Blame the federal government for putting the kibosh on debit card rewards. Laws that limit how much banks can charge for debit card transactions have removed banks’ ability to hand out rewards for spending money you already have. Although the restrictions on previously very profitable interchange fees led many card issuers to discontinue or significantly scale back debit card rewards programs, in 2018 there are still some debit cards that offer rewards.
Remember the Discover Card? Discover Bank – yes, the same company that offers the Discover credit card – has a checking account with no monthly fees, access to more than 60,000 ATMs worldwide, free check reorder, free official bank checks and more. It also offers 1% cash back on any debit card purchases of up to $3,000 per month.
Online or mobile banking customers of Bank of America Corporation have access to the BankAmeriDeals program, which offers up to 15% cash-back rewards on Bank of America debit card purchases made at a variety of retailers, including gas stations and restaurants. In order to access cash-back rewards, cardholders must remember to activate a card deal at the bank's online website prior to making a purchase. The BankAmeriDeals program is available to all Bank of America mobile banking and online banking clients.
Did you know there was a Bank of Internet USA? You should, because its cashback checking account comes with a debit card that gives you 1% cash back on all purchases. You also pay no monthly maintenance fees and no annual fee, and it's free to bank online – because how else would you bank at Bank of the Internet USA?
The Serve Cash Back Card from the American Express Company is one of the few prepaid debit cards that has a rewards program. The card offers a flat 1% cash-back reward on purchases made at either retail stores or online. This American Express card has features usually associated with debit cards linked to checking accounts, including online bill payment and mobile deposits. The card comes with a $5.95 annual fee, but there’s no limit on your rewards, unlike other cards. Before you start earning actual rewards you have to make $595 in purchases to pay for the $5.95 annual fee.
KeyBank offers its checking account customers access to the bank's Relationship Rewards program, through which KeyBank debit card users can earn points on purchases and convert them into cash rewards at the rate of $25 for every 12,500 points earned. Cardholders earn one point for every $6 in debit card purchases, and 100 points for transactions such as online bill payments and mobile deposits. You're even awarded 500 extra points on your birthday. Members of the Relationship Rewards program can sign up for shopping deals that offer extra rewards and discounts. One drawback is the annual fee, which can be as high as $40 in some states.
The Chase Disney Visa debit card has a number of commendable features, including having no annual fee. However, the card is restricted to checking account customers of Chase Bank, the consumer banking division of JPMorgan Chase & Company, excluding high school and access checking accounts. This card offers a number of shopping and vacation discounts related to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts, including 10% off on purchases of $50 or more from the Disney Store, and a 10% discount at certain restaurants at the two resort parks.
If you have a PayPal business account – meaning you own a business – the PayPal Business Debit MasterCard might be worth a look. This card offers 1% cash back without any monthly limits. You also receive rewards when you withdraw cash from your PayPal account at an ATM. If you don’t own a business, you don’t qualify for this card, but if you do and already use PayPal, give it a look.
Despite changes in the law that made debit card rewards programs less financially attractive to card issuers, these seven cards offer cash back and a range of other features that still make them attractive. Before you sign up for one, just be sure you're aware of any fees that may be involved.