Bank Card

DEFINITION of 'Bank Card'

Any card issued against a depositary account, such as an ATM card or a debit card. Sometimes the phrase is also used to refer to Visa and Mastercard, since these are also issued by banks, but they are credit cards and not linked directly to a depositary account.

Bank cards may be limited in their use, Some can only be used at ATM machines or for certain purchases.


Withdrawals or payments with bank cards will typically result in an immediate corresponding change in the balance of the account on which it is issued. This contrasts with credit cards, which issue statements at monthly intervals with balances which must be paid by a certain date.

Many bank cards are associated with either Visa or Mastercard; although purchases are debited from deposit accounts, purchases can be made as "credit" anywhere that accepts either Visa or Mastercard.