Difference Between Stimulus Check and Debit Card

A term that has gained maximum importance among the Americans is “Stimulus Check”. According to recent news, the Corona Virus relief money or the Stimulus Check would be issued via Debit cards.


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Mailboxes and Bank accounts of millions of Citizens of the US are getting hit by this Stimulus money since the beginning of every pandemic.

Those customized Debit cards, which would hold money especially for Corona Virus Relief Bill was started by IRS and U.S. Treasury Department.

The amount is being sent via Debit cards to fasten the delivery of payments. This change also opens a chance for those people who didn’t get money in the first round.

In this article, we will learn how Stimulus Check is related to Debit Card and how they differ from each other, individually.

Stimulus Check vs Debit Card

The difference between Stimulus Check and Debit Card is that, Stimulus Check is a money Check received by a taxpayer in the U.S. whereas a debit card is a rectangular Payments card. The concept of Stimulus Check came into being to protect the citizens of America from economic hardships, whereas Debit card has been in usage since mid-2000, to spend the stored money in the bank account.

Stimulus Check vs Debit Card

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Stimulus check is distributed by the U.S. government to some people who qualify the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria are based on their annual earnings, by a single person or couple/ married people. Whereas, any layman and citizen can carry a debit card, virtual or physical if he or she has a bank account and have some savings in it.

In the debit card, the money is deducted directly from the cardholder’s bank account while initiating a transaction or payment. Whereas in Stimulus check, previously the amount was distributed in Check(who did not have a bank account), but now the stimulus checks are distributed via debit cards to ease and fasten the distribution and delivery process.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonStimulus CheckDebit card
Basic differenceA stimulus check is a paper check.A debit card is a rectangular piece of plastic card.
Also known asStimulus Check is also known as Corona Virus Relief Bill or Economic Bill.Debit Card is also known as ATM Card, Bankcard, payment card, check card.
OriginStimulus Check came into existence in March 2020A debit card has been in use for many years, even before the Pandemic.
PurposeThe main purpose of the Stimulus check is to protect the marginalized and vulnerable people facing economic hardships due to pandemic.The main purpose of a debit card is to purchase goods and services via the money available in the cardholder’s bank account.
AmountThe provision of amount via Stimulus check is fixed according to different stages of eligibility criteria.The amount of money spent by an individual via debit card is not fixed, the cardholder can spend as much money as he wants that is available in his account adhering to a daily limit of debit cards.

What is A Stimulus Check?

In layman terms, a Stimulus Check is a check. The U.S. government sends this check, which is received by a taxpayer. Generally, this check is a small part of a larger federal stimulus package.

These Checks are specially designed to support the country’s economy.

The main intention behind the development of the concept of Stimulus Check is to stimulate the economy. The stimulation of the economy is done by providing some “spending money” to the consumers.

The main purpose behind this concept is to drive revenue at manufacturers and retailers. Along with that, to boost up the consumption and simultaneously the economy.

In the wake of people loosing their jobs, the U.S. government decided to send the citizen’s Stimulus payments.

Stimulus money was to provide relief to those people who faced unemployment issues and economic hardships due to pandemic.

stimulus 1

What Is A Debit Card?

In layman terms, a debit card is a type of payment card, when used deduct money from the account directly. There is the various purpose of usage of debit cards like they can be used to get cash or buy services and goods.

The cash can be retrieved from an ATM ( Automated Teller Machine) or a merchant.

A debit card resembles any charge card and usually comes in a rectangular plastic piece. This card has its prior linkage with the bank account of the union of Credit.

The debit has its limit, only the amount of money available in the account can be deducted via debit card.

A debit card has several limits, unlike credit cards. These have daily purchase limits as well. For example, if the daily withdrawal limit or transaction limit is $400 then you can not spend more than $400 in a day via debit card.

Some debit cards can be even used with or without the involvement of a PIN.

Whatever amount is spend via debit card corresponds with the amount available in the checking’s bank account.

debit card

Main Differences between Stimulus Check and Debit Card

  1. Stimulus Check is used to Stimulus the economy othe f U.S. whereas, the debit card has no such purpose. The use of a Debit card is an individual’s choice, and it is not collective, like a Stimulus check.
  2. The Stimulus Check is issued to the citizens facing economic hardships. However, any individual having a bank account is eligible for carrying a debit card with him or her.
  3. The Stimulus check is a special provision to U.S. citizens, whereas a debit card comes automatically with a bank account and is common all over the globe.
  4. Anybody not having a bank account would still get the Stimulus money by paper check, however, a person who doesn’t have a bank account can not hold a debit card.
Difference Between Stimulus Check and Debit Card
  1. https://www.nber.org/papers/w27693
  2. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3608774
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