Does your debit card have a daily spending limit? Most likely, yes. A debit card spending maximum is set by the individual bank or credit union that issues the debit card. Some debit cards have spending capped at $1,000, $2,000, or $3,000 daily.
Try to spend more than the maximum allowed, and your debit card will be declined even if you have enough money in your checking account. Very embarrassing. There are, however, some steps you can take to deal with debit card spending limits.
Why worry about debit card spending limits?
It’s not every day we need to spend more than $1,000 on a debit card. But it happens. Especially if you do not have or wish to use a credit card for major purchases, you may find yourself needing to pay a big car repair bill, book a vacation, or make another large purchase that will cost more than your debit card spending limit.
Ask your bank or credit union what your debit card limits are
Before you can deal with a debit card spending limit, you need to know what it is. A few banks publish this information on their Web sites; many do not. So you’ll need to call up your bank or credit union or ask a teller the next time you’re in. Be sure to determine both your ATM cash withdrawal daily limit and you debit card spending limit. They’re different.
Typically, your cash withdrawal limit will be lower. Many banks set ATM withdrawal limits at $500 in a 24 hour period. Sometimes it’s $1,000. Typically, your ATM spending limit will be higher. Also ask your bank if ATM transactions count towards your daily spending limit. (If so, and you have a $1,000 total spending limit, when you withdraw $200 from an ATM you could not then make a $900 purchase on your card).
Ask to change your debit card spending limits
Most banks will increase or debit card limits if you ask. This increase can be either permanent or temporary. If you ask for a spending limit increase, however, be sure to find out when the increase will take effect. Sometimes it’s instantaneous, other times it may take 24 or 48 hours, so if you go to make a big purchase right after hanging up with the bank, the transaction may still not go through.
Still using only your debit card for daily purchases? Debit cards can be great at times — and sometimes credit cards are a better choice (if you use them responsibly):