What is a debit card?

You can use your debit card to:

For example, to pay for something in a shop, you'd put your debit card into a card machine and enter your PIN. Or you could use your debit card, or a wallet app on your mobile phone (like Apple Pay), to make a contactless payment.

Your debit card is linked to your current account. So when you make payment using your debit card, it takes money from that account.

The difference between debit cards and credit cards

When you pay for something using your debit card, you're spending money from your current account. You need to make sure you have enough money in your account to make a payment. If you spend more than what's in your account, your balance could go below £0. Or it could go over an arranged overdraft, if you have one.

When you pay for something using your credit card, you're borrowing money from your credit card provider. This means you can pay back what you owe at a later date. You may have to pay interest on what you've borrowed if you don't clear your full balance each month.

Where can you use your debit card?

Our debit cards are Visa debit cards. This means you can use your debit card to pay for something wherever Visa Debit is accepted.

You can also use your debit card to withdraw cash:

Using your debit card abroad

You can use your Nationwide debit card almost anywhere in the world that accepts Visa cards.

We'll refuse payments to countries where it would be against applicable laws and regulations. This includes to countries where there are government sanctions (opens in a new window) and restrictions.

There may also be charges for using your card abroad.

Ordering a new debit card

You'll need to get in touch with us if you've got a problem with your debit card.

If your debit card has been lost or stolen

You'll need to report your lost or stolen debit card to us as soon as possible. We'll cancel that card and send you a replacement.

If your debit card isn't working

There are a few things you can check if your debit card isn't working.

If you're still having issues with you card, you'll need to give us a call.

We'll replace broken or damaged cards free of charge.

If your debit card has expired

We'll send you a new card about 4 weeks before your current card expires. You can use this new card as soon as you've received it. We suggest destroying your old card.

We won't automatically send you a new card if you haven't used your card in the last 6 months. You'll have to request a new card by giving us a call.

How to activate your new debit card

You don't need to do anything to activate your debit card. You'll be able to use it to make online payments as soon as it arrives in the post.

If you've opened a new current account, we'll also send your PIN in the post. You'll need to wait for your PIN to use your card at cash machines or in shops.

You can only make contactless payments once you've used your PIN for the first time.

How to apply for a debit card

You don't need to apply for a debit card. You'll get one with any of our current accounts. We offer a range of different currents accounts.

Disputing a debit card payment

You may be able to get your money back if you've paid for something using your Nationwide debit card and you:

  • didn't receive what you'd paid for
  • were charged incorrectly
  • received unsatisfactory goods.

You may be able to challenge a payment by raising a Visa dispute.