How To Get Free Debit Cards With Money on Them

Cheerful African-American woman using her bank card at the ATM in the evening.
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No matter where you are making cash withdrawals from you want that money to be free-flowing and absent of even network ATM withdrawal fees. Yes, in an ideal world, your checking account or savings account would never need you to add money as it would just magically appear. Unfortunately, in the real world there are a lot of transactions to track. That being said, there are some ways to make your life easier outside of traditional debit cards or credit cards.

Free Debit Cards With Money on Them: Quick Take

Free debit cards with money already loaded on them are known as prepaid cards or prepaid debit cards. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Unlike regular debit cards which are generally linked to your checking or bank account, a prepaid debit card is not.
  • Debit cards also immediately deduct funds from the account you have with your bank or credit union for any purchase you make online or when you shop in-store.
  • Debit cards with money loaded on them, or prepaid cards, have existing funds on them that are also not connected to your bank account. 
  • Many prepaid cards offer sign-up bonuses, so make sure to research what companies are currently offering.
  • You must add funds to your prepaid card prior to any transactions to ensure the online purchase goes through.
  • Free debit cards or prepaid debit cards refer to reloadable or disposable cards you can get without having to apply, register or pay transaction fees. 

Prepaid Cards: Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Can get a free debit card even if you don’t have good credit Many prepaid cards come with fees such as activation fees, transaction fees, reload fees, withdrawal fees.
You don’t need a bank account to use one Some do not allow direct bank transfers.
You can easily track your spending as you purchase items with money you have preloaded on the card. There is no overdraft protection or option for mobile check deposits.

Where To Find Free Debit Cards With Money on Them

If prepaid cards seem like a good fit for your current financial situation, you have many options to secure one. Before making your final decision, however, make sure to check which companies are offering sign-up bonuses or have a referral program. 

A Better Way to Bank

A good way to get a free debit card with money on it is to get a card through a peer-to-peer payment platform. For example, Cash App has the Cash Card which is a free and customizable debit card that is connected to your Cash App balance. It can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, both online and in stores.

Is a Prepaid Debit Card Right For You?

When figuring out if a prepaid debit card is right for you it helps to compare its uses to a traditional debit card. A prepaid card operates much like a gift card in that it can only be used with funds that have been added to the card rather than deducted from your account. 

This system could work for you if you don’t have a bank account or social security number or just feel like you need to get a better handle on your spending habits. There also isn’t a credit check to get a prepaid card, so you don’t have to worry about your current credit score.

Final Take To GO 

Sometimes setting your own limits can help you better manage your money and stick to your budget. Getting a free debit card with money on it, or that you can load on it yourself gives you a clear outline of what you have to work with when shopping. Outside of money management, it can also help you with purchases if you don’t have solid credit or a current bank account

A Better Way to Bank

FAQ

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about how to get free debit cards with money on them.
  • Can I get a free debit card with money on it?
    • Yes, with platforms like Cash App, you can get a free and customizable Cash Card that links right to your Cash App balance.
  • Can prepaid cards hurt your credit score?
    • No, as you can only spend the money that is preloaded on the card you can't hurt your score as you can't go into debt with these cards. There are no credit checks to get a prepaid card you simply buy them online or at a store like a gift card.
  • What is a prepaid debit card?
    • A prepaid debit card is similar to a gift card in that you can buy it at stores or online and load it with your desired amount of money. It operates like a debit card but is not linked to your bank account.
  • Which bank gives free debit cards?
    • Whether it is you or a family member who needs a free debit card, it is good to know you have options. Here are some online banks to consider:
      • Chime* offers a free Visa debit card, the Chime Visa® Debit Card¹.
      • Capital One offers a free contactless debit card.
      • HSBC has a debit card with no annual fee.
  • Which is the best prepaid debit card?
    • Here are some of the best prepaid debit cards currently available, according to GOBankingRates:
      • Bluebird American Express® Prepaid Debit Account: Best overall
      • Netspend Visa Prepaid Card: Best for cash rewards
      • Brink's Money Prepaid Mastercard: Best for a spending cushion
      • Card.com Prepaid Visa: Best for ATM withdrawals
      • FamZoo Prepaid Card: Best for kids

*Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC

1Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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