The humble debit card has lots of practical applications in everyday life. And before you ask, we promise this isn’t one of those “thrifty tips” articles suggesting that you use your card to scrape icy windows or remove adhesive — in fact, we highly recommend keeping your current debit card safely stored in your wallet, getting it out only when necessary (or better yet, adding it to your mobile wallet), and shredding it immediately upon expiration. Instead, we’re offering suggestions for using your debit card beyond getting cash at the ATM and paying for your gas at the pump. There are many smart ways to make your debit card work for you, so let’s walk through them together.
Stay on budget. If you’re tracking your spending to build a budget, keeping tabs on your debit card transactions is a good jumping-off point. When you view your bank account or your monthly bank statement, you can see just how much money you spent and where. If you have a budget already in place and are using your debit card for your expenses, one look at your transactions can help you categorize your spending. To make the process even easier, you can link a budgeting app to your debit card and identify where your money is going with every swipe.
Pay for goods. Anywhere that takes credit cards takes debit cards, and you won’t be charged interest on your purchases. From your favorite coffee truck to the farmer’s market, most merchants and vendors have card readers now, so think beyond grocery and big-box stores. You won’t have to carry cash or pay interest on your purchase.
Pay for services. Chances are good that your hairstylist, lawncare service, and even the heating and air conditioning tech are prepared to take debit cards as a payment method, and most systems allow you to add a tip (although your AC guy probably won’t expect one!). Super easy, and you’re back to your busy life.
Pay your bills. For a free, no-hassle way to pay your bills on time, set up automatic recurring payments for anything from auto insurance to your cell phone using your debit card — just be sure to update the info if you get a new card.
Order dinner. No more scrounging for cash for the pizza guy! It’s as easy as ordering dinner and pre-paying online. From local establishments to meal delivery services, a card is a must, and your debit card is always a handy option.
Make donations. Give love (and cash) to your favorite nonprofit organization(s) and/or house of worship using your debit card. Whether it’s a one-time donation, a recurring monthly or bi-monthly gift, or a ticket to a fundraiser, using your debit card makes for smooth philanthropy — though again, you’ll want to update the info if you get a new card.
Join and subscribe. From your wholesale club to your bookstore to organizations you belong to, annual membership fees and dues can easily be put on a debit card (ask for a reminder text or email so you’ll know when they’re happening). You can see them come out of your account and know you’re set for another year. Subscriptions to everything from magazines to meal kits to streaming services can be handled in this no-hassle way, as well.
In summary, your debit card can be the key to purchases without interest, payments without fees, on-time bill payment, and better budgeting. Hopefully we’ve given you some beyond-the-ATM inspiration, but if you need additional motivation to use your debit card more regularly, UBT has a sweet offer for you:
Add your UBT debit card to your mobile wallet and make 20 debit transactions by November 30, 2020 (whether it’s online, via your mobile wallet, or a good old-fashioned swipe) to be entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card* from UBT. And if you don’t win in November, you’ll have another chance in December! In the meantime, enjoy your debit card (and please buy a real ice scraper).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Participate in the November drawing by having 20 posted debit card transactions and adding your debit card to your mobile wallet (debit cards already set up in your mobile wallet are still eligible) between Sunday, November 1, 2020, and Monday, November 30, 2020, and/or participate in the December drawing by having 20 posted debit card transactions and adding your debit card to your mobile wallet (debit cards already set up in your mobile wallet are still eligible) between Tuesday, December 1, 2020, and Thursday, December 31, 2020 (the “promotion period”) to be automatically entered in the contest. Business accounts are not eligible for automatic entry. You may also participate in the drawing by completing the form at the following link https://unionbankandtrust.survey.fm/debit-card-promotion during the promotion period. You must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia at time of entry. Residents of the state of Maine are not eligible to participate. YOU MUST NOT BE PROHIBITED BY FEDERAL OR STATE LAW FROM ENTERING THIS DRAWING OR FROM WINNING THE PRIZE. You may enter each drawing only once. You need not be present to win. You may win only once. The November winner will not be eligible for entry into December’s drawing. One November drawing winner and one December drawing winner will each receive one (1) Visa gift card valued at $500.00. Winner must pick up prize at a UBT branch location of their choice. Total value of all prizes awarded is $1,000.00. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. This drawing is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or associated with Visa. Official rules available at www.ubt.com/debit-officialrules. Member FDIC
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