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Best Free Debit Cards of December 2021 in the United States

Debit cards occur to be different. Cost of servicing is an important criterion which should be considered while choosing an appropriate card.

Types of debit cards

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General information

Customers shouldn't confuse free maintenance service and free issue debit cards. Free maintenance implies no commission for a card usage during a year while free issue means zero cost of a plastic card itself.

Note! More reliable cards generally have higher annual servicing cost. Therefore, free of charge cards do not provide the most convenient conditions.

In the majority of cases free cards don't require much time to be issued. For example, Visa Electron or MasterCard Maestro have limited functionality and they don't allow online payment for purchases and services. In addition, holders have to cover a corresponding commission for funds transferring and cashing out, an account replenishing as well as other transactions.

Debit cards may have completely free service but it is a rare case. Usually fulfilment of conditions set by the bank is necessary in order to gain the benefits the card offers.

The most common requirements are:

  • a minimum sum of purchases per month
  • an average monthly balance
  • a minimum monthly investments amount

Free maintenance is one of the most important criterion when choosing a bank card. Basically, a monthly or yearly fee is charged for utilizing a debit card.

Attention! The exception is payroll cards as they are mostly free.

However, within the framework of most payroll programs, cards without any additional benefits are issued. Thus, these cards don't have neither cashback, nor interest on balance, nor additional services like insurance or emergency assistance when lost abroad. Cards with more functionality require payment or become charge-free only in case of frequent usage.

Unfortunately, getting all advantages with one debit card can be a really challenging issue. Therefore, many people hold 2 or 3 debit cards simultaneously and each is used for specific purposes.

Note! For example, one is for airline tickets buying, the other is to make purchases in supermarkets and the third one is to keep savings in order to receive interest accrued on the balance.

Cards are considered to be advantageous in case a bank does not charge for maintenance or impose minimal requirements for clients. Holding several cards means the importance of this criterion increases noticeably.

Choosing an optimal bank payment card

Banks typically offer a standard set of payment cards but still unique and varied services can be found among them. Customers should only consider their personal needs and wishes while choosing.

Issuers offer all kinds of payment card options with various functions in search for regular clients. These functions are rather simple to understand and the main rule is to check all available offerings thoroughly in advance.

Important! Debit cards allow clients to utilize only funds available on the card account.

They can apply to both international and domestic systems. These features make such cards a pretty convenient payment instrument for any user as they contain the exact amount of funds deposited by the owner before.

However, in order not to get lost within the variety of payment cards and systems, first of all it is worth checking available cards as well as transaction types that can be carried out with their help.

What types of payment cards exist?

A bank plastic card is normally a personalized monetary document certifying funds availability from its holder and providing the right for goods and services purchasing by bank transfer.

Payment cards can be divided into classifications.

Types of payment cards


Allow to carry out transactions all over the world.


Cards are valid only within the territory of one country.


This is a type of cards produced by one bank for usage within its own network.

Local cards.

A banks issues such cards for its own network and they operate only within the territory of one country.

Classification of cards by account type


They afford transactions made within the funds left on the card account as well as within the set overdraft limit, if applied.


They afford transactions within the loan sum provided by the issuing bank in accordance with the agreement's terms.

Features of production technologies


While a card being manufactured, data is recorded on the card's magnetic strip and this cannot be changed during the usage period of a card.


On such cards data is entered in the form of convex symbols that enable to transfer information from a card to a card-cheque mechanically with the use of an imprinter and self-copying paper. Currently, such cards are also produced with a magnetic strip.


They have microcircuits containing information about the account state, transaction records, limits and much more. Such cards are typically very well protected.


Both a microprocessor and a magnetic strip are applied.

Classification of debit cards


Cards are provided to individuals. There is also an option of so-called family cards issuance upon request.


Cards are issued to legal entities. The procedure for funds usage is determined by law.

Important! Both types can be personalized with a cardholder's name or non-personalized to the bearer.

Banking products are very diverse and plentiful and the choice depends on customers' preferences. Visa Classic and MasterCard Standard provide convenience and versatility. Select Visa Virtual, MasterCard Standard Virtual Card are suitable for shopping online. Visa Gold, MasterCard Gold or Visa Platinum and MasterCard Platinum are very convenient for wealthy people who value special privileges.

The assortment is great and able to provide a great variety of options such as reliability in case of a card loss or theft, convenience for shopping and traveling, bonuses and discounts availability, Internet banking, cost control, etc. The main issue while selecting an appropriate card is not to rush.


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