Want to Know How to Get a Debit Card?
A decade ago, everyone carried cash. ATMs and banks were plentiful, shopping was easy, and stores were made of bricks and mortar. Those days, however, are well behind us. Today, much of your shopping can be done online, and that which can’t is often done in an ATM free shopping mall.
Carrying cash also brings with it the risks of being a target for crime. In addition, if you’re anything like me, losing your wallet or purse full of irreplaceable bills is a constant worry. Replacing your cash with a credit card may seem like a viable option, but the temptation to spend beyond your means is difficult to resist.
So, why bother with all the hassle? Forget cash or credit and get yourself a debit card. A debit card has all of the conveniences of a credit card and the smart financial sense of not spending money you don’t have. Debit cards are also an excellent way to teach your teenager how to manage their funds.
In order to maximize the efficiency with which you need to know how to get a debit card. Getting one just makes sense, and there are several ways to go about doing so. Here are some different methods of how to get a debit card.
- Go through your bank
- Open a PayPal account
- Use prepaid debit cards
Try any of these options to see what works best for you.
How to Get a Debit Card by Going through Your Bank
The safest and most common sense way how to get a debit card is to open a checking account at a bank. Most banks, when you open a checking account with them, will give you an ATM card for no extra charge.
These cards do not have a Visa or MasterCard logo on them, so you can only use them at stores that are able to process debit cards and cannot use them online. While this type of card will suffice in some situations, for utmost convenience you want to ask your bank for a debit card that can also function as a “credit” card.
These types of debit cards will also have a Visa or MasterCard logo on them. They do not function as a typical credit card, in that when you use them the amount you spend s deducted from your checking account instead of a credit line that you’ll have to repay.
You can use these cards online, at restaurants, at stores, and anywhere else you can use a regular credit card.
Whichever type of debit card you receive, if you’re just opening a checking account with your bank, don’t expect to go home with a card that day. Banks will usually mail the card to you. Expect delivery in several weeks at most. If you’ve already got a checking account with a bank, check their website or visit your local branch to find out how to get a debit card. Chances are it’s pretty simple.
For ultimate protection, make sure to sign the back of your debit card and write “Please Request I.D.” on it. That way, shopkeepers will be sure that the only person who can use your card it you.
How to Get a Debit Card by Opening a PayPal account
If, for whatever reason, you’d prefer not to open a bank account, another way to get a debit card is to open an account with PayPal. PayPal is an online service that fulfills many of the traditional roles previously filled only by banks.
You can use PayPal to make online bill payments, shop for things online, and to send or request money from others. PayPal is also a good option for shopping online, as it is a very secure, verified service. It’s also great for sending money to loved ones, such as a kid in college. In addition, if you do any sort of business online, such as selling items on eBay or Etsy, PayPal is a great way to accept payments.
If you have a PayPal account, you also have the option to request a debit card that draws from your PayPal balance in the same way that a traditional bank debit card would draw from your checking account. Check PayPal’s website at www.paypal.com to see how to get a debit card in this manner.
You can then use this card anywhere you can use a regular debit card. This debit card feature, combined with the many ways to shop online using PayPal, make it a great option for those seeking the debit card experience through alternate means.
How to Get a Prepaid Debit Card
A third option to consider when trying to decide how to get a debit card is to use prepaid cards. Most major department stores offer these in the form of gift cards, as do lower-end retailers such as Wal-Mart or Target. You can shop with these cards either online or in the store that offers them.
Buying prepaid debit cards for your teenager is a great way to give them the freedom of spending how they choose while helping them learn to manage an account balance. They also make great gifts, especially if you want to make sure the person you’re giving them to will only spend the money at a certain place.
Prepaid debit cards also good ways to keep a “petty cash” fund available in case of emergencies (just make sure to store them in a safe place). They can also help those who have difficulty sticking to budgets. If you want to make sure you only spend a certain amount on clothes per month, just relegate yourself to using the amount on your prepaid debit card, and one you’re done, you’re done.
Many grocery stores will also offer prepaid cards than you can use and refill at your convenience. You can usually find these cards in the checkout lane, and are usually only usable for the service or store whose logo they carry. For example, you’re not going to be able to use an iTunes gift card anywhere other than iTunes.
This is all the basic information you need about how to get a debit card. Using a debit card is superior to using cash or credit in pretty much every way. If you follow these suggestions, getting one for yourself should be fairly easy. Using a bank card, a PayPal account, or various kinds of prepaid debit cards are excellent ways to manage your money. Happy shopping!
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