What is a Check Card?

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  • Written By: Christine Hudson
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 25 February 2018
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A check card is an alternative payment method to cash or checks. It is favored by some consumers as being more convenient and cost-effective than traditional paper checks, cash or credit cards. Check cards look the same as debit or credit cards and many even have major companies backing them.

These cards can generally be used to pay bills and buy food and other goods anywhere that a debit or credit card is accepted. Many employers offer the option of direct deposit into their employees' checking accounts. From here, the funds are immediately available via check card. Some employers even reward employees who choose this payment method by paying them a day early.

Unless otherwise stated, there are usually no fees associated with a check card, so consumers do not have to worry about losing a portion of their paycheck or paying in order to use the card or withdraw cash with it. Check cards also do not deal with credit in any way so a person’s credit is not checked in order for him or her to receive one. Credit is also not usually damaged by the misuse of a check card.

Another alternative to the term “check card” is "debit card." Debit cards also resemble credit cards, but instead of using credit and accruing interest, purchases made with a debit card come directly out of your bank account. In many areas, there are even debit check cards which offer rewards such as cash back or flier miles for using them.

Check cards have re-invented the way that many people deal with and understand money. Whereas it used to be tedious to withdraw cash or hand-write checks for every purchase or wait for paychecks to come in the mail so they could be cashed, having a check card makes it all much easier and instantaneous. Some people believe this has led to the world population being much more irresponsible with money while others argue that it has made money more accessible and easier to handle.

Having an easier way to process payroll every month is something every company looks into from time to time. With the addition of payroll options such as a check card, companies can now give their employees more ways to get paid quickly. Bank-issued check cards should not be confused with automated teller machine (ATM) cards, however, as an ATM card cannot typically be used directly to make purchases.



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