Debit cards have become an essential tool for managing finances in the modern world, and for students, they can be particularly useful. With so many options available, it can be challenging to know which card is right for you and how to use it effectively. In this article, we will explore some additional benefits and considerations when it comes to using a debit card as a student.
Benefits of using a debit card for students
1. Build credit history.
While debit cards don’t typically impact your credit score directly, they can still help you build a credit history. Many banks like Akudo offer debit cards that are linked to a credit-building program, which reports your account activity to credit bureaus. This can be particularly helpful for students who may not have a credit history yet, as it allows them to start building credit without taking on debt.
2. Emergency funds
Having a debit card on hand can also be useful in case of emergency. If unexpected expenses arise, such as medical bills or car repairs, you can use your debit card to pay for them without having to dip into your savings or take on debt.
3. International travel
If you’re a student who loves to travel, a debit card can be a great tool to help you manage your finances while abroad. Most banks offer debit cards that can be used internationally, allowing you to withdraw cash and make purchases in foreign currencies. Additionally, some cards offer travel rewards, such as no foreign transaction fees, which can save you money while traveling.
4. Easy access to funds
With a debit card, you have easy access to your funds whenever you need them. You can withdraw cash from ATMs, make purchases online or in-store, and pay bills directly from your account. This can be particularly helpful for students who need to make frequent purchases, such as textbooks or school supplies.
Things to keep in mind when using a debit card as a student
While debit cards can be a convenient and useful tool for managing your finances, it’s essential to be aware of any fees associated with using them. Some banks may charge fees for certain transactions, such as ATM withdrawals or out-of-network purchases. Additionally, some debit cards may have monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully before signing up for a card to avoid any surprises.
When using a debit card, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your account from fraud and unauthorized access. Be sure to keep your card and PIN in a secure location and avoid sharing your PIN with anyone. Additionally, be cautious when using your card online, and only make purchases from trusted websites. Finally, monitor your account activity regularly and report any suspicious transactions to your bank immediately.
Creating and sticking to a budget is crucial when it comes to managing your finances as a student. Use your debit card to make purchases within your budget and avoid unnecessary expenses. Additionally, consider setting up automatic transfers to a savings account to help build an emergency fund and avoid overspending.
4. Overdraft protection
Many banks offer overdraft protection programs, which allow you to link your checking account to a savings account or credit card. This can be helpful in case you accidentally overdraw your account, as the bank will automatically transfer funds to cover the difference. However, be aware that these programs may come with fees or interest charges, so be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully before enrolling.
5. Rewards programs
Many banks offer rewards programs for debit card users, which can provide additional benefits such as cashback or points for every purchase. Be sure to research the rewards programs available with your debit card and choose one that best fits your spending habits and preferences.
Debit cards can be a powerful tool for managing your finances as a student, providing easy access to your funds, helping you build credit, and providing peace of mind in case of emergency. However, it’s important to be aware of potential fees, security risks, and the importance of budgeting to make the most out of it now go get that debit card.