Monday, May 08, 2006

Does My Debit Card Have a Daily Limit?

I've received a recent influx of Google searches from folks wondering if their debit cards have a daily purchase limit on them — aside from the obvious one, which is based on the balance in the account. Google drops them off at my "Death of a Debit Card" article, which is fine.

But I'd like to answer the question here, too, since Google seems to think more of this blog, ranking-wise, than some other spots on my site.

Yes, Your Debit Card Has a Daily Spending Limit!

Or, at least, it's very, very likely that it does. The amount of the limit varies from bank to bank, or from credit union to credit union. Sometimes it's $500. Other times it's $2,500. Or more.

What this means is that even if your checking account balance is $10,500, if your bank's debit-card daily purchase limit is $1,000, then your $1,025 nuclear-powered GPS navigation and automobile missile-defense system purchase at Best Buy isn't going to go through. You'll be left standing at the register, dazed, confused, and GPS-less.

So if you aren't sure what your bank's daily purchase limit is for their debit cards, you might want to call them and find out. It could save you a fair amount of hassle down the road. It's also worth knowing whether this is something that, in a pinch, they could override with a phone call.

And oh yes — be sure to inquire how long such an override would take. (In my experience, it takes about 3-5 minutes for the override to kick in with the Visa/Mastercard system. But I've heard a few banks tell customers that they'll have to wait 'til the next business day to make use of a temporary higher limit.)

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— Posted by Michael @ 8:52 AM


Who says the banks don't want to control YOUR money right?

Something else, you might check out the fact that alot of banks are currently telling people they are safe from identity theft when in fact, I used my wife's debit card at a leading bank ATM 5 feet from her as she deposited my paycheck to see if we had enough to use the debit for lunch. My son walked off and I turned from the ATM to grab him and forgot her ATM card. We realized it was gone at lunch less than 30 minutes later. We went straight home, I checked the bank balance and already the woman behind me had taken the card and pulled $50 dollars out. I reported it immediately both at the 800 number and in person at the branch where I used the ATM.

Ultimately the bank refused to honor their identity theft protection because I used my wife's ATM card on our joint account. Just a friendly consumer awareness alert. Banks are not your friend!

All the best!
Bill White


That's a great entry. I'm not surprised that debit cards have limits. It's likely to defend the bank against theives (while making your BestBuy GPS shopping harder).

I've also noticed that debit cards can have other drawbacks, such as holds on your card.


That's what you get for not following the rules. You each have your own cards for that joint account. Don't blame the bank.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 8:19 AM, March 01, 2007  

Dear Anonymous that wrote to Bill,

Don't blame the bank? Yeah, cause the bank is a fair system that set's up rules so they can charge you outrageous bank fees if you overdraft or make any other mistakes.

The bank has no idea of costumer service (I personally know this is the case at Chase) because they have so many customers and branches that it's more profitable to find stupid little ways to nickel and dime everyone with fees than to be a business that treats their customers with respect.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 8:55 AM, August 16, 2008  

To Anonymous that thinks banks don't understand customers.

Okay, you posted that a couple of years ago, but I still feel inclined to respond.

Sure, big banks might not understand or care about customers, but that is completely untrue of most smaller banks. Unfortunately some people just don't get that and blame the banks when they screw up big time themselves.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 10:08 PM, March 05, 2010  
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