Visa Debit Card Features

by Krystal Wascher ; Updated July 27, 2017
Visa debit cards have many of the same features as credit cards.

Visa debit cards are provided by both major and local banking institutions throughout the country. They offer the convenience of a credit card without the hassle of monthly bills and interest charges. They operate by debiting funds from your checking account whenever you make a purchase with your card. However, unlike traditional debit cards, many of which are only accepted at ATM machines, Visa debit cards are accepted at any location that accepts Visa credit cards.

Online Transactions

Your Visa debit card allows you make online purchases from any retailer that accepts the Visa credit card. Since Visa is one of the most widely accepted cards in the world, using your Visa debit card to make purchases should rarely be a problem. Additionally, if your consumer or utility service company has enabled “online bill pay,” you should be able to use your Visa debit card to pay your bills conveniently online.

No Liability for Unauthorized Transactions

If your card is stolen or unauthorized charges are made to your account, Visa will return the amount of the unauthorized charge to your account. This feature is valuable in a society where account information may be compromised by computer glitches or common theft. Additionally, if you suspect that another person has stolen your identity, Visa offers a hot line for its customers that provides counseling on how to recover your identity and clear up your credit.

PIN or Sign Option

When you make a purchase at a retail location, the Visa debit card give you the option to input your PIN (personal identification number) or sign for your purchase. Having this option allows you to sign for purchases if you have forgotten your PIN or to authorize others to use your card by providing them with your PIN. However, you should always use extreme caution when providing another person with your PIN. In most instances, it is not recommended.

Visa Prepaid Debit Cards

Visa offers prepaid debit cards as an alternative to traditional debit cards which are linked to your bank account. Visa prepaid debit cards operate in essentially the same way as their traditional counterpart with the exception being that you pre-load your card with a specified amount of money before making purchases with the card. Prepaid Visa debit cards can be pre-loaded online or at a participating retail location. Users may also choose to have their paychecks automatically applied to their prepaid debit card through direct deposit.

About the Author

Krystal Wascher has been writing online content since 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy from Thiel College and a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law. She was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 2009.

Photo Credits

  • credit card and pen image by PaulPaladin from Fotolia.com