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Savings Account with Debit Card

Kathleen Esposito
Debit card

If you're looking to get a savings account with debit card you could run into some trouble, especially if you don't have a checking account at the same financial institution. In fact, if you ask for a debit card with your savings account, you'll most likely get an ATM card instead, which you can only use for purchases at select vendors. Financial institutions usually reserve their debit cards for checking account holders.

Savings Accounts

The problem with issuing debit cards for savings accounts is that it makes things difficult for both the financial institution and the consumer. Because of a federal law known as Regulation D, your bank can only let you make third party transactions using your savings account six times per month. This includes making purchases via debit card. If you decide you want to use your savings account to make regular purchases with a debit card, you could quickly find yourself in a bind with either your card being declined or a hefty fee being imposed. In the worst case scenario, the institution could even close your account.

Even if you have a savings account with an ATM card attached to it instead, you have to be careful that you don't try to make purchases too many times during the month using the point of sale transaction option. Sometimes a bank will set the limit at a certain number of transactions. Other times, it's a certain dollar amount per day. Just know that there is always some restriction.

How to Use a Savings Account with Debit Card

If you want to use a savings account with debit card, you have to track your withdrawals or purchases very carefully. While it may seem sufficient to check your online banking account every once in a while, it's wise to also carry a register with your debit card so that you know exactly when you used your debit card last. Find out exactly what your financial institution considers to be the beginning of the month, since some do not go by the calendar, but by statement cycle.

If you don't have a checking account and you'd like to use your debit card to get cash back, you need to map out your budget so that you know exactly how much money you need to get each time you make a withdrawal to get you through the month. You don't want to end up between a rock and a hard place, either being forced to go over your limit of debit card withdrawals or being broke. After a couple of months, you should be able to manage this well.

Alternatives

Instead of using a savings account with debit card, you can open a checking account and get a debit card or a check card. That way you don't have to worry; you can make as many withdrawals and purchases as your balance will allow, unless restrictions are in place from your financial institution. You can even fund your checking account through your savings, by simply making a transfer or two each month.

When you sign up for a savings account, make sure you know all of the terms and conditions regarding that account. If you didn't read them when you signed up, request a copy from your financial institution after the fact. This could save you a lot of trouble down the road.

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Savings Account with Debit Card