Last Updated on September 23, 2023
You will agree that sending money to friends, family, or even for business purposes has never been easier. Well, thanks to the mobile 21st century’s money apps. But what if you do not have a debit card for whatever reason? You could still send money without a debit card – and nope – this doesn’t take you back to the stone age.
In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through various methods to send money without needing a debit card. From apps such as Venmo and PayPal to traditional methods (money orders and cash in the mail), this post reveals the top ways that anyone with no debit card can still send money conveniently.
How to Send Money Without a Debit Card
1. Send with Venmo Without a Debit Card
You do not need a debit card for Venmo, and this is helpful if the recipient has a Venmo account. First, you have to connect the app to a bank account in the U.S.
Follow these steps to add a bank account in the Venmo app:
- Tap on your photo or initials to go to the Me tab.
- Find the Wallet section.
- Click on Add a bank or card…
- Choose Bank.
- Pick how you want to verify the account.
It is better to link a checking account instead of a savings one. Savings accounts used to have a six-transfer limit each month, although this changed for some banks in 2020.
Venmo works through a mobile app. Both you and the person you are sending money to need to have free Venmo accounts. You can send money using their email or phone number. You can link your bank account, debit card, or credit card to pay for the transfer.
If you use your Venmo balance or a linked bank account or accepted debit card, it’s free. But if you use a different card, there’s a 3% fee. Receiving money is always free.
On Venmo, you can add friends, and your transactions show up in a public feed. You can even “like” these posts. If you want to keep your transactions private, you can change your settings. The person receiving the money doesn’t need a bank account. They can get a Venmo card that works like a prepaid debit card to use their Venmo balance.
2. Use PayPal Without Debit Card
PayPal lets you send money to people in over 190 countries. All you need is their email or phone number. The recipient should have a PayPal account, which is free to create. You can also use different currencies.
If you use money from your PayPal account or a bank you’ve linked to it, you will not pay any fees. But if you use other methods, you will be charged a fee of 2.9% and an extra 30 cents for each transaction.
Sending money outside the U.S.? The fees are different. If you use your PayPal balance or a linked bank account, the fee will be between 0.5% and 2%. If you use a credit card or a debit card that is not linked, the fee will be between 3.4% and 3.9%.
PayPal can also be used to request a check in the mail, which takes about 1-2 weeks to arrive. But you have to pay a $1.50 fee to cash the check. Any bank will cash the check, even if the person doesn’t have an account there.
3. Send Money with Zelle No Debit Card
You can also send money without a debit card. Simply use your online banking username and password to link your bank account to the Zelle. After being enrolled, you need your Zelle password to log into the Zelle app.
To send money with Zelle without using a debit card, you can follow these simple steps:
Using your mobile banking app:
- Open your bank’s mobile app and look for the Send Money with Zelle option.
- Tap Send Money.
- Add the person you want to send money to by typing in their phone number or email.
- Enter the amount you want to send.
- Confirm the transaction to finish.
Using the Zelle app:
- Log into your Zelle account.
- Add the recipient’s email or phone number.
- Type in the amount you want to send.
- Review your info and tap Confirm to complete the transaction.
Also, the money usually reaches the recipient in a few minutes, but it can take up to 3 business days for new Zelle users.
4. Send a Money Order
Consider sending a money order if you have no debit card. It works like a check, but you do not need a bank account.
How to send money without a debit card using a money order?
- Buy a money order for the amount you want to send.
- Mail it to the person you’re sending money to.
- They cash it and get the money.
Where to a money order?
- Banks and credit unions
- Post Office branches
- Walmart and other stores
- Places like Western Union or MoneyGram, found in grocery stores and drug stores
- Safe and private.
- No bank information is shared.
- Easy to find places to buy and cash them.
- Better than mailing cash.
- Costs a small fee.
- Takes time to reach the other person, depending on mail speed.
You can buy money orders at Walmart and CVS, as well as any post office and many grocery stores and gas stations. Money orders typically cost $1 to $2.
5. Use Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay
You do not need a debit card to send money with a mobile wallet app such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Many people, even those without a bank account, use mobile wallets. You can link both your bank or credit card to these apps. If the recipient uses a mobile wallet, the money will go straight into their app balance.
- Most apps are free to download and use.
- Money transfers happen quickly, often instantly.
- These apps are secure, using things like encryption and fingerprint login.
- Sending money is usually free only if both people use the same app. Otherwise, you might have to pay a fee.
- Extra fees can apply if you’re sending money to another country.
- The person getting the money needs to have a smartphone and know how to use the app.
6. Use Western Union if No Debit Card
Western Union Western Union has been around for over a century, helping people send money in various ways. One such is the ability to send money without a debit card. Using Western Union, you can send money through their website, by calling them, or by visiting one of their many global locations.
a. Using the Website or App
- Go to Western Union’s website or use their mobile app to send money.
- You can pay using your bank account or credit card.
- Specify the Western Union location closest to the person you are sending money.
- Once the money is ready, the recipient can go to that location to collect it.
b. Over the Phone
Just call Western Union to arrange a money transfer. Make sure you have a credit card ready for this method.
- Go to any of the 500,000+ Western Union locations around the world.
- Set up a money transfer there, and the person you’re sending money to can collect it from a nearby Western Union location.
Regarding costs, the fees for sending money without debit card on Western Union depends on your location and that of the recipient. Usually, it costs between $1 and $2 to send money within the same country. If the recipient is collecting the money from a Western Union location, they might be charged up to $25. You can check the exact fees on Western Union’s website, which has a tool for estimating them.
7. Get a Prepaid Debit Card
If you do not have a traditional debit card connected to a bank account, a prepaid debit card is a simple alternative. You can easily get one from places like Walmart, various gas stations, or local convenience stores.
You load the card with the amount of money you want to use. Many of these prepaid cards come with features that let you transfer money and set up direct deposits. Plus, there are mobile apps that can connect to these prepaid accounts.
These apps offer a lot of the same perks you’d find in top-notch banking apps, such as the ability to deposit checks through your phone.
8. Transfer Funds Through Facebook Messenger with Prepaid Card
You probably use Facebook often. Facebook Messenger app is more than just a chat app – you can also use it to send money to someone. All you need to do is go to your Facebook Messenger and look for the dollar sign symbol. Click it, and you are halfway there! Now, both you and the recipient need to have a Facebook account.
Now, here is the catch – you do not need a regular debit card to send the money. Therefore, you can use a prepaid debit card that you have loaded with money beforehand.
9. Write Them a Check
One way to send money without a debit card is to write a check. However, you need a bank account to do this, but the recipient getting the money doesn’t need one. They can cash the check at different places like the bank that issued the check, grocery stores, or specialized check-cashing shops. Just remember, each place might charge a different fee for cashing the check.
Also, they can use online payment apps like Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App to cash the checks. All they have to do is take photos of both sides of the check with the app and then send them in for approval.
Alternatively, you can send a cashier’s check. This is a special type of check that uses the bank’s own money, not yours. You can buy one using cash, a credit card, or a prepaid card. But be careful, some banks might ask you to have an account with them before they’ll sell you a cashier’s check.
10. Buy a Visa Gift Card
You can use open-loop gift cards as an alternative to a debit card for making payments. These cards are versatile and can be used wherever cards from the same network are accepted. Unlike store-specific gift cards, open-loop gift cards function more like prepaid debit cards. However, they don’t allow you to take out cash from ATMs.
You can easily buy these open-loop gift cards at your neighborhood grocery store or even online. Payment for these cards can be made using either cash or a credit card. By the way, you might be able to get cash from a credit card without charges. Also known as Visa gift cards, these can be loaded with funds and used without needing a bank account.
11. Use Cash App Without a Debit Card
How do I send money to someone without a debit card on the Cash App?
To add a bank to your Cash App:
- Tap the Profile Icon on your Cash App home screen
- Select Linked Banks
- Tap Link Bank
- Follow the prompts
Before this option is available, you will need to add a debit card. So, you can’t use Cash App to send money without a debit card if you have not already added one in the past to unlock the “Add a Bank” option.
12. Go Traditional and Send Cash Through the Mail
As a last resort, you can mail cash to the person. But be careful, it’s risky. Your money could get lost or someone might steal it. This method is a top-pick among methods without online banking.
How to Make it Safer:
- Pay for tracking to know when it arrives.
- Use a plain envelope so it’s not obvious there’s money inside.
- Think about getting insurance for the amount you’re sending.
- It’s direct, no need for tech or other people.
- Usually cheap unless you add tracking or insurance.
- It’s not safe. Your money could get lost or stolen.
- It takes time for the money to get there.
Whether it’s the traditional method of mailing a money order or using modern mobile payment apps like Venmo and PayPal, you can see that there are plenty of options out there.
Each method has its own pros and cons, so be sure to choose the one that best fits your situation. From the convenience of digital transactions to methods such as money orders, there is no limit to sending money without a debit card. Just pick the method that’s most convenient for you.
- Adding a Bank Account. Venmo Help Center
- Sending a Payment. Cash App
- Enroll with the Zelle® App Using Your Online Banking Username & Password. Zelle Pay
- Add a Bank. Cash App