What we know about Google’s debit card (and checking account) debut so far

Apr 18, 2020

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As I’ve found when visiting China — where most Google products are blocked — I rely on the company in many ways. Between Google Maps, Gmail, Google Flights, Google Photos, Google Fi, Google Hotels and Google search, Google has firmly integrated itself into my everyday life. But, would I use a Google checking account and debit card?

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TechCrunch recently revealed leaked photos of a new Google debit card. According to the article, Google is developing its own physical and virtual debit cards, which would be integrated with Google Pay and a Google checking account. TechCrunch obtained the following statement from Google (the same statement the tech giant provided to The Wall Street Journal back in November 2019):

We’re exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools, while keeping their money in an FDIC or NCUA-insured account. Our lead partners today are Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union, and we look forward to sharing more details in the coming months.

There’s no indication as to whether Google’s debit card would earn any rewards, nor how it would handle ATM fees since presumably Google won’t have its own ATM network. Additionally, there are no indications as to what interest rates or promotions might be offered to attract customers nor when the card and checking accounts would be launched.

Related reading: The best rewards credit cards

Although you may be tempted to compare the Google card to the Apple Card, there’s at least one obvious difference: the Apple Card is a credit card while Google’s card will be a debit card. Although it’s possible that Google will eventually release a credit card, Google is apparently starting with a debit card.

Even ignoring rewards, it’s generally better to use a credit card than a debit card. But, I’d be willing to consider a Google checking account and debit card if it fits my needs for a savings and/or checking account. But, as I’m relatively happy using Ally for its high-yield online savings account, Bask Bank for its current promotion that allows you to earn American Airlines miles on your savings and Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account for unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide, Google would need to provide a compelling enough offer for me to switch or add another checking account into the mix.

Related reading: The best checking accounts

Featured photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy.

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