Types of Debit Cards

Debit cards are available to fit a variety of financial needs and lifestyles. Whether you are a recent grad, or a more established consumer with a mortgage and other commitments, debit cards give you safe and convenient way to make payments or get cash.

Here’s a quick peek at the world of debit cards.

PIN-only cards

PIN-only debit cards are linked to your bank or credit union account. You can use a PIN-only card to get cash from an ATM, make deposits, transfer funds between accounts, buy goods or services from retailers and pay certain bills online or by phone. When you use a PIN-enabled debit card, you enter your PIN at the ATM or retail location – a step that verifies your identity and increases the security of the transaction.

Dual-use cards

Dual-use debit cards are both signature- and PIN-enabled, and are tied directly to your financial institution account. So if you are in a restaurant or clothing store, you can choose to authorize a purchase by entering your PIN or by signing a receipt. Dual-use debit cards also can be used to make some payments online or over the phone. They are great for ordering take out, buying tickets, even paying regular monthly bills. Enter your PIN to get cash or manage your accounts.

EBT cards

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards are provided by many state or federal government agencies to people who qualify for cash payments, food stamps or other benefits. Depending on the type of government program, an EBT card may be used to make purchases at participating retailers or to withdraw cash from an ATM.

Prepaid cards

Prepaid cards are not associated with any specific account, but instead provide access to funds deposited directly on the card by you or a third party – like a store, friend or family member. When you make a purchase with a prepaid card, funds are taken directly from the actual balance on the card. Of course, you can spend only the amount of money stored on the card.

Examples of prepaid cards include:

  • Gift cards from a bookstore, department store or online retailer
  • Family or personal spending cards
  • Travel cards
  • Flexible spending or health savings cards
  • Payroll cards from an employer