Whether you’re divvying up the check at brunch or splitting the electric bill with your roommate, peer-to-peer payment apps have made it easier to divide purchases among friends and family members.
One popular payment app – Venmo – has taken it to the next level with the introduction of a physical card that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted in the U.S. The Venmo card is linked directly to your Venmo account and can be used to make purchases in-store and online, withdraw money from ATMs and even earn cash back at select merchants. Read on to discover more about how the Venmo card works.
How to apply for the Venmo card
You can apply for the Venmo card in the Venmo app. Simply go to settings and tap “Venmo Card.” On the next screen, you’ll see a rundown of the card’s features. Tap “Get the Venmo Card” to proceed.
After that, you’ll pick one of the available five colors for your future card and be prompted to provide your information, including your legal name, date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Since the Venmo card is a debit card, it requires no credit check for approval, and your credit score won’t lose any points due to a hard inquiry when you apply.
Once you are approved for the card, you can expect to receive it within 15 business days.
How to use the Venmo card
Venmo’s parent company, PayPal, launched the Venmo card in 2018 , and the card works like many other debit cards. You can use it in stores or online anywhere Mastercard is accepted, as well as at ATMs that display the Mastercard, Pulse or Cirrus acceptance marks. You can use your Venmo balance to pay for your purchases or transfer money from your linked bank account. And the best part: You can earn rewards on your purchases.
Tip: While the Venmo card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, it cannot be used outside of the U.S. or with international merchants (even if you are making an online purchase from the U.S.)
Reloading your Venmo card
The Venmo debit card is connected both to your Venmo account and your linked bank account, which acts as a funding source. Each time you make a purchase, funds are automatically drawn from your Venmo balance.
To add money to your Venmo balance, follow these steps:
- Go to the settings section of your Venmo app.
- Tap “Manage balance.”
- Tap “Add money.”
- Enter the transfer amount (note that Venmo has a $1,500 weekly rolling limit on transferring funds).
- Select the bank account you want to transfer funds from and tap “Next.”
- Review the transfer information and tap “Add money” to complete the transfer.
You can expect the transfer to reach your Venmo account within one to three business days.
If you ever want to make a transaction that’s greater than the funds available in your Venmo account – no worries. You can enable automatic “reloads” from your linked funding source to cover the total purchase. In that case, funds will automatically be added to your Venmo account in increments of $10.
Just be sure that your linked account has enough money available to cover the purchase to avoid declined transactions and overdraft fees from your bank.
Earning rewards with the Venmo card
Most of the time, cash back is a privilege for those with rewards credit cards. However, some banks offer cash back debit cards, and others may offer limited-time cash back deals with specific merchants.
The latter is the case with the Venmo card. Though similar cards require users to activate cash back deals on their debit card, Venmo automatically applies offers to your account.
Venmo card holders earn Venmo Rewards in the form of cash back through a partnership with Dosh, a rewards platform that allows you to earn rewards with activities like shopping, dining out and booking hotels.
You can find current offers in the Venmo card section of your app. At the moment, participating merchants include brands like Sephora, Wendy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Chevron, Sam’s Club and Macy’s.
Splitting bills with the Venmo debit card
Once you make a purchase using your Venmo card, you’ll receive a prompt with an option to split or share the transaction with others. You can also access this feature by choosing Transactions from your feed in the Venmo app.
Keep the fees in mind
The Venmo card does not charge an application fee or annual fee to use the card. And since you can only spend what’s available in your Venmo account, you won’t incur overdraft or late payment fees.
There may, however, be transaction fees associated with your card. While it is free to withdraw money from a MoneyPass ATM within the U.S. and in some U.S. territories, you can incur fees if you are using other ATMs or methods to withdraw cash. For instance, there is a $3 fee when you withdraw money over the counter at a bank or financial institution. The fee applies when a signature is required.
Other Venmo debit card features
You can personalize your debit card by choosing from five different color options. The Venmo debit card also allows for touchless shopping, without the need to swipe or insert your card to make a purchase. And, if your card is lost or stolen, you can simply tap “disable” in the Venmo app to immediately prevent anyone from using the card.
Who should get the Venmo card?
If you regularly use Venmo and need quick access to your funds in the app, this card can be a good option for you. For example, you might find it useful if you’re a student regularly receiving money from your parents, or if you often go out with friends and use Venmo to split the check. Since it doesn’t cost anything to apply for or maintain the Venmo card, you don’t have to worry about too many fees – just use your card whenever it’s convenient.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a card to earn cash back, a rewards credit card is still your best bet. The Venmo Credit Card is one option, but any cash back credit card is likely to provide you with more value than the Venmo debit card, and some of them, like the Discover it® Cash Back or Citi® Double Cash Card, don’t charge an annual fee.
If you’re worried your credit score might prevent you from qualifying for a rewards credit card, a cash back debit card can be an alternative worth considering. For instance, look into the Discover Cash Back Debit card, which offers 1% cash back up to $30 a month with no fees, or the American Express Serve Cash Back card – a prepaid debit account with unlimited 1% cash back.
Tips for maximizing your Venmo card
If you’ve decided the Venmo card is the right choice for you, use the following tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of it:
Keep an eye on the card’s cash back offers and use it when you’re shopping with eligible merchants.
Watch your Venmo balance and ensure your linked bank account has enough funds to cover the transaction so you don’t get hit with an overdraft fee.
Avoid withdrawals that can trigger fees. Unless you’re withdrawing funds from a MoneyPass ATM, you’ll incur a $2.50 withdrawal fee.
Report fraudulent transactions immediately, even though you’re likely to be covered by Mastercard’s zero liability policy. If Mastercard doesn’t cover the charges for any reason, you still have Venmo’s liability coverage that limits your responsibility to $50, as long as you notify Venmo within two business days. Otherwise, the liability limit caps at $500.
So, is the Venmo debit card worth it? The Venmo card can be a good addition to your wallet if you frequently use the Venmo app and would like instant access to your Venmo funds. Otherwise, it doesn’t make much sense to sign up for this card. Other prepaid debit or cash back cards can offer more value.
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