Advertisement
Open an Account With the Lowest-Cost Broker

What is the Interactive Brokers debit card?

What is the Interactive Brokers debit card?

The Interactive Brokers Debit Mastercard is a card issued by Interactive Brokers (IB) that US clients can use to spend or borrow against the value of their IB brokerage account. It can be used just like a regular card for purchases or even ATM cash withdrawals, allowing you to "spend" part of your funds at IB without having to actually liquidate your positions.

Visit Broker

What is the Interactive Brokers debit card?
How does the IB Debit Mastercard work?

The Interactive Brokers Debit Mastercard is integrated with your IB brokerage account. When you use the card for a retail purchase or an ATM withdrawal, what happens is you basically borrow against the funds in your IB brokerage account, which act as a kind of collateral. This is a more convenient option than having to liquidate part of your positions at IB and transferring cash from your brokerage account to your bank account.

Of course this convenience comes at a cost. IB will charge a monthly interest on the amount you have spent with your card. The interest rate depends on IB’s current margin rate but is typically much lower than the interest rate on most credit cards. For example, as of late July 2022, the annualized interest rate on card spending was 3.83% or less, depending in part on the funds available in your account.

In another advantage, you can pay back the amount you have spent with your IB debit card at your own pace; there are no minimum payments or late fees involved.

What is the Interactive Brokers debit card? - Interactive Brokers Debit Mastercard
Similarly to most financial products, the Interactive Brokers debit card doesn't come without risks. Among others, margin rates can rise any time, making your card spending more expensive down the road. Meanwhile, a loss in the value of your securities in your IB brokerage account will reduce the amount you may spend with your IB debit card, and may ultimately result in a margin call and the liquidation of your securities.

Interactive Brokers launched a similar product, Interactive Brokers Canada Prepaid Mastercard, for its Canadian clients in 2021.

How can I use my Interactive Brokers debit card?

You can use your Interactive Brokers Debit Mastercard wherever Mastercard-branded cards are accepted, either offline or online. In addition to retail purchases, you can also use it to withdraw cash from ATMs, with a maximum limit of $1,000 per day.

You can also add your Interactive Brokers debit card to Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay to use it for contactless payments with your smartphone, just like you would with a regular card issued by your bank.

You can also use the IB mobile app (and its safe two-factor authentication feature) to lock or unlock your card, authorize transactions or pre-authorize large purchases.

The amount you're allowed to spend with your Interactive Brokers Debit Mastercard will depend on the size of your portfolio in your IB account, including cash, securities, as well as any assets bought on margin. There's a calculator on the IB website (as well as inside its demo account) that gives you a rough idea of your potential card spending limit, given the current size of your portfolio - check this out before you apply for your card.

How to apply for an Interactive Brokers debit card?

The card is available to those IB clients who are US residents and hold an individual or joint account at IB.

Visit Broker

If you are eligible, you can request your Interactive Brokers Debit Mastercard via the IB Client Portal.

  • After logging in, click 'Account Management', then 'Transfer & Pay', then 'Debit Card'.
  • The IB debit card screen will appear, where you simply need to click 'Apply Now'.

During the registration process, you need to select an IB account to link with the card (in case you have more than one account); read and accept the necessary customer agreements; then review and submit your application.

If your application is successful, you'll get a confirmation number and a set of activation instructions to be followed when your card arrives in the mail after 7-10 business days.

Interactive Brokers further reading:

Author of this article

Balázs Szládek

Author of this article

Balázs enjoys the challenge of explaining difficult subjects in plain English, helping would-be investors navigate the field of financial markets. He has 20+ years of experience as a business journalist, researcher, copy editor and translator, covering topics including general news, economic policy, politics and energy markets. He holds a master's degree in American Studies and Political Science.

Balázs Szládek

Financial journalist

Balázs enjoys the challenge of explaining difficult subjects in plain English, helping would-be investors navigate the field of financial markets. He has 20+ years of experience as a business journalist, researcher, copy editor and translator, covering topics including general news, economic policy, politics and energy markets. He holds a master's degree in American Studies and Political Science.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

Share

Comments

×