Virtual debit cards are becoming increasingly more popular and for good reason. Nowadays, just about anything can be done with a smartphone.
Mobile banking is growing at a rapid rate, and with that growth comes the expansion of people using a virtual debit card. Let’s dive into the best virtual debit cards today, and why you should consider using one.
Quicklook: Best Virtual Debit Cards and Apps
- Divvy – Best For Small to Mid-Sized Businesses
- Chime – Best For Zero Fees and No Minimum Balance Requirements
- CoinZoom – Best For Crypto Investors
- OpenBank – Free Virtual Debit Card
- JP Morgan Chase – Overall Best Option
- Blur – Best Virtual Debit Card App
- Skrill – Best For Multipurpose Use
Table of Contents:
- Best Virtual Debit Cards
- What Is a Virtual Debit Card?
- How Does a Virtual Debit Card Work?
- What to Consider When Applying for a Virtual Debit Card
- Benefits of Using a Virtual Debit Card
- Virtual vs. Traditional Debit Card
- Embrace the Technology
- Frequently Asked Questions
7 Best Virtual Debit Cards and Apps
Let’s review the best virtual debit cards on the market today.
Best for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses
Divvy is a full-service spend management solution for businesses that offers budgeting tools, credit and virtual debit cards.
Getting started is simple, you can apply for a line of credit through Divvy using your business credentials and you will gain access to Divvy’s software for free.
Fees: Divvy’s spend software and all of its features are free, but there is an APR associated on all lines of credit and late fees for missed credit payments.
How to Open an Account: You can open an account with Divvy online or through the app. The first step is to apply for a line of credit, Divvy reccomneds applying for 10% more than your highest monthly credit spend. You can ready additional details and information you will need to apply for Divvy here.
- Aside from financing fees Divvy’s platform is free.
- Mobile app and web platform is extremely easy to use.
- Divvy can offer lines of credit up to 15 million
- Debit cards can be created instantly through the app and distrubuted to employees
- Virtual and physical debit cards cannot be used at ATMs
- 24 hour support is not yet available. At the time of this writing Divvy’s chat and phone support is available Monday-Friday 7 am – 10 pm MST, and Saturday-Sunday from 7 am – 7 pm MST
What We Like Most About This Option: It’s easy to get started with Divvy, even if you do not have perfect credit. Credit applications are typically determined in 1-2 weeks, but can happen within a few days depending on the applicant.
Best For Zero Fees and No Minimum Balance Requirements
Chime prides itself on being a technology company, not a bank. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense why they would be embracing the virtual debit card.
Not only does Chime offer some high tech features, they are well known and respected for their zero fees and no minimum balance requirements.
Fees: As mentioned, Chime’s spending account does not have monthly account fees. Not only that, there is no monthly minimum balance requirement!
How to Open an Account: Opening a Chime account is easy! All you have to do is visit their website and follow along with the application process. You can do so from the comfort of your own home.
- There are no fees! This includes no; overdraft fees, minimum balance requirements, service fees, foreign transaction fees or transfer fees.
- Opening an account is easy, and just takes a few moments!
- The lack of fees is incredibly attractive
- Their technology is second to none
- You can receive your paycheck up to 2 days before pay day!
- Chime is a technology company, not a bank. If you need a bank you would have to visit Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, which is not a nationwide or incredibly popular banking option
- Due to not being a bank, some of the in person banking benefits, such as a safety deposit box, does not exist
What We Like Most About This Option: All in all, what we appreciate the most about Chime is the fact that they put their customers first.
CoinZoom is a great virtual debit card for those who invest in cryptocurrencies. Not only does CoinZoom function as a virtual debit card, it also doubles as a platform where you can buy and trade cryptocurrencies.
Fees: All of CoinZooms fees are neatly displayed on their site. The majority of fees come from buying and selling cryptocurrencies. However, if you fund your account with a traditional debit card, you are subject to a 2.99% fee.
How to Open an Account: Opening an account is easy! You can get started directly on their site.
Standout Features: The standout feature must be how this virtual debit card also allows you to buy and sell over 40 cryptocurrencies.
- There is multi layer protection for your virtual debit card and cryptocurrencies
- You can trade within the mobile app
- You earn 1-5% of whatever you spend, back in cryptocurrency
- The 2.99% fee to fund your account with a traditional debit card can be a turn off
- Different withdrawal fees apply to different currencies
What We Like Most About This Option: The fact that you can buy/sell cryptocurrencies within their app and use the crypto through your virtual debit card is a very unique feature!
OpenBank was founded in 1995, and is located in Madrid, Spain. Their virtual debit card is gaining in popularity, and for good reason.
Fees: It’s free to open an OpenBank virtual debit card, however, it does have some fees depending on how you use it. For example, unless the ATM is one of the 7,500 Banco Santander ATM’s in Spain, you will pay a deposit or withdrawal fee.
How to Open an Account: Within minutes you can open an account directly on their website.
Standout Features: The best standout feature is the level of security this card has. From their 3D Secure Code System for all online shopping, and free SMS payment alerts for spending, you can shop with confidence that your card is secured.
- You can start using the card right away!
- The security is phenomenal
- The banking fees are minimal
- This is a common option in Spain, and neighboring countries, but not nearly as popular in the United States
- Unless you live within Spain, expect to pay ATM fees
What We Like Most About This Option: Overall, the fact that OpenBank is a less traditional bank and keeps its customer in the center of their decision making is what we appreciate the most.
JP Morgan – Chase Virtual Card
JP Morgan Chase is a multinational bank. There is something to be said about banking with an institution that has such a rich and deep history. Despite starting as a more traditional bank, JP Morgan Chase is adapting with the times and offers various virtual banking options and experiences for their customers.
Fees: There is no additional cost to use their virtual wallets, however, each account may have a different fee structure depending on your account tier and balance.
How to Open an Account: You can open an account directly online or by visiting one of their branches.
Standout Features: The biggest standout feature is how well known and respected JP Morgan Chase is. You’re not only banking with a world class virtual debit card, you have the history and support of a massive banking network. You will surely be in good hands.
- You’ll be banking with a highly reputable and established multinational bank
- If you ever needed in person support, there are plenty of branches nationwide you can visit
- This bank is also found internationally
- The reputation and convenience comes with a cost. There are various overdraft fees and account minimums that customers will need to be mindful of.
- Although being a large bank can be a great benefit, it can also be a deterrent as that personal connection is often lost.
What We Like Most About This Option: With all of that being said, what we appreciate most is the options and flexibility JP Morgan Chase offers. You can experience more traditional banking if you please, or you can do the entire banking experience virtually.
Sign up with JPMorgan Chase here
Best For Virtual Debit Card App
Abine creates impressive software that is centered around protecting your identity, and your important information. One of the softwares they create is Blur. If you’re looking to protect passwords, privacy, and payments, look no further.
Fees: There is a free option and a paid version.
How to Open an Account: You will open an account directly on their website.
Standout Features: The greatest feature is simply how private and secure everything is. If you have sensitive information you want to protect, such as passwords and payment options, using Blur to encrypt your information is a great choice.
- There is a free version and a paid version
- You can combine both of their key softwares together, Delete Me, and Blur
- You can keep all your information private and secure
- Passwords can sync across numerous devices
- Blur offers strong encryption protection
- This security comes at an expense as you’ll have to provide Abine Blur with a lot of personal information
What We Like Most About This Option: The ease of use, and the option to use their free or paid version, is by far what we like the most about this option.
Skrill was founded in 2001 in London. Today, Skrill offers a tremendous digital experience that has grown in popularity to over 120 countries.
Fees: There are numerous fees you’ll have to be mindful of, all of which are neatly displayed on their site. Depending on what you’re trying to do, such as depositing or withdrawing funds, you’ll pay a different fee amount.
How to Open an Account: Opening an account is very straightforward. You can register for an account directly on their homepage.
Standout Features: You can complete numerous banking transactions all under one roof. For example, you can deposit funds, withdraw funds, send money to individuals, and convert currency all within the mobile app.
- The multi use of their app is excellent
- Bitcoin is an accepted payment option
- Opening an account is easy
- Customer support is not the highest rated in the industry
- Their fees add up quickly
What We Like Most About This Option: Their accepted currencies is by far what we appreciate the most. Not only do they accept currencies of numerous countries, such as the United States, EU, and the Australian dollar, they also accept cryptocurrencies.
What Is a Virtual Debit Card?
A virtual debit card is simply an electronic debit card that is stored within your mobile banking app on your smartphone. The advantage of a virtual debit card as opposed to a physical one, is the additional privacy and security that it offers.
How Does a Virtual Debit Card Work?
For the most part, a virtual debit card works just like a regular debit card. With a virtual debit card, individuals are able to spend money within the bank account the virtual debit card is tied to. However, how you pay for these transactions is a bit different.
Instead of sliding or inserting your debit card to complete the transaction, you simply hover your smartphone over the card reader. Your phone will likely authenticate the transaction by asking for your fingerprint, facial verification, or entering a passcode.
If you’re curious how to withdraw money from a virtual debit card, you’ll be pleased to know that withdrawing money is also easy! Simply hold your phone up near the ATM reader and you can withdraw money just as you would with a traditional debit card.
What to Consider When Applying for a Virtual Debit Card
There are a few key considerations you must factor into choosing the right virtual debit card. Such considerations include:
Privacy / Security
One of the greatest benefits of a virtual debit card is how private and secure they are. When you lose your wallet, you’ll need to cancel your debit cards as anyone can swipe the card and complete a transaction.
In the event you lose your phone, your virtual debit card is still secured. Additionally virtual debit cards often require two-step authentication.
Spending / Budgeting Control
One of the greatest benefits of a virtual debit card is the option to have various spending and budget control features. Plenty of mobile banking options allow you to restrict how much money you can spend per month, and offer various ways to review how you’re spending your money.
Linking all of your spending habits to a singular card can tremendously help your ability to track your financials.
Integration with Existing Accounts
Integrating a virtual debit card with an existing account is typically not challenging. However, you’ll want to be sure your bank supports this option.
Most nationwide or popular regional banks are adapting this technology, but smaller community banks or credit unions may be lagging behind with this development.
Easy to Use
There are numerous reasons why a virtual debit card is becoming easier to use. Contactless payment options are on the rise. Part of this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The other part is happening naturally as technology continues to progress.
All in all, a virtual debit card is easy to use, and is only becoming more popular.
You’ll also want to make sure that the virtual debit card has equal, or similar, payment capabilities as your regular debit card. You do not want to have any frustrations or restrictions when it comes to using your virtual debit card.
Benefits of Using a Virtual Debit Card
There are numerous benefits to using a virtual debit card. The most common benefits include:
- Generally speaking, the virtual debit card is more secure. Even if you lose your phone, someone would need to know your password to access your phone, and the mobile banking password to access your virtual debit card. There are essentially two additional layers of protection!
- You never need to worry about leaving home without your wallet as long as you have your phone with you!
- You can’t lose your virtual debit card. It will always be stored within your mobile banking app.
Virtual vs Traditional Debit Card
The main difference between a virtual debit card and traditional debit card is the technology. With a traditional debit card, you’ll carry the plastic card within your wallet.
A virtual debit card is stored within your bank’s mobile banking app on your smartphone. As long as you have your phone with you, you’ll have access to your virtual debit card.
A traditional debit card is more widely accepted when compared to a virtual debit card. However, virtual debit cards are growing in popularity, and contactless payments are becoming a common payment option.
Embrace the Technology
In today’s digital era, it’s becoming more widely accepted to embrace digital technology. Between the various benefits a virtual debit card provides, and the added layers of security, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have one!
With that said, choosing the right virtual debit card and bank should also be part of a larger financial discussion. Working with a financial advisor is a great way to ensure all your financial decisions are taking you one step closer to your goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can get a virtual debit card directly from your bank, or you can sign up with a bank that offers virtual debit card options.
There are apps dedicated to virtual debit cards, but most large nationwide banks are also providing mobile banking options and the access to a virtual debit card!
Considering their global footprint and world class technology, JP Morgan Chase is often considered the best overall option.