Key takeaways

  • If you’re a Venmo customer and looking for a Mastercard 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 that’s automatically added to your balance, as well as withdraw cash at more than 37,000 ATMs in the U.S..
  • But you can’t use it outside the U.S. or to pay at international merchants, which means a traditional cash back debit card could be a better everyday choice.

Since its 2009 launch, Venmo has become one of the most popular mobile payment apps in the United States. The app — which lets users pay one another with linked credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts or account balances — began offering a Mastercard debit card in 2018. It’s called the Venmo Debit Card today.

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).

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.

Get cash back with Venmo Rewards

Venmo Rewards is the official rewards program for the Venmo Debit Card that launched in October 2019. With the help of Dosh — the third-party cash back platform that manages Venmo Rewards — the Venmo Debit Card offers instant cash back rewards for making purchases with the card at participating merchants. 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.

Venmo Debit Card security protections

Under the Mastercard network, purchases made with the Venmo Debit Card are covered by zero liability protection, meaning you aren’t responsible for unauthorized transactions. With Mastercard Global Service, you can report a lost or stolen card and receive an emergency replacement. 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 offers its own set of protections as well. 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.

How the Venmo Debit Card compares with its competitors

The Venmo Debit Card isn’t the only debit card to offer its users rewards for their spending. 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. Then there’s Venmo’s competitor, Cash App (formerly Square Cash), which released a Visa debit card, Cash Card, in May 2017 — just over a year before Venmo did.

Cash App’s Cash Card is tied to users’ balances and also offers a rewards program. In the past, Cash Card’s rewards were unofficially reported to include 10 percent cash back at Whole Foods, Burger King and Petco.

Both Venmo and Cash App set limits on card usage. The Venmo Debit Card comes with a daily purchase limit of $3,000, which is significantly lower than the Cash Card’s $7,000 limit a day. Other terms apply, so carefully read the fine print before signing up.

Is the Venmo Debit Card worth it?

If your main goal is to earn rewards for your purchases, a cash back debit card may better suit your needs. Most rewards credit card options, including ones with no annual fees, provide upfront information on how and where you can earn rewards, meaning that you can choose a card based on how and where you spend.

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, have alternative payment options on hand.

Even if you’re a frequent user of Venmo, the rewards potential of the Venmo Debit Card isn’t much compared to that of a rewards credit card. Though, as of 2022, Venmo also offers 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.

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 more than 37,000 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.