Can I get an ATM card for a Joint account?

So, can I get an ATM card for a joint account? 

Many joint accounts will give the account holders at least one ATM card and one debit card. Most will provide one debit card to each person which can also be used at an ATM. 

Joint accounts are a great way to save up or spend with a loved one. If you’re considering opening a joint account, you may be wondering how it all works.

The rest of this article will dive into ATM cards for joint accounts, the rules around these accounts, and their pros and cons.

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Joint Account ATM and Debit Cards

If you’re interested in a joint account, you’re likely looking to open a shared checking or savings account with someone you trust. This could be a spouse, partner, roommate, parent, or child. Joint bank accounts are a great way to pool your money together for savings goals, daily expenses, and more. Both parties will need access to the account through an ATM or debit card to do this.

Before diving into the details, it’s important to know the difference between ATM and debit cards. ATM cards are used for ATM transactions such as deposits, withdrawals, and checking your balance. They cannot be used to make payments at point-of-sale (POS) systems or online.

On the other hand, debit cards are used for both purchases and ATMs. If it’s connected to a bank account, your debit card also functions as an ATM card.

Most joint accounts will supply each account holder with their own card. Since each bank has unique policies around joint accounts, it’s important to speak to your bank’s teller or customer service representative to know which and how many cards they will assign.

Savings accounts tend to be limited to only one ATM card per account; however, there may be two for joint accounts. Almost all checking accounts will provide either two debit cards, two debit cards and one ATM card, or two debit cards and two ATM cards.

No matter which cards your bank offers, you will receive at least one card that will work at an ATM for your joint account.

Who Can Get a Joint Account?

Joint accounts function just as a regular bank account would, but with two account holders. These two holders can be any individuals, but we usually see the most joint accounts between spouses or family members.

Spouses or couples tend to get joint accounts when they are living together and sharing expenses or saving up to make a large purchase together (e.g., their first home).

Many parents also open their minor child’s first bank account as a joint account if the child is too young to hold an independent account.

While joint accounts are most common within families or relationships, you can open a joint account with anyone you’d like. Reach out to your local banks and ask about their joint bank account options.

Once you select your institution, open the account in person by making an appointment with the other account holder. Be sure to bring multiple forms of ID and any other documents they request when making the appointment. Your ATM and debit card may be given to you on the spot. However, some cards can take up to 5-10 business days to arrive via mail.

Joint Account Rules

The rules for your joint bank account depend on the banking institution. All banks will require both account holders to be present or sign off on the account before its opening.

As for closing the account, some banks will let just one of the account holders close the entire account, while others will require the “OK” from both parties.

When it comes to withdrawing and deposits, joint accounts are often subject to the same limits as regular checking or savings accounts. Transactions from both parties are seen as one combined list, so be sure you are both aware of how many withdrawals and transfers each person is initiating.

The Benefits of Joint Accounts

Joint accounts are great for those who need to share their banking with another person. For every minor, a joint account with a parent or guardian is the only way to have an official bank account in the U.S. This allows the parent to monitor their child’s spending while the child learns how to be financially responsible.

A parent and adult child can also use joint accounts. If the parent were to pass away, the child could immediately access this account without sifting through any red tape.

For couples or roommates, a joint account can easily facilitate spending between both parties and paying shared bills. Instead of splitting everything with constant transfers, both people deposit into the joint account and use the funds for any shared expenses. For most married couples, combining finances becomes a part of marriage.

Another upside of joint accounts is that they insure each account holder for up to $250,000 by the FDIC.

The Downsides of Joint Accounts

As with almost anything, there are also downsides to joint accounts. The biggest thing to be wary of is how your co-holder will spend the money.

Neither partner can control the other’s spending when it comes to joint accounts – even less so if both partners have a linked debit card. Trust is of the essence when opening joint accounts, and you can do little if the trust is broken and your partner empties your joint account.

While you may not be able to control each other’s spending, you will be able to see every cent of it. This is not an issue for some, but other people may not enjoy the lack of privacy.

Another negative of joint accounts is that if one of the account holders goes into debt, creditors have the right to go after money held in the joint account. This means your money could go towards paying off the other person’s debts, even when they had nothing to do with your spending.

The Best Joint Accounts

Some of the best joint accounts, such as those at Ally bank, are easy to open and have no fees or minimum deposits.

Others, such as the joint account at Capital One, are great for parents and kids because of their parental control features and separate log-ins. Capital One also offers no fees and 0.10% APY.

If you’re looking to gain from a high-interest rate (paid out to you), Presidential Bank may be a good choice with up to 2.25% APY. They do require a minimum deposit of $100, but they will include your first set of checks for free.

Final Thoughts

Joint bank accounts are a great way to monitor your child’s first bank account, save up funds with a loved one, or facilitate spending with those you live with.

These accounts are easy to open and are used in the same way as traditional checking or savings accounts. This means you will also enjoy the use of an ATM card and 1 or 2 debit cards linked to your account. Use your cards to simplify your purchases, deposits, and withdrawals today.


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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.