Visa Debit Card – Compare Visa Debit Cards

A VISA Debit Card allows you to spend your own money, not the banks, giving you the convenience of a credit card, with out the risk of getting in to debt.

What is a VISA Debit Card?

The VISA Debit Card is a type of card that gives you an alternate payment method to cash, when spending your own money. When you make a purchase using debit cards, the funds are withdrawn directly from your savings bank account or from the remaining balance that is on the card. Check out some of the leading Visa Debit Cards in the Australian market.

VISA Debit Card Comparison

Rates last updated August 28th, 2015
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Interest Rate p.a. Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
HSBC Day to Day Transaction Account
No monthly account keeping fees, plus unlimited ATM transactions at over 3,000 ATMs nationally with no ATM fees. You can also link online to a high-interest Serious Saver Account for your savings.
Array Visa $0 0.00% $0 No ATM fees at over 3,000 HSBC, Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and Bank SA ATMs. Open More
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
A transaction account with no monthly fees, plus a range of bonus features to take advantage of.
Array Visa $0 0.00% $1,000 No monthly fees, and you can use any ATM in Australia for free when you deposit $1,000 each month e.g your salary. Open More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
No account keeping fees if you deposit $2,000 per month, no minimum balance, which means you don't have to keep your account balance at $2,000 for the whole month.
Array Visa $0 0.00% $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George / Westpac / BankSA ATMs. Open More
Citibank Plus Everyday Account
The Citibank Plus Transaction Account is a revolutionary financial product with Free Overseas Direct Purchase Fee. Free international money transfers from Australia to any account, anywhere in the world. No monthly fees, no ATM fees.
Array Visa $0 0.00% $0 No ATM fees using Citibank, Westpac, BankSA and St .George branded ATMs. No international ATM or purchase fees. Open More
ANZ Access Advantage
Open ANZ Access Advantage account and enjoy unlimited transactions at ANZ ATMs, EFTPOS, Internet, Mobile and Phone Banking.
Array Visa $0 0.00% $2,000 No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Open More

How the Visa Debit Card has evolved over the years

A Visa debit card is very similar to a Visa credit card because they both operate on the credit card system. This means that merchants accepting credit cards will also accept debit cards for payments. The debit card is directly linked to a transaction account that the cardholder has at a bank or financial institution. It looks just like a credit card, but it uses cash that the cardholder has in his bank account. There is no credit given on a debit card, which means that there is no credit history check. This makes the Visa debit card accessible to almost anybody.

The Visa history is very interesting. Visa has recently converted over from a co-operative of all the Visa card issuers to a profit-making company. It now has shares which are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

VISA had its start in California. It was introduced by the Bank of America that had watched the ideas set forth by American Express and Diners Club become popular. They expanded on the Diners Club card and began to offer their own card to customers that wanted to shop using credit at shops, and have all this credit consolidated in one account.

The launch was held in Fresno California even though the Bank of America was based in San Francisco. The Bank of America had a large customer base in Fresno, and they decided to mass mail out their cards to this customer base. The mass mailing was based on a preset credit limit, so only the customers that met the standards were mailed a card. This was the first time that a mass mailing was done like this, and since then there have been many more.

The Bank of America also wanted to make sure that word would not spread if the launch was a failure. Fresno is more isolated from the rest of California than any other major city, so it was a good choice. Needless to say, this launch was far from being a failure.

The Visa debit card was introduced to the public in the 1980s. Since then it has become part of the Australian lifestyle. It is a good option if you don’t want, or can’t get, a Visa credit card.

This is a Visa history summary of the Visa debit card and its beginnings. This card has a strong history, and an even bigger future.

Where can you use a VISA Debit Card?

Visa does not operate its own transaction account, so any debit cards offered by Visa must be linked to a bank account or an account with another financial institution that offers a Visa debit card. Visa is a payment processor, and it works on behalf of these financial institutions on a worldwide basis. The Visa debit card is operated by the bank that is offering them.

A VISA Debit Card gives you the convenience of a credit card, allowing you to pay your bills over the phone, go shopping online when you’re on the internet, or make a purchase over the counter in an EFTPOS machine. The other major benefit of a VISA Debit Card is you are able to use your card overseas to make purchases, anywhere a VISA card is accepted (over 29 million locations worldwide!). You can also use your card in an ATM machine to make a cash withdrawal from one of over 1 million ATM machines world-wide that accept VISA cards.

Using your VISA Debit Card

You can use your VISA Debit Card everyday, like you would any credit card or EFTPOS card. When paying for a transaction, simply press the “credit” button on the EFTPOS machine, and the money comes straight from your own bank account. When you press “credit”, it doesn’t mean you’re paying by credit, but it does ensure you will be protect by VISA’s Zero Liability policy which protects you against unauthorised transactions. You have the choice of using either a PIN Number or signature when authorising the card purchase.

Benefits of VISA Debit Cards

  • The primary benefit of a VISA Debit Card is being able to reduce the risk of getting in to credit card debt, by ensuring you’re spending your own money, and not over-extending yourself by getting a credit card balance you may not be able to repay.
  • Any purchase that you make on your card is covered and protected by VISA’s Zero Liability policy
  • It’s a lot more convenient, easier and safer than carrying cash or using your EFTPOS card.
  • Access your transaction records for your card online instantly through internet banking.
  • You don’t need a good credit history. When applying for a VISA Debit Card, the banks don’t do a credit check, making the application process fast (and painless!).

How to apply for a VISA Debit Card

To make it easier when choosing a VISA Debit Card, we have included a comparison of Australian VISA Debit Cards below. Compare each cards details, monthly account-keeping fee, and annual fee. Once you’ve selected the card you would like to apply for, click the “Apply” button to begin the online application. It’s as easy as that!

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26 Responses to Visa Debit Card – Compare Visa Debit Cards

  1. Default Gravatar
    gtrooper67 | March 22, 2015

    how old do i have to be to get a visa debit card?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | March 23, 2015

      Hi Gtrooper67,

      Debit card holders in Australia generally need to be at least 16 years of age and have a residential Australian address.



  2. Default Gravatar
    | November 7, 2014

    I was in a Newsagents in Kings Meadows, Tasmania recently and they were asking us to pay 20c per card transaction (obviously to cover their bank charges). Is this legal or at least Ethical?

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | November 10, 2014

      Hi Glenda,

      Thanks for your question.

      In 2013 the RBA put in place credit card surcharge reforms that were meant to restrict what retailers were able to charge consumers. These reforms are to restrict surcharges to cover the ‘reasonable cost’ of what banks charge them to process credit card purchases. Although, the definition of ‘reasonable cost’ is quite flexible. You might want to take a read of this page and this page to learn more about this. If you wish to seek free financial advice about this matter you can get in contact with the financial ombudsmen in Tasmania.

      I hope this has helped.



  3. Default Gravatar
    Glenda | November 6, 2014

    Who makes money out of us pressing the CREDIT option?

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | November 7, 2014

      Hi Glenda,

      Thanks for your question.

      Pressing credit is simply accessing your money a different way, so nobody will really ‘make money’ out of this.

      I hope this has helped.



  4. Default Gravatar
    yuan | August 6, 2014

    How can I print my transaction detail? because usually it send into my cellphone via SMS, can I change it into email notification?

    • Staff
      Shirley | August 7, 2014

      Hi Yuan,

      You can request email notifications rather than SMS by contacting your credit card provider.

      You can also print out your transactions if you credit card provider provides an online platform. E.g. For Commonwealth Bank you can log into Netbank and print your statement out from there.


  5. Default Gravatar
    ice | August 18, 2013

    Are there any transaction fees applicable to Visa Debit Card transactions. i.e. If I were to purchase something online, for $100 do I also pay a transaction fee like 1.5% or 2% or something to that effect?

    • Staff
      Jacob | August 19, 2013

      Hi Ice.

      The Reserve Bank of Australia regulated merchant surcharging for both credit cards and debit cards in Australia. Merchants must limit the cost of accepting a debit card to the reasonable cost charged to them by their bank.

      When you use a debit card to make a purchase or withdraw cash, the merchant will pass on a ‘Debit purchase (EFTPOS) Merchant service fee’. This is a fee charged from the bank to the merchant for processing debit card transactions. This fee will be clearly advertised at the point of sale.

      Thanks for your question.

  6. Default Gravatar
    lee | July 26, 2013

    is there a visa debit card with reward points?

    • Staff
      Jacob | July 26, 2013

      Hi Lee. Thanks for your question. There are no Visa Debit Cards that reward you with points when you spend; however, there are perks available to Visa Debit Card cardholders. All Visa debit, credit and prepaid cardholders can sign up to Visa Entertainment for free, and Citibank Visa Debit Card cardholders are eligible to receive a free bottle of wine when they dine at participating restaurants. Thanks for your question. Jacob.

  7. Default Gravatar
    Roger | July 9, 2013

    If I have a Visa debit card can I refill it by bank or online transfer or credit card from overseas?

    I’m in Bangkok Thailand, but I have bank accounts at USA and PenFed in USA where my social security checks are deposited.

    • Staff
      Jacob | July 9, 2013

      Hi Roger. Thanks for your question. Yes, you can transfer from an international account; however, since the cards are Australian, there will be fees for transferring funds from American into an Australian account. You can deposit funds into your account with a linked visa debit card online, through BPAY from another credit card or through a electronic transfer from another bank. If you’re interested in applying for one of these cards, there may be an application condition that you’re present in Australia to receive the card. I hope this helps. Jacob.

    • Default Gravatar
      Roger | July 9, 2013

      Thanks Jacob …
      1) can the card be picked up by a proxy, I do have a number of friends there that I would trust to intercede for me.
      2) is it possible to open a USD account there or only AUD? Two currency exchanges to get my THB would be a real downer!
      3) do you partner with any ATM networks here in Thailand?

      Sorry for so many questions!

    • Staff
      Jacob | July 9, 2013

      Hi Roger. Thanks for your questions. Can you please let us know which provider you’re talking about? Some banks do have alliance ATMs in Thailand.
      Only Australian accounts can be opened, you would need to open an account in the United States if you’re concerned about the currency conversion.
      It may not be the case that you have to be in the country to apply for one of these cards. I just had a chat with a bank and, they said you could apply for one of these cards and elect to have it sent out to you in Thailand, or you could have it sent to a friend and they could get it for you. Cheers. Jacob.

    • Default Gravatar
      Roger | July 10, 2013

      Thanks Jacob, I’m not at all familiar with your providers there but would of course prefer one that offers as much free service as possible with minimum balance … yeah, I know :-)

      Citibank does have branches here in Thailand, although I don’t have an account with them, so maybe that would be a good bet for me. Anyway any bank that can deal with me internationally and send the card to me would b e great … I can fund either from Thailand or USA bank accounts, it’s just that USA organizations rarely have a clue about international transaction since most individual staff rarely if ever are called on to make them.

    • Staff
      Jacob | July 10, 2013

      Hi Roger. As a bit of a background, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and NAB are the Big Four Australian banks and have the lions share of the market from home loans to deposit accounts. St.George is a smaller Australian bank, while ING DIRECT and Citibank are international institutions. The customer service is comparable between the different debit card providers we compare. And the size of your balance shouldn’t have any bearing on the service you get.

      You may want to consider the Citibank Plus Transaction account. This account has fee free transfers to any Citibank and non-Citibank account anywhere in the world.

      Thanks for your questions.


  8. Default Gravatar
    Jenna | May 13, 2013

    Hi there,

    I am interested in using a $200 Visa Debit Card as a giveaway in a competition. Are there any restrictions or information that I would need to include in my competition terms and conditions?

    • Staff
      Jacob | May 13, 2013

      Hi Jenna. It depends on how you hose the competition. For instance, Facebook imposes restrictions on some give-aways etc. How did you plan to do this. Our understanding is that once you have purchased the card, you’re free to use it in whatever legal means you wish. Jacob.

  9. Default Gravatar
    Ansari | April 1, 2013

    Can I use my visa debit card online where the site shows ‘ pay only by credit card ‘ ?

    • Staff
      Jeremy | April 1, 2013

      Hi Ansari

      Thanks for your question

      It is possible to use a Visa Debit Card wherever Visa is accepted online, even when it say “pay only by credit card’ so long as they accept Visa, which most online payment facilities do.

      I hope this was helpful for you


  10. Default Gravatar
    Margaret | January 26, 2013

    Can I make purchases of over A$1000 online with my Visa Debit Card?

    • Staff
      Jacob | January 29, 2013

      Hi Margaret. Thanks for your question. A Visa Debt Card uses your own money for online transactions, the amount you can spend is limited by the amount of cash you have in your account. Cheers.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated August 28th, 2015
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Cash advance rate (p.a.)
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a low interest rate on balance transfers and purchases with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. 21.49% p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Low ongoing interest rate on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $59 p.a. 21.74% p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Enjoy 7,500 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $300 within the first 3 months and up to 2.00 points for every dollar you spend, together with a $0 annual fee. Offer ends on 30 September 2015.
20.74% p.a. 0.99% p.a. for 6 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn rewards points plus a balance transfer offer. Access to Platinum benefits including a personal concierge service and VISA Platinum reward program.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 8 months $0 p.a. 21.99% p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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