What is the MasterCard® with an Arro Personal Account?

When you open a new Arro Personal Account you get a MasterCard® in your own name, but there’s no credit check – so what’s going on? Is the MasterCard® a credit card or not?

It is possible for a MasterCard® to be a credit card. Just like Visa, MasterCard® issue credit and debit cards. But the card you get with an Arro Personal Account is not a credit card – it’s a debit card.

The main difference is that with a credit card, you spend money that does not belong to you. At the end of the month you get a bill for however much you have spent, and if you don’t pay it off in full, you are charged interest on whatever carries over into the next month.

With a debit card, the card is linked directly to your account, so when you spend anything, it comes straight out of your account balance. There’s no credit – so no credit check is needed – and no bill at the end of the month.

Things to remember

There are a few exceptions to the above. Some credit cards offer an interest-free period, so for example, you might be able to carry your bill over for 12 months or more before you start paying any interest on it.

There are other differences between credit and debit cards too. With a credit card you get some protection on big purchases, so if a supplier does not deliver what you have bought, you can claim back the money.

Debit cards don’t offer this protection – but it’s worth noting that it only applies to quite large purchases anyway, and debit cards are often meant for more general day-to-day use.

Also with a debit card, depending on your account structure, you may be able to make ATM withdrawals for free, or for a very low fixed transaction fee.

With a credit card, you’re more likely to be charged a larger amount when withdrawing money from a cash machine – remember the money is not yours until you pay off your bill at the end of the month.

What about credit checks?

You might think you can’t get a credit or debit card without passing a credit check, but that’s not actually true.

For a credit card your credit score will matter, but for a debit card there’s no need to check your credit rating, because the card just spends money from your account – there’s no lending and no bill to repay each month.

If you have had to pass a credit check in the past when taking out a new debit card, it might be because there was also an overdraft on the account – or it might have just been the bank playing it extra safe.

With an Arro Personal Account there’s no overdraft, credit card, loan or any other kind of credit, so we don’t need to check your credit score.

There is a simple online ID check, but it doesn’t access your credit file and it won’t show on there. It’s automatic, uses databases that are detailed down to street-level, and takes just seconds.

In fact you usually won’t even notice when we carry out this quick ID check. As long as you are eligible and pass our Fair Fit check, your account should be up and running in three minutes when you apply.

Get a MasterCard® debit card instantly

There’s no need to wait to start using your MasterCard® debit card online when you’re approved for an Arro Personal Account.

We understand the frustration that can be caused by waiting for your card to arrive in the post, especially when you just set up an account to fund some online shopping for a party, community event or other project.

That’s why we activate your MasterCard® debit card immediately – you don’t have to do it yourself when the card arrives in the post – and we send you your card number and details via SMS.

In the text message, you get everything you need, including the card number, expiry date and so on, so that you can type these into online checkout pages and complete your online shopping.

We still send a physical debit card, of course, and all of the details on the card match those in your SMS, so that when it arrives, you can seamlessly start using the physical card instead, both online and in shops and at ATMs.