University of Illinois Extension

Purchase with a Debit Card

Use the table below as a quick reference for answering questions about online and offline debit cards.

Type of Card

Online
(ATM Card)
Offline
(Check Card)

Can I use my PIN to make a purchase?

Yes Yes

When is the transaction debited?

Immediately 1-3 days

Can I use this card at an ATM?

Yes Yes

Do I sign for a purchase with this card?

No Yes

Can a credit card issuer issue the card?

No Yes

Can it be used at a POS merchant?

Yes Yes

Does the card look like a credit card?

No Yes

Are funds deducted from your checking account?

Yes Yes

For more information on credit, see other Credit Card Smarts fact sheets. A related fact sheet is "Check Your Credit Report."

Written by Debbie Bartman and Jennifer Hunt, Consumer and Family Economics Educators, University of Illinois Extension, 2002. Updated 2009, Evelyn Prasse, Consumer and Family Economics Educator, Rockford Extension Center, University of Illinois Extension.

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