Student Debit cards

Debit cards are a payment option that are usually linked to an everyday transaction account. Are you a student looking for a debit card? Check out our list of debit card providers below and compare.

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Last updated 20 July 2024 Important disclosures
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What is a debit card?

Generally, when you open up a bank account, you are given a debit card which acts as an everyday spending card. They offer the same kind of convenience as a credit card, removing the need to carry large wads of cash everywhere. 

Visa and Mastercard are the most common types of debit cards available and are considered the most secure alongside being widely accepted everywhere. 

Why might I need a student debit card?

In today's fast-paced, tech-driven world, the convenience of financial transactions is paramount, especially when you’re late for that lecture. As such, debit cards can be an indispensable tool for spending in a way that is fast, accessible, and secure. 

Debit cards are easy to carry around and, if lost or stolen, can be quickly cancelled. In addition, large purchases usually require you to punch in a PIN which can give you peace of mind that thieves won’t be able to spend everything at once.

Having a debit card can also eliminate the need for cash which can be convenient for large purchases like a new tv, furniture, or even a doctor's bill. Do keep in mind that whilst card purchases are widespread in Australia, they sometimes come with surcharges or you may even come across a place that is cash only. 

What's the difference between credit and debit cards?

Although they seem similar on the surface, debit and credit cards do differ in some key ways. Namely, debit cards are meant for purchasing with money that you already have in your transaction account. 

In contrast, credit cards utilise money that the bank loans to you and must be paid back with interest. However, the advantage (or disadvantage if you can’t pay it back on time) of this is that it can build up a credit history. 

Features of debit cards

Debit cards hold a number of features that make them an attractive option for student spenders. Some key features of debit cards include:

No Debt: As you’re drawing from your own funds with a student debit card, you usually won’t put yourself into debt. Do keep in mind that some debit cards do have an overdraw facility so it's a good idea to check whether you have this feature activated. 

Online Purchases: Debit cards can be an easy and convenient way to make online purchases.

Tap and Go: Contactless payment has become fairly ubiquitous in Australia. Debit cards can allow you to take advantage of this feature so you can easily and quickly make purchases, especially if you’re in a rush. 

ATM withdrawals: If you ever need access to cash, many banks allow access to fee-free withdrawals from their own dedicated ATMS. 

Bank account apps: Many bank accounts usually have an app alongside the connected debit card that can let you manage your money. 

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