What is a warm card? (with photos)

Some merchants allow customers to pay for goods using a hot card.

A warm card is a bank card that provides restricted access to an account. The most common use of these cards is with business accounts, where the holder wants people to be able to make deposits into an account with a bank card, without being able to make withdrawals or other transactions. Many banks offer this type of card to their customers upon request and it is also possible to obtain additional copies of bank cards without restrictions if this option is desired.

A warm card is restricted by the bank at the customer’s request.

When a hot card is encoded, information about the type of access options allowed is embedded in the card. Hot cards can limit people to withdrawals, deposits or transfers, and can restrict all three options. If a person has linked accounts, a warm card that only has access to a single account can be generated, allowing someone such as a business owner to give an employee a warm card for the purpose of making deposits, without giving the employee access information about other accounts.

Hot cards can limit people to withdrawals, deposits or transfers.

These bank cards can also be used by parents who want their children to have access to accounts in an emergency without allowing unrestricted access. The warm card can limit the holder to a specific account and can also contain a transaction limit, allowing people to access funds when needed but limiting the risks of abuse. Security-conscious people can also opt for a warm card to limit access to their accounts in the event of loss or theft.

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Hot card acceptance at locations that accept bank cards varies. Hot cards are generally not designated as debit/credit cards usable anywhere with a credit card machine, and not all merchants can accept regular bank cards for payments. If a merchant is set up to accept bank cards, the limitations of the warm card can prevent a person from using it to make purchases. In other cases, a warm card may be issued allowing people to make limited transactions with merchants. This can be useful for allowing employees to purchase supplies and other necessary goods with a bank card, without giving employees full access to the account.

People who have received hot cards should be careful to keep them in a safe place. While the cards cannot be used in the same way that a regular bank card, credit card, or debit/credit card can be, there is still a potential security risk. If a card is lost or stolen, the incident should be reported immediately so the bank can freeze the card to prevent people from trying to use it for transactions.

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