credit cards work worldwide at almost all ATMs. When comparing credit cards, you should pay particular attention to the following points if you intend to use the card more often on vacation:

  • There are usually no separate fees for cash withdrawals.
  • However, foreign currency fees may apply, so it is best to find out in advance.
  • Credit cards are accepted at the vast majority of ATMs worldwide
  • In order to withdraw money, you must know your PIN number and enter it into the machine.

Cashless payments with credit cards abroad

Paying cash-free even abroadOf course, many will also apply for a credit card to be able to pay with it abroad quite comfortably. If you intend to do this, you should, if possible, choose a credit card that is as widely accepted as possible. Common points of acceptance abroad include, for example:

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  • Various stores and department stores
  • Hotels and restaurants
  • Gas stations

In many countries, paying by credit card is much more common than in the Unites States. In Scandinavia, for example, even small purchases and drinks in the bar can be paid by credit card without any problems. This is particularly practical if you are outside the the Unites States zone. You can even save yourself the trouble and expense of exchanging foreign currencies. However, you should never rely firmly on being able to whip out your credit card everywhere.

How secure is a credit card?

An important aspect when choosing a credit card is security. As with other means of payment, it is impossible to completely rule out the possibility of fraudsters or thieves targeting your credit card. But credit card providers have developed a number of security features to protect cardholders from pickpockets and fraudsters. We'll briefly introduce you to some of these protections:

EMV chip: The EMV chip has been mandatory for new credit cards issued in Europe since 2011. It is much more secure than the magnetic stripe, which has been common up to now, because it is much more difficult to read or duplicate it. The term "EMV" stands for the three credit card companies that developed the chip: Europay International, Mastercard and Visa.

Card verification number: Every credit card holder will find the card verification number on the back of their card. It is the last three digits shown in the signature strip on the right side of the back. Every time you want to make a purchase online with the credit card, you must provide this number. It is also known as CVC2, CVV2 or card verification digit.

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Security Mark: Every modern credit card is equipped with a security mark. This only becomes visible under ultraviolet light and cannot be seen with the naked eye.

3D-Secure: 3D-Secure is an additional password protection designed to make online shopping even more secure. When making purchases on the Internet, credit card holders must enter a 3D PIN via a special window and in this way release the transaction.

Hologram: Forging a hologram on a credit card is almost impossible, even for skilled credit card fraudsters. Mastercard credit cards, for example, feature two interlocking globes and the credit card company's logo, while Visa's hologram consists of a dove.

The rule is: the more of these security features a credit card can have, the safer it is. However, one of the most important features is still common sense. For example, refrain from placing orders on obviously dubious websites and always think twice before entrusting someone with your credit card data. Cover your hand when entering your PIN to avoid being spied on by fraudsters or installed cameras.

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