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Cool Debit Card Designs in 2019

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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Information in this article is accurate as of Aug. 16, 2019

Each time you make a purchase or take money out of the ATM, you use your debit card. Rather than having a standard card, your debit card can be a statement of your personality. You can get a debit card that shows your support of your favorite collegiate or professional sports team or even put your own face on your card. There are tons of cool debit card design options out there to consider, and each card comes with its own perks. Check out these eight super cool debit card designs.

HSBC Debit Mastercard

Why the card’s design is cool: If you want to be in control of your money, holding a debit card that looks powerful might help you feel that way. From the profile of a regal red lion on one half of the debit card to the silver kaleidoscope effect on the other half, the HSBC Debit Mastercard has a fiercee appearance.

Features of the card: Being in control of your money starts with knowing exactly what your debit card is capable of doing for you. The HSBC Debit Mastercard comes with the chip feature, which provides extra encryption security when you’re making purchases so your personal information stays protected.

You can use your debit card at HSBC Bank ATMs both domestically and internationally, and there are no transaction fees when making domestic purchases. When you do make purchases, you can track them online.

Wells Fargo Debit Card

Why the card’s design is cool: The Wells Fargo Debit Card has its own Card Design Studio Service, where you can choose from a variety of images in the library. There are sports, landmarks, business and nature photos available, or you can upload one of your own. You could make your “furbaby” the star of your debit card, or maybe use a favorite photo of your kids or a photo of you skydiving.

Features of the card: The Wells Fargo Debit Card includes alerts when a purchase or an ATM withdrawal is made over a limit that you’ve previously set. If you register your card with Visa Checkout by Visa, you can use this digital payment service to pay for your purchases.

As an optional feature, Wells Fargo offers Debit Card Overdraft Protection if you spend more than what you have in your checking account.

Disney Visa Debit Card

Why the card’s design is cool: The Disney Visa Debit Card is available to customers with a Chase Bank account. The card comes with a variety of Disney perks, but first you need to choose what character(s) is going to appear on the face of your debit card. Your options include Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven from Frozen; Darth Vader or BB-8 from Star Wars; Mickey Mouse – or Mickey and his squad.

Features of the card: With the Disney Visa Debit Card, you are eligible to receive a 10% discount on purchases at the Disney store and on shopDisney.com. At the Disney resorts, there are cardmember-exclusive photo opportunities with Disney characters offered. You’ll also get discounts on purchases at the resorts, select dining locations and Disney excursions.

BB&T Debit Card

Why the card’s design is cool: With the BB&T Debit Card, you can pick a stock photo out of the bank’s library or upload one of of your own. Love the beach? Flowers? Your kids? Make that the face of your debit card. You can also choose whether you want the photo oriented in landscape or portrait mode.

Another option is to put a small picture of your face on your card, which is intended to make your card a bit more secure. Hopefully by identifying that this is your card, the cashier will be more hesitant to swipe if the person holding the card doesn’t match up with the photo.

Features of the card: Features of the debit card offered by BB&T include the ability to connect Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay. There are more than 2,400 BB&T ATMs available where you can withdraw funds.

BB&T also offers a cashback program, called BB&T Deals. To earn cash back, you choose offers based on purchases you make with your debit card and then add the offers add to your card. Then, purchase something with your BB&T Debit Card at one of the participating retailers, such as Starbucks, Chili’s, Jamba Juice, PetSmart or Sears, and you’ll earn cash back.

Venmo Debit Card

Why the card’s design is cool:Venmo is an app that allows users to transfer money from one account to another in seconds. But what if you wanted to use your Venmo balance to pay for a new pair of jeans? Previously, you would have to send your balance to your own debit card, but no more. Venmo now has its own debit card.

The look of the vertical Venmo debit card is very simple, with a basic color palette to choose from, including white, yellow, pink, blue, green and black. Sometimes, simple is best and that’s what makes this card design cool.

Features of the card: One key feature of the Venmo debit card is a reload. You can use your Venmo balance to pay for those new jeans, but what if you want a blouse to go with it? Venmo will automatically pull money from another designated bank account to cover the costs, as long as there is a sufficient balance. If you want to limit your spending, you can tell Venmo not to withdraw more than a designated amount.

Another cool feature of the card is the don’t-panic button. Misplace your card? Go into the app and disable it for a short period of time. Once you find it, go re-enable it. With this feature, you don’t have shut down your card and worry about getting a new one until you’re sure it’s been lost or stolen.

With the Visa debit card, you can use any of the 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs to withdraw money for no fee.

Associated Bank debit cards

Why the card’s design is cool: If you’re a member of Associated Bank, most likely you live in one of the 120 communities that it serves throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. Associated Bank offers several debit cards and some of the coolest debit cards out there.

Cheeseheads, also known as Green Bay Packers fans, can salute their team with the Packers Debit Mastercard, which features either a photo of a group of players or of Lambeau Field. Associated Bank also offers card options for fans of the Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Wild and Wisconsin “Let’s Go Red” Athletics. Those who prefer flicks over sports can choose the Milwaukee Film Debit Mastercard.

Features of the card: Each debit card offered by Associated Bank comes with its own special perks. For example, the Milwaukee Film Debit Mastercard provides discounts on a Milwaukee Film “Festival Fan” annual membership and gives users two complimentary film festival vouchers. In addition, five cents from every transaction is given back to the nonprofit Milwaukee Film.

The Wisconsin “Let’s Go Red” Debit Mastercard allows you to give back five cents to Wisconsin Athletics every time you make a purchase with your “Let’s Go Red” card. You also receive a 15% discount on purchases at Bucky’s Locker Room.

The Brewers Debit Mastercard perks include a 10% discount at the Brewers Team Store, two-for-one ticket discounts, exclusive entrance to Miller Park, presale access to designated concerts and non-baseball sporting events at Miller Park and more.

With the Packers Debit Mastercard, you can get 10% off of Packers Pro Shop purchases in-store and online. The Wild® Debit Mastercard offers a 15% discount at The Hockey Lodge, the team’s official retail store.

Huntington debit cards

Why the card’s design is cool:Huntington Bank serves the Midwest, and its residents can show their pride with the Huntington debit card, perfect for fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Ferris State University Bulldogs, Indianapolis Colts and the Michigan State University Spartans, but there are many more to choose from too. In addition to images of Midwest sports teams and colleges, you can also choose images of animals or landscapes.

When you pay for your purchases, your card design will look super cool with the Ferris State Bulldog peeking over the bottom or the cute puppies on the pet lover’s Columbus Humane Society card. Colts fans will enjoy seeing their team’s logo on their card, and Detroit Red Wings fans will love the striking red debit card behind their logo.

Features of the card: Depending on the type of checking account you have chosen, the Huntington Bank debit card can offer five free ATM transactions per cycle as well as an overdraft fee relief feature that comes free.

Citibank Debit Card

Why the card’s design is cool: The New York Mets play at Citi Field and this debit card offered by Citibank allows the most dedicated Mets fans to celebrate their team with this sleek-looking card. Admittedly, you won’t find the iconic blue and orange Mets’ colors on the Citibank debit card, or the team’s logo, but the card’s blue on the top, green on the bottom design recalls the colors of the sky and the grass, making it a nostalgic design for a baseball card.

Features of the card: Citibank Debit Card customers receive many Citi Cardmember Perks at Citi Field® all season long, including buy-one-get-one-free tickets for Mets home games on weekdays.

The bottom line

Granted, making your debit card look a little cooler is just a small, fun perk, but hey don’t you deserve that feel good moment? As you can see, there are a number of cool debit card designs to choose from. Combine a cool card with a bank that offers amazing perks for its members and you’ll feel even better using that card.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Banking

What Is FedNow?

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FedNow is a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) service proposed by the Federal Reserve that is intended to speed up payments for everyone. Essentially, it will serve as a faster alternative to the payment systems we know today — the automated clearing house (ACH), debit cards, checks and wire transfers.

It’s not a consumer-facing payment system that we’ll use to make payments rather than through our own banks, though. Rather, FedNow will reconfigure the back end of the payments system to expedite the process of sending payments. First announced in August 2019, FedNow is targeted to go live in 2023 or 2024.

How FedNow will work

FedNow, a project led by First Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Kenneth C. Montgomery, will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This means consumers will no longer have to wait on business days to pass for payments to send. The Fed plans to make use of its existing connections to over 10,000 U.S. banking institutions to make this possible.

Here’s how the proposed FedNow payment system will work:

Consumers, or payment originators, will continue to communicate with our own financial institutions about the payments they want to send. In its early days, payments through FedNow will be limited to $25,000. Once the consumer has communicated the necessary information to the institution, the institution will then send the consumer’s payment information through the FedNow Service.

Then, FedNow will confirm with the receiving financial institution that the payment recipient’s, or beneficiary’s, information is valid. Once the payment’s associated information is settled between both banks, the payment can be cleared to move ahead. Its next stop is the beneficiary’s financial institution, which can then send the payment to the beneficiary.

FedNow will also have the capability to add descriptive information to a payment to denote remittances or invoices, for example, in compliance with an ISO® 20022 standard (an internationally agreed-upon standard platform for the development of online messages).

Why FedNow is necessary

For many Americans, waiting a few days for an online payment to clear is a mere inconvenience. But for the millions of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, days-long waits for payments can be financially disastrous. FedNow is designed to help level the payments playing field.

For one, FedNow would cut out one of the major downsides to traditional banking — long payment wait times — and potentially bring people back to traditional banking. A recent MagnifyMoney survey found that 53% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, which means they don’t have any money left over after all of their expenses are paid. In addition, the FDIC found that in 2017, 8.4 million American households were unbanked, meaning they don’t have a checking or savings account.

When these populations are forced to wait for their paycheck or bill payment to clear, it’s not just an inconvenience; it can mean the difference between putting food on the table or not or having the lights shut off. Missed bill payments also often lead to more fees and interest payments, digging a deeper financial rut. FedNow could eliminate this dangerous lag in payments and offer a safer banking environment for those who are currently unbanked or underbanked.

FedNow would also introduce some financing ease for individuals and small businesses. In the Federal Reserve’s announcement for FedNow, Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard acknowledged that a real-time payments system would be “especially important for households on fixed incomes or living paycheck to paycheck,” as well as for small businesses, which could then potentially avoid short-term financing options.

“Everyone deserves the same ability to make and receive payments immediately and securely, and every bank deserves the same opportunity to offer that service to its community,” Brainard said.

A real-time payments system would also prove invaluable in times of crisis. For example, during social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, online and cashless payments became king. Such a system would have offered a significant boost, especially when it came to sending out economic impact payments to American taxpayers. Instead of waiting weeks — or even months — for their stimulus checks, Americans could have received some financial relief immediately.

Why the Federal Reserve?

The Federal Reserve is more uniquely positioned to offer a real-time payments system than a private company. For one, the Fed is already connected to over 10,000 U.S. institutions. Through these connections, the Fed can provide equal service to banks both big and small. Private solutions could not offer the same kind of reach.

The Federal Reserve’s position would also allow it to continue fostering competition between institutions instead of removing it, which was important to organizations that weighed in on the proposed system. Additionally, commenters have observed that FedNow would “decrease market concentration and provide a neutral platform for innovation,” setting a benchmark from which other institutions could improve upon.

Effectively, the Fed is stepping in sooner rather than later to create a safe and secure model before a private — and inherently exclusive — real-time payment service pops up. The Fed also notes that a single private provider could pose “serious safety issues associated with a single point of failure.” In other words, access to more than one real-time payment system is crucial to avoid a total breakdown if one system were to shut down.

The response to FedNow

A widespread real-time payments system is unprecedented in the U.S.; however, Europe, Mexico and Australia already have their own real-time interbank payment systems in place. With so many players (big banks, small banks, consumers, the government and the Fed itself) everyone has an idea of how FedNow should — and shouldn’t — go.

Government’s response to FedNow

  • The Payment Modernization Act of 2019 was introduced in July 2019 requiring the Fed to create a real-time payments system.
  • The House of Representatives’ task force on Financial Technology has criticized FedNow’s $25,000 limit and target deadline of 2023 or 2024.

Just days before the Fed’s initial announcement on FedNow, the Payment Modernization Act of 2019 was introduced to the House by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, co-sponsored by Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García and Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Elizabeth Warren.

The Payment Modernization Act of 2019 was proposed to confirm that the Fed has the authority and therefore should build a real-time payments system. The act also includes assurances that the system would be fast, efficient and fair.

The act called to attention the Fed’s failing to create a real-time payments system, something its Faster Payments Task Force, launched in 2015, promised to do by 2020. In 2019, with no such solution in sight, the bill’s sponsors made their own move to push the Fed to action. About 10 days later, the Fed made its FedNow announcement.

Still, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Task Force on Financial Technology voiced some concerns regarding FedNow in a September 2019 hearing. Namely, the task force criticized FedNow’s low $25,000 limit and its long-term timeline. Still, the sponsors of the Payment Modernization Act of 2019 applauded the Fed’s announcement.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Financial Services Committee to ensure that this system is implemented in a timely, transparent and responsible manner,” said Rep. Pressley. As for the act itself, it has not moved past its introduction in July.

Small banks’ response to FedNow

  • Small banks stand to benefit greatly from a Federal Reserve-led RTGS, as they could be left behind if private monopolies created the system instead.
  • Community banks highly value and trust the Federal Reserve and support FedNow.

With its ability to level the payments playing field across all institutions, FedNow has found support from small and community banks especially. Smaller banks are less likely than bigger banks to have the capital and resources to build their own real-time payments system. They could also be more easily excluded from a private real-time payments system that would be more likely to serve bigger institutions first.

In September 2019, at the House Committee’s task force hearing on FedNow, Bob Steen, chairman and CEO of Bridge Community Bank in Mount Vernon, Iowa, voiced community banks’ support of FedNow on behalf of the Independent Community Bankers of America. Recognizing that a real-time payments system “must create access for all institutions, regardless of size or charter type,” Steen noted that a private solution could not meet this goal.

“A real-time payments system is too important to be entrusted to a private monopoly,” he said. “The two dozen largest banks simply cannot own and operate the U.S. payments system.”

Further, Steen noted that community banks already put high value and trust in the Fed, which extends to its FedNow proposal.

Tech’s response to FedNow

  • TransferWise supports FedNow, as the Federal Reserve is in a uniquely central position to provide the service fairly and competitively.
  • Google encourages the Fed to model FedNow after India’s central bank’s RTGS, and suggests that FedNow must be inclusive, mobile-first, low-cost, simple and helpful.

Also present at the House Committee on Financial Services Task Force on Financial Technology hearing was Harsh Sinha, chief technology officer at TransferWise, a global international payments tech company. TransferWise has invested in its own real-time payments service to move money around the world, and currently, more than 20% of TransferWise payments are completed in less than 20 seconds.

Sinha recognized that it’s not easy to move money around, and that “both the private sector and Federal Reserve play a vital role” in the payments space. Still, Sinha noted that as a central bank, the Federal Reserve is uniquely placed to “guarantee ubiquity for financial institutions and inclusiveness for consumers,” as well as speed and longevity. He also noted that the payments system opens up direct participation to nonbanks, like increasingly popular neobanks, to help ensure competition and innovation, and “that financial institutions are incentivized to pass along the benefits of speed and lower costs to consumers.”

Tech giant Google also weighed in via a letter to the Federal Reserve from Google’s head of U.S. government affairs and public policy, Mark Isakowitz. In the letter, Google encourages the Fed to model FedNow after India’s real-time payments system, Unified Payments Interface (UPI). UPI was created and is run by the National Payments Corporation of India, a payments regulator governed by India’s central bank, which Google had worked with closely in the past.

Google attributes UPI’s “amazing results for banks, consumers, other players within the payments ecosystem and India’s central bank” to the fact that it’s an interbank transfer system that works in real time and is “open” to technology companies (like Google itself) creating applications to help users send money within the system. Google also recommended that FedNow prioritize low fees to promote accessibility and innovation.

Isakowitz also made sure to mention what online payments look like for Google, suggesting that the Fed would do well to include these considerations as well. “Industry and government should work together to grow ecosystems where payments are inclusive, opening up economic growth for everyone,” he wrote, adding that the future of digital payments is also mobile-first and “about making payments simple and helpful.”

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Sesame Cash Bank Account Review

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Credit and loan company Credit Sesame is getting into the cash management account game with Sesame Cash, a free bank account for Credit Sesame members. Perks of the account include early direct deposit for paychecks, up to $1 million in identity theft insurance and for a limited time, cash rewards and access to Credit Sesame’s credit score monitoring.

The non-interest bearing cash management account has its share of benefits and limitations, so read on to find out whether it’s worth a trip down Credit Sesame street.

What is Sesame Cash?

Sesame Cash is a free cash management account without any minimum balance requirements to maintain. You must be a Credit Sesame member to open a Sesame Cash account. If you’re not already a member, you can sign up for both accounts at the same time. Credit Sesame accounts are also free.

The account comes with a debit Mastercard that gives you free access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs around the world for withdrawals — you cannot use the debit card at an Allpoint ATM to deposit cash into your Sesame Cash account. You also can use the card for purchases, and add it to Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay for use on your mobile devices. If you lose your card, you can freeze and unfreeze it from within the Sesame App.

All Sesame Cash users also can benefit from their paychecks being deposited up to two days earlier than usual. Institutions are able to do this by choosing to deposit your direct deposit paycheck into your account as soon as the institution receives it, rather than holding it for those extra days.

Your Sesame Cash deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to legal limits through Credit Sesame’s partner bank, Community Federal Savings Bank (CFSB). Sesame Cash account holders also benefit from up to $1 million in identity theft protection, provided by TransUnion.

Sesame Cash Rewards and credit check

Until July 1, 2020, Sesame Cash includes Sesame Cash Rewards, an incentive to help you build your credit. You can earn $5 for improving your credit score by 10 to 99 points in 30 days, or $100 for improving your score by 100 or more points in 30 days. The maximum reward you can earn in a rolling 30-day window is $100.

To qualify for Sesame Cash Rewards you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have an open and active Sesame Cash account.
  • Have a VantageScore® credit score of at least 300.
  • Make a deposit of at least $25 into your Sesame Cash account during each 30-day reward cycle, or make a one-time deposit of at least $100 into your Sesame Cash account.

Sesame Cash members also have until July 1, 2020 to take advantage of a free daily Credit Sesame credit check. As long as you have an account that is open, active and in good standing, you can access 30 credit score refreshes per month. To unlock this feature, you must also direct deposit at least $100 per month to your Sesame Cash accounts.

Without this promotion, Credit Sesame members still have access to one credit score or credit report refresh per month. There is also the option of purchasing 30 free refreshes for $4.99 per month.

Sesame Cash transaction limits

While there is no minimum deposit or balance requirement, there is a maximum Sesame Cash account balance of $20,000.

Sesame Cash does not charge overdraft fees. There are also limits on how much you can deposit, withdraw and purchase with the Sesame Cash bank account.

Sesame Cash Transaction Limits
TransactionDaily LimitMonthly LimitPer Transaction Limit
Direct Deposits & ACH Credits$8,000$20,000N/A
Linked Direct Deposit Credit$200$2,000N/A
ATM Cash Withdrawals$1,000$2,000$500
Purchases$5,000$20,000$2,500

Sesame Cash pros and cons

  • Cash Rewards (limited-time offer)
  • Daily credit score checks (limited-time offer)
  • Early payday
  • No monthly fee
  • Hidden ATM fees
  • Doesn’t earn interest
  • No credit-building tools
  • Low $20,000 maximum balance limit
  • No mobile check deposit through Sesame app

Sesame Cash’s greatest strengths are its limited-time features. Sesame Cash Rewards are a great incentive to improve your credit score, and free daily credit score checks are a solid way to keep an eye on your credit to see what’s working to boost it and what’s not. Unfortunately, these features aren’t here to stay unless Credit Sesame makes a change.

While Sesame Cash boasts no hidden fees, there are a few fees that you could run into that you would otherwise have to look for:

  • Out-of-network ATM withdrawal: $2.50
  • International ATM withdrawal: $2.50
  • Account closure with check refund: $2.00

Note that in addition to Credit Sesame’s out-of-network ATM fees, you may also face a surcharge from the ATM’s owner, which Credit Sesame will not refund.

Sesame Cash also has a relatively low maximum balance threshold at $20,000. This doesn’t open the account up to individuals with higher balances, and without any interest-earning capabilities, it’s not quite worth it to stash $20,000 in this account.

Besides its limited-time incentives, Sesame Cash doesn’t offer any credit-building perks. Sesame Cash’s transaction limitations may also be a drawback for potential users. Its direct deposit limits exclude anyone who may expect more than $2,000 from paychecks or other payments in a given month. The account’s restrictions also may be too limiting for those who typically withdraw cash often.

Further, you cannot deposit checks through the mobile Sesame app. You must download the Ingo Money app — a third party separate from Credit Sesame — and link it to your Sesame Cash bank account to do so. The Ingo app may charge a fee for mobile check deposit.

Sesame Cash vs. other cash management accounts

 Monthly feeAPYFDIC-insured?
Sesame Cash$0N/AYes, through CFSB
Betterment $00.40% APYYes, through nbkc bank
Chime$00.06% APYYes, through Stride Bank or The Bancorp Bank
SoFi$00.20% APYYes, through MetaBank, Hills Bank and Trust Company, EagleBank, East West Bank, TriState Bank Capital Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank

If Sesame Cash isn’t quite what you’re looking for, there are a handful of other cash management accounts to choose from.

Betterment Checking and Cash Reserve: One option is investment company Betterment’s Checking and Cash Reserve free cash management suite. The checking account trumps Sesame Cash when it comes to fees, as Betterment reimburses both domestic and international ATM fees, as well as Visa foreign transaction fees. However, Sesame Cash has higher ATM and debit card purchase limits than Betterment allows. But Betterment’s Cash Reserve savings account earns 0.40% APY in interest and offers spending and savings tools to help you better manage your money.

SoFi Money: Another cash management account you may want to consider is SoFi Money, which combines the benefits of a checking account and a savings account into one. This free account comes with a debit Mastercard and doesn’t charge any ATM fees and reimburses third-party ATM surcharges. It also earns cashback rewards in addition to 0.20% APY in interest.

Chime: If it’s the advanced paycheck you’re after, Chime is another free cash management account to look at. Chime can get your direct deposit paycheck into your account up to two days earlier than usual, and the account itself is light on fees, only charging $2.50 for out-of-network ATM use. Chime also includes automatic savings features and free overdraft coverage.

There’s also an optional Chime Savings Account add-on, which earns modest interest at 0.06% APY and doesn’t have a monthly fee or balance requirements. It also includes automatic savings features that can help you save with each purchase and paycheck.

Who is Sesame Cash best for?

Sesame Cash is best for Credit Sesame members who want to extend their free identity theft protection and use the early paycheck feature. Being a Sesame Cash account holder provides up to $1 million in ID theft protection, compared to the $50,000 in protection regular Credit Sesame members get. The early direct deposit feature is useful for just about anyone, but especially practical if you need that early access to pay your bills.

On the other hand, Sesame Cash is not a good option for those with high balances, thanks to its $20,000 maximum balance limitation. Sesame Cash isn’t the most reliable for building savings either since it doesn’t earn interest or offer any savings or budgeting tools like its competitors.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.