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How to Get a Debit Card

A bank debit card, also referred to as a check card or ATM card, is a debit card issued by a bank and tied to a checking or savings account. People commonly get a check card or bank debit card when opening a new checking or savings account. Although the traditional method of driving to the nearest bank and sitting down with an account specialist to open a checking account is still the most common way, many customers open bank accounts online (and get their debit card mailed to them).

When a customer opens a bank account, a bank debit card is usually made available by filling out a form or simply checking a box on a new account profile. A secret PIN is typically mailed with the bank card to the customer's home address. In many instances the PIN can be designated or changed by the person on the account. Once the bank debit card is received, it might need to be activated by calling a toll free number attached on the face of the card.

Some people, however, cannot open a regular checking or savings account at a traditional bank. For example, some people may have had previous banking problems (and may be on the ChexSystems list used by banks to make their new account opening decisions) or credit report issues. Other people may not be able to afford the minimum balance required to qualify for free checking. Those folks may still want the convenience of a debit card. An option for people in this situation is to get a prepaid debit card.

How to Get a Prepaid Debit Card Online

Most of the major prepaid debit cards (and many bank debit cards) can be purchased online. Shopping for a card online has another benefit since it allows you to easily research and compare different debit cards to pick the right debit card for your situation.

By comparing different fee structures and terms, you can pick the best debit card from the hundreds that are available online. Once you find a card that suits your situation, simply click on the card or application you like and an application form will be presented to you to fill out.

Some cards allow you to use the card immediately (assuming you have another account to load funds from, such as a PayPal account or other bank account). In most cases your card will be mailed to you for use. Most customers then load funds onto the card using reload locations or options such as the popular GreenDot MoneyPak, other major load networks or options are: Western Union, MoneyGram, Visa ReadyLink, PayPower and ReloadIT.

Once you've figured out how to get a debit card, always make sure to read the card terms and conditions and understand the fees.