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How Does Extra Work?

When we tell you that Extra is the first debit card that helps you build credit, your first question is most likely, “how?” 

Extra is the first of its kind, so we don’t blame you for needing a quick crash course on our innovative debit card. We made this pretty simple so you won’t need to take notes. 

To start things off, let’s run through why having a debit card, in general, is so beneficial. 

Debit vs Credit 

While debit cards and credit cards look the same, swipe the same, and sit in the same pocket of your wallet, the way they work is vastly different. 

The biggest difference between the two is where they pull money from. A credit card charges your lattes, new shoes, or dinner dates to your credit line, while your debit card charges to your bank account.  

A debit card balance is charged directly to your checking account by placing a hold on the amount of your purchase. This transaction is sent to the merchant’s bank and transferred to the merchant’s account. Basically, paying with a debit card takes the money out of your account almost immediately, and your spending is limited to how much money you have in your account. 

Credit cards, on the other hand, allow you to borrow money against a line of credit (or your credit card limit.) When you swipe, purchases will be added to your bill. Your bank will pay the merchant and you pay your bank once you receive your bill. If you don’t pay off your balance within 30 days, you will owe interest on your purchases. 

Another huge risk of purchasing with a credit card is the risk of falling into credit card debt which can negatively affect your credit score.

When compared to credit cards, debit cards have some underrated benefits you probably never have thought to appreciate: 

  • You don’t have to pay interest on your purchases
  • You don’t have the risk of overspending past your budget
  • Debit cards have no effect on your credit history

Knowing the difference between a credit card and a debit card can help you pick the best card for all your spending needs. Today, there are more than 100 million Americans who don’t want to, or are unable to get a credit card. 

Extra not only brings all the benefits of a debit card, but allows you to build credit and earn debit card points just like a credit card.

What is Extra?

Whether you choose to sign up for a credit card or a debit card, it always feels like you are missing out on some benefit (sort of like FOMO but for your finances.)

We designed a debit card to give you the best benefits of a credit and debit card. Here’s how it works:

You can sign up for Extra with no credit check. Extra connects directly to your existing bank account, we can connect to more than 10,000 banks. Once connected, we create a spending limit based on your balance. 

From here, all you have to do is spend. When you buy something on your Extra Card, we will spot you for the purchase, then automatically pay ourselves back in the next business day. You don’t have to worry about any interest fees or hidden fees (life is already expensive enough). 

Extra charges a flat monthly subscription rate starting at $7. 

So, What About My Credit Score?

Your credit score isn’t just a 3 digit number, it can have a big say in whether you are able to get approved for an apartment and even affect how much you pay in interest rates. 

Every purchase you make with your Extra card helps build your credit score. At the end of the month, we total up all of your transactions made with Extra and report them to credit bureaus as credit-worthy payments. Unlike a regular debit card, all Extra card spending has an impact on your credit score.

What About Rewards?

Most debit cards don’t give you the ability to earn points when you swipe. Credit card companies use rewards as a way to reel you in, but if you don’t pay off your total balance each and every month you pay high-interest rates. Rack up points on your everyday spending with Extra and use them to redeem your favorite products in our rewards store. We have everything from AirPods to meal kits from Blue Apron. 

Extra ensures you are spending the money you actually have because building your credit shouldn’t put your financial future at risk. 


You probably never thought a debit card would look so dreamy. Try it out for yourself — check out how to get started with Extra for super easy spending.

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