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A rewards debit card offers the best of both worlds.
You receive rewards like cash back or points just like you would with a credit card, but you don’t have to pay anything back at the end of the billing cycle.
Instead, you get rewards instantaneously with each purchase.
Here are some of our favorites from leading banks and credit union providers.
The Top 10 Best Reward Debit Cards
|Debit Card||Rewards||Monthly or Annual Fees||ATM Fee||Minimum to Open|
|Axos||Up to 1.25%||None||Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursement||$50|
|Discover Cashback Debit Account||1% cash back||None||No fees at over 60,000 ATMs||$0|
|Ando Visa Debit Card||1.5% cash back||None||No fees at over 34,000 ATMs||$0|
|Bank of America Visa Debit Card||Up to 15% cash back with select merchants||None||No fees at in-network ATMs||$100|
|Empower||Up to 10% cash back with select merchants||$8 per month||No fees at 37,000 ATMs||$0|
|LendingClub||1% cash back||None||No fees at in-network ATMs||$0|
|Extra||Up to 1% cash back with select merchants||$149 or $199 per year||No ATM access||$0|
|Sable||1% cash back||None||None||$0|
|Yotta||“Lucky swipes” reward system with the eligibility to win free purchases and more||None ($0.50 per month for less than a $5 balance)||No fees at 55,000 ATMs||$0|
|Stash||Earn 0.125% stock rewards on all everyday purchases, and up to 5% with select merchants||$3 to $9 per month||No fees at 19,000 ATMs||$0|
Source: Axos Bank
Let us start by saying Axos has some serious accolades.
They were voted as the best overall checking account by Forbes Advisor and the best checking account for high interest by NerdWallet.
And when it comes to debit card rewards, Axos is hard to beat.
They offer up to 1.25% APY. There’s no monthly fee, no overdraft fees, and simple direct deposit.
Axos also provides unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
Besides that, we love Axos’ digital tools like spending analysis, automated bill payments, and 24/7 virtual financial assistance.
Source: Axos Bank
When you combine the hearty cash rewards, no annual fee or monthly fee, user-friendliness, and overall clout, Axos is without a doubt, one of the best cash back rewards cards.
Discover Cashback Debit Account
If you hate fees (and who doesn’t?), a Discover Cashback Debit Account is right up your alley.
In their own words, “bank with a no-fee checking account. No. Fees. Period. That means you won’t be charged a fee on our checking account.”
As for rewards, Discover offers 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month, making it a respectable rewards checking account with simple, straightforward terms.
Beyond that, Discover has some other great perks, including:
- Robust fraud protection for debit cards
- Two-day early payment with direct deposit
- No fee for insufficient funds
- No balance transfer fees
Also note that opening an account with the Discover Cashback Debit card won’t impact your credit score, making it an excellent cash back debit card. And if you ever want a credit card, you can conveniently get one from Discover as well.
Ando Visa Debit Card
Ando offers sustainable banking where customer deposits are invested in green initiatives rather than fossil fuels.
So if you prefer to do business with a bank dedicated to sustainability while also earning solid cash back rewards, Ando is worth considering.
Here’s what you need to know about the rewards.
Also Read: Debit Cards That Build Credit
Ando offers 1.5% cashback on each purchase, making it a rewards card leader and putting it in the same tier as a rewards credit card.
As for fees, there aren’t any. No new account fee. No monthly fee.
And no ATM fee, as long as you use an in-network MoneyPass ATM.
Note that out-of-network ATMs have a fee of $2.95 per transaction.
Ando also offers up to $200 of overdraft protection, access to paychecks up to two days early, and zero liability fraud protection.
So if you’re looking to open an account with an eco-friendly bank with healthy rewards, Ando is an excellent option.
Bank of America Visa Debit Card
Source: Bank of America
The Bank of America Visa debit card is a straightforward debit card, and there isn’t necessarily anything special about it.
However, it’s part of the BankAmeriDeals program that offers cash back from select merchants, such as Hello Fresh, SimpliSafe, and Hypebeast to name a few.
And any Bank of America cardholder, by default, is eligible to participate in the BankAmeriDeals program.
You simply need to get the mobile app to start earning cashback.
Source: Bank of America
The fact that certain brands offer cash back rewards of up to 15% is enough to pique the interest of most people. And it is impressive.
But note that most merchants offer closer to 5 to 10%.
That’s still solid, and when combined with no monthly fee and no in-network ATM fee, the Bank of America Visa Debit card is an enticing option, for sure.
“Think the credit system is stacked against you? So do we. We’ll help you get the credit you deserve.”
Note that Empower itself isn’t a bank, but it partners with nbkc bank and FinWise Bank, both of which are FDIC members.
While Empower doesn’t have as much brand equity as more established banks like Discover and Bank of America, it still delivers a quality cashback debit program, with up to 10% cashback at practical merchants like grocery stores and gas providers.
The main drawback is that Empower charges an $8 monthly subscription fee, which adds up to $96 per year.
But if you’re serious about raising your credit score and improving your credit report, Empower is worth checking out.
While the 1% cash back from a LendingClub debit card isn’t quite as much as what Axos and Ando offer, it’s still respectable.
Combine that with no monthly fee, no ATM fee, and no minimum balance, and opening a checking account with Lending Club is even more enticing.
It should also be noted that LendingClub has received some serious accolades recently, including being awarded the Best Cash Back Checking Account by Newsweek America’s best banks list of 2023.
According to LendingClub, the average customer earned $52 per month in benefits when you combine cash back on purchases, free ATM transactions, and interest earned.
It also offers a streamlined app that lets you conveniently put in a direct deposit, monitor transactions in real time, and manage your money, making this an all-around winner.
Source: Lending Club
Let’s start by saying that Extra is not a credit card.
But it is a debit card that helps build credit.
Here’s how it works.
First, you connect your bank account and Extra gives you a spending limit based on your bank balance, trustworthiness, and other factors.
Then, when you use your Extra cashback debit card, they “spot you for that purchase and automatically pay ourselves back the next business day.”
“At the end of the month, we total up all of your transactions and report them to credit bureaus as credit-worthy payments.”
Over time, this helps beef up your credit score, while simultaneously earning up to 1% cash back.
Note that there are a couple of downsides, with the $149 or $199 annual fee perhaps being the biggest.
Also, Extra doesn’t have ATMs, which means there’s no ATM access.
While that can be a dealbreaker for some people, it’s still worth considering if your main goal is to build credit while using a cash back debit card.
You can find more info on the Extra debit card in this review we wrote.
Sable is a banking services provider we’ve covered extensively and one we really like.
Here are a few reasons why.
First, they offer solid cashback debit rewards at 1% with popular brands like Amazon, Netflix, Whole Foods, and Uber.
Next, there are no annual fees, ATM fees, or minimum balance required.
Beyond that, Sable offers other perks like a zero liability policy so you don’t have to worry about the headaches of debit card fraud and ultra-streamlined direct deposit for paychecks.
Also, Sable is one of the more innovative companies on this list and is always looking for new ways to improve the customer experience and offer more cash back opportunities.
Finally, it’s one of the best rewards checking account options for immigrants, as Sable doesn’t require a Social Security number. Instead, all you need is a passport and visa.
Yotta is one of the more unique rewards cards.
Unlike most that offer cash back rewards, Yotta offers “lucky swipes” where you have a “1 in 150 chance of getting your next purchase paid for by Yotta for free.”
It also lets you earn 10% tickets back. And if you spend $2,000 on your debit card within the first four months, you earn 1,000 bonus tickets.
So if you’re looking for something a little different and want the thrill of potentially earning free prizes, Yotta is right up your alley.
Besides that, there are some additional perks like Apple and Google Pay integration, a massive network of fee-free ATMs, and the option to participate in Yotta’s “Meal Tickets” where transactions are rounded to the nearest dollar and given to the Feeding America program.
Like Yotta, Stash also takes an unconventional approach to a rewards checking account.
With Stash, “you’ll earn 0.125% stock on all of your everyday purchases, and up to 5% at certain merchants with bonuses.”
Most regular purchases, such as groceries, gas, dining, and travel qualify for stock rewards.
While Stash isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re simply looking for straightforward cash back rewards, it’s perfect if you’re new to investing and want to buy stocks while using your debit card.
On the platform, you’ll also find investing tools, educational resources on stocks, and much more to grow your knowledge.
What Should You Look for in a Rewards Debit Card?
Great rewards will, of course, be the number one factor when deciding the best debit card to choose.
If you want conventional unlimited cash back rewards, 1% should be the bare minimum.
However, some cards like Axos and Ando Visa debit cards go higher, with Axos at 1.25% and Ando at 1.5%.
Also Read: Credit or Debit Card for a Teenager
Next, you should look for little to no monthly fees or annual fees.
Personally, we’re proponents of zero fees. But some cards with a small fee may still be worth it, especially if they function similarly to a credit card where they help you build credit.
Also, it’s best to choose a debit card with an extensive network of ATMs so you don’t get hit with ATM fees.
Discover and Yotta are two of the best cards for this because each has at least 55,000 ATMs in its network.
And Axos offers unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursement.
How Much Does it Cost to Use a Rewards Debit Card?
Most are free with a checking account from a bank or a consumer credit union.
The only three on this list that cost money are Empower, Extra, and Stash.
Also, Yotta charges $0.50 per month if you have less than a $5 balance.
Note that a credit union will typically have fewer fees than a bank, as a credit union is not-for-profit.
Are Rewards Debit Cards Worth It?
For most people, yes.
Rewards debit cards or a prepaid debit card are definitely worth it.
While the rewards aren’t usually as big as they are with credit card rewards, it’s still a great way to make debit card purchases and get cash back, stock rewards, gift card offerings, and other perks.
And an added benefit is that you don’t have to remember to pay your bill monthly as you do with credit cards.
If you’re concerned about overspending, you can always get a prepaid card for maximum control of your debit card purchases.
Do Debit Cards Have Rewards Programs?
Certain debit cards like the ones featured on this list have rewards programs that are similar to a rewards credit card, like the Chase Ultimate Rewards (this is one of the best credit card options, by the way).
Again, the rewards are usually not as robust as what you find with credit cards, but they’re respectable.
Most offer cash back rewards, but others, like Yotta, allow you to qualify for free purchases, while Stash offers stock rewards.
A cash back debit card tends to be the most popular choice overall, with some banks offering rewards rivaling many credit cards.
Nick is an author, small business owner, and finance/digital marketing writer. He’s been covering the industry for over a decade and loves exploring topics to help other small businesses succeed. You can connect with him at Nickmannwrites.com.