Yes, you can use your debit card online

ATM Cards

Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards are the simplest cards. They are offered by banks and some credit unions and are primarily used to withdraw cash and make basic banking transactions at ATMs located in many places. Most issuers will charge a user fee if the card is used to withdraw funds from a different bank. These cards typically cannot be used to make purchases at stores, as they do not have the major credit card network logos on them.

Ideal for: Access to cash, limiting everyday spending

How to use a debit card online

If you’re looking to purchase something online, a debit card makes it easy.

  • Visit your favorite online retailer and shop as usual.
  • When you’re ready to check out, enter in your debit card information when prompted just like you would with a credit card.
  • Enter in your debit card number, expiration date and CVV code. The CVV code is the 3 number code on the back of the card.
  • The final step is to enter your billing address to confirm you are authorized to use the debit card.

Be cautious with making purchases online by verifying the website is reputable, secure and trusted.


2. Big-ticket items

With a big-ticket item, paying with a credit card is smarter, says Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center.

Why? A credit card offers dispute rights if something goes wrong with the merchandise or the purchase. “With a debit card, you have fewer protections,” she says.

In addition, some credit card benefits include extended warranties. And in some situations, such as renting a car, credit cards may also offer additional insurance in case of an accident.

There are two caveats with credit cards. Don’t carry a balance or you’ll also risk paying some high-ticket interest, Wu says. And “avoid store cards with deferred interest.

How is a debit card different from a credit card?

When you buy something with a credit card, you are borrowing money from the credit card company. The credit card company will send you a bill every month for the money you borrowed to buy things.

When you use a debit card, you are using money in your checking account to buy things.

For example, with debit cards:

  • You can get a debit card from the bank when you open a checking account
  • Money comes out of your checking account when you pay with a debit card
  • You don’t pay extra money in interest when you pay with a debit card
  • You can use a debit card at an ATM to get money from your checking account
  • You do not build a credit history using a debit card

With credit cards:

  • You apply for a credit card at a bank or store
  • You get a bill once a month for everything you buy with a credit card
  • You might pay extra money in interest if you don’t pay all of your credit card bill every month
  • You can use a credit card as a safer way to pay for things online
  • You can build a credit history using a credit card if you pay the whole bill every month when it is due

The Bottom Line

Most consumers will have at least a couple of these cards in their wallets. Knowing when to use each one will make it easier to manage your finances and avoid unnecessary fees and interest, and it will keep your money safe.

How can I use a digital wallet to access a Wells Fargo ATM?

  • Wells FargoYou can use a digital wallet instead of your physical Wells Fargo Debit Card to access any Wells Fargo ATM. Simply access your digital wallet and tap your mobile device near the Contactless Symbol on the ATM.
  • Get started by adding your Wells Fargo Debit Card to a digital wallet supported by Wells Fargo. (See Digital Wallet Basics for instructions on how to add your card to a digital wallet.)

To use your mobile device at a Wells Fargo ATM:

  • Access your mobile device’s digital wallet (with a PIN, pattern lock, fingerprint, or iris/face scan).
  • Hold your mobile device near the Contactless Symbol on the ATM.
  • Enter your card’s PIN into the ATM when prompted, and then select and complete your transaction.

What if I use all the money in my checking account?

You might not have enough money in your checking account.  That means your debit card will be “declined.” You will not be able to buy things.

Some banks and credit unions might let you sign up for “overdraft protection.”  That means you can use your debit card even when you do not have enough money to pay for the things you are buying. But you might have to pay a fee to the bank. Some banks might charge this fee for every purchase until you put enough money in your account to pay for the things you are buying.

What are the purchase and ATM cash withdrawal daily dollar limits for my card?

There is a daily maximum limit on the dollar amount of the purchases you can make with your debit or ATM card. Your card also has a maximum limit on the dollar amount of cash withdrawals you can make each day at an ATM. Your purchases and ATM withdrawals also are subject to the available balance in your account. To see your card’s purchase and ATM withdrawal daily dollar limits, you can:

  • View online:
    1. Sign on to Wells Fargo Online.
    2. Select Card details for your card.
    3. Find your daily limits.
  • Call the number on the back of your card (or your account statement).
  • Visit your local Wells Fargo branch.
  • View the printed materials that came with your card.

4. Restaurants

The next time you’re dining out, stop and think about what could happen if you hand over your debit card when the check comes.

“For those few minutes that you let your debit card out of your sight, it could easily be run through an illegal handheld reader,” says Barry Bridges, a former writer and editor for The Simple Dollar and Bankrate. “Then the card is returned to you and you’re blissfully unaware that your information has been compromised.”

Of course, this identity-theft scenario is also possible with a credit card. The difference is that debit cards offer a lot less protection against unauthorized transactions than credit cards, mainly because the money is being taken directly out of your bank account.

Fortunately, some restaurants in the U.S. are following Europe’s lead and adopting tableside payment systems in which the wait staff brings the restaurant’s card reader to you. Until that technology comes to your favorite restaurant, pay with your credit card instead of your debit card. “You’re not eliminating the risk, but you’re using a payment method that makes it a lot easier to take corrective action against unauthorized charges,” Bridges says.

Grow your savings as you spend

Saving money is a no-brainer through Chime online banking. Every time you swipe your debit card, we round up to the nearest dollar and transfer the round-up from your Checking Account straight into your Savings Account. A magical, little way to make your money grow over time.

How do you dispute a charge on your debit card?

The first step is to reach out to the merchant and ask them to refund the charge. If you are unable to reach the merchant or the merchant is unable to help you, then you should reach out to your bank. You can dispute charges online, on the phone, or by visiting a bank branch.

Use a Debit Card Online

If you’re paying for something online, you can typically use your debit card just like a credit card. You don’t need to specify that you want to use a debit card (just select the “pay with credit card” option). Start by indicating the type of card you have—Visa or MasterCard, for example. Then, type in the 16-digit number on the front of your debit card. You usually also have to enter the expiration date, which you can find after the words “good through” or “valid through.”

You may also need to provide a CCD, CVV, or similar security code. Those three- or four-digit codes help to prove that you are authorized to use the card. Those codes can be found on the back of most cards toward the far right (often printed on the card in black ink after your card number). On American Express cards, the code is on the front of the card (again, in black ink on the far right).

To use a debit card online, you often need to know the billing address linked to that card. With most debit cards, this is your home address. However, you may have difficulty using prepaid debit cards if you do not know which address to use.

If you plan to make payments online, be sure that your computer will keep thieves from stealing your card information. Keep your security software up to date, and only use your card on sites that you trust. Verify that your card information goes through a secure connection when shopping online (look for the lock icon and any messages on your browser).

What is an EMV chip?

An EMV chip is a computer chip in your debit or credit card that provides an extra layer of security. When you make a transaction using the EMV chip, the purchase is authenticated with a computer chip using a unique transaction code. Magnetic strips that were used on older credit and debit cards use unchanging data that can be more easily replicated. Large scale use of EMV chips makes payments more secure and fraud more difficult. This debit card chip will ensure your personal and account information is kept as safe as possible.

To use your EMV chip in stores, insert your card into the chip reader. Some retailers may not have an updated chip reader yet. In that case, swipe your card through the magnetic strip.

2. You can avoid merchant fees

Some small businesses, online retailers and restaurants will impose a surcharge when you use your credit card to make a purchase, but will exclude debit cards from such fees. 

"As much as I love credit card rewards, I wouldn't want to pay a 3% fee just to get 1% or 2% cash back," says Rossman. "If the debit card isn't charged a processing fee, it would be a better choice." 

Also, you may want to consider using a debit card rather than a credit card when making an international purchase if you have a credit card that charges foreign transaction fees. Before you travel abroad, double check to see which fee is lower.

Debit Cards 101

A debit card is a card issued by a bank and is used to make in-person and online purchases. It’s linked to your checking account and withdraws money directly. Every debit card comes with security and privacy features, including a unique ID number, security code, expiration date, magnetic strip, and often an embedded chip. Some debit cards also have a four-digit pin number that can be used when making purchases for added protection.

The difference between a prepaid card and a debit card can be confusing. Prepaid cards let you spend the money that has been preloaded onto the card, while debit cards draw funds from a linked bank account. Both prepaid cards and debit cards may have limitations and often come with fees. Chime offers a full-featured deposit account and debit card. Your account can receive direct deposits and it supports pre-authorized withdrawals and interbank transfers through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network. Chime accounts are insured up to the standard maximum deposit insurance amount of $250,000 through our partner banks, The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.

Chip cards come with an embedded metal microchip that encrypts customer information by using a one-time code during every purchase to complete the transaction. 

Typically debit cards can be used for online purchases with any merchant that accepts the network name on your card.  When you make a purchase online with your debit card, you’ll need to provide the 16-digit card number that’s located on the front or back of your card , the expiration date, and your billing address. You’ll likely also be asked for a CCD, CVV or ‘security code,’ which is a three or four-digit number found on the back of the card.