How To Get An Online Bank Account With Instant Debit Card


Unlike a physical debit card, you can start using your instant virtual debit card with an online bank account immediately without waiting days for it to arrive in your mailbox. Plus, you can add your card details to Google Pay or Apple Pay to make contactless purchases online or in person. If you’re interested in taking advantage of the many benefits that come with a virtual debit card, be sure to do your research and compare the features from different providers to find the best fit for you.

Practically all checking accounts provide a debit card, and most will allow you to get an instant virtual debit card. You can use checking account comparison tools like this one to search for online bank accounts that come with an instant debit card. The exact process to request the instant debit card will vary depending on the financial institution, but the example below is representative of most banks and credit unions.

How to find your instant debit card number online?

The exact process will vary, but we will use U.S. Bank’s online account as an example.

You can easily access your virtual U.S. Bank card details, even when you don’t have it with you. Note that one-time passcode verification will be required to view the card information.

Login to and follow these steps:

  • Choose the checking account associated with the card you’d like to view.
  • Under the account name, you will have three options, select Cards.
  • Select the card to see the card details.
  • Underneath the image of the card simply select Show card number to view the card number, expiration date, and CVV code.

That’s it. Now you can use that information to make online purchases. The table below shows other checking accounts that offer this service.

Trends in digital banking

Digital banking and digital payments have become the norm, making it easier than ever to make transactions without carrying cash. According to Statista data, more than 65% of consumers in the United States used digital banking in 2022, up from 61% in 2018. This upward trend makes it clear that we’re transitioning into a world with less and less reliance on physical money.

One of the more modern forms of digital payment that’s been taking off in recent years is virtual debit cards. These cards make it even easier for consumers to make payments through digital channels like smartphones, cutting out any need to carry cash or swipe a physical card. So, how do instant virtual debit cards work? Let’s take a look.

What is an instant virtual debit card?

In a nutshell, an instant virtual debit card is almost the exact same as a traditional debit card — except, it’s digital. Similar to regular debit cards, instant virtual debit cards allow you to access the funds in your checking account. However, they have their own unique 16-digit card number, PIN, CVC, and expiration date.

And unlike having to wait 7 to 10 business days for your physical debit card to arrive in the mail, you can immediately use your instant virtual debit card upon approval. Many banks and fintech companies like PNC Bank, Wise, and Doughh offer online checking accounts with instant virtual debit cards to provide customers with more flexibility.

How to use a virtual debit card

A virtual debit card works the same as your physical card. However, instead of storing it in your physical wallet, you store your virtual debit card in a digital wallet on your phone.

To activate and access your virtual debit card, most financial institutions or fintech companies will require you to download their mobile app. For example, MoneyLion, a New York-based financial technology company, requires users to download their MoneyLion mobile app and sign up for the RoarMoney checking account before they can access their virtual debit card. That said, this process usually takes less than five minutes and is rather straightforward.

Once you have access to your virtual debit card, you can add your card details to Google Pay or Apple Pay and make physical payments in stores, through apps, and online. Since Google Pay and Apple Pay are widely accepted, you can make purchases online or pay bills with your mobile wallet with minimal issues.

Virtual debit cards pros and cons

Physical debit cards are tangible plastic cards that link to your bank accounts. With them, you can withdraw cash from an ATM or complete a purchase in-person, at retail stores, or online.

On the other hand, virtual debit cards, as the name suggests, are non-physical. And though these virtual cards offer a variety of benefits, they also come with drawbacks you should be aware of.


Here is a list of the benefits and drawbacks to consider.

  • Instant activation. Instead of waiting days, or sometimes over a week, for your physical debit card to arrive in the mail, you can access and activate your virtual debit card within minutes of opening your account.
  • Extra layer of security. Virtual debit cards provide an extra layer of protection since they don’t store any personal information on the card itself like physical debit cards. This means it’s much harder for someone to access your financial details or hack your bank account. Plus, most virtual debit cards are equipped with the 3D secure payment feature, a security protocol to prevent fraud in online transactions.
  • No need to carry a physical card. If you don’t want to deal with physical cards or worry about losing them in public places, virtual debit cards are the perfect solution. You can access it using your smartphone to make payments quickly and securely within seconds. Plus, since most virtual debit cards come with mobile apps, you can manage them on the go.
  • Reduced plastic waste. Every year, billions of plastic cards are manufactured and used around the world. Digital alternatives like virtual debit cards use far fewer resources and create less waste — all while providing users with more convenience and security.
  • Limited use. Since virtual debit cards have no form of physical appearance, you typically cannot use them to withdraw cash from the ATM. And though some ATMs may support contactless withdrawals, they might be harder to find than traditional ATMs.

How to manage your online checking account wisely

By managing your online checking account responsibly, you can avoid costly overdraft fees and take control of your financial health. Here are some tips on how to do so:

  1. Track your spending regularly. Create a budget and use online banking to keep track of where your money is going each month. If you’re spending more than you earn, it’s time to assess your spending habits and adjust your lifestyle to fit your budget.
  2. Set up automatic payments. Make sure all your bills are paid on time by setting up automatic payments for recurring expenses like utilities and credit card bills. By doing so, you can also boost your credit score and increase your creditworthiness.
  3. Use alerts. Take advantage of the alert features available through most institutions’ online checking accounts, including low-balance alerts or fraud alerts when suspicious activity is detected in your account.
  4. Keep an eye out for fees. Read the fine print to make sure you understand any fees associated with using your checking account, such as overdrafts or minimum balance requirements.
  5. Utilize online banking tools. Many financial institutions offer money management tools such as budgeting calculators, planners, and savings goals. This can make it easier to stay on top of your finances and make smarter money decisions.

To ensure you choose the best checking account for your finances, use the comparison tool below. You can filter results depending on what additional features are offered or what fees they charge. For instance, the accounts listed below all come with debit cards.

Pro Tip

Don’t use public Wi-Fi networks when accessing online banking accounts. Unsecured public Wi-Fi networks are risky since the majority of them are not securely encrypted. In other words, they may be vulnerable to hacker attacks.


How do I get an instant virtual debit card?

The exact process of getting an instant virtual debit card may vary depending on the financial institution. But typically, you’ll need to complete a simple application on their website and provide your personal information, such as name, address, and date of birth.

Once you submit the application and it’s accepted, you’ll receive your virtual card number. You can then use this information to make payments online, over the phone, or in person.

Can I get a debit card immediately after opening a bank account?

It depends on what kind of debit card you apply for. If it’s a physical debit card, you typically have to wait a few business days before receiving it in the mail. However, if you apply for an instant virtual debit card, you’ll receive it immediately.

What is the easiest bank to open online?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the answer largely depends on your financial situation. But if you have a sub-par credit history and want to open a bank account online, financial expert, Andrew Lokenauth, says you should try to look for banks that do not require a credit check. Some banks he recommends signing up with are Chime, Capital One 360, or BBVA Online Checking.

Once you successfully create an account, use it responsibly and make sure always to pay your bills on time. This will help you to start building a positive banking history and improve your credit score over time.

Which bank offers instant accounts?

Multiple financial institutions offer instant accounts, including MoneyLion, Chime, and PNC Bank. However, it’s important to do your due diligence and research each option carefully before settling on one. Look into the fees and compare account features to ensure you find the best bank for your needs.

Are virtual debit cards safe to use?

Yes, virtual debit cards are safe. They’re electronically encrypted to protect you from banking fraud using the 3-D Secure technology, which verifies your identity with two-factor authentication when making online payments.

How much do online bank accounts cost?

It depends. Some online bank accounts require monthly maintenance fees — from as little as $5 to as much as $15 per month — while some don’t. Be sure to read the fine print carefully before committing to an online account to avoid paying extra charges you weren’t expecting.

Key Takeaways

  • Instant virtual debit cards can be accessed within minutes upon approval, allowing users to make payments through their digital wallet without carrying cash or swiping a physical card.
  • You can add your virtual debit card details to Google Pay, Apple Pay, or other mobile wallet and make purchases online (or offline) using these mobile wallets.
  • Pros of instant virtual debit cards include immediate activation, an extra layer of security, no need for a physical card, and less plastic waste.
  • One disadvantage of virtual debit cards is their limited use. Most banks won’t allow you to use your virtual card to withdraw cash from the ATM, which can be inconvenient.
View Article Sources
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  2. FDIC Consumer News: Is Digital Banking for Me? — Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  3. How Long Does A Debit Card Refund Take? — SuperMoney
  4. Can You Get a Debit Card with a Savings Account? — SuperMoney
  5. How to Send Money to Someone Without a Bank Account — SuperMoney
  6. At What Age Can You Get a Debit Card? Child Debit Card Tips — SuperMoney
  7. How to Withdraw Money From PayPal With (and Without) a Bank Account — SuperMoney
  8. What Does Pending Payment Mean? — SuperMoney
  9. Debit Card Deactivation Scams on the Rise: Don’t Become a Victim — SuperMoney
  10. Best Money Transfer Apps in 2023 — SuperMoney
  11. NetSpend Prepaid Debit Cards — SuperMoney
  12. PayPal Cash Card — SuperMoney