Is Dave Ramsey's Gazelle Card Worth Getting?

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  • Dave Ramsey's company, Ramsey Solutions, has launched a debit card, bank account, and app called Gazelle.
  • Gazelle has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
  • Although Gazelle isn't a bad financial product, you're better off using a rewards credit card for purchases and paying the bill in full every month.

Ramsey Solutions says it doesn't settle for normal, but this debit card is as normal as it gets.

Finance personality Dave Ramsey now has his own debit card product. His company, Ramsey Solutions, recently launched Gazelle, a debit card and bank account designed to help you "spend and save the Ramsey way."

The Ramsey team has hyped the card quite a bit, and the main selling point seems to be that unlike credit cards, it helps you avoid debt. But the same could be said for any debit card, and in terms of features, Gazelle is just like any other debit card. Here's a closer look at those features and if getting this card makes any sense.

What the Gazelle Debit Card offers

Here's a rundown of the Gazelle Debit Card's features and rules:

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  • $0 in monthly fees
  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • No overdrafts, which means no overdraft fees
  • 32,000 fee-free ATMs where you can withdraw cash (withdrawals at out-of-network U.S. ATMs have a $2.50 fee)
  • Cash back rewards (that's right, Dave Ramsey is offering a rewards card)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee

Gazelle is also an app and a bank account. Ramsey Solutions has partnered with Pathward (a financial services company) to offer banking, and the account has the standard FDIC insurance covering up to $250,000 in deposits.

To add money to your account, you can set up a transfer, deposit cash at an ATM that allows Gazelle deposits, or set up direct deposits from your employer. According to Ramsey Solutions, direct deposits are paid up to two days faster.

The cash back rewards are offered by Ramsey Solution's partner Netspend. You don't earn rewards on every purchase -- they're available through store offers, and you'll need to activate the reward before you make the purchase to earn cash back.

Should you open a Gazelle account?

Gazelle isn't a bad financial product, outside of a hideous card design. However, it's also nothing special, as the only unique thing about it is the fact that it's from Dave Ramsey.

You can find all the same features that Gazelle offers from other bank account/debit card combos. Here are the facts:

But the biggest argument against getting a Gazelle Debit Card is that you really shouldn't be using a debit card regularly. For everyday purchases, it's much better to use a credit card. Credit cards offer much more lucrative rewards programs and better fraud protections. Many of the best credit cards also offer complimentary purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, and travel protections, which are benefits you don't get from a debit card.

If you're looking for a new payment card, go with a rewards credit card and pay the bill in full every month. You'll earn more back this way than you would with a Gazelle Debit Card, and you won't go into debt or incur any interest charges.

Now, this isn't the "Ramsey way." He always advises against using credit cards because of the risk of going into debt. Which, once again, you can avoid if you pay in full. But he doesn't think you should use credit cards and "play kissy-face" with the banks (even though he's now partnered with a bank). And for those listeners who come out ahead by earning credit card rewards, he asks if they really think they're going to beat the banks. To reiterate, he now offers a rewards debit card, with a bank.

Ramsey might not agree, but you can come out ahead if you use a credit card without changing your spending habits. And that's going to benefit you much more than getting a debit card with a gazelle on it.

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