When you have money in the bank, there are many different ways to withdraw money to make purchases. One of the most convenient options is using a debit card at checkout. However, not all bank accounts offer debit cards. Most savings accounts don’t offer debit cards because you’re limited in the number of transactions you can make with your account. This makes the use of a debit card for your savings account pretty ineffective. Consider working with a financial advisor to help you create a financial plan and choose the right financial accounts for your situation.
What Is a Debit Card?
A debit card is a bank ATM card that also enables customers to make purchases. Debit cards combine the best of ATM cards and credit cards. Like an ATM card, they have a 4-digit pin. They also have a 16-digit card number, 3-digit code and signature stripe just like a credit card. However, the money comes from your linked bank account instead of owing debt when you make a purchase.
When debit card customers make a purchase, they can choose to make payments as a debit card or a credit card. As a debit card, the customer swipes the card and enters their ATM pin code. For credit card transactions, they swipe and sign.
Debit cards are the preferred payment method for people who want to avoid debt. Since all payments come out of their linked bank account, they cannot spend more money than what they have in the bank.
Benefits of a Savings Account
Investors use bank accounts as a safe place to store money while earning interest on their balances. Here are a few of the benefits of having a savings account.
- Earn interest: You’ll earn interest on the average balance in your savings account. Although traditional savings account interest rates are lower, you may be able to earn more interest by using a high-yield savings account.
- Flexible deposits and withdrawals: Unlike a certificate of deposit, savings account balances are not locked up for a period of time. You can add or withdraw money at any time without incurring penalties.
- FDIC protection: Your combined balances at each bank are insured for up to $250,000 under FDIC coverage. By titling your accounts differently, you may be able to get even higher levels of protection for your bank balances.
- Overdraft protection: When you link your checking and savings account, you can authorize your savings account to cover overdraft transactions from your checking account. Some banks may charge a fee for these automatic transfers.
- Maintain value: Unlike some other investment options, balances in a savings account do not fluctuate in value. Because of this, they are an excellent choice for short-term money and emergency funds.
Can You Get a Debit Card for a Savings Account?
Unfortunately, savings accounts usually don’t come with checks or debit cards. To access your cash without stepping foot into a branch, most banks offer an ATM card so you can withdraw cash at an ATM.
If you have a checking and a savings account at your bank, you may be able to link both accounts to your checking account’s debit card. However, when you make debit card purchases, the money comes from your checking account. At the ATM, you can transfer money between your linked checking and savings accounts.
Alternatives to Savings Accounts
Other types of accounts must be considered when you want to earn interest on your money but need debit card access. The most common debit card accounts include the following:
- High-yield checking accounts: While checking accounts usually offer a debit card, most don’t earn interest. High-yield checking accounts earn some of the best interest rates while offering all of the benefits of a traditional checking account.
- High-yield money market account: Money market accounts offer limited check-writing capabilities, debit card access and earn interest. High-yield money market accounts offer the best of both worlds, although some require higher balances to earn the best interest rates.
- Money market mutual funds: While money market mutual funds typically don’t offer debit cards, many do allow customers to write checks. You’ll also earn competitive interest rates without locking up your money.
The Bottom Line
A savings account is an important piece of your financial plan. Although they do not offer debit cards, you can get an ATM card to get cash at the ATM instead of going into a branch. And most banks allow you to link your savings account to a debit card if you also have a checking account. You won’t be able to make debit card purchases from your savings account, but you can transfer money to your linked checking account to complete the transaction.
Tips for Earning Interest
- Financial advisors help clients find the best accounts to earn income on their money. These decisions are incorporated into their financial plan to meet their goals. This is exactly how a financial advisor can help you better prepare your finances for your unique situation. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be difficult. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Earning interest on your bank account balances is a guaranteed way to earn money without any risk. Our savings calculator estimates how much interest you’ll earn on your money at different interest rates. If you’re not earning enough interest, consider upgrading to a high-yield savings account.
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