How Many Debit Cards Can You Have. Complete Guide on Debit Cards

Too busy for the full read? Here are the key points from this article!

♦ A debit card is a payment card where money is directly deducted from your bank account.
♦ A debit card can be used online, or anywhere credit cards are accepted.
♦ You can have multiple debit cards under the same bank account, or via different accounts.

Shoppers prefer a variety of payment methods when it comes to shopping. As we become more tech savvy, many new payment methods have come up. Debit cards are one of those. In fact, if you look at the global scenario, a survey done in 2017 shows debit cards holding a 28% share in online payment methods. They were also the third most popular payment method worldwide

So, if you ask how many debit cards can you have, here’s the answer: as many as you want. People have a lot of questions regarding their debit cards. Here we have tried to brief and direct all the answers, along with the pros and cons. But before we start, let us first know what a debit card is. Shall we? 

Short on time? Here is a brief summary of this article

Debit cards are similar to credit cards in a way they give you an option to pay online, or in physical shops with a card, the main difference between a debit card compared to credit card is that the money is directly withdrawn from your account, instead of a credit where you can pay it at a later stage.

You can certainly have multiple debit cards under one bank account, for example having a card from VISA, and another company linked to the same bank account.

As long as the type of card is different, you can have multiple debit cards linked to one account.

The advantages to carrying a debit card are:
♦ More secured than cash.
♦ More easy to obtain from banks
♦ No risk of carrying debt

Some cons of having a debit card are:

♦ No cash advance
♦ Can carry daily limits

What is a Debit Card?

What is a debit card? Most of you who are reading this would have at least had one debit card to your name. A debit card, in short, is a payment card. Yes, you can use it for paying online and offline merchants. One can find several similarities between a cheque and a debit card, only the latter being in a digital version. 

When you pay through a debit card, the money gets directly deducted from your bank account. Therefore, these cards are also called check cards or bank cards. However, one of the most common uses of a debit card is to get cash from an automated teller machine or ATM. You can also use a debit card to deposit money using the same. 

Lastly, unlike credit cards that let you borrow money in advance, debit cards deduct the money directly from your bank account. Hence, one can’t use it unless they have sufficient balance present in the bank a/c. 

How Does a Debit Card Work?

how many debit cards can you have

Using a debit card is easy. In most cases, when you use a debit card at offline merchant points, such as gas stations, shopping malls, shops, etc., you pay the money by swapping the card. Or, if it supports contactless payment, you can try that as well. 

For online merchant sites, debit cards are used by providing the card number and security code through a secured payment channel. The balance gets directly deducted from your main account balance. 

You can also use a debit card to avail yourself of cash from automated teller machines or ATMs. In short, debit cards can be used for online and offline cashless transactions, along with drawing out money from ATMs.

Don’t use a debit card if:

♦ You’re trying to build your credit score, debit cards are not reported and will not help you.
♦ If you want to pay for something later.
♦ If you don’t have enough balance in your account for your purchase.

Where Can You Use a Debit Card?

Debit cards are mostly used to pay merchants- both online and offline. Although many countries now use phone-based payment systems, such as Apple Pay, PayPal, etc., in North America, the use of payment cards is still high. However, a debit card is not as popular as a credit card. Yet, you can use a debit card for the following purposes. 

At Shops

how many debit cards can you have

Offline merchants nowadays accept debit cards for cashless payments. They work in all major shopping malls, gas stations, small retail shops, groceries, and other places. 

Debit cards are safe and eliminate the necessity of carrying cash. Some banks also offer cash back on debit card payments in various countries. So, even though you forget to take cash while walking around, you can still buy things using the debit card in your wallet. 

But, remember that, unlike credit cards, debit cards typically have a daily transaction or withdrawal limit. If you touch the limit at any point of the day, you won’t be able to use it anymore on the same day. 

Online Merchants

A study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, 2020, found that, in the same year, debit cards remained the most used transaction medium for consumers with a 28% share. 

If the pandemic effect on global e-commerce is to be considered, one can easily conclude that debit cards remain popular among users. 

For one, a debit card is one of the most reliable online transaction mediums. Hence, when it comes to online shopping, people prefer to use their debit cards more than any other form of payment method. 

Credit cards do have dominance here, but not everyone qualifies for a credit card application. On the other hand, debit cards do not need any special requirement to get issued, making them readily available. 

Airport Tickets

Airport tickets can now be purchased both online and offline. You can either walk into the airport to buy a ticket or do it right from your home. According to a research paper: Predictors of Customer Preference for Online Versus Offline Air Travel Booking by Zu-Hsu Lee and Kuangnen Cheng, almost 67% of booking activities are online

As a result, people prefer using debit cards for purchasing air tickets. The process is similar to that of online shopping. Again, in offline mode, you can simply choose to pay using your debit card by swiping it at the counter. In both cases, the procedure is simple and straightforward. 

Cash Withdrawal from an ATM

how many debit cards can you have

ATM is an acronym for Automated Telling Machines. Nowadays, an ATM is a very common machine that can be found in almost every country worldwide. It lets you withdraw cash directly from your bank account. To withdraw money from an ATM, one will need to have a debit card connected to the respective account. 

So, if you are short on cash and can see an ATM nearby, you can quickly go in and withdraw some amount fast. It comes in handy during emergencies and travels. Since debit cards are used to withdraw money from ATMs, many call them “ATM cards” as well. 

Can You Have Multiple Debit Cards?

Can you have multiple debit cards? Yes, you can. You can have as many debit cards as you want. There are two ways to get multiple debit cards issued to your name: opening different bank accounts or having numerous debit cards linked to one account. It is easy and simple to have more than one debit card issued to your name in both ways. 

There are different types of debit cards available in the industry. Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, and American Express are some of the world’s most famous debit card issuers. These debit cards are accepted internationally and have better perks than domestic ones. 

Can I Have More Than One Debit Card for A Single Bank?

There is no guideline or rule against having more than one debit card linked to your account. However, the types of these cards must be different. It means that you can’t have more than one similar card issued to you for one bank account. Different banks offer different types of debit cards to their consumers. 

You can have multiple debit cards of different types. So, it really doesn’t matter how many debit cards you have as long as you are okay with managing them simultaneously. Also, banks may charge you an annual fee for debit card maintenance. As a result, if you keep multiple debit cards, you better know the charges beforehand. 

What Are The Advantages of Using Debit Card

  • Easily issued
  • It’s safer than carrying cash
  • No debt related issues

Most banks provide you with a complimentary debit card when you open an account. After that, you can apply for other debit cards as well. Or, you can open another account in a different bank and get yourself another debit card. In short, there are a lot of ways to have more than one debit card in your wallet. 

But why should you be considering debit cards in the first place? How can it help you in managing your financial realm? Here are some of the reasons/advantages why debit cards are helpful in our daily life. 

Easily Issued

Unlike credit cards, debit cards do not need a background check. Almost every bank in the world now provides a complimentary debit card to their customers as soon as they open an account with them. Even if you apply for a debit card later, your credit score, credit report aren’t checked by any authority before approving the application.

It is one big reason why people prefer having debit cards. You don’t have to rely on the chances of approval. Plus, you can have as many debit cards as you want. It won’t affect your credit report since you won’t be borrowing anything from the bank itself. 

Safer than Carrying Cash

Debit cards eliminate the need to carry cash. They are directly linked to your main account. The balance gets deducted directly from your bank when you swipe the card. That way, you can always go cashless with a debit card without worrying about getting into trouble. 

It is again safe when you have to carry a large amount of cash. Taking hundreds of notes on the street with no security can be difficult and threatening. Debit cards are PIN protected. It means that even if someone steals the card from you, they can’t use it unless they have the PIN to access it. Plus, you can block the card anytime you feel it’s in the wrong hands. 

When you reach your destination, you can either visit the nearby ATM to liquid cash or shop at a store that accepts debit card payments. Contactless debit cards are also becoming quite popular lately. You can talk to your bank and see what options they offer. 

No Debt Related Issues

Unlike credit cards, debit cards draw money directly from your main account balance. When you pay using a credit card, you borrow money from the bank. Thus, it increases your debt and requires you to pay monthly or a plan set by the bank authority. 

But, with a debit card, you can only spend as much as you have. You can’t borrow money. As a result, you will never be in debt or under the pressure of repayments. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Debit Card

  • No advance cash
  • Daily usage limits

After the advantages of debit cards, there are two major drawbacks. 

No Advance Cash

The last point on the advantage list somehow has a mirror image as well. Debit cards, unlike credit cards, do not let you borrow money. Hence, there is no advance cash at any point in time. You can only spend as much as you have in your bank a/c. 

As a result, if you need extra cash, debit cards won’t be a help. It is a major drawback of using debit cards. Even if you have multiple debit cards linked to your account, the limit will always be the same, restricting your financial dealings. Hence, if you want financial freedom, you must look elsewhere. 

Daily Usage Limit

how many debit cards can you have

Debit cards typically have daily usage limits. Once you touch the daily limit, you won’t be able to use the card again for the same day. Limits also vary for online transactions and cash withdrawals. 

You must check your bank guidelines regarding this. Different banks have different rules regarding debit card daily limits. Also, while withdrawing cash from automated teller machines, you have to find your bank’s machine. Withdrawing money from other banks’ ATMs may be subjected to additional fees. 

Again, some banks may also impose a monthly limit on money withdrawn through ATMs. So, before you apply for a debit card, know every detail from your respective bank regarding the debit card limits and charges. 


Debit cards are an excellent alternative to cash. They are also ideal for making small payments. After opening an account with a bank, they are given to the consumer for free. However, you can later apply for additional debit cards if you want. 

Before you do so, you need to understand that maintaining multiple debit cards may not always be very easy, especially in terms of keeping track of transactions. Yet, if you want to increase your debit card withdrawals or transaction limits, having multiple debit cards is a good idea. 

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