25 Nov

iGaming Know-How: Debit, Credit, Charge & Cash Cards Explained

Banking on Cash, Credit, Charge, and Debit Card Gambling Deposits

iGaming Know-How: A resourceful comparison of cash card, credit card, charge card, and debit card gambling deposits.

For the last twenty-five, internet gamblers have been financing their online casino accounts with payment cards more than any other deposit method available. Those cards include more ways to move money than you may realize. It’s just not your run-of-the-mill debit and credit cards on the menu. The full range will often include:

If you thought a charge card and a credit card were the same, think again. Likewise, debit cards and cash cards differ in several ways. We’ll talk about each of these payment methods, how they work, and which of their qualities may or may not benefit the iGaming masses across Canada (and beyond).

How Debit Cards Work

Debit cards are the most commonly used form of plastic payment in this day and age. They are often referred to as a bank card, because they give the user a direct link to their bank account, or as a cheque card, because they function like an automatic, electronic cheque.

In Canada, debit card usage increased 33% from 2016 to 2018. In the same token, the use of paper cheques declined 28%, and cash 16%. The impact of digitization and eCommerce has a lot to do with these figures. For everyday purchases, debit cards are considered the smarter way to pay. They are far more convenient than cheques, a perfect alternative to cash in the retail market, and allow users to make purchases online, where cash isn’t an option.

Debit Card Gambling Deposits

Debit cards are far superior to credit and charge cards for financing an online casino account. They have a higher acceptance rate, and draw only from the funds that are already available (as opposed to charging/borrowing on credit).

See our Guide to Canadian Debit Card Casinos for more information.

How Credit Cards Work

Merriam-Webster defines credit (as it pertains to this topic) as: “the provision of money, goods, or services with the expectation of future payment”. This is essentially what a credit card is to users. A credit card is issued by a bank or financial institution to a person who, based upon their credit score, they believe is capable of paying that money back. In return, the issuer collects interest each month on any remaining unpaid balance.

Credit cards are the most widely used form of payment for large purchases – the kind a person might not be able to afford up front, but can pay off over time. Remodeling the kitchen, putting in a pool, building a deck or purchasing a new major appliance – these are all perfect examples.

Credit Card iGaming Deposits

Some credit card issuers will not extend credit to fund a user’s gambling activities. If that’s the case, you’ll find it expressed in the service agreement. However, some online casinos are able to mask the nature of their industry, making it possible to finance an online casino account via credit card, despite the issuers disapproval.

Almost every online gambling website will advertise the acceptance of credit cards, despite knowing full well that declination is possible, if not probable, depending on the popularity, reputation and licensing authority of their operation. Either way, credit card deposits are not recommended – heavily discouraged, in fact – as gambling with borrowed money is never, ever a good idea!

How Charge Cards Work

Charge cards are incredibly similar to credit cards except for one small stipulation. The issuer of the charge card expects the balance to be paid in full at the end of the monthly usage period. Thus charge cards are perfect when you need something now, but won’t have the cash to pay it off for another week or two.

To encourage payment in full upon the due date, charge cards often incur a stiff late fee. If you don’t pay the bill on time, the first fee may be around $30, comparable to bouncing a cheque. Miss another payment and the fee gets higher. They are good for earning rewards, but only if you have an adequate cash flow to back up the charges.

Charge Card Casino Deposits

With credit card companies offering similar rewards these days, there aren’t many charge card options left in the world. American Express and Diners Club International are probably the most well known in a very small pond of charge cards. There are still some gambling websites that flaunt their acceptance, but the same problem remains. It’s far too easy to deposit and gamble money you don’t have. Don’t do it, period.

How Cash Cards Work

Cash cards are most comparable to debit cards for the simple fact that the card holder can only spend money they already have. Instead of linking directly to a bank account, the user must load funds onto the card, usually for a small fee. They can then use the card as an alternative to cash for retail or online purchases.

Prepaid cash cards are popular for a lot of reasons. They offer superior security for online payments. They are perfecting for securely paying bills online or over the phone. Cash cards also represent a great way to give budding teens a budget. They even make great gifts for that person you’re not sure how to shop for.

Cash Card Casino Financing

Similar to debit card casino deposits, cash cards are a great way to fund your internet gaming accounts without the worry of spending money you may not be able to pay back. They offer unsurpassed security, avoiding the need to share permanent financial details over the web.

If you want to deposit $100, simply load $100 onto a prepaid card and make your purchase. There’s no need to worry about prying eyes that may happen to intercept the payment info since the card is no longer of any value. You can either toss it, or (if it’s reloadable) leave it empty until you’re ready to use it again.

How Virtual Cards Work

A virtual card works just like a cash card, except that it isn’t really a card at all. It has no physical embodiment. It is just a series of numbers – the exact same type of numbers found on a plastic cash card. These can be printed on a piece of paper, or delivered digitally delivered to the recipient (email, text message, etc). As such, virtual prepaid cards cannot “swipe” at a retail location. They are only for use over the internet.

When purchasing a Virtual Visa or other prepaid virtual voucher, you’ll be given a 16-digit numerical code, an expiration date, and CVV security code. If you purchase it online, the numbers are emailed to you. Purchase in store, and it’s printed on a piece of receipt paper. Either way, do not lose these numbers, or the value of the virtual card disappears with it!

Virtual Prepaid Casino Payments

Using a virtual card to fund your online casino account is no different than using a cash card. It requires entry of the same numerical values. It conveys the same superior level of security because you’re not sharing permanent financial details over the internet. They are not free like debit card gambling deposits, requiring a nominal fee to load/reload the card, but many iGamers feel the heightened security is a small price to pay.

#1 Canadian-Friendly Casino

Jackpotcity.com  is our editorial pick for your gaming needs.

Currently offering an entire suite of casino games, as well as a wide range of Canadian deposit options, JackPotCity truly offers world-class gaming.


See Jacktpot City
See Jacktpot City
Our 2023 editorial pick for your gaming needs