Best online bank account with instant debit card

We voted Revolut as the best online bank account with instant debit card. We love that Revolut holds a banking license, has 24/7 customer service, supports cryptocurrency, and takes account security further than most. You can even opt to open a savings account.

Other great options for creating a new checking account with virtual debit card include:

  1. Wise
  2. Payoneer
  3. Revolut
  4. Monese
  5. Skrill
  6. Walmart MoneyCard
  7. Zenus Bank
  8. MoneyLion
  9. Divvy
  10. Emburse

Once your account is created, you’ll have to meet the minimum deposit requirements. Depending on your chosen account, you’ll be subject to monthly fees so it’s crucial to research before opening a new account.

Luckily, I’ll break down the best options for those looking for an instant-issue debit card. After reading this guide, you should be able to determine which account is best for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Instant issue debit cards are not credit cards. Instead, they are like physical debit cards but are virtual and managed through your mobile banking apps or linked to your digital wallet. For example, you can freeze your debit card if you suspect unauthorized transactions.
  • Keep your physical debit card because virtual cards are best for online purchases. You can use your virtual card at traditional brick and mortar locations when they accept contactless payment, Google Pay, or Apple Pay and the card is linked.
  • Each account has minimum requirements, such as a minimum opening deposit, average daily balance, and monthly deposit.
  • When choosing an account, consider account fees, the ATM network with fee-free ATMs, ATM access, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

TFF22-110 - Best online bank account with instant debit card

This article may contain affiliate links which pay a commission and support this blog. I appreciate your support!

What Is a Virtual Debit Card?

As the name suggests, a virtual debit card is a digital version of your physical card containing the same information, including:

  • your name
  • card number
  • CVV number
  • expiry date
  • transaction settings
  • the debit card type

Mobile banks offer these cards through a smartphone application, so you can easily purchase goods or services online without scrambling to find your plastic card.

The app can upgrade your debit card, set purchase limitations, check your balance, and more. Put simply, it’s another way technology is making our lives easier.

How Does a Virtual Debit Card Work?

Most virtual debit cards work via a mobile app provided by the bank. Any time you make an online purchase, you:

  1. Open the app
  2. Punch in the generated card number
  3. Complete the transaction.

Depending on the provider, some instant-issue debit cards allow you to create multiple virtual numbers simultaneously. But this function is more useful if you run a business with employees who all need to use your company’s card.

What’s the Difference Between a Debit Card and a Virtual Debit Card?

Aside from the obvious — one you can physically hold, the other you cannot —the primary difference is the randomly generated card number.

Naturally, physical cards hold the same number for as long as you have them. Ultimately, this presents a significant security risk when shopping online, as hackers can trace it back and gain sensitive information.

Virtual debit cards generate new 16-digit numbers every time you shop, ensuring your data stays secure. Even if someone got your card number, they wouldn’t be able to map it back to your details.

The digital characteristics of an instant-issue debit card mean you may not be able to use it in physical stores. Hence, many people retain their traditional cards for in-shop use and utilize their virtual versions for added online shopping protection.

Note: You might be able to use your virtual debit card in brick-and-mortar stores if they accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, or another type of digital wallet. With the way technology is currently moving, we believe plastic cards will slowly become a thing of the past. But we have yet to quite get there, so it’s handy to have both a physical and virtual debit card for now.

The Pros and Cons of Virtual Debit Cards

You benefit from increased online shopping security when using virtual debit cards. And since we live in an ever-evolving digital world, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important for the average shopper, not just businesses.

Plus, banks with instant debit cards provide fast-acting reconciliation and customer service in the unlikely event your security is compromised.

Creating new accounts is easy, and you don’t have to suffer through long, face-to-face bank meetings to get a debit card. Everything is done from the comfort of your own home.

That said, virtual cards sometimes lack the functionality of a physical card. For instance, you typically can’t withdraw cash from an ATM using your instant-issue debit card, but some ATMs do have the capability.

You may have to pay additional per-transaction fees depending on your checking account provider.

The Quick-Glance Pros

  • Virtual debit cards are less risky than physical cards. They prevent hacking, card loss, or theft.
  • Using virtual debit cards online protects you from storing your card information in online shopping accounts.
  • An instant virtual debit card online can be a short- and long-term solution.
  • These cards can make international transactions easier.

The Quick-Glance Cons

  • Like physical debit cards, you must have enough funds to cover your purchases.
  • Generally speaking, you can’t withdraw from an ATM with an instant virtual debit card.
  • Instant-issue debit cards have an expiration date, sometimes causing problems when you attempt to return something.
  • You must accurately manage your budget before using your virtual debit card.

Which Banks Offer an Online Bank Account with Instant Debit Card?

Even though the world is rapidly shifting into a digital landscape, only some banks offer an instant virtual debit card online (although it’s likely to become much more prominent as providers propel themselves into the metaverse).

Despite the somewhat limited selection of banks with instant debit cards, enough providers exist for there to be confusion around which to choose.

So, we’ve compared their features, customer service, overall ease of use, and more to establish which ones are most worth your business.

#1 Wise

Apply for a Wise card here.

The Wise virtual debit card allows you to spend using the current exchange rate online, while you travel, and in-store. Like other same-day digital cards, it exists solely within the Wise app.

The non-plastic version holds different details from the physical card, and you can easily freeze it after every purchase to protect yourself and your money. Wherever you are in the world, you’re guaranteed a safe transaction — after all, your Wise account can hold over 50 currencies at once!

At the moment, you must order the physical card to receive the virtual one. However, the bank doesn’t make you wait for it to arrive before you can begin using the in-app version.

The Pros

  • There are no hidden transaction fees, exchange rate markups, or yearly charges.
  • It’s available in 40 different currencies, allowing you to easily travel from country to country.
  • You’ll pay a small one-time fee to get a Wise card.
  • You don’t have to keep a certain amount of money in your account to maintain it.
  • You can set up mobile bank notifications from the Wise app.
  • Freezing your account is easy.

The Cons

  • Wise is an instant debit card, meaning you must have enough funds in your account to cover transactions. There are no credit options available from the Wise mobile bank.
  • You can only qualify for the virtual debit card if you also request a physical version.
  • ATM fees could apply if you make three or more high-ticket withdrawals in a month.
  • You can’t top up via cash or cheque, only in-app or online.

#2 Payoneer

Apply for a Payoneer card here.

Payoneer has a far-reaching presence. At the time of writing, it’s available in 200 countries and allows fee-free transactions between Payoneer accounts.

Unlike Wise, you can choose to have a physical or virtual card; there’s no need to order both. We appreciate this flexibility as it solidifies that you don’t need to carry the traditional debit card around as a backup.

That said, you must remember to activate your instant-issue virtual debit card before attempting to make an online payment. Thankfully, the provider has made activation very easy. All you need to do is sign in, head to “Settings,” click “Card Management,” and you’re good to go.

The Pros

  • It’s a legitimate United States of America company registered as an MSB (Money Service Business).
  • Payoneer operates in roughly 200 countries and handles 150 currencies.
  • You can transfer money from a Payoneer account to a Payoneer account for free.
  • You benefit from many customer support options, including live chat, telephone, and email. They’re helpful too!
  • It’s well-loved by small business owners and freelancers due to the custom invoice function and payment request tool.

The Cons

  • It charges a yearly fee for Mastercard usage.
  • The card transaction fees are high.
  • You will have to pay a 2% fee for international transactions.

#3 Revolut

Apply for a Revolut card here.

Revolut is the self-proclaimed “one app for all things money.” And, frankly, it lives up to its claim as you can get everything from virtual debit cards to budgeting tools to investing platforms.

One of the best features is the instant payment notification sent straight to your smartphone whenever you make a successful transaction. You’ll see how much you spend per transaction and daily from your lock screen.

The virtual debit card is single-use, meaning your details automatically refresh after every purchase for ultimate safety.

The savers among you will particularly enjoy the round-up feature, which helps you reach your savings goals faster. Because yes, you can opt into Revolut Vaults to access savings accounts alongside your mobile bank card.

The Pros

  • It’s easy to make purchases in over 30 national currencies without commission fees.
  • The Revolut card supports trading in various cryptocurrencies, ensuring you get the best exchange rates. Specifically, you can use digital currencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin, Ripple, and Litecoin.
  • Customer service is available around the clock.
  • It functions like a regular mobile bank, with a few differences that make transfers and payments in different currencies a dream.
  • Revolut holds a banking license.

The Cons

  • Sometimes, the quality of customer support is lackluster.
  • Revolut has been known to freeze customer accounts for unknown security reasons.

#4 Monese

Apply for a Monese card here.

Monese is a money app that makes it easy for anyone to secure a virtual debit card and begin paying for items and services securely.

As of December 2019, the mobile bank has allowed its users to log into the app and make a digital debit card in a matter of moments. Thanks to their seamless process, you can start using the card as soon as you finish.

The free app permits you to one virtual card per currency. However, you must hold a physical card to be eligible for the digital version.

Interestingly, you can instantly link your Monese card to PayPal, providing even more ways to conduct online transactions.

The Pros

  • It boasts a Trustpilot rating of 4.1 out of 5.0 stars.
  • The application process is delightfully easy, allowing you to set up your account in a matter of moments.
  • You can get both business and personal accounts.
  • You get instant notifications after every transaction.
  • The mobile bank gives you access to various budgeting features, like round-up spending to hit your savings goals.
  • By using Apple Pay or Google Pay, you can use your virtual debit card in brick-and-mortar stores.

The Cons

  • Monese doesn’t offer fee-free abroad spending.
  • You won’t be able to access an overdraft or any loan products.
  • When the chatbot can’t answer your question, you’ll wait quite a while for personal customer support.

#5 Skrill

Apply for a Skrill card here.

Skrill is perhaps the most well-known provider of digital money solutions, and the Skrill Virtual Prepaid Mastercard is no different.

It lets you shop online as soon as you finish the signup process, and you can incorporate it with Apple Pay for an even more effortless in-store experience.

Naturally, the virtual card is linked to your Skrill balance. So, you’ll need to keep an eye on your total funds to ensure you have enough cash to cover your purchase.

The best part? Your first virtual Mastercard is 100% free! Remember that you’ll need the plastic version to make ATM withdrawals.

The Pros

  • You can deposit into your Skrill account in various ways, including Bitcoin, Klarna, and bank transfers.
  • Skrill is a well-known and terrifically safe mobile banking with an instant-issue debit card option.
  • Most questions are easily answered, thanks to their extensive FAQ section.
  • The app is supported on all iOS and Android devices and is easy to use.
  • It has a physical card option that lets you withdraw from ATMs (although you’ll pay a 1.75% fee).

The Cons

  • All payment methods carry deposit fees of 1%.
  • Transferring money from your Skrill account carries a 1.45% fee.
  • The app isn’t supported on Windows devices.

#6 Walmart MoneyCard

Apply for a Walmart MoneyCard card here.

Provided you’re an avid Walmart shopper, the Walmart MoneyCard will provide a range of great rewards. For example, the provider’s current new user reward (which requires no deposit) is the chance to win free groceries for a year and a direct deposit of $500 to your new MoneyCard.

Unlike other virtual debit cards, Walmart’s comes with overdraft protection of up to $200, making it easier to use in a pinch.

You can effortlessly open your account online or choose to pick up a starter card in-store. To use all the features, you must verify your mobile or email and download the mobile app. Therefore, we recommend starting as you mean to go on by opening your account digitally.

The Pros

  • It’s perfect if you want to send money to friends and family for free.
  • It’s one of the only virtual prepaid instant debit cards that offer cashback rewards. You’ll score up to $75 every year.
  • You get access to free cash withdrawals at most Walmarts across the country.
  • You can pay your bills online for free.
  • The MoneyCard is just one part of the fully functioning virtual financial system the company provides.
  • You can easily set up a family virtual debit card account for up to four members.

The Cons

  • You must deposit $1,000 per month into the virtual debit card to waive the monthly fee.
  • There’s a $3 fee to reload money at a physical Walmart checkout. But the fee skyrockets to $5.95 if you reload at a store within the Green Dot network.

#7 Zenus Bank

Apply for a Zenus Bank card here.

Zenus Bank offers their Zen Cards in physical and virtual forms, letting you access your money however you please.

You can use the virtual debit card at home or abroad. It’s currently accepted in 46 million locations throughout 200 countries, ensuring you get ultimate security almost anywhere in the world.

The mobile bank provides an instant-issue debit card so you can start spending as soon as you receive approval. The provider’s tokenized encryption works wonders to offer an additional level of security.

The Pros

  • Zenus Bank allows non-residents of the USA to get a US-based virtual bank account.
  • The Zenus virtual debit card is Visa.
  • For free, you can transfer money to friends, family, and businesses with a Zenus account.
  • The mobile bank has many other services, including luxury hotel collection, concierge, auto rental insurance, airport companion, and lounge access.
  • The US Bank Secrecy Act protects your account.
  • The app makes managing your instant virtual bank account and debit card straightforward.
  • Your virtual card is ready to use as soon as your account has been approved.

The Cons

  • The monthly membership is $50.
  • You can only have one physical and one virtual card with your membership.
  • Swift or wire transfers come with a $25 fee.

#8 MoneyLion

Apply for a MoneyLion card here.

MoneyLion, a mobile fintech offering a myriad of financial services, provides a virtual debit card dubbed RoarMoney. It’s ready for you as soon as you create your account and functions like a regular card.

You can pay online, in apps, and by phone using RoarMoney or add it to your smartphone’s wallet and pay in-store anywhere that permits mobile pay.

Not to mention that MoneyLion allows you to replace your digital card as often as you need to without answering seemingly endless questions.

The Pros

  • MoneyLion is renowned as the all-in-one mobile bank.
  • The RoarMoney instant-issue debit card is ready to be used as soon as your account opens.
  • You receive a $250 fee-free overdraft and could qualify for a $1,000 credit-builder loan if needed.
  • The app offers a finance tracker and cashback rewards alongside the virtual debit card.
  • You get a physical card too, which you can freeze from the app.

The Cons

  • There’s a $1 administration fee per month.
  • You’re charged $2.50 for out-of-network ATM withdrawals when using your physical card.

#9 Divvy

Apply for a Divvy card here.

Divvy is the complete virtual debit card for businesses, allowing you to keep your company safe from overcharges and fraudulent activity. No matter where you pay subscriptions or shop online, a Divvy instant-issue debit card will give you better control and protection.

The best part? You can create as many virtual cards as necessary without suffering fees. Plus, the platform allows you to manage all your cards and business spending in one streamlined place. You can give all your employees a virtual card and monitor every purchase.

The Pros

  • Divvy is the virtual card for small businesses, independent contractors, and freelancers.
  • You can receive a service demo before committing to opening an account.
  • You can create multiple virtual cards from one account without fees.
  • Freezing individual cards is easy.
  • These virtual debit cards ensure your business is protected from compromised accounts and vendor overcharges.

The Cons

  • You may find it hard to access customer support.
  • There isn’t an audit trail.
  • You can’t customize user roles beyond the three pre-set options.

#10 Emburse

Apply for an Emburse card here.

Like Divvy, Emburse allows business owners to tighten their security belts by acquiring virtual debit cards instantly. The provider is trusted by well-known brands like Allianz Partners, AkzoNobel, and Bosch.

You can apply spending rules to every virtual and physical card you get and monitor spending through instant mobile receipts and automatic expense categorizations.

The Pros

  • You won’t have to wait for reimbursement with an Emburse virtual debit card.
  • The cards are wonderfully secure and used by some of the biggest companies worldwide, including Bosch and Allianz Partners.
  • You can set spending rules for virtual and physical cards.
  • You receive mobile receipts for easy accounting.
  • Emburse categorizes your expenses automatically.
  • It provides top-tier fraud protection.

The Cons

  • Since they are virtual debit cards, you must pre-fund them. However, you can automate this to save time.
  • It comes with fewer additional features than other providers.
  • The company’s fee transparency was lacking, but that has been rectified in recent history.

The Best Online Bank Account with a Virtual Debit Card: Revolut 

So, which is the best online bank account with a virtual debit card? We choose Revolut!

The myriad of features alongside the instant-issue debit card makes it the top contender by far. Plus, you don’t have to worry about requesting a new card to bolster security. The provider automatically refreshes your details after every purchase. It’s a worry-free way of online banking.

Summary: Online bank account with instant debit cards

As you you can see, a virtual debit card is issued by financial institutions like brick and mortar banks, credit unions, and online banks. These cards are linked to your checking account and allow you to make debit card purchases, just like a physical visa debit card. You can manage your debit card through the mobile banking app and can link your card to digital wallets.

You can open up a new account online and able to make your first debit card transaction within minutes.

Most virtual debit cards have minimum balance requirements and some require a monthly direct deposit. Falling below your minimum account balance may result in insufficient funds and you’ll be charged overdraft fees. Charging overdraft fees is no different than what most banks are already doing with physical debit cards as both virtual and physical cards are linked to your checking account.

The best checking accounts with an instant issue debit card include:

  1. Wise
  2. Payoneer
  3. Revolut
  4. Monese
  5. Skrill
  6. Walmart MoneyCard
  7. Zenus Bank
  8. MoneyLion
  9. Divvy
  10. Emburse

Our top pick is Revolut due to the variety of financial services and security features. However, it’s important to do your own research and find the best account for your financial goals. Keep in mind, look for member FDIC as your account will be insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Government.

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.