When most people hear the words “debit card” they immediately think of the plastic card with their bank logo on it. That isn’t the case anymore. With technology advancing every year, there are different types of credit cards available to consumers. Which type is in your wallet – or even on your phone?

Different Types of Debit Cards

If you aren’t sure what type of debit card you have, this guide explains the different types of debit cards that everyone should know about.

Check Cards

If you received a debit card from your bank, then a check card is the official name for it. It acts in the same way as a check does; when you make a payment, you’re telling the vendor that you have the available funds in your account ready to go. The check card is easily the most common type of debit card and is usually backed by Visa or Mastercard.

Prepaid Debit Cards

As the name implies, you load whatever amount of money you need on these cards and that’s how much it has on it until you load it again. Prepaid debit cards aren’t linked to bank accounts, so they’re ideal for people with less than stellar banking history. These also make a great option for teenagers who are learning how to budget properly since they can’t overdraft with these cards.

Chip Cards

Technically called “Europay, Mastercard, and Visa” cards, or EMV cards for short, these cards function the same way as Check Cards do but they have the magnetic chip at the end of them. This chip makes a debit card more secure by making it harder for fraudsters to copy and steal information from. Most check and credit cards come with the chip nowadays.

P Cards

If you’re an employee of a large company, you may have used P Cards to make purchases on your company’s behalf. The cool thing about P Cards is that they’re becoming more accessible to modern-day consumers in the form of virtual payment cards, which are more secure than chip cards and much easier to manage since they’re used virtually.

Gift Cards

While not usually thought of as a debit card, gift cards are still viable contenders for payment options. They’re similar to prepaid debit cards, but the biggest difference is that most gift cards cannot have more funds loaded onto them. Recently, a lot of vendors have created confusion by merging together gift cards and prepaid debit cards, so be sure to double-check which type of card you have.

The Choice is Yours

Whether you want a classic check card or trendy virtual debit cards, there are plenty of different types of debit cards for consumers to choose from that will suit their individual financial needs.

Did you enjoy this article? Do you feel more confident in your financial decisions? Be sure to check out our Financial section for more information!