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A debit card (also known as a check card) looks like a credit card but is an alternative payment method to cash and checks.

When you make a purchase with a debit card, the funds are immediately withdrawn from your bank account and transferred into the account of the store or business where you completed the transaction. Because a debit card links directly to your bank account, you can spend only what you have in your account. This helps keep you out of debt, but you need to monitor debit card purchases closely and stick to your budget so you don’t overdraw your checking account. If you use your debit card to buy something that costs more than the amount of money in your bank account, you will likely be charged fees or some form of penalty by your bank.


WHY GET A DEBIT CARD?

There are a number of benefits to getting a debit card, some of which include:
  • It allows you to make the same kinds of purchases as with credit cards without needing to carry cash.
  • Most debit cards provide the same type of “zero liability” protection as credit cards.
  • Unlike a credit card, there is no APR or interest rate charged.
  • There are no monthly payments or debt accrued.
  • Some debit cards offer rewards programs.
  • Debit cards can be used in ATMs to withdraw cash just like a ATM cards.
  • Debit cards are perfect for students and young professionals who frequently need cash for various purchases at the point of sale and online.
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WHY GET A VISA DEBIT CARD?

Visa Debit cards function exactly like any Visa card, so just as with credit cards, they can be used at the point of sale to pay for purchases at various merchant locations like restaurants, gas stations, department stores, and hotels. They can be a valuable financial management tool for budgeting, monitoring funds on deposit, and keeping track of expenses. Plus, it comes with all the regular features of your average debit card—and more.

With Visa, you also have the advantage of knowing your debit card will be accepted worldwide in more than 200 countries and territories, not to mention the Internet for your online shopping needs. Visa Debit cards also allow access to foreign currency from ATMs around the world that carry the Visa logo, so you won’t be strapped for cash when traveling, even if you can’t find a money changer—in fact, you may want to do away with using money changers entirely!


PRACTICAL TIPS WHEN USING A DEBIT CARD


  • Keep sales receipts for reference.
  • Remember to account for any bank fees that may apply.
  • Review statements carefully. If you suspect a mistake has been made, contact the bank that issued you the card as soon as possible.
  • Always follow up with a confirmation letter for the bank; this helps eliminate suspicions of identity theft.
  • For more of Visa’s financial literacy materials, visit www.practicalmoneyskills.com.
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Scroll through the gallery below to learn more about what you get when you get a Visa Debit card.

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