Visa debit cards are similar to credit cards, except that payments made with the card are deducted directly from your bank account. Any purchase made with a debit card will not incur interest payments since your own dollars are used to make the purchase. If you found or have an old debit card in your possession, you must first verify that the card is active and has funds behind it before you use it. Fortunately this is a simple process.
Look first at the front of the debit card. All Visa credit and debit cards have an expiration date on the front. Check to see if the expiration date has passed. Even if the card is still connected to an open bank account, the card itself must be valid.
Review your bank account statements. Pull out recent statements for all open bank accounts. While the 16-digit debit card number is often not your bank account number, the debit card number may be listed on your bank account statements. Locate this number.
Contact the customer service number listed on the back of the debit card. In order to gain access to the debit card account information, you'll be prompted to provide a series of passwords. Continue to hit zero so you can speak to a representative. It will be easier to confirm your identity with a customer service representative.
Provide any current passwords or security codes for the debit card. You may also be asked to confirm recent history on the account (last transactions, when the account was opened, etc.). Make sure you have this information before speaking with a representative.
Ask about the status of the account. If the debit card is attached to any open bank account in your name and the card is not expired, you will be able to use it as you normally would. If the card is expired, ask the representative to send a new card to your home address.
Make sure to always speak with a verified representative from your bank, in order to avoid identity theft.
- Make sure to always speak with a verified representative from your bank, in order to avoid identity theft.
Based in Eugene, Ore., Duncan Jenkins has been writing finance-related articles since 2008. His specialties include personal finance advice, mortgage/equity loans and credit management. Jenkins obtained his bachelor's degree in English from Clark University.