The old maxim “you have to spend money to make money” is especially true as the popularity of cashback debit cards continues to rise. No longer do banks reserve cashback only for credit card holders. Instead, cashback is, in many cases, available to anyone looking to open a checking account.
Several cashback debit cards operate independently from major banks. Some cards are linked to popular stores, and there are even cards that plant trees for you. In addition, benefits like early paydays and tax returns, overdraft protection, FDIC insurance, and emergency/roadside assistance make your options increasingly competitive.
Consider taking the sting out of your shopping habit or growing expenses with a debit card that pays you. Here are the top five cashback debit cards to investigate and make an informed decision.
Card Name: Walmart MoneyCard
Fee: $0-$5.94 a month
Rewards: 3% cashback on Walmart.com, 2% at Walmart Fuel stations, & 1% Walmart stores (up to $75).
This is quite a user-specific card, but it is handy if you are an avid Walmart shopper. The Walmart MoneyCard is especially useful if you fill up your car at Walmart fuel stations, where you can receive 2% unlimited cash back on gas. With gas prices at a record high, it’s worth calculating your potential savings with this card.
This card offers 3% for purchases from the Walmart website, so it’s most advantageous for online shoppers. It offers overdraft protection up to $200, a 2% APY on savings over $1,000, and an advance on your payday of two days. As an added bonus, Walmart randomly picks 1,000 cardholders to be awarded cash prizes each month.
Keep in mind that the Walmart MoneyCard will charge you $5.94 each month if you did not direct deposit at least $500 the month prior. If you don’t plan to use this as your primary debit card, this could become irritating. There is also a $75 cap on cashback from in-store shopping.
Card Name: Serve American Express Prepaid Debit Account
Rewards: Unlimited 1% cashback
A touted advantage to the Serve American Express Debit Card is that cashback applies to your account as soon as a transaction settles. The 1% cashback applies to transactions anywhere, whether in-store or online, and there is no limit to how much cashback you can earn.
As an American Express partner, Serve offers purchase & fraud protection, emergency & roadside assistance, and FDIC insurance. Additionally, this card allows you to receive your tax refund two days earlier.
A big drawback is that the serve card charges $7.95 a month with no opportunity to skip a monthly fee. Serve also charges up to $3.95 for each cash reload onto the debit card, which could add up quickly if you are moving cash around often.
Card Name: Cashback Debit Card
Rewards: 2.2% cashback on all work-related expenses
Nearside markets their cashback debit card toward entrepreneurs and freelancers by offering free business banking and integrating their card with several small business platforms like Amazon, Lyft, Square, and more. With no monthly fees ever and 2.2% cashback on any business-related purchases, Nearside helps self-starters become and stay profitable.
Nearside has many standard bells and whistles like FDIC insurance, free ATM withdrawals, and the ability to freeze a lost card immediately. However, they stand out by emphasizing helping small businesses advance and thrive. They make approval with low credit easy and aim to authorize business loans of up to $10,000 to new small business owners. If you have an idea and need help getting it off the ground, this could be your card.
Card Name: Axos Cashback Checking Debit Card
Rewards: up to 1% cashback
Axos’ card offers you up to 1% cashback on any signature-based purchases with a cap of $2,000 a month. You must hold at least $1,500 in your checking account to receive the full 1%, which will drop to .5% as soon as your average daily balance falls below that. Cashback applies to your account monthly and will be available in your statements.
With no monthly fees required regardless of your balance, unlimited check writing privileges, and unlimited domestic ATM reimbursement, Axos is still a great card. Axos also boasts security as its shining characteristic, including biometric authentication, SSL encryption, and 2-step authentication.
Card Name: Ando Visa Debit Card
Ando approaches banking with a sustainability mindset. While other banks have been known to fund fossil fuel companies, Ando redirects 100% of your finances to carbon-reducing initiatives. In addition, they actively fund clean energy and sustainable agriculture, all while giving you 1.5% cashback on any debit card transaction for goods or services.
Another feature for the environmentally conscientious banker is Ando’s Change that Counts program. If you agree to round up your debit card transactions, each debit card swipe will count as one tree that Ando plants for you. They’re currently matching trees planted with customers up to 100,000 trees total.
A notable difference is that Ando doesn’t trick you by offering 1.5% cashback on only signature-based purchases or purchases with certain brands. There is also no limit to cashback Ando awards you long as your account is in good standing. So if you want to make a difference but find environmental activism a bit overwhelming, Ando does the groundwork for you while you shop.
Consumer Due Diligence
While comparing cashback cards, be sure to read the fine print at the very bottom of any banking advertising page, paying special attention to the description of any notated numbers. In addition, many cards have special conditions applied to their cashback rewards that are not readily available amongst all the jargon.
There are plenty of cashback debit cards available to consumers in 2022. If you’re not ready to commit to one on this list, at least use this article as a starting point for your research. Whatever you’re looking for in a debit card, earning cashback while shopping is never a loss.
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