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On one of the BIN databases available on the internet upon will tell you whether the card is Credit or Debit and if it is a Prepaid card or not. So the possible combinations are:

  • Credit
  • Debit
  • Credit Prepaid
  • Debit Prepaid

While it seems clear to differentiate Credit cards having a credit line and Debit card being connected to the balance of bank account I do not understand why a Prepaid card can also be Credit or Debit.

From my experience you can load some amount of money onto a Prepaid card and then use the card for online-only transactions until that amount is spent. Being processed online you could classify those transactions as Debit transactions. Given that assumption a "Prepaid Credit" card would mean a Prepaid card which also supports offline transactions. Therefore it would be possible with such a card to exceed the cards actual prepaid balance because it cannot be checked in offline transactions. But that would be exactly what should be prevented by using Prepaid cards.

Can anyone explain the categorization of Credit, Debit and/or Prepaid in detail?

  • While pre-paid debit cards exist, I'm dubious as to whether pre-paid credit cards exist. – RonJohn Aug 6 '18 at 16:47
  • I'd like to make a guess that might help find an answer - Credit cards and debit cards have different fee structures that merchants pay when processing those payments. Generally credit cards cost the merchant more than debit cards, could there simply be a difference in the processing network or fee structure? – Freiheit Aug 6 '18 at 18:12
  • Can you provide examples of BINs which show the four types you're asking about? I see them listed in the display at binlist.net. I wonder if that is an actual state that can exist or if it is just a user-interface choice made by the website. – Freiheit Aug 6 '18 at 18:13
  • Another clue - Would a one-time use virtual credit card be generated as a credit card or a prepaid credit card? bindb.com/identify-prepaid-cards.html – Freiheit Aug 6 '18 at 18:14
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    @Freiheit Now you said it there seems indeed not be any BIN with the combination Credit, Prepaid. I checked their BIN data CSV export on github. I could have sworn that I saw that combination when I was entering a BIN some days ago. Maybe then it is really a design choice of the site which would mean that this question could be deleted. – Arminius Aug 7 '18 at 20:35
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Based on the raw data Arminius found at https://raw.githubusercontent.com/binlist/data/master/ranges.csv there is no such thing as a prepaid credit card. The presence of such an option on the http://binlist.net/ website is simply a design choice of the website rather than an actual combination that exists.

There are only six rows in the raw data set where the prepaid column is not blank. Each of those six rows out of 5806 lists the type as debit.

What this suggests to me is that the prepaid notation is circumstantial and not germane to the financial transaction. A credit or debit card, whether prepaid or postpaid, will have a credit limit and process through the merchants processing vendor the same way as a non-prepaid card.

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