How Much Can You Spend on a Debit Card at a Time?

by Jack Ori ; Updated July 27, 2017

Debit cards allow you to purchase items and access funds without having to go to the bank. You can withdraw funds from most ATMs using a debit card, although your bank may charge you a withdrawal fee. You can also use your debit card at the cash register of most stores to purchase items. Some banks limit how much money you can withdraw or spend in a day using your debit card.

Set by Banks

Bank rules vary as to how much money you can spend at a time using a debit card. When you sign up for your card, ask your bank representative to go over the rules with you. You will also get a printed copy of your debit withdrawal limit and other rules related to use of your card when you receive your card. Many banks limit spending and withdrawals to a few hundred dollars per day.

Ultimate Limit

You cannot spend more money using a debit card than you have in the bank account linked to the card. If you have overdraft protection on your account, such as a linked savings account or a line of credit, you may be able to access additional funds by drawing on your overdraft protection. If a transaction does go through for some reason despite lack of funds, your bank may charge you an overdraft fee.

Warning

Although you cannot spend money you do not have in your bank account using a debit card, you may find yourself in financial trouble if you don't use your card wisely. It is easy to overspend because you do not see the money exchange hands when you use a debit card. Always keep track of your expenses when using a debit card to avoid overspending and related financial problems.

Withdrawing vs. Spending

Banks often have separate limits for withdrawals and spending. For example, a debit card provider may limit you to withdrawing $400 per day but allow you to spend up to $1,000 dollars per day in stores. You can sometimes continue to use the card to purchase items even if you have exceeded your withdrawal limit for the day. Contact your bank for details regarding how much you can spend using your card if you have already withdrawn the maximum daily amount.

About the Author

Jack Ori has been a writer since 2009. He has worked with clients in the legal, financial and nonprofit industries, as well as contributed self-help articles to various publications.