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Compare Debit Cards in March 2023

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Walmart Debit Card

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Earn cash back rewards by shopping at Walmart now with overdraft protection up to $200 with opt-in & eligible direct deposit
  • Earn 3% cash back at Walmart.com, 2% cash back at Walmart fuel stations, & 1% cash back at Walmart stores, up to $75 each year
  • Get your pay up to 2 days before payday & your benefits up to 4 days before benefits day with Early direct deposit
  • Waive your monthly fee when you direct deposit $500+ in previous monthly period. Otherwise, $5.94 a month.

In the last 50 years, the ways consumers pay for goods has drastically changed. It used to be you’d carry an amount of cash to pay in a restaurant, go to the grocery store or gas station. You might even use your checkbook at the checkout to purchase groceries or a new outfit at the mall.   That all changed with the onset of credit and debit cards. Credit cards came onto the scene first. With debit cards to follow. As businesses caught up with the technology, people slowed down their use of cash and the swipes started to happen.  Then the onset of the world wide web, online shopping commenced. Now, you need some form of card to make purchases. Once this happened consumers wanted a card that would help them make money too and the cash back rewards cards became a thing.

Before opening a credit card, you’d consider carefully what kinds of rewards it would offer you in return.   Now consumers don’t just want a credit card with rewards, they want debit cards that offer rewards too. Can you get cash back from using your debit card?  Read on to learn what you need to know about debit cards with rewards.

Debit Card Rewards Cards

As competition between traditional banks and online banking sources increases, more options become available for rewards debit cards. Here’s a look at some debit cards with rewards to consider.

American Express Serve Cash Back

Unlike a traditional debit card that is linked to a checking account, this card is a prepaid card. You can deposit money onto the card from direct deposits or transfers from other bank accounts.  You earn a straight 1% on all purchases using this card. The caveat is that it charges a fee of $7.95 per month. So, if you don’t spend at least $795 a month using the card you won’t come out ahead. So, the reward is good but only if you use it for most of your spending.

Axos Cash Back Checking Account

This is a debit card that offers you cash back and makes the deposit back into your account at the end of each month. Here are a few things to know about this card:

  • 1% cash back on purchases that require a signature
  • Must maintain a $1,500 balance to get the 1% reward
  • Balance drops below $1,500, you earn 0.50% in cash back
  • You can only earn up to $2,000 in rewards monthly
  • There are a few restrictions on the purchases, so read the fine print.

Bank of America Visa Debit Card

This Bank of America card is their standard debit card. There are no monthly or annual fees associated with the card.  Once you have your checking account started, you get the card. Then you go to BankAmeriDeals and sign up with merchants who offer rewards by using your card at their business.  The card will give you cash back from purchases you make at those specific merchants. You can also earn what Bank of America calls coins. Those coins, as you earn them, also translate to cash back.  All of this can be navigated through Bank of America’s mobile app.

Discover Cash Back Debit

This Discover card debit card offers rewards a few ways. It gives you up to a $30 reward monthly that’s applied to your account for a total of $360 per year based on your purchasing power.  You can earn 1% up to $3,000 per month using this card. Discover pays the rewards by putting them in your Rewards Detail. You can go to these rewards and have the cash back transferred to your Discover checking, savings account, or credit card accounts.  A couple of noteworthy bonuses: The rewards do not expire and there is no annual fee for their debit card.  While Discover does not have brick and mortar locations, you can use their ATM at 60,000 locations to withdraw cash for free.

PayPal Business Debit Card

This is a great card for businesses and can earn a 1% reward. This MasterCard based debit card through PayPal earns those rewards when you use your card for signature-based, online and phone transactions. It does not earn the reward for their online debit transfers.  While the reward is worth noting, it’s also important to note it is tied to a PayPal account versus a traditional checking account. There are no traditional brick and mortar locations to manage the account either.

SunTrust Bank Delta SkyMiles World Debit Card

SunTrust offers a couple of different rewards associated with their checking accounts. Both offer some seriously good travel rewards.  A SunTrust Advantage Checking account earns debit cardholders $1 for every $2 spent. While the SunTrust Exclusive Checking or Signature Advantage Checking account earns a dollar to dollar reward.  Some features to know about this debit card:

  • 5,000 bonus miles after your first signature-based or PIN-based purchase
  • Bonus miles for Delta purchases
  • Earning limit of 4,000 miles per month
  • There is a $95 fee annually, so you want to weigh the rewards you will earn.

Know the Terms

Like with any kind of reward program, there can be restrictions and terms to understand. Read the fine print so you know how to earn the rewards and what restrictions might be in place.  Pay attention to:

  • Expiration dates
  • Caps on points you can earn
  • Caps on cash back amounts

How you can accumulate rewards points

Also, make sure you know about any associated fees. It doesn’t work as a reward if the reward isn’t greater than the fees.

Finding the Debit Cards With Rewards

There are some debit cards with rewards available to consumers. With the right spending habits and planning, they can pay off too. Consider the type of reward, how to earn it and the fees when you consider opening a checking account to get one of these reward debit cards.  For more articles and information on personal finance and credit cards, be sure to visit our page often.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a debit card?

A debit card works like a credit card. You can swipe to make a purchase and don’t need cash. The key difference between a debit card and a credit card is where the money comes from.  When you purchase with your debit card the money is withdrawn right from your checking account. It prevents you from buying and making purchases you don’t have the money for so overdrafts are prevented unless your bank has an overdraft policy that you participate in.

When you open a credit card, you are given a line of credit. So, when you make a credit card purchase, the financial institution applies your purchase amount towards your line of credit. That becomes part of the balance that you owe. They also charge you interest on that balance. In essence, you are borrowing the money and paying it back with payments and interest.  As credit cards became widely used the competition between banks increased. Banks started offering rewards and cash back options for using their credit card. Now, as more and more people are making debit card purchases, banks are offering incentives to open a checking account so you can use their debit card.  Those rewards, though, are rarely as good as you would get with a credit card. Yet, they do exist if you do your research.

What are the different ways to earn rewards with debit cards?

Debit cards can offer rewards in several ways. Because there are fewer debit cards with rewards programs, it’s good to understand how you might get a reward. There are three ways you might earn a reward from your debit card.

Cash Back Rewards

Cash back reward cards do exist but not as many as there once were and the rewards are slimmer. The biggest reason for this is simple. The banks have less money to create those rewards.  During the financial crisis around 2008, there were many restrictions placed on the number of fees that could be charged for using a debit card. This was one of the ways banks made money to fund those rewards programs.

Reward Points

Rewards points work much the same way airline points work. You spend money using your debit reward card. For every certain amount you spend, you earn a rewards point. Those points add up and you can spend the rewards.
It should be noted you don’t get cash back from the points but instead can use them towards purchases you might also use cash for. So, in the end, you still save money on future purchases just by using the rewards debit card.

Relationship Rewards

Relationship rewards are another way banks can reward you for using their debit card. Your card issuers, bank or credit union, have connected with other businesses and set up perks like discounts you might get because you use their debit card. Perk discounts come from certain stores, websites or business partners.  You won’t get cash back, yet you are still saving money if you choose to use your debit card and take advantage of those rewards from those partnerships.

What questions should you ask regarding the debit card program?

Knowing the ways you can gain cash back or rewards will help to know what kind of questions to ask regarding the debit card program.

You should ask:

  • What form of rewards do you offer?
  • How can you earn rewards?
  • How quickly do they add up?
  • Do the rewards expire?
  • Is there a limit to the number of rewards you can earn during a certain period?
  • If you offer cash back, is there a maximum amount that can be earned?

Another thing to consider is if the reward cards have fees. Will the way you use the card give you more rewards than the amount of fees you pay?

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