Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
Updated on Wednesday, June 17, 2020
If you’ve ever wished you could spend your Venmo balance at your favorite lunch spot, you’re in luck — the money-sharing company offers a Mastercard debit card that you can use to make purchases or get cash. Even better, when you use the Venmo debit card at select merchants, you can earn some cash back.
The card lets you use money available in your Venmo account when you need it, instead of waiting to transfer it to an external account. Still, its limitations on international use and the fact it doesn’t earn interest may not make it worth your while.
- Venmo Debit Card features
- Venmo Debit Card rewards
- Venmo Debit Card fees and fine print
- Venmo Debit Card pros and cons
- Opening a Venmo Debit Card
- Is the Venmo debit card safe?
- Who the Venmo Debit Card is best for
Venmo Debit Card features
- Connected to your Venmo account balance
- Earn cashback rewards with select merchants
- Make purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted in the U.S.
- Free access to MoneyPass ATM network
- Ability to reload card with a linked bank account
- No credit check or application fee
The Venmo Debit Card is connected to your Venmo account, giving you a physical way to spend your balance. This balance can come from money your friends have sent you via Venmo, or through money transfers from an external bank account you’ve linked to Venmo.
You can use the Venmo Debit Card to make purchases at any business or website within the U.S. that accepts Mastercard. It has the technology you’d expect to find in a debit card, including an EMV chip and the ability to make contactless payments.
You might be wondering what happens if you try to use your Venmo Debit Card for a purchase that exceeds your balance. If you’ve turned on “reload,” Venmo will automatically pull money from your linked bank account in increments of $10 to cover the difference. But even if you’ve disabled that feature, there’s no need to worry about getting slammed with an overdraft fee — the purchase will simply be declined.
Need cash? You can hit up any MoneyPass ATM (available in the U.S. and Puerto Rico) for free with your Venmo debit card. For a fee, customers can get cash from any ATM with the Mastercard, Pulse or Cirrus mark. You can also get cash back at some merchants.
The Venmo app keeps track of all your card activity. It will give you the option to split recent purchases (say, last Sunday’s brunch) with your friends, making it easier to get paid back. You can also share your purchases in the Venmo feed, if you wish.
If your card happens to get lost or stolen, you can disable it immediately within the Venmo app.
Venmo Debit Card rewards
Once you have a Venmo Debit Card, you’re automatically enrolled in Venmo Rewards. That means you can use your card to earn cashback rewards at select merchants, including Dunkin, Wendy’s, Sam’s Club and Sephora. This includes online purchases, although Venmo suggests you double check an offer’s details since each cashback offer is different.
You can find the complete list of current merchant offers in the Venmo app’s Venmo Card section. It’s important to check this list before making a purchase, as these offers can rotate out and expire. You should also check offers for any potential limits to the rewards you can earn.
Venmo Rewards post to your Venmo balance once the merchant completes your purchase. Once they’re there, the cash rewards are yours and won’t expire.
Venmo Rewards are powered by a third-party called Dosh, which checks whether your purchases are eligible for a cashback reward offer and pays out the reward when it is. Venmo says it shares “the minimum amount of data necessary” with Dosh to complete these transactions.
Venmo Debit Card fees and fine print
The Venmo Debit Card doesn’t have any major fees, like a monthly service charge or a purchase fee. However, customers should watch out for out-of-network ATM surcharges and fees and try to only use free ATMs through the MoneyPass network.
|Venmo Debit Card Fees|
|ATM withdrawals||Free at MoneyPass ATMs
$2.50 per ATM withdrawal within U.S. (plus any amounts charged by the ATM owner).
|ATM balance inquiry (in-network or out-of-network)||$0|
|Over-the-counter withdrawal||$3 per withdrawal at a bank or financial institution when signature is required|
|Overdraft fees||None, but transactions that exceed your available
balance will be declined
|Electronic withdrawal of Venmo balance||$0 for standard withdrawal
1% for Instant withdrawal (min. $0.25)
|Sending money||$0 via balance, debit or bank account
3% via credit
There are no requirements to make a minimum deposit or maintain a specific balance. However, withdrawal limits might be something to keep an eye on if you plan to spend more than a few hundred dollars per day.
|Venmo Debit Card Limits|
|Withdrawals maximum||$400 per day for ATMs, over-the-counter withdrawals and cash back with purchases|
|Purchase amount maximum||$3,000 per purchase|
Venmo Debit Card pros and cons
- No monthly fee
- No overdrafts
- Cashback reward opportunities
- Not for international use
- Automatic reload can trigger overdrafts on linked account
- Doesn’t earn interest
It won’t hurt you to sign up for a Venmo Debit Card and use it for the occasional purchase. After all, it’s free, and there’s the opportunity to earn some extra cash back in rewards. But if you need a card to use as your primary payment method for all your purchases, keep looking; this card is best left for Venmo enthusiasts who need quick access to their Venmo balance. Venmo already allows you to transfer your money to an external account for free — it just takes a day or three.
No Venmo overdraft fees may be appealing to many customers. However, you might end up with fees from your other bank if the card’s automatic reload feature accidentally overdraws from that account. Keep a careful eye on the balance in both of your accounts if you enable automatic reloads.
The inability to use the Venmo Debit Card at international merchants (even if you’re shopping online from within the United States) is a huge limitation. Frequent travelers and people who order products from stores overseas will need to rely on another card for their purchases. Many other debit cards will work abroad, as long as you give your bank a heads up.
The Venmo Debit Card offers no interest, so there’s little incentive to hold a high enough balance to cover the average person’s regular purchases. Essentially, the Venmo Debit Card is a free workaround for the small fee you would otherwise have to pay to have instant access to your Venmo funds. Other than that, it’s just extra weight in your wallet.
Opening a Venmo Debit Card
Apply directly through the app. Got a Venmo account? Then you’re eligible to apply for a Venmo debit card. The process is as simple as you’d expect from a company that prides itself on easy payments.
Simply open the menu in the Venmo app and tap “Venmo Card.” The app will then prompt you to enter your legal name, date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security number.
You’ll also choose from one of six colors for your debit card, giving you some control over your debit card design.
There’s no credit check or application fee, so once you finish the application, you’re done. Look out for the debit card in your mailbox in five to seven business days after you’re approved. You’re also automatically enrolled in Venmo Rewards, so there’s no extra step involved there, either.
Once you’ve got the card in hand, you can activate it in the app. It’ll be ready for immediate use, as long as you have money in your Venmo account. Keep in mind, though, that if Venmo hasn’t yet verified your identity, your rolling weekly spend limit on the card will be $299.99. Venmo may ask you to submit extra proof of identity, such as your driver’s license or passport, in the app before it gives you the full features of the card.
Is the Venmo Debit Card safe?
The card offers about the same level of protection as a typical debit card. Mastercard’s zero-liability protection means you won’t be responsible for unauthorized transactions if your Venmo Debit Card (or any other Mastercard) is reported as lost or stolen. The ability to disable the card from within the app does offer some peace of mind, but this feature is widely available in other debit and credit cards.
Since the debit card is attached to your Venmo account, it’s worth brushing up on how to protect your financial safety on the peer-to-peer (p2p) payment app. Only send money to people you know and trust. While Venmo will cover 100% of unauthorized transactions (with a few limitations), it does not offer protections for purchases of faulty products, so you should only make purchases from authorized merchants.
Who the Venmo Debit Card is best for
This debit card could work well for someone who regularly receives a lot of money through Venmo and wants access to those funds right away. People who don’t spend a lot on a daily basis or need to make purchases at international merchants could find this card somewhat useful.
An ideal customer might be a college student who relies on Venmo to receive money for books and groceries from their parents. It could also work well for people who regularly pick up the tab when they go out with friends, since Venmo makes the process of getting paid back quick and easy.
Otherwise, this debit card probably won’t add a lot of value to your life since it doesn’t earn interest, can’t be used abroad and earns limited rewards.