How to Buy a Debit Card

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A debit card is a multifunctional plastic card that is used by individuals to make purchases without using cash and without charging a credit card. The debit card is slowly replacing the paper check as a more convenient way to purchase items, as the cash is deducted almost immediately from an individual's checking account. Another type of debit card that is becoming more popular is the prepaid card. Prepaid cards do not require the cardholder to have a bank account or an active credit card account. Money is placed on the card by the cardholder at the time of purchase and is used when needed.

  • Purchase your prepaid debit card. These cards can be purchased at a store or online from major credit card websites. Stores such as CVS, Wal-Mart, and Walgreen's have Visa and MasterCard prepaid debit card packages available for purchase. Such cards typically cost about $9.95.

  • Load money on your prepaid debit card. When you purchase the card for the first time, you will be asked to place some money on the card. You can put $20 to $500 on your debit card along with the $9.95 charge.

  • Activate your debit card. You can have the card activated by calling the company or by activating it online. Give the company the necessary information, including your name and address.

  • Wait for the official debit card to arrive. Once your card has been purchased, loaded and activated, the credit card company will mail you an official card that will have your name and prepaid card number on it. It will take five to seven business days for the card to arrive.

  • Reload the prepaid debit card when its value has been depleted so that you can reuse it.

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