Venmo Debit Card Review: Pros, Cons, and Fees

Banking
Updated: 25th Jul 2021
Written by Bradon Matthews
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Banking
July 25, 2021
Written by Bradon Matthews

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Instantly sending money without having to hit the ATM sounds amazing, right? Venmo thinks so too.

If you’ve ever needed to send a roommate your half of the rent or pay a friend for drinks after a night out, chances are you’ve used Venmo before.

The app lets you link your bank account so you can send and receive money with ease.

Recently, they’ve added a new feature. Now you can get a debit card through Venmo.

How does the card work, and what are the benefits of using a debit card through Venmo compared to a typical debit card?

Let’s dive in and answer these questions.

What Is the Venmo Debit Card?

First, let’s explain what the Venmo debit card is.

As you might expect, the Venmo debit card is a debit card that functions by pulling money from your Venmo account. On the surface, it’s pretty straightforward.

Anyone with a Venmo account can apply for the card on the Venmo website.

How Does the Venmo Debit Card Work?

The Venmo debit card functions much as a regular debit card does. The difference is that where a standard debit card pulls funds from your checking account, Venmo’s pulls from your Venmo account instead.

If you’ve ever used Venmo before, you know that when you’re paid, the money sits in your account until you initiate a bank transfer.

The Venmo debit card allows you to skip this step. Your friends can pay you via Venmo, and you can then immediately use this money towards the bill.

You can also send money to your Venmo account yourself to use the card should you want to.

Venmo Debit Card Pros and Cons

Like all cards, Venmo’s debit card comes with its own unique benefits and drawbacks.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Rewards that automatically tailor to your spending habits
  • Can pay with money sent via Venmo immediately
  • Free access to Moneypass ATMs

Cons:

  • Have to manually reload if balance drops
  • $2.50 ATM fee outside of Moneypass network
  • No welcome bonus
  • Bonus rewards are limited to your first $10,000 spent after the first year

Venmo Debit Card Features and Benefits

The primary feature of the debit card is its integration with the Venmo app (just like the Venmo Credit Card). The card functions by drawing directly from your Venmo account.

In essence, this means that using the Venmo debit card is like using cash, with the added bonus of cashback rewards.

Easily Earn Cashback Rewards

One of the major benefits of the Venmo debit card is that it functions like cash while offering rewards on your spending.

The cashback rewards operate on a tier system. You earn 3% back on your top spending category, 2% on your second, and 1% on all purchases.

These tiers automatically adjust to match your spending, meaning you reap the benefit without thinking about it.

That being, there is a cap to the bonuses.

After the first year, the 3% and 2% categories only apply to your first $10,000 spent. You will continue to earn 1% on everything after that point, though.

Monitor Card Activity from the Mobile App

Venmo has always shown a log of the money you receive and send. This same feature applies to the card, making it easy to keep track of your spending.


This feature can be helpful for those looking to budget, as it shows you exactly where your money is going.

You’ll also see the money you transfer to your Venmo account should you decide to reload the card.

Additionally, the card can easily be deactivated and reactivated through the app. This makes it easy to protect yourself should you lose it and avoids the hassle of waiting for a new card to arrive should you find it again.

Reload Cash Balance with Ease

As we’ve said, the Venmo debit card functions by pulling funds directly from your Venmo account.

That being, you may want to use the card more often than you receive Venmo payments. In this case, the card can easily be reloaded.

Since your Venmo account is already linked to your bank, it’s simple and straightforward to move money over. The app allows you to transfer money from your checking account to your Venmo instantly.

You can even set up automatic reloads. If this feature is on, Venmo will automatically transfer money in $10 dollar increments to cover the difference between what you spend and what’s in your Venmo account,

Huge ATM Network

While money in your Venmo account functions much like cash, sometimes you just need the money in your hand

Venmo’s debit card gives you free access to all Moneypass ATMs. Moneypass is one of the largest ATM networks in the country, ensuring you’ll never be far from having your cash.

This means you can immediately turn your Venmo balance into spendable money rather than having to transfer it to your bank.

Pick Your Card Color

A minor but enjoyable feature, the Venmo debit card allows users a bit of personalization.

You can choose the color of your card. There are 5 options available: blue, purple, pink, white, and black.

While not financially relevant, it’s always nice to have a bit of choice.

Touch-Free Shopping

Many of us are a bit more conscious of the things we touch these days with the pandemic.

Luckily Venmo’s debit card features touch-free payment. If you see the touchless payment icon, you can use your Venmo debit to pay without having to insert the card.

All you have to do is tap the card against the machine, and your payment will process on its own. It’s never been so simple to pay in stores.

Venmo Debit Card Fees Explained

If you’re careful, the Venmo debit card can be used completely free of fees.

The card has no annual fee, and with access to any Moneypass ATM, you can even withdraw cash without costing you anything.

That being, you can run into fees should you overdraft. If you pay more than you have in your Venmo account, you may pull too much from your bank account and wind up with an overdraft fee from your bank.

There is also a $2.50 ATM fee for out-of-network ATMs.

These fees are easily avoided with a bit of planning, but you should be aware of them.

How Does the Venmo Debit Card Compare to Other Options?

When it comes to debit cards, you have a lot of options. Let’s see how Venmo stacks up to some of its competitors.

#1. Greenlight Debit Card for Kids vs. Venmo Debit Card

The Greenlight debit card is a card designed to teach children how to manage their finances.

Like Venmo’s, Greenlight’s card pulls from an account linked to a checking account. With Greenlight, parents link their accounts to the card and use that link to give their children an allowance.

Greenlight also provides the same 1% cashback on all purchases Venmo does, but without the bonus rewards.

Greenlight differs from Venmo in that it offers a savings program as well. Greenlight offers 1% interest on savings with its standard card and 2% if you go for Greenlight Max.

Another unique feature of Greenlight is the ability for parents to set which stores the card works at.

This is obviously nice if trying to keep protect and teach children but wouldn’t make much sense in any other context.

One final difference, Greenlight has annual fees. Depending on the tier, Greenlight’s cards run from $4.99 to $9.98 per month.

If you’re trying to teach kids about money, Greenlight’s unique features may make it a better choice. Otherwise, Venmo is the way to go.

>> Learn More: Full Greenlight Debit Card Review

#2. Chime Debit Card vs. Venmo Debit Card

Unlike Venmo, Chime’s debit card is linked directly to a Chime spending account.

Both Venmo and Chime offer debit cards with no annual fees. Both only charge for out-of-network ATM use.


Chime does offer a larger network of ATMs. Chime grants account holders free access to over 60,000 ATMs across the US.

Chime also shares in Venmo’s easy monitoring of card activity. Chime’s app lets you see all of your recent transactions and has the option to freeze and unfreeze the card with ease.

Venmo has the edge over Chime regarding rewards, as Chime doesn’t offer cashback with its debit card.

That being, Chime does have a roundup feature that automatically rounds purchases up to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference into savings.

Both Chime and Venmo can be great in different contexts. Which is best for you depends on what you want out of your card.

>> Learn More: Full Chime Bank Review

#3. Venmo Debit Card vs. Current Debit Card

Current is a mobile banking app that offers users a debit card.

Like Venmo, Current’s debit card provides you with cashback rewards. However, the two differ significantly in how they provide these rewards.

Current doesn’t offer percentage-based rewards. Rather, your purchases earn you points which you can redeem for cash or other offerings.

These points are linked to certain shops and locations, meaning you have to be somewhat conscious of your spending if you want to capitalize on them.

Venmo’s rewards are automatic, and the bonuses apply to whatever category you spend the most on. You don’t have to think about it in the slightest.

Current users have fee-free access to Allpoint ATMs, a network comparable in size to Venmo’s.

Current may be a better choice if you’re willing to go out of your way to make the most of their points system.

If you’re looking for simplicity in your rewards, Venmo is probably the more appealing option.

#4. FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card vs. Venmo Debit Card

The FamZoo debit card is another card aimed at helping children learn to manage finances.

Unlike Venmo’s, the FamZoo card is not free of fees. Monthly fees range from $2.50 to $4.33.

FamZoo doesn’t charge ATM fees, but they do not provide fee-free access to any ATMs, meaning the ATMs will most likely charge you a fee themselves.

The FamZoo debit card has a number of unique features. They allow parents to track their children’s purchases along with the children themselves. This allows for collaborative financial learning.

FamZoo also allows parents to set up automatic allowance transfers as well as chore-based payments.

Kids can request reimbursement, and there is even an option to split payments between the parent and child.

FamZoo definitely involves more fees, but it also provides a number of helpful tools for children and their parents.

Venmo’s card is obviously superior for adults. For children, it depends on what features you need.

>> Learn More: Full FamZoo Debit Card Review

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Venmo Debit Card a Prepaid Card?

Technically, the Venmo debit card is a prepaid card. Your Venmo account functions as payment, and you can only use the card if you have money in that account.

Do You Need a Bank Account for the Venmo Debit Card?

You don’t need a bank account to use the Venmo debit card. That being, you will be limited to the funds sent to you by other people if the card isn’t linked to an account, which might severely limit your ability to use it.

Is the Venmo Debit Card Free?

Yes, the Venmo debit card is free. The only fees you’ll face are out-of-network ATM fees.

Is there a Monthly Fee for the Venmo Debit Card?

There is no monthly fee for the Venmo debit card.

Where Can I Use the Venmo Debit Card?

You can use the Venmo debit card anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Who Should Get the Venmo Debit Card?

Anyone who uses Venmo frequently might want to get the Venmo debit card. That being, there are cards that may offer better rewards, so you should do your research to decide which card is right for you.

Is the Venmo Debit Card Safe to Use?

It is safe to use the Venmo debit card. Venmo uses bank-level encryption on your data, and their app offers an easy freeze on the card should you lose it.

Bottom Line: Venmo Debit Card Review

The Venmo debit card has a fair amount going for it.

You can use the card to get access to your Venmo funds faster via their in-network ATMs or by utilizing the card itself.

The card offers some easy cashback rewards and is free to use.

That being, there may be cards that offer better rewards, and having to constantly reload the card through Venmo may be somewhat annoying.

Still, if you’re an avid Venmo user and just want a simple, easy-to-use card that offers decent rewards, the Venmo debit card might be perfect for you.

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Bradon Matthews
Bradon Matthews
Bradon is a philosophy student-turned content writer. He enjoys analyzing market information and trends to help you make sense of the complex and ever-changing world of finance. Through this, he hopes to provide practical advice so you can feel more confident managing your money.