Checking Account vs. Debit Card

A bank account with a reliable financial platform must have a stable and secure environment for conducting financial and monetary transactions. A financial account is regulated by a bank or financial institution that regularly records daily monetary transactions. The banks upheld the account and utilized the customers through established terms and conditions that vary across different banks. Irrespective of liquidity and movement of cash, funds can also be secured and accumulated in bank accounts which are documented frequently and provided through bank statements. The balance of the account and the activities conducted by the consumers are recorded as part of the bank account’s maintenance. Opening up a bank account allows you to manage money wisely and practically. The flow of funds between businesses and people enables consumers to deposit money in their respective performances in response to the annual interest received by the bank. Banks are considered highly regulated along with other financial institutions and are at par with state-regulated agencies to ensure the application of pre-determined guidelines.

In the previous article, we wrote how to check my debit card is active or not. Now, let us see the difference between a checking account and a debit card.

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Checking Account vs. Debit Card

  • Checking accounts will allow you to do online transfers while debit cards won’t.
  • Checking accounts will allow you to write checks while debit cards won’t.
  • Using a debit card, you can access ATM, while using only a checking account, you can not access ATM.
  • For a checking account, you have fees, while you do not have fees for a debit card.
  • In a checking account, you can store money, while the debit card you can use to make online and offline purchases.
  • Checking accounts will allow you to make online purchases,  write checks,  and transfer money, while debit cards will be used to withdraw cash, buy online, or buy offline in stores.


Each bank and financial institution is equipped with variations in terms of the customers’ products and services. Banks’ different accounts include deposits, savings, and a miscellaneous category that provides loan, joint, low, cost, and numbered accounts. The other variety of bank accounts serves completely different financial goals; therefore, it is essential to understand the working of each of the categories. If you have the correct information about your financial management and aspirations, you can quickly determine which bank account to choose to maximize saving and prioritize other economic ambitions. Opening a bank account in the accurate classification will allow the account holders to capitalize on returns from the banks and deal with the minimum amount of fees. Since each bank account is categorized and fabricated to provide distinctive financial functions, it is imperative to ask for essential information from its management. Despite having ample bank accounts, most banks and credit unions offer savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposit, retirement accounts, and money market accounts.

Choosing the right kind of bank account will help you manage, regulate, monitor, spend and save your money prudently. The fundamental difference between a checking account and the credit card account is the disparity between the sources of money available in these accounts. The amount in the credit card account act as an unsecured loan, whereas the cash is entirely under your authority in the checking account. The money appears to be borrowed in a credit card account; therefore, the funds available apply to interest. On the other hand, the funds available in the checking accounts are your cash amount from monetary deposits. In contrast, the money is loaned to the consumers from the issuing bank in the credit card accounts.

How do credit card accounts operate?

A credit card comes with a limited spending threshold or a limited line of available funds to be exhausted. The funds available in the credit card account are issued by the issuing bank and act as an unsecured loan. The loan has no collateral or asset linked to it in the form of a guarantee. Credit cards are equipped with a preset or established limit in which the customers are required to spend. The limit set by the issuing bank has a spending limit, after which a different set of regulations apply. The limit will be smaller if you have just opened up a bank account or have a little credit history. As the credit history becomes reliable and sufficient over time, the limit will also increase. The issuing bank will raise the credit card limit allowing the consumers to spend more depending on the boundary. Consumers will also receive a bank statement of the credit card history every month. If the due balance is paid each month fully, the bank will not charge interest; however, if the remaining balance is not paid in a single instance, the bank will impose interest.

You can utilize the available funds and deposit them in your checking account if you use checking account. The principal concept behind using credit cards is the availability of credit lines accumulated overtime to be paid later to the bank. The credit line depends on the credit history and the reliability of the account and the financial institute that provides ample time to the customers regarding the complete payment of credit cards. Contrary to debit cards, the bank usually places a hold on the total amount withdrawn and spent. The money or the deposited funds will immediately be withheld from the bank account instead of the credit cards. The money paid or deposited funds are used but accumulated in the individual’s monthly credit card statement. When using a checking account, the issuing bank will associate a checking account with an overdraft line of credit covering overdrafts along with a substantial amount of fee and interest. This concept is contrary to credit cards, where the accumulated balance needs to be paid off at the end of the monthly cycle. Issuing banks offering credit card facilities impose an annual fee instead of the checking account, which provides it for free.

If you need to check your debit card balance, you can read more in our article on how to check visa debit card balance.

A debit card is typically associated with a checking account.

Debit and credit cards are frequently used interchangeably, but the former is provided with a checking account. A debit card is typically associated with a checking account, whereas a prepaid debit card is not. On the other hand, a credit card is radically related to the line of credit provided by the financial institution proceeding on creditable history. In contrast, debit cards do not rely on creditworthiness. An ATM card or a debit card may appear similar as they both are responsible for cash withdrawal and funds extraction from checking or savings account through an ATM. A debit card equipped with a Visa logo or MasterCard icon can be readily accepted at retailers; however, an ATM card is only acceptable for cash withdrawal at ATMs. A debit card can also be considered as an alternative for liquid cash because funds are instantly deducted from your account through a debit card. A credit card uses your deposited funds, but they are not immediately taken out from the account; instead, customers are expected to pay altogether at the end of the monthly cycle.

In the next article, we will present how to check my debit card is active or not.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

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