What to do if your debit card hasn’t arrived yet?

What should you do if your debit card hasn’t arrived yet?

If your debit card hasn’t arrived yet, you should first check with your bank on its expected delivery date. Verify it wasn’t lost or stolen in transit and then ask how you can access your money without a debit card in the meantime. 

Waiting on a new or replacement debit card can be a frustrating experience because many people rely on their debit card to access their cash. It’s also nerve-wracking to have such a powerful piece of plastic floating out with the postal service.

Luckily for you, I’ll show you how long it takes to get a new debit card delivered. I’ll show you how to access your money in the meantime and how you can get a temporary debit card.

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How Long Does it Take to Get a New Debit Card Delivered?

Depending on your banking institution, it will take anywhere between two and seven business days to receive a new debit card in the mail. Some banks will be able to print you a debit card at your local branch.

Some banks offer rush delivery for a fee, which will reduce the amount of time you have to wait to approximately half of what the bank initially quotes. This priority mail can put a new, permanent debit card in your hands in 48 hours.

Bank of America Debit Card Delivery Times

More recently, bigger banking institutions such as Bank of America have added a “Digital Debit Card” to their mobile banking features. This digital card allows you to spend your cash anywhere that mobile payment is accepted.

And what’s better? You can use it to withdraw cash at a Bank of America ATM, something you could only do previously with a physical card.

Digital debit cards are delivered immediately, but they are not a permanent solution. You should continue to use your physical debit card as soon as it arrives in the mail, which will allow you to spend your cash at more places and with added security.

Bank of America tells customers that physical debit cards will take anywhere from 4 to 6 days to receive in the mail, depending on your zip code.

Wells Fargo Debit Card Delivery Times

Wells Fargo also offers a digital wallet option as a temporary fix for customers waiting for their physical debit cards to arrive. As with Bank of America, you can use this digital debit card to make purchases where mobile payment is accepted and access your account’s functions through a Wells Fargo ATM.

Wells Fargo estimates that new or replacement physical debit cards will be sent to customers within 5 to 7 days of ordering.

Chase Debit Card Delivery Times

Chase Bank will deliver new or replacement debit cards to customers within 3 to 5 days of ordering. New or replacement cards can be requested on the Chase Mobile Banking app or by calling the Chase Bank phone number on your bank statement.

Capital One Debit Card Delivery Times

Capital One can get you a new debit card in as few as 2 to 3 business days if you choose to use their FedEx Priority Overnight service for an extra fee.

Otherwise, Capital One estimates it will take 7 to 10 business days for your physical debit card to arrive.

How Do I Get Money While Waiting for My Debit Card to Arrive?

There are a few ways to use the cash in your checking account while you’re waiting for your debit card to arrive:

  1. Use a Digital Debit Card as provided by some larger banking institutions, which allow you to temporarily use your mobile device to make payments from your checking account where mobile payment is accepted or withdraw cash from your bank-branded ATM network.
  2. Go into your bank branch with valid identification and account information, and ask to withdraw cash while waiting for your debit card to arrive.
  3. Ask your bank for a book of checks to enable you to write checks as payment where checks are accepted.

How to Get a Temporary Debit Card?

Credit unions and some of the larger banks such as Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo may offer you a temporary debit card printed right inside the bank branch.

This temporary debit card will look like your normal debit card, but it may not have your name on it and instead could say “Bank of America Customer,” “Valued Card Holder,” or “Temporary Customer Card.” It will only be usable for a short amount of time, but it will have the traditional branch identification number and personal account number.

The temporary debit card can also be activated right there in the branch, meaning you’ll be able to spend and access your cash right away. Then, when your permanent card does arrive, you can safely discard the temporary card.

But since these cards don’t always have your name on them, you mustn’t lose them. If it falls into the wrong hands, just about anyone will be able to access your money where PIN codes aren’t required. Examples include places like restaurants, online shopping, and even regular retail stores where you can bypass entering a PIN.

What If My Debit Card Never Arrives?

For most banking institutions, you’ll be given an approximate arrival date for your new or replacement debit card. If your debit card doesn’t arrive by that date, you should immediately contact your bank and let them know.

The bank may be able to track the shipment or cancel the order for the debit card and place a new one. If you suspect the card was stolen, the bank will issue you a debit card with a new number and expiration date.

Most banks use the United States Postal Service to send debit cards and typically put them in an unmarked, white envelope to deter theft.

However, the bank may use FedEx to send your card if you request expedited delivery. It is good to know what kind of package you should be on the lookout for so you don’t mistakenly throw the envelope away.

Final Thoughts

If your debit card hasn’t arrived yet, there are many ways to access the funds in your checking account still to have cash when you need it, and banks are making this even more accessible these days with the advent of digital debit cards.

But in addition to getting cash while you wait for your debit card to arrive, you should be keeping an eye on your mailbox. If your debit card hasn’t arrived yet and you’re still within the estimated window of arrival time provided by your bank, try to be patient.

If it has been longer than 7 to 10 days or the amount of time your bank said it would take for USPS to deliver your debit card, get on the phone with your bank immediately and report the late card. Also, check your checking account balance and recent transaction history to make sure your debit card wasn’t stolen in transit.


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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.