dcsimg

Do Debit Card Rewards Measure Up to Credit Card Rewards?

Our credit card articles, reviews and ratings maintain strict editorial integrity; however we may be compensated when you click on or are approved for offers (terms apply) from our partners. How we make money.

Do Debit Card Rewards Measure Up to Credit Card Rewards?

Editor's Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available.

 America’s love affair with rewards credit cards continues to burn; and debit cards are helping to fan the flame as more and more banks begin to issue both cash back and reward debit/check cards. Like their credit card counterparts, reward debit cards come in a variety of styles with varying eligibility requirements and reward rates. Here are some tips to be aware of as you shop for the perfect fit in a reward card.

Annual Fees
Generally, cash back debit cards do not have a fee while points based cards have fees ranging from about $12/year to $55/year. On the other hand, most reward credit card offers (including point based ones) do not have a fee.

The Reward
The reward rate for cash back debit cards tends to be smaller than those of credit cards, some of which offer up to 5% cash back. On the flip side, debit cards typically don’t have an annual rebate limit or cap, while most credit card programs do.

A typical reward rate for cash back debit cards is the US Bank Cash Bonus Visa Check Card at 0.25%. However, a few points based cards do offer significantly higher rebate rates. AmSouth’s Check Card Rewards program offers up to a 20% rebate, but you have to shop at qualifying retailers or online at AmSouthCheckCardRewards.com.

Point based debit cards generally give one point for every dollar spent. Two exceptions are the US Bank WorldPerks Standard Visa Check Card, with which you have to spend two dollars for one point; and Chase Leisure Rewards Check Card, which gives four points for every dollar spent (that’s right, 4 points per $1)! But don’t get too excited because it takes far more points to earn anything with the Chase card. For example, domestic airline tickets begin at 40,000 points (compared to 25,000 points for most other debit and credit reward programs) and go up to 460,000 for an International or first class ticket.

orangecardQualifying Transactions
Credit card reward programs often offer higher rewards for certain types of everyday purchases, such as gas, drugstore and grocery purchases. Debit card programs are a little different. The reward rate usually stays the same for every type of purchase.

One notable caveat is that debit card transactions typically must be signature based in order to qualify for a rebate. PIN-based and cash back transactions normally don't yield any rewards. On a related note, some issuers require that your debit card gets processed as a credit card in order to be eligible for a rebate (money is still withdrawn from your checking account right away). One exception is the AmSouth Check Card Rewards program, but with this program you are limited to certain retailers or to shopping online at www.AmSouthcheckCardRewards.com.

For consumers loyal to debit cards, they’ll find the debit card reward trend to be a great away to set a little money aside or earn travel rewards. But for those who are credit card savvy (and pay their balance off each month since the reward rarely outweighs interest paid on outstanding balances), a credit card reward program usually offers more incentive. If you're in the market for a new reward card, you can comparison shop for the best rewards program based on your individual needs at CardRatings.com.

We welcome your comments about credit and money issues in our popular credit forum!
 

0 Comments

Be the first to comment!

FIND THE
BEST CARD
FOR YOU
Select Your Credit Score:
(Ok to Guess)
Excellent
(720-850)
Good
(690-719)
Fair
(630-689)
Bad
(350-629)
None/Limited I don't Know

Featured Partner Cards

loading
  How is your credit?
Oops! Your credit does not qualify you for this card. Applying and being rejected for this card could possibly hurt your credit
We are redirecting you to offers you are qualified for based on your credit.
720-850
Excellent
660-719
Good
600-659
Fair
350-599
Poor
X
CardRatings is excited to announce the launch of the
100% Free CardRatings Email Course to Learn How to Maximize Travel Rewards.

Created in partnership with ChooseFI

We partnered with ChooseFI to combine CardRatings’ offer expertise with ChooseFI’s tried and true travel rewards strategies. Get to know ChooseFI: they have changed tens of thousands of lives and recently won Podcast of the Year at FinCon.
You may think you are a rewards travel expert, but rewards strategies are changing (e.g., the days of card churning and manufactured spending are numbered). Learn powerful, sustainable strategies (a couple of which even you die-hard travel experts might not know). You'll be so glad you did.
We're planning more courses for the future; this is just the beginning of our journey.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY: