Finding the best debit cards for maximum savings is not an easy task to accomplish.
This is more critical considering there are so many debit cards on the market nowadays claiming to be the best.
However, with little research and due diligence, you can get yourself locked with the best deal.
Debit cards have undoubtedly revolutionized the banking sector and have made payments greasy smooth.
Just imagine how painful it would have been if there were no debit card payment system.
With the intervention of debit cards, everything has become so smooth in terms of payment system.
Moreover, if you can get your hands on some of the best debit cards, you would apparently, end up with lot of savings.
According to stats, Americans have seen a drastic increase of debit cards usage following the Great Recession.
Federal Reserve Payment Study indicated that the use of debit cards increased from 56.5 billion in 2012 to whopping 69.5 billion in 2016.
The use increased by over $2.56 trillions of money in 2016.
It does not stop there and is increasing more with every passing day.
The convenience of debit cards and several perks that come along with it undoubtedly makes it popular to common mass.
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What Is a Debit Card?
No one likes to carry cash or even do transactions in cash.
Here is where debit cards come in.
Debit cards are actually plastic payment cards that works by drawing money directly from your checking account.
Debit cards are safer and more convenient cash alternatives, where the money is automatically debited from your account.
It works in-person, while shopping or doing any other activities such as ATM withdrawal without the need for cash.
The best debit cards are those which comes free from banks associated with other perks and discounts.
The best debit cards work with Apple Pay, along with other mobile transfer and payment processing platforms.
It also works with money transferring and receiving platforms such as Venmo, PayPal and Square Cash.
Types of Cards and Difference with Best Debit Cards
There are three different types of cards namely, debit cards, Prepaid Debit cards and Credit Cards.
Prepaid Debit card requires user to upload money through cash, checks, or bank account prior to using it.
Debit card works by using money directly from your checking account for any transactions.
Credit card as the name goes, lets you spend money by borrowing from the bank and you need to repay later.
The costs associated with these three cards are different.
Credit cards come generally with a higher rate of interest, while debit cards differ.
While credit cards can cost you higher rate of interest, debit cards are not always free too.
Along with the several parks of the best debit cards, you also need to incur some fees for using it.
For example, if you use any other bank ATM, you need to incur a fee ranging from $2-$3 for each transaction.
Some banks charge Foreign transaction fees too, which ranges from 1% to 3% of the entire transaction amount.
If you lose your debit card or if it is stolen, sometimes a little charge is imposed on the new card, however, you may get it for free too.
Lastly, you could be charged for Overdraft or Insufficient balance fees too, which is $34 approx for online banks.
While you can get the best debit cards for free from your bank upon opening an account, these are the associated costs.
However, long story cut short, the most prevailing and the best debit cards as of now are the Prepaid debit cards.
Prepaid debit cards are soaring the market and can be listed as the best alternative to banking and other cards.
Prepaid Debit Cards Are the Best Debit Cards
So, what’s the hype about these prepaid debit cards?
Why are they so famous and considered the best debit cards on the market right now?
The answer is very simple.
The card is really intriguing to customers as it not only functions as debit cards but come along with a lot of perks.
Prepaid debit cards are alternative to normal banking cards, which only allow you to spend the money only after you load it on to the card.
You can only spend the amount you load onto your card.
You can use it similar to normal debit cards where the payment network of Visa or MasterCard is accepted.
It works more splendid than debit cards and is typically a pay-as-you-go kind of card for all your purposes.
You can either reload cash it visiting the bank or you can reload money online by linking your checking account.
It is an excellent budgeting tool and can act as a replacement for a banking account.
Prepaid debit cards come with lesser fees and you can get one if you don’t have a banking account.
Bad creditors can get their hands on prepaid debit cards too since they are not linked to credit check.
If you are among the approx. 9 million US families without banking account, then these cards are the best for you.
How to Evaluate Prepaid Debit Cards
Evaluating prepaid debit cards is absolutely necessary prior to getting one for you.
To be on the safer side, you should always evaluate your prepaid debit cards so that you do not overspend.
The most crucial part while evaluating prepaid debit cards is to look onto the fees.
Since, prepaid debit cards are soaring the market and are the best debit cards, they can be notorious too.
Since, higher fees and bad offers swarm the market these days, it is essential for you to pre-check everything.
Prepaid debit cards have a bad reputation of swindling customers with higher fees and limiting access to conventional banking accounts.
Transaction fees according to survey are the most egregious fees with the cards.
1. Fees & Charges
Prepaid debit cards come with variable fees and charges.
The fees include monthly fees as well as paper statement fees.
Some banks will waive off the fees if you conduct certain number of transactions each month.
You can use the cards on ATMs and may be charged with excess fees other than the ATM withdrawal fee.
On the contrary, some banks will simply not charge you anything if you are a part of their banking network.
Check before you get one as the charges will be mentioned in the agreement.
Other than as an alternative to cash payments, prepaid cards come with a variety of other features too.
These best debit cards come with basic features such as account checking online, tax alerts, as well as does not include credit checks.
You can also have smartphone apps with some from where you can check your account online.
These best debit cards come with savings accounts as well as rewards program that makes them unique.
Apart from these, there are some other evaluating factors you need to consider before getting a prepaid debit card.
3. Cash Reloading Options
Before getting a prepaid debit card, you need to consider how you can reload cash.
Evaluating the cash reload options is very important since you need to know how you can reload and the conveniences.
Alongside, you also need to know your regular spending and deposition limits for these best debit cards.
The best debit cards allow your paychecks to go directly in your account, while some cards may vary.
Knowing your card balance is very important and you need to ensure you can check that.
You also need to know what limits you have on your deposition and withdrawal.
The limits are mentioned in the user agreement, hence, you should carefully go through it before getting one.
You need to ensure that your prepaid debit card comes with enough security.
Most times, you will see that these debit cards do not have enough security that Federal Law requires.
Some cards may offer you purchase protections while at most times, you won’t get that.
It becomes very difficult to insure for unauthorized transactions or rectify any errors.
The best debit cards will come with Federal deposit insurance on your money.
It means that if the issuer becomes bankrupted, you are insured of your money.
5. Expiry Dates
This is another important aspect to look out for, when it comes to evaluating your prepaid debit cards.
Prepaid debit cards have their own expiry dates.
Although funds do not expire, you need to reissue a card when it is expired.
As per Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in 2016, many complained their cards were not reissued and they had balance on the cards.
You need to ensure that your card is issued on time after it expires.
You can complain on CFPB site, if there is any problem with reissuance.
Best Debit Cards That Are Prepaid
While there are many Prepaid debit cards, there are some best debit cards that offer you the maximum perks.
Below listed are some of those prepaid debit cards that come with the best perks and advantages.
1. American Express Serve Cash Back: Best Debit Cards for Rewards
These cards are for those people who spend big amount of money to generate rewards.
These rewards can easily make up for the debit card fees.
American Express Serve Cash Back comes with 1% Cash back everytime you make a purchase.
You can set up multiple subaccounts with your account and your family members can be a part of it.
However, their purchase doesn’t offer any cashback.
It comes with unique features, you can get nowhere and comes with purchase protection policy on your products.
Rewards are very fascinating with these cards, but look out for the fees associated.
Monthly maintenance associated with the card is $5.95.
Cash reloading charges of up to $3.95, however, depends on the retailer.
0 withdrawal charges at MoneyPass ATMs, and at other ATM, it is $2.50.
You may have to give ATM fees separate.
Foreign transaction charges are 27% post conversion to USD.
You need to spend at least $595 every month to earn enough rewards.
To break even you need to spend another $395, should you choose to go for cash reloading.
You can reload money through cash deposition, bank account transfers or check deposition.
2. Bluebird from American Express for Lower Fees
This card is for the people who are fees averse and do not bother if they are getting splendid value for covering costs.
Bluebird is hugely a fee-free card for most of your day to day activities.
You do not have to pay any fee for cash reloading, nil monthly fee in case you reload funds from Walmart.
Consumers can access fee-less withdrawal at MoneyPass ATMs.
User can also link upto 4 accounts of your family members, thereby can control their ATM access as well as check their spending limits.
Although, this card is feeless, however, if you are not careful, you would have to go through charges.
You need to spend $2.50 per transaction if you do not use MoneyPass ATMs.
If you reload money other than Walmart, then you need to go through $3.95.
It requires 10 days to complete for mobile check deposition.
If you want access to your money faster, then you need to pay 1% to 5%, which varies on check.
It comes with amazing benefits such as savings on shopping, restaurant dining, as well as other card purchases.
The card comes with trusted purchase protection when you use it while shopping or any other purpose.
Consumers can also expect the card to come with Fraud protection, which is excellent.
You can expect the card to come with Roadside assistance for towing or locksmith requirement.
Rewards on sports, entertainments and concerts along with 24 x 7 customer support.
3. Mango Visa Prepaid Card for Best Savings Account
If you are one of those people who prefer high-yielding savings account and have splendid cash in your hand, this card is for you.
Mango Visa Prepaid card is worth getting if you even didn’t own a prepaid card before.
The card may not have that fascinating feature, but the savings account associated is brilliant.
You can earn as much as 6% annually on your balance upto $5000.
You only need to have a net-direct deposition of $800 or more to your account, with minimum $1 every month.
Else, you would get just 2% yields.
If you have balance more than $5000, you will get 0.1% APY.
Monthly fee for this card is $3.
For each ATM withdrawal, the fee is $2 per transaction.
The charges for Foreign currency conversion is 2%.
However, you should not confuse with the word net-direct transfer.
Mango Cash details it as the direct account deposits minus the amount of money going out of your account.
If you are careful, you can easily get rid of the card fees.
Like you can add money to your account through direct deposition; PayPal or any bank transferring is free.
If you can maintain $5000 in your account, and can meet the net-direct criteria, you can earn as high as $300 per annum.
Or you can even get $25 per month as interest.
Apart from these, there are other best debit cards such as Chase Liquid Card, which is best for free reloads.
PayPal Prepaid Card for best shopping rewards.
Always be careful while choosing the best debit cards.
They may not offer you high stakes rewards or bigger sign-up bonus amounts, but come with fascinating traits.
You can determine the best debit cards on how you are planning to use it.
Do your diligence, shop everywhere and see which the best debit cards are for you.
Remember, the best debit cards are the ones you plan to keep using for long run.
Only check out for the fees, features, expiration, protection etc. when you go for selecting the best debit cards.