College Life Logo

Debit Cards 101: Get a Student Debit Card Right Now!

by College Life
Updated on June 20, 2023

You’ve already chosen to study in the Netherlands. You’re also an expert when it comes to housing allowance, health insurance allowance, and all the other things related to student finance. One more thing to add to your list: debit cards. We are here to help you with all things bank-related and in this case, tell you all about debit cards. Maybe you have one already and are looking for a better deal on one in the Netherlands or you’ve never owned one before. Don’t worry, we cater to everyone! We have all the basics you need to know about debit cards and know the best place to get one.

What’s the difference between credit cards and debit cards?

Both debit and credit cards are little plastic rectangles that are linked to your bank account. Sarcasm aside, debit cards differ from credit cards in that you can only spend the amount of money you have in your bank account. If you’ve loaded €100 into your account, you can only withdraw or use €100 or less. Debit cards don’t increase your debt like credit cards.

In short, you’re spending your own money with debit rather than borrowing money with credit.

Tell me, how do I use one?

Tell me, how do I use one?


You can use debit cards in most places where you can use a credit card. That includes restaurants and stores. Sometimes, you will be asked if you want to use debit or credit. You simply swipe your card, put in your PIN, and you’re done! Moreover, most online stores allow you to use debit cards as well. Just remember to make sure that the platform you are paying on is safe. Check for a green lock before the URL because you don’t want your information to be stolen! What’s more, you can use a debit card to withdraw cash. Debit cards are great if you are on a mission to become better at budgeting. Other than your handy budgeting journal, with a debit card you have a limit that you have to be able to manage. A debit card isn’t as flexible as a credit card. You spend what you have.

Bunq, an innovative way of banking

A first option that you should definitely consider is Bunq. They offer both credit and debit cards as well as a multitude of possibilities ranging from sharing accounts with your roommates to opening up to ten separate accounts and more!  All of this can be done through your smartphone. Read more about Bunq and its advantages in our article "bunq, what’s that? Easy banking explained to you".

Student debit cards at ABN AMRO

A great place to get a debit card as a student is at ABN AMRO. They have a special package exclusively for international students coming to study in the Netherlands. With the ABN AMRO International Student Package, you can get an account and a debit card as well as day-to-day national and international banking and internet banking. For free, you can also get an Internet Savings Account and an Internet Quarterly Savings Account. This is great since this package is paperless which means that all your bank statements come to you by email or through internet banking. This means you can access and manage your account online. Plus, you are also able to apply for insurances for your household, accidents, and even health insurance! This is all available to foreign, non-Dutch students between the ages of 18 and 30.

Image of using debit cards online
Image of using debit cards online

Prepaid debit cards are also a thing

Prepaid debit cards for students are similar to prepaid phones. You load money onto a card, which is then used like a normal debit card. It’s a reloadable debit card of sorts. To do this, you might either do it when you buy the card or maybe after. With certain pre-paid cards, you can load more money on to it over and over again, not just once. Like debit cards, you can only spend the money you have loaded on your card; just like a pre-paid phone.

But why use a prepaid card? Well, they are a good alternative because you don’t need credit; a lot of students haven’t had the chance to build up their credit, so they can't qualify for a credit card. However, using a debit card is the same deal; you don’t need credit, and you have a bank account you can access as easy as pie whenever you need it. Useful, right?

Simple, wouldn't you say? Debit cards are great if you are using your own bank account for the first time, or just to manage your money faster and easier. With the Student Package, you are sure to get the best deal and the best rewards. What are you waiting for? Go out there and get yourself a debit card!

What are your experiences with debit cards? Leave a comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Table of contents
Share this article