Key takeaways

  • If you’re a Venmo customer who wants more ways to tap into your account balance, the Venmo Debit Card might be a good fit.
  • You can earn cash back through limited-time offers at participating merchants when you shop with the card, and you can use it to withdraw cash at approximately 40,000 ATMs in the U.S..
  • You cannot use the Venmo Debit Card outside the U.S. or to pay at international merchants, which means a traditional cash back debit card could be a better everyday choice.

Venmo is one of the most popular mobile payment apps in the United States, and it offers many of the same functions as PayPal and Cash App. Consumers can use the Venmo app to pay one another with linked credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts or account balances, split expenses, make purchases and even access cash from an ATM.

Some functions of the Venmo app require individuals to pair it with the Venmo Debit Card. Unlike traditional debit cards that pull from a linked bank account, the purchases you make with the Venmo Debit Card are charged to your account balance (though you still need a linked bank account to transfer funds into that balance). Individuals can also use the Venmo Debit Card to expedite a speedy direct deposit of their paycheck to their Venmo account. The Venmo Debit Card also earns rewards on specific purchases, but not on everything you buy.

Is the Venmo Debit Card worth it? It can be if you’re already a regular Venmo user, yet you may want to consider other options if you want to earn rewards on more purchases or be able to make purchases with your card outside the U.S.

When is the Venmo Debit Card worth it?

The Venmo Debit Card offers plenty of value for regular Venmo users who want to expand the ways they use Venmo in their everyday lives. This debit card is also available with no annual fees or monthly fees, and there are no minimum balance requirements.

You may want to consider this debit card if any of the following applies:

You plan to take advantage of cash back offers

The Venmo Debit Card offers instant cash back rewards at participating merchants through a partnership with a third party company called Dosh. Whenever you make an eligible purchase, your rewards are automatically deposited into your Venmo balance.

Merchant offers are available for a limited time, and they can be viewed within the Venmo app. Unfortunately, there’s no way to see these offers unless you have the Venmo Debit Card. In the past, Venmo has offered 5 percent cash back for purchases at places like Target, Wendy’s and Sephora. Cash back amounts vary by offer, and there may be limits on the amount of cash back you can earn.

You want superior security and protection

Purchases made with the Venmo Debit Card are covered by zero liability protection through the Mastercard network, meaning you’re never responsible for fraudulent purchases charged to your card. Another card feature called Mastercard Global Service lets you report a lost or stolen card and receive an emergency replacement. In addition, Mastercard ID Theft Protection monitors your credit file and alerts you to suspicious activity as long as you activate it. And if you lose your card and then find it, you also have the ability to disable or enable your card within the Venmo app.

Venmo also offers its own set of protections for consumers. Under the Protected Purchase Program, purchases made at authorized merchants using the Venmo Debit Card are covered in full (plus shipping costs) in certain circumstances, including if you did not receive the item or if the item does not match its original description.

You want more ways to access your Venmo balance

Issued by the Bancorp Bank, the Venmo Debit Card allows you to withdraw cash from ATMs for free as long as it’s at a MoneyPass® ATM in the U.S. ATMs outside of the MoneyPass network charge $2.50 for each withdrawal.

Having the Venmo Debit Card also makes it possible for users to make purchases with the Venmo app and the card and have the funds directly withdrawn from their Venmo balance. Users can also track their purchases and other account activity directly on the app.

When is the Venmo Debit Card not worth it?

While the Venmo Debit Card offers some useful functions, there are scenarios where consumers should probably go with a different offer. Some consumers might be attracted to the card as a debit card with its own unique rewards proposition, but others would be better off getting a credit card instead.

The Venmo Debit Card may not be worth it in the following situations:

You want to earn rewards on more purchases

The Venmo Debit Card isn’t the only debit card to offer its users rewards for their spending, and the fact that it only earns cash back on specific purchases is a major distinction. This is especially true since other debit cards let users earn rewards on everything they buy (up to monthly limits).

For example, there’s the Discover Cashback Debit for Discover checking customers, which earns 1 percent cash back on up to $3,000 in purchases each month. The Discover Cashback Debit also comes with no monthly fees, fee-free ATM access at more than 60,000 ATMs, early direct deposit and other perks.

You don’t want to pay foreign transaction fees

Note that the Venmo Debit Card can’t be used outside of the United States or for online purchases with international merchants. If you’re interested in the Venmo Debit Card but travel abroad often, you’ll want to have alternative payment options on hand.

Many other debit cards can be used outside the United States as well, whether worldwide or in certain regions of the globe. For example, the Discover Cashback Debit can be used for cash withdrawals and purchases throughout Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean when you see the Discover, PULSE® or Diners Club International® symbols.

You’re hoping to build credit for the future

Also be aware that the Venmo Debit Card is a debit card only, hence the name. This means it doesn’t offer a line of credit you can borrow against, thus it doesn’t help users build their credit scores for the future.

If you want to build credit, you may want to get a rewards credit card that offers points or cash back on everything you buy. You can even consider the Venmo Credit Card, a co-branded credit card with Synchrony Bank, which comes with no annual fee and offers a higher cash back rate on select category purchases.

With the Venmo Credit Card, you’ll earn 3 percent cash back on your top eligible spending category, 2 percent back on your next top eligible spending category and 1 percent back on all other purchases. The card also includes a “purchase crypto” feature, which allows you to purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin with your cash back — an option that could be appealing to the crypto curious.

Should you get the Venmo Debit Card?

Only you can decide if the Venmo Debit Card is right for you, and exactly how you will use it if you decide to sign up. It could make sense to set up direct deposit of your paycheck to your Venmo account so you can use the Venmo Debit Card for regular spending and bills in some scenarios. In others, you could decide to use the Venmo Debit Card for certain types of purchases only, such as when you’re able to earn cash back.

Whatever you do, make sure to consider the pros and cons of the Venmo Debit Card and how it stacks up to the competition. After all, there are numerous other ways to make purchases using an account balance you have, whether through debit cards tied to money transfer apps or cards tied to traditional banks.

The bottom line

If you’d rather not use a credit card for your spending, and if you’d prefer using Venmo over a bank debit card, then the Venmo Debit Card may be a good option for you. Its integration with the Venmo app is convenient, and it offers the chance to earn cash back along with withdrawals at approximately 40,000 MoneyPass locations in the U.S.

But you can’t use the Venmo Debit Card outside of the U.S. or for purchases with international merchants. And if you want to earn more robust rewards on your purchases, you might be happier with any of the top rewards credit cards on the market.

Information about the Venmo Debit Card and Venmo Credit Card is collected independently by Bankrate. Card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.