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Can You Use Your Indian Debit Card In The U.S.?

Updated on Oct 05, 2021
Man surprised at credit card

Debit cards are plastic payment cards that are used to make purchases in-store or online instead of paying with cash. You link these cards with your bank account to make hassle-free transactions. 

Unlike credit cards that use funds from a credit line extended by the credit issuer, debit cards draw money directly from your bank account, meaning the money on the debit card is your own money. You can also withdraw cash at ATMs using your debit card.

Difference Between A Debit Card And A Credit Card

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Can You Use Your Indian Debit Card In The U.S.?

If you are wondering whether you can use your Indian debit cards in the U.S., the short answer is yes, you can. Major card processors such as Visa, MasterCard, and others operate all over the world. 

Most banks in India issue international debit cards and offer you the facility to use your Indian debit card in foreign countries. You can use the card to withdraw local currency from any ATM abroad. Do keep in mind that international usage of debit cards is subject to additional charges (foreign transaction fee, currency conversion fee, ATM withdrawal fee, etc.).

You have two options: Either get a specialized international debit card or activate international transactions on your domestic debit cards.

You can request your bank to allow international transactions on your existing debit card or activate the service through your banking app or internet banking before you leave for the U.S.

Make sure you inform your bank beforehand when and where you will be going outside the country to avoid triggering fraud transaction alerts.

Why Should You Use An International Debit Card?

Banks offer international debit cards that come with various features, benefits as well as discounts on shopping, dining out in restaurants, fuel, and online purchases. You can earn reward points for purchases, get insurance, and so much more.

Read more on the best ways to exchange currency when traveling abroad. 

International debit cards can be extremely convenient when traveling abroad. Especially, in a cashless economy like the U.S., you probably don't need to carry huge amounts of liquid cash in your pocket and depend entirely on plastic money for making various payments. These cards allow you to access ATMs anywhere in the world and can easily convert currencies when you are in foreign countries.

If you want to keep your expenses within a budget and avoid using credit cards (ATM withdrawal using a credit card can be expensive because of the transaction fees and heavy interest rates as it is treated as a cash advance), debit cards are a good choice when traveling abroad.

Top Indian International Debit Cards That You Can Use in The U.S.



ICICI Bank Sapphiro International Debit Card

Joining Benefits:

  • Kaya gift voucher worth Rs 1,000
  • Central voucher worth Rs 500 on a minimum spend of Rs 2,500

Ongoing Benefits:

  • Complimentary airport lounge access
  • Complimentary card protection plan and roadside assistance program 
  • Earn 4 Reward points for every Rs 200 spent on domestic
  • Earn 8 Reward Points on international transaction
  • Get annual savings up to Rs 30,000 on debit card usage 

Fees: 

  • Joining fee: Rs 1,999+ 18% GST (for the 1st year)
  • Annual fee: Rs 1,499+ 18% GST (from 2nd year onwards)
  • Re-issuance fee: Rs 200+ 18% GST

Cash Withdrawal & Transaction Limit

  • Daily cash withdrawal limit is Rs 2,50,000 for both domestic and international
  • Daily purchase limit at retail outlets/online is Rs 7,50,000 and Rs 3,00,000 for domestic and international respectively

ICICI Bank Rubyx International Debit Card

Joining Benefits:

  • Kaya gift voucher worth Rs 1,000
  • Central voucher worth Rs 500 on a minimum spend of Rs 2,500

Ongoing Benefits:

  • Complimentary airport lounge access
  • Card protection plan by OneAssist
  • Earn 3 Reward points for every Rs 200 spent on domestic 
  • Earn 6 Reward Points on international transaction
  • Get annual savings up to Rs 20,000 on debit card usage 

Fees: 

  • Joining fee: Rs 999+ 18% GST (for the 1st year)
  • Annual fee: Rs 749+ 18% GST (from 2nd year onwards)
  • Re-issuance fee: Rs 200+ 18% GST

Cash Withdrawal & Transaction Limit

  • Daily cash withdrawal limit is Rs 1,50,000 for both domestic and international
  • Daily purchase limit at retail outlets/online is Rs 5,00,000 and Rs 2,00,000 for domestic and international respectively

SBI Global International Debit Card

 Features:

  • Enjoy cashless shopping at over 53 lakh merchant outlets in India and over 30 million worldwide
  • Book movie tickets, pay bills, travel, and make online purchases/ e-commerce transactions
  • Withdraw cash from SBI ATMs or other ATMs in India and abroad
  • No PIN required at NFC terminal for transactions up to Rs 5000/- (A maximum of 5 such transactions permitted)
  • Available on Rupay/MasterCard/VISA

SBI Rewards

  • Activation Bonus: Earn 200 bonus points on the first 3 purchases with State Bank Global Debit Card within the first month.
  • Earn 2 SBI Rewardz points for every Rs 200 on shopping, dining out, fuel, booking travel, or online purchases
  • Birthday bonus: Standard points earned double for the Birthday month

Fees:

  • Issuance Charges: Nil
  • Annual Maintenance Charges: Rs 125+GST
  • Card Replacement Charges: Rs 300+GST

Cash Withdrawal & Transaction Limit Of SBI Global International Debit Card 

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SBI Platinum International Debit Card

Features:

  • Enjoy complimentary airport lounge access (subject to terms and conditions)
  • Shop at over 52 lakh merchant outlets in India and over 30 million worldwide
  • Book tickets, pay bills, payments, and purchases over the internet 
  • Cash withdrawal from SBI ATMs or other ATMs in India and abroad
  • Available on Rupay/MasterCard/VISA

SBI Rewards

  • Activation Bonus: Earn 200 bonus points on the first 3 purchases with State Bank Global Debit Card within the first month.
  • Earn 2 SBI Rewardz points (Reward point) for every Rs 200 on shopping, dining out, fuel, booking travel, or online purchases
  • Birthday bonus: Standard points earned double for the Birthday month

Fees:

  • Issuance Charges: Rs 300+GST
  • Annual Maintenance Charges: Rs 250+GST
  • Card Replacement Charges: Rs 300+GST

Cash Withdrawal and Transaction Limit of SBI Platinum International Debit Card 

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YES Premia World Debit Card

Benefits:

  • Welcome aboard offers worth Rs 14K
  • Complimentary access to domestic airport lounges 
  • Rs 200 off in a month on movie tickets booked on the BookMyShow website and App
  • Instant savings on fuel purchase at any petrol pump
  • Assured YES Reward points on domestic spends and accelerated Reward points on international spends
  • Special offers on Fine Dining, Shopping, Travel, Entertainment 
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage on personal accident and fraudulent transactions

Fees:

  • Annual fee: Rs 1,249
  • International Cash Withdrawal: Rs 120/transaction+taxes
  • International Balance Enquiry: Free
  • Cross Currency markup: 3%
  • ATM Decline due to insufficient funds: Rs 25 per instance 
  • Card Replacement: Rs 149 per instance 
  • Physical PIN Regeneration fee: Rs 50+taxes

Cash Withdrawal & Transaction Limit

  • Daily cash withdrawal limit is Rs 1,00,000 for both domestic and international
  • Daily purchase limit at retail outlets/online is Rs 3,00,000 and Rs 1,00,000 for domestic and international respectively

HDFC EasyShop Platinum Debit Card

Note: Both residents and NREs (Non-Resident External) can apply. Resident Indians should hold one of these accounts with HDFC: Savings account/Current account/SuperSaver account/Salary account/Loan Against Shares account.

Benefits:

  • Voucher worth Rs 1,000 after spending Rs 30K in first 3 months 
  • Online activation benefit: 100 bonus points on first online transaction worth Rs 500 or above within 30 days of issuance 
  • Welcome benefit: Rs 250 SmartBuy voucher to shop across 150+ brands on SmartBuy and flat Rs 50 cashback on first PayZapp transaction worth at least Rs 200
  • 1 Cashback point on every Rs 100 spent on telecom and utilities 
  • 1 Cashback point on every Rs 200 spent on groceries, restaurants, supermarkets, apparel, entertainment
  • Insurance cover (Up to Rs 10 lakhs Personal accidental death by air/road/rail, International Air Coverage of flat Rs 3 Crore on air tickets purchased via the debit card, Fire & Burglary- Rs 200,000 and loss of checked baggage- Rs 2,00,000)

Fees: 

  • Annual fee: Rs 750+taxes
  • International Cash Withdrawal: Rs 125/transaction+taxes+3.5% cross currency markup
  • International Balance Enquiry: Rs 25+taxes
  • Cross Currency markup: 3.5%
  • ATM Decline due to insufficient funds: Rs 25+ taxes
  • Card Replacement: Rs 200+ taxes
  • Physical ATM PIN Regeneration fee: Rs 50+taxes

Cash Withdrawal & Transaction Limit 

  • Daily Domestic ATM withdrawal limit: Rs 1 lakh
  • Daily Domestic shopping limit: Rs 5 Lakhs
  • Cash withdrawal is available across merchant establishments with a maximum limit of Rs 1,000 per day

Axis Bank Burgundy Debit Card

Note: Only Burgundy account holders (premium customers) are eligible for the Burgundy debit card. The debit card fees including annual charges are waived. However, issuance/annual charges will apply for Non-Burgundy customers. 

Benefits:

  • Free ATM withdrawals from any Bank's ATM around the world
  • Contactless transactions in select stores
  • Buy one get one free on movie tickets 
  • Get 2 Axis eDGE domestic Reward Points on domestic and 6 international Reward Points for every Rs 200 spent 
  • Get up to 20% off at more than 5000 restaurants within India
  • Enjoy higher purchase and withdrawal limit (Daily cash withdrawal limit Rs 3 lakh and daily purchase limit of Rs 6 lakh)
  • Access to exclusive airport lounges 
  • Fuel surcharge waivers 
  • Insurance covers (Personal Accident up to Rs 15 lakhs) 

Fees:

  • Annual fees (for Non-Burgundy Customers): Rs 1,500+taxes
  • Cross currency mark up: 3.5%

Takeaway

Although there are attractive benefits with international debit cards, be mindful of the fees and terms and conditions before getting them. To get the maximum benefits of your international debit card, make sure to choose a debit card that matches your needs and check whether the particular card you are availing of is popularly accepted by merchants and has wide ATM access.

One additional tip is that you can withdraw a huge amount of cash in one go and use cash for your daily expenses. This is one way to avoid the currency conversion fees and GST charges on frequent withdrawals and save more money.

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