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Managing Your Finances: How Debit Cards Can Help | Westerra Credit Union

Learn the art of financial management with debit cards! Discover their benefits and smart strategies for budgeting in our latest blog.

Managing Your Finances: How Debit Cards Can Help

From grabbing groceries to paying for gas, you make multiple purchases throughout your day. This can make it challenging to track spending for even the savviest budgeters. Debit cards serve as valuable tools for budget management. Below, we'll explore how debit cards can play a pivotal role in helping you take charge of your finances, enabling you to make smarter, more secure, and more convenient financial choices.

How Do Debit Cards Work?

Debit cards are the backbone of modern financial transactions. They link directly to your checking or savings account, allowing you to spend money by drawing directly from your available balance. Unlike credit cards, which involve borrowing money to be paid back later, debit cards access your existing funds. When you make a purchase or withdraw cash, the amount is deducted from your account in real-time. This transparency and immediacy help you stay within your budget and provide a clearer picture of your financial health.

How to Manage Your Finances with Westerra Debit Cards

Create a Budget

With Westerra debit cards, you can easily create a personalized budget that aligns with your financial goals. Our intuitive platform allows you to categorize your spending, set spending limits for various expense categories, and track your expenditures in real-time. Whether you're saving for a vacation, managing daily expenses, or planning for the future, Westerra's budgeting features provide you with the insight and control you need to make informed financial decisions.

Skip Interest Payments

When shopping with a credit card, some people may be tempted to overspend. This can lead to interest payments when you can't pay your credit card balance in full. However, with debit cards, you're spending your own money, not borrowed funds. This reduces the temptation to go beyond your budget and incur unnecessary debt.

With Westerra's advanced account monitoring tools, you can set up alerts for your account. These alerts notify you of transactions that could overdraw your account, allowing you to cover them promptly, deny them, or adjust your spending. Still want to splurge? Westerra can set up overdraft from your savings account to cover any overdraft expenses.

Get Paid Early

With Westerra, you can also enjoy the convenience of getting paid up to two days earlier when you set up direct deposit. This means you have quicker access to your money, providing you with additional financial flexibility and control. Plus, our user-friendly mobile app and online banking platform make managing your finances even more accessible and convenient.

Earn Rewards When You Spend

Unlike typical debit cards, Westerra debit cards allow you to earn reward points when you spend. You can earn 1 reward point for every $3 you spend on purchases when you sign for them. These reward points can be redeemed for a variety of options, including cash, gift cards, travel experiences, and merchandise, helping you save more of your hard-earned money.

Know Your Money Is Secure

At Westerra, we prioritize the security of your finances. We employ vigilant measures to protect your money, including the ability to flag and investigate suspicious transactions. If necessary, we can temporarily block your card to prevent unauthorized use.

For added control and security, the CardNav app empowers you to manage your debit card with ease. You can instantly activate or deactivate your card, set location boundaries for usage, restrict specific merchant types, establish spending limits, and receive real-time transaction alerts. Download the CardNav app from your app store, set up your account, and take charge of your financial security, knowing that Westerra has your back.

As of March 12, 2024, Westerra systems will be live to accept Contactless Card transactions. Members who request a consumer debit card through our “instant issue” process as of March 12th will be provided one with the new Contactless feature. “Contactless” is a feature that allows a member to tap their card on any terminal with the “pay wave” icon. This technology is quick, secure way for a transaction to process without the need to swipe or insert your Westerra debit or credit card (though, of course, you can still do both, if you prefer).

“Contactless” uses an identification technology called “near-field communication (NFC)” processes the transaction, connecting with the computer chip in the Westerra card that has a specific frequency antenna to communicate with the NFC-enabled terminal. The computer chip in the card then sends a one-time signal with a unique code for that specific transaction. Since these codes change each time the card is used, the chip and Tap2Pay transactions cannot be counterfeited. This is another added level of security Westerra is delighted to offer our members!

New designs are coming

Starting May 2024, all members who have a consumer or business Westerra debit and/or credit card will receive a newly designed card featuring this Contactless technology. Members will receive an email notifying them their new card is on its way. This email will include the last four digits of your current card number (card numbers will not change due to this re-issue). You can expect your cards to arrive separately with staggered delivery timeframes due to cards being issued based on expiration dates. Be sure to check out the activation information, next steps, and additional information included with your card mailer!

Your Partner in Financial Management

Westerra is more than just a credit union; we're your dedicated partner in financial management. From our budgeting tools to the convenience of early direct deposits, our debit cards are designed to empower you on your financial journey. Interested in learning more about our card options? Contact us today. We’d love to help.

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