Debit Card: Combined ATM & Check Card

Although you can get one or both of the above type debit cards, this combo card, often just referred to as the “Debit Card” is the most popular.  It can function both as an ATM card and a Check Card.  Most Debit Cards are associated with the major credit cards of VISA or MasterCard.  You can use them wherever these cards are accepted, such as stores, gas stations, restaurants etc.

You will receive a PIN number with these cards.  Sometimes you can just present the card and sign, like a check card; sometimes you will put in a PIN, like an ATM card.  One of the benefits is  - that some stores will allow you to get additional cash above the amount of your purchase.  Say you spend $100 at a supermarket—you can get an extra $20 back in cash, making your total purchase $120.

Remember, you can only use a Debit Card if you have sufficient money in your account to cover your purchase.  When you are using a regular credit card it is like issuing an IOU.  It creates a loan obligation to the Credit Card Company and sometimes hefty interest charges.  Look under spending section Credit Card Changes & Managing Credit Wisely.  For young users, even most adults, a Debit Card is the best way to go.  If you don’t have the money in the bank, you won’t be able to spend it, and you won’t go into debit or have a credit problem!