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Affirm Debit+ card review

A debit card that lets you split your purchases into four interest-free installments.

Affirm, a lender specializing in installment loans, now has its own debit card that allows you to either pay for an entire purchase at the point of sale or finance it over several months. But you must have enough money in your checking account to cover all automatic transfers for your Affirm Debit+ card or risk account suspension. And while Affirm doesn’t charge any late fees, your credit score may suffer if you miss a payment.

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Kimberly Ellis is a writer at Finder. She hails from New York City with a BA from Queens College and a New York State teaching certificate. After teaching in both public and private schools, Kimberly decided to take the world by storm and dive into the media industry — where she covers everything from home loans and investing to K–12 education and shopping. She’s also an aspiring polyglot, always in a book and forever on the hunt for the perfect classic red lipstick.

Expert review

The Affirm Debit+ card is a convenient way to split up larger purchases. After you make a purchase online or in-store, you can divide the cost into four smaller interest-free biweekly payments, which, unlike a credit card, won’t increase your credit utilization ratio. Alternatively, you can opt for a different payment plan but pay interest.

But while Affirm may help make expensive purchases more palatable by spreading out the payments, budgeting and managing your finances can get tricky. Since Affirm can take up to four business days to withdraw the funds from your bank account, your bank may show a higher account balance than what’s actually available. This can make paying off other debts, like credit cards and loans, and budgeting more difficult.

And while Affirm recommends you use its app to view your linked account balance because it considers any pending Debit+ transactions, it’s not 100% reliable because it’s not updated in real-time. If you make a purchase, your linked account balance in the Affirm app may be temporarily — and inaccurately — higher. And since it’s also subject to spending limits, it can also be deceivingly lower.

The Affirm Debit+ card is probably best suited for those with a strong grip on their finances and would like to occasionally opt for a six-week 0% APR payment plan for purchases up to $1,000. But your finances can quickly get muddied with this card.

How do I open an Affirm Debit+ card?

The Affirm Card isn’t yet available, but you can sign up for the waiting list now by visiting affirm.com/card. If you’d like to learn more about the company, check out Affirm’s existing financing service.

Eligibility

To get this card you must:

  • Be minimum 18 years old.
  • Live in the US, except for New Mexico.
  • Have a Social Security number.
  • Have an Affirm account.
  • Have an existing bank account compatible with Plaid or Teller.

3 benefits of the Affirm Debit+ card

  1. Split payments. Divvy up eligible purchases between $100 to $1,000 into four biweekly interest-free payments. Other payment options depend on your credit eligibility and come with interest rates as high as 30% APR. To split your payment, log in to the app and select this option within 24 hours of purchase.
  2. No credit impact. Spending using your Affirm Debit+ card won’t raise your credit utilization. And Affirm won’t report a loan to the credit bureaus when you split your purchase into four no-interest payments. However, Affirm may report your payment history on loans that have interest, including late or delinquent payments.
  3. No fees. The Affirm Debit+ card has no overdraft fees, maintenance fees, late fees or prepayment fees. Keep in mind that while Affirm doesn’t charge any fees, your bank may if you don’t have enough funds to cover a payment.

8 things to look out for

  1. Split restrictions. Affirm doesn’t let you split specific purchase categories, including cryptocurrency purchases. And your split amount limit is based on multiple factors, including your history with Affirm, credit eligibility and your bank account’s available balance.
  2. No ATM withdrawals. Unlike a traditional debit card linked to your checking account, the Affirm Debit+ card doesn’t let you withdraw money from an ATM.
  3. May require a downpayment. Some purchases may require a higher amount up front before allowing you to split the transaction into installments.
  4. Account balance displayed may not be accurate. The app doesn’t update in real-time, so it may not immediately display a new balance if you recently made a purchase. Not knowing your exact checking account balance may make budgeting and managing your finances more challenging.
  5. Transfer delays. Affirm takes two to four business days to initiate an ACH transfer from your checking account to cover transactions. And refunds are first used to fund any pending purchases and then may take up to three days to deposit back into your bank account.
  6. No international transactions. You can only use the Affirm Debit+ card in the US.
  7. Requires a linked bank account. Since Affirm uses Plaid or Teller to link your bank account, customers who bank with smaller banks and credit unions may not be eligible.
  8. Potentially high APR. You may pay up to 30% APR if you choose a different payment plan other than Affirm’s 0% APR biweekly option. That’s more than double the average credit card interest rate and triple the average personal loan interest rate.

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How long will it take to get my card?

Once you sign up and link your bank account, you’ll get a virtual debit card to use right away. Your physical Affirm Debit+ card should arrive in the mail seven to 10 days after creating your account.

I got the card. Now what?

Activate your card by logging in to the Affirm Debit+ app, tapping the Account icon and hitting Activate your card. The app will ask you for your 16-digit card number and three-digit CVV security code.

How do I deposit or withdraw money?

You don’t have to fund your Affirm Debit+ card because it’s linked to your existing bank account. Affirm automatically withdraws funds from your checking account to cover transactions to make an installment payment. And the card doesn’t support ATM withdrawals.

How to contact Affirm customer service?

The only way to get in touch with Affirm is by submitting a ticket from the Affirm Help Center.

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