Czechs Everywhere: What’s a Credit Card?

Czechs know what a credit card is. But what they think it is, is actually a debit card.

Put another, less confusing way: All Czechs have debit cards. But they call them kreditní karty. 

“Credit cards” allow you to take out money from ATMs and pay for things by card in the store… aka they are what Americans call debit cards.

There is not really a concept of “credit” in CZ, and so, effectively, no credit cards. Most people think it’s silly to pay with money you don’t have.

Still, they somehow all manage to have “country houses” and build their own family houses… I don’t know how they do it…

Typical “chata” via CeskaPohoda

What is a credit card (for Americans)? It’s a card you have alongside your debit card, connected to your normal bank account. It’s “necessary” (I’m starting to doubt this…) to have one to build your “credit score.” This means you buy things “on credit” – with money you don’t actually have yet, money you have on loan from the bank – and when you successfully pay it back before a deadline, you prove you are responsible enough to borrow money.

Your “credit score” goes up, enabling you to take out loans in the future for a house or car. Because everything is way more expensive where I grew up (and in the UK).


Americans’ obsession with homeownership is largely what led to our 2008 financial crisis and recession.

Hey Americans… maybe we should take a note or two from these Czech guys. You may not be able to find them on a map, but they’ve got their heads screwed on right when it comes to money.

Did you know the difference between a credit and debit card?


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