Check a debit card balance by reviewing a recent bank statement, contacting the issuing bank, or using an ATM to access the account with which the card is associated, Consumer.gov advises. Many debit cards are issued after people open checking accounts with banks or credit unions.
Debit cards are different from credit cards in that a debit card withdraws the money directly from a checking account each time the owner uses the card, Consumer.gov explains. The debit card can be used at an ATM, and the machine prompts the user on how to access the account balance. With a credit card, the user borrows money from the credit card company, and that money is paid back through monthly bills.
If the debit card holder does not have enough money in his account, the debit card is declined, Consumer.gov warns. Some banks and credit unions allow customers to sign up for overdraft protection, meaning that the cardholder can use the card even when he does not have enough money in his account to pay for the items. Some banks may require a customer with overdraft protection to pay a fee for every purchase until there is enough money in the account to cover the costs of the cardholder's purchases.