The old maxim “you have to spend money to make money” is especially true as the popularity of cashback debit cards continues to grow. Banks no longer reserve cashback only for credit card holders. Instead, cashback is, in many cases, available to anyone looking to open a checking account.
Several cashback debit cards operate independently of major banks. Some cards are tied to popular stores, and there are even cards that plant trees for you. Plus, benefits like first paydays and tax filings, overdraft protection, FDIC insurance, and emergency/roadside assistance make your options increasingly competitive.
Consider curbing your shopping habits or growing spending with a debit card that pays you. Here are the five best cashback debit cards to investigate and make an informed decision.
Card name: Walmart Money Card
Costs: $0 to $5.94 per month
Awards: 3% discount on walmart.com2% at Walmart gas stations and 1% at Walmart stores (up to $75).
This is a fairly user-specific card, but comes in handy if you’re an avid Walmart shopper. The Walmart MoneyCard is especially useful if you fill up your car at Walmart gas stations, where you can receive unlimited 2% cash back on gas. With gas prices at an all-time high, it’s worth calculating your potential savings with this card.
This card offers 3% for purchases on Walmart’s website, so it’s more beneficial for online shoppers. It offers overdraft protection up to $200, a 2% APY on savings over $1,000, and a two-day payday advance. As a bonus, Walmart randomly selects 1,000 cardholders to receive cash prizes each month.
Keep in mind that the Walmart MoneyCard will charge you $5.94 per month if you haven’t directly deposited at least $500 in the previous month. If you don’t plan on using it as your primary debit card, it could get irritating. There is also a $75 cap on cash back from in-store purchases.
Card name: Serve American Express Prepaid Debit Account
Awards: 1% unlimited cashback
A touted benefit of the Serve American Express debit card is that the refund is applied to your account as soon as a transaction is settled. The 1% cashback applies to transactions anywhere, whether in-store or online, and there’s no limit to the amount of cashback you can earn.
As a partner of American Express, Serve offers purchase and fraud protection, emergency and roadside assistance, and FDIC insurance. In addition, this card allows you to receive your tax refund two days earlier.
A big downside is that the service card charges $7.95 per month with no ability to skip monthly fees. Serve also charges up to $3.95 for each cash top-up on the debit card, which can add up quickly if you move money often.
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Card name: Cashback debit card
Awards: 2.2% cash back on all work-related expenses
Nearside markets its cashback debit card to entrepreneurs and freelancers by offering free business banking services and integrating their card with several small business platforms like Amazon, Lyft, Square, etc. With no monthly fees and a 2.2% cashback on all business-related purchases, Nearside helps entrepreneurs become and stay profitable.
Nearside has many standard bells and whistles like FDIC insurance, free ATM withdrawals, and the ability to immediately freeze a lost card. However, they stand out with their focus on helping small businesses grow and thrive. They make it easy to get approved with poor credit and aim to authorize business loans of up to $10,000 to new small business owners. If you have an idea and need help bringing it to life, this could be your card.
Card name: Axos Cashback Checking debit card
Awards: up to 1% cash back
The Axos Card gives you up to 1% cashback on all signature-based purchases with a cap of $2,000 per month. You must hold at least $1,500 in your checking account to receive the full 1%, which will drop to 0.5% once your average daily balance falls below. Cash back is applied to your account monthly and will be available on your statements.
With no monthly fees required regardless of your balance, with unlimited check writing privileges and unlimited redemption at domestic ATMs, Axos remains a great card. Axos also claims security as a brilliant feature, including biometric authentication, SSL encryption, and 2-step authentication.
Card name: Ando Visa Debit Card
Ando approaches banking with a sustainability mindset. While other banks have been known to finance fossil fuel companies, Ando redirects 100% of your finances to carbon reduction initiatives. Additionally, they actively fund clean energy and sustainable agriculture, while giving you 1.5% cash back on any debit card transaction for goods or services.
Another feature for the environmentally conscious banker is Ando’s Change that Counts program. If you agree to round up your debit card transactions, each debit card swipe will count as a tree that Ando will plant for you. They currently match planted trees to clients up to 100,000 trees in total.
One notable difference is that Ando doesn’t cheat you by offering 1.5% cashback only on signature-based purchases or purchases with certain brands. There is also no limit to the Ando cash back rewards awarded to you as long as your account is in good standing. So if you want to make a difference but environmental activism feels a bit overwhelming, Ando does the groundwork for you while you shop.
Consumer Due Diligence
When comparing cashback cards, be sure to read the fine print at the very bottom of any bank advertisement page, paying particular attention to the description of any numbers noted. Additionally, many cards have special terms applied to their cashback rewards that are not readily available in all the lingo.
There are plenty of cashback debit cards available to consumers in 2022. If you’re not ready to commit to any of this list, at least use this article as a starting point for your research. Whatever you’re looking for in a debit card, earning money on your purchases is never a loss.
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