The main difference is the way the card works and where the money comes from. Debit cards can be used as either a debit card or credit card. Credit cards can only be used as a credit card. Debit cards do not carry a line of credit. The purchases made with a debit card can not exceed the amount of money a person has in their bank account. This is the main difference between a credit and debit card. Another major difference between credit and debit cards is the risk involved. Because they are attached to a bank account, loosing a debit card is very risky. A person does not need a pin number to use a debit card and therefore can easily drain a persons bank account, causing extreme problems. With a credit card the only problem is proving that someone else used the card. With a debit card the persons has to figure out how to get their money back and if any checks bounced they are responsible for those as well. The legal liability is much greater with a debit card than with a credit card.