Having a big shopping day? Don’t let your debit card’s daily limit stop you


  • On 1 May 2012 we updated this article to avoid confusion with credit cards
  • On 23 July 2012 we made changes about credit card rewards points, which you can sometimes earn even with a positive balance.

Planning to spend a day hitting the shops? Are you doing it without a credit card? When you’re spending your own money, make sure you understand how the daily limit on your debit card works, and learn the ways to get around it when you need to.

Whether you have a Visa Debit card (which uses your own money from your day to day bank account where the Visa sign is displayed) or just a normal debit card for ATMs and EFTPOS, this advice is for you.

What is a daily limit?

When you shop with the “savings” or “cheque” buttons on EFTPOS, or get cash out at an ATM, everything that comes out of your account goes towards your daily limit. Once you’ve reached your daily limit, we block your card until tomorrow. This helps us protect you if someone else gets a hold of your debit card.

In most cases, our normal daily limits are $1,000 for most debit cards, and $2,000 for NAB Gold Visa Debit cards.

We know that these limits can sometimes be a pain when all you want to do is get a hold of more of your own money. There are a few things you can do, though.

Plan ahead by getting cash out early

If you know you’re going to be spending a lot of money on Saturday, and you’re comfortable carrying some of it as cash, visit an ATM on Thursday or Friday and get some money out in advance. That way your withdrawal won’t count towards your daily limit on Saturday.

If you use up your limit on Saturday and still need some extra cash to go out clubbing Saturday night, you can take money out after midnight on Saturday night and this will count towards your Sunday daily limit.

Using a Visa Debit card? Press “credit”

If you press “credit” when you shop with a Visa Debit card, it doesn’t count towards your daily limit. (That’s because the purchase goes through the Visa network, even though you’re spending your own money.)

So if you’re shopping with a Visa Debit card, remember to press “credit” when you’re making your big purchases.

Got more than one card that can access your account? That means you’ve got more than one daily limit

Daily limits apply to each card that you have, not to each account. So if you have more than one card, you have more than one daily limit. There are a few different ways that you might have more than one card that access the same account:

  • you can choose to have an extra card made for an additional cardholder – someone else that you trust with your account (read more about additional cardholders on our page about managing your debit card)
  • if you have a joint account, both of you have your own card
  • if you have your account linked to your credit card, you have one daily limit on the credit card (when you use the “savings” or “cheque” button), and another when you use the debit card

Whichever combination of cards you have, remember that daily limits apply to each card, not to each account. So if you’ve already used up your $1,000 limit buying bedroom furniture from your joint account, your partner’s card has another $1,000 daily limit when you move on to the electronics store.

If the money’s already in the bank, you could put it on your credit card before you head out

If you don’t want to use credit for your purchase, or if you have a low credit limit, there’s still a way that you can use your credit card.

Say, for example, that you’ve had your eye on a new TV for a while now, and this weekend it’s on sale for $2,500. You have the money saved up, but you know that you can’t spend that much on EFTPOS in one day. There’s no way you’re going to carry around that much cash, and your credit card has a $1,000 credit limit. So here’s what to do:

Transfer the $2,500 onto your credit card before you go shopping. Even though you’ll press “credit”, you’ll only be spending the money you’ve already saved up. Because you’re using your credit card, there’s no problem with daily limits.

Even though you’ve used your own money to buy that TV, if your card lets you earn rewards points, you may have just earned points that you can redeem later on. That’ll depend on your credit card’s reward terms and conditions and eligibility criteria, so make sure you check those.

Not sure how to transfer funds onto your credit card? Learn about the basics of NAB Internet Banking.

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lachlan October 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm

what age can you be to own a normal debit card


NAB November 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Hi Lachlan, if you’re over 18 you can apply for our debit and VISA Debit cards. If you’re below 16 you’ll need a parent or guardian to sign-up with you. If you like, let’s chat via email (social.media@nab.com.au) and I’ll follow up for you 🙂 ^AB


Dave February 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I currently have a debit card but find it a bit restrictive so would like to get a credit card instead. Should I cancel the debit card first before I do this?


NAB February 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Hi Dave, I’ve sent an email via social.media@nab.com.au – I’ll have our team follow up directly on this. You can also compare our credit cards on our site – hope that helps! ^AB


laveena March 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm

hi, i got a visa debit card, just wondering if i can use up to $5000 in one transaction? please..


NAB March 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Hi Laveena, as mentioned in the article – you can press ‘credit’ when using your VISA Debit card for big purchases;

If you press “credit” when you shop with a Visa Debit card, it doesn’t count towards your daily limit. (That’s because the purchase goes through the Visa network, even though you’re spending your own money.)
So if you’re shopping with a Visa Debit card, remember to press “credit” when you’re making your big purchases.

Hope that helps – feel free to send an email (social.media@nab.com.au) if I can help further, thanks! ^AB


Lauren April 7, 2012 at 11:50 am

What is my daily limit on my visa debit? is it $1000, like my normal account limit? or is it more? and can I change my limit on my visa debit?


NAB April 10, 2012 at 11:50 am

Hi Lauren, do you have a Classic Banking account? If so, then there is a $1,000 daily cash withdrawal limit. Let’s chat via email (social.media@nab.com.au) and I’ll follow up further for you, thanks. ^AB


Nunya April 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm

If you want to withdraw cash from an ATM in excess of the ridiculous $1000 limit, can you select the credit option and withdraw in excess of $1000 in cash that way?


NAB July 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Hi Nunya, to correct our earlier response, you’ll need more than one card to withdraw more than $1000 from an ATM in one day. If using your Visa debit card in-store, you can use the ‘credit’ button as mentioned. Hope that helps! ^MH


joe May 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm

hi,ive got a visa debit card,can i go 2 a normal shop and withdraw cash?do i press chq or credit?
when i put money in my saving acc,how can i get it out??


NAB May 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Hi Joe, pressing either ‘Savings’ or ‘Credit’ when using your VISA Debit card will access your own funds. If you have an iSaver account, then you can transfer funds to your Everyday account in order to access via you VISA Debit card. Hope that helps! ^AB


Ben May 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm

How do make it so my salary goes into this account rather than my old account?


NAB May 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Hi Ben, you’ll likely need to talk with your employer and give them your new account details so your salary will be paid into a different account. Let’s chat via social.media@nab.com.au and our team can explain this further, thanks. ^AB


Christine June 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Gold visa Debit card has fees or qantas points?


NAB June 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Hi Christine, there are fees associated with the Gold VISA Debit card and it doesn’t have QANTAS points associated. However, we do offer QANTAS Frequent Flyer Points on a range of our NAB Credit Cards. I’ve sent an email via social.media@nab.com.au also – speak soon! ^AB


Dennis June 12, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Can I use a NAB Visa debit card overseas at ATMs and for purchases etc and if so, are there specific fees for doing so?


NAB June 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Hi Dennis, you can use you VISA Debit card at many locations globally (look for the VISA sign at merchants and ATMs). There are fees and charges that apply – hope that helps. ^AB


william June 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I want to change my daily limit from 1000 dollars to 2000 dollars that will be available at any atm with my Debit card. Regards John M.


NAB June 18, 2012 at 11:33 am

Hi William, unless you have our Gold Visa Debit card the limit is locked to $1,000 per day. As mentioned in the article, there are alternatives (like pressing ‘Credit’ when using your Visa Debit card) that will allow you to spend more. ^AB


Robyn June 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

In 2009 I had a Visa Debit Gold Card used for overseas travel to Eygpt, Jordan & Syria. There were no ATM withdrawal or international conversion fees applied to this card. It was the best value card around. Does this still exist or will I be liable for ATM fees and other international charges. Thanks RV


NAB June 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Hi Robyn, you can continue to use your Visa Debit Gold card until 10th August 2012 without incurring any international transaction fees. After this date, fees will apply – they can be found here Hope that helps! ^JL


Steph Wilson June 25, 2012 at 11:13 am


Is it possibel to reduce the daily limit to less than $100. Also is there a way to find out what my daily limit is electronically or do I have to call up?


NAB June 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Hi Steph, the $1000 cash/EFTPOS limit for debit cards cannot be decreased. Hope that helps ^JL


Steph Wilson June 25, 2012 at 11:14 am


I meant to say $1000 limit, not $100.


Angela June 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I want to make an online purchase with my visa debit card, is there a transaction limit? Can’t press credit because it is online…does it still work using the amount in the account? Thanks


NAB June 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Hi Angela, your Visa debit card has a daily EFTPOS transaction limit of $1000 ($2000 if you have a Gold Visa Debit). Making a purchase online constitutes as a CR purchase (unless otherwise specified) and is therefore not subject to your daily limit. Hope that helps – If you have any further Qs, feel free to email social.media@nab.com.au. ^JL


Gary July 3, 2012 at 8:39 am

Your comment above about using debit card should be with a caveat. Some stores (Woolworths, BigW) do not let you use the ‘credit’ option for a Visa debit card as I found out.


NAB July 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Thanks Gary, just following on from your comment, pressing either ‘Savings’ or ‘Credit’ when using your VISA Debit card will still allow you to access your own funds. ^JL


Jes July 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

If I select ‘credit’ do I just enter my usual pin number – or do i need to sign for it?


NAB July 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Hi Jes, most places will offer you a choice to either enter your PIN or sign for a credit purchase. You are required only to do one or the other – hope that helps 🙂 ^JL


Sylvia July 7, 2012 at 11:30 am

I have used a Gold Visa Debit card this year for overseas travel, and have been covered by the Overseas Travel Insurance because I spent more than $500 on pre-travel expenses (Airline bookings, for example).

I ordered the card largely because of the Travel Insurance facility.

i have received a letter from the NAB (dated 20 April) advising of changes to foreign currency transaction fees, commencing 10 August 2012.

I have heard verbally that there will no longer be travel insurance after 10 August, but that advice does not appear in any printed material sent to me, or on your web site, at least that I can discover.

Where is the official advice on this?

I know of others equally confused and concerned that such a change could be introduced without written advice to the cardholder.


NAB July 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Hi Sylvia, the changes that take effect from 10th August 2012 do not affect the Travel Insurance offering on the Gold Visa Debit card. You will continue to have access to this. More here ^JL


chris July 16, 2012 at 11:58 pm

In regards to Gary above comment..spot on! If you purchase through a store that does not show an option of credit…you are stuck with no option if you have already spent a large amount. I reached my daily account limit today in the exact situation. I phoned NAB & was told I could increase my daily limit by myself via internet banking, obviously this is not true..pretty poor to be quite honest. Isn’t SMS security designed for things like this, make a $3,000 purchase & provide an SMS security code rather then having to remember to select credit? $1,000 is pretty poor for a limit considering its your customer own money, not much choice for customers!


NAB July 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Hi Chris, thanks for your suggestions & I apologise for the inaccurate information. With regards to your daily limit, the only way to increase this is via a Gold Visa Debit card. The daily limit for this is $2000 – If you’d like more info, feel free to chat more via social.media@nab.com.au. ^JL


Phil July 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Hey there.

Im just following on from both Chris and Garys above comments.

I appreciate why you have the $1000 cap on your debit cards but should it not be down to the customer if they want this or not?

At the end of the day it is our money and we should be able to spend as we please. By all means set the $1000 cap as a default, but give the customer the option to change this.

My cap has tripped me up a couple of times, luckily I knew the shop owner and paid via a bank deposit online.

As previously mentioned by Chris, would it not be possible to implement something along the lines of an SMS system for bigger purchases?

I have to say, for such a large company such as yourselves this is pretty poor and I hope something can be implemented soon.


Best regards. 🙂


NAB July 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Hi Phil, thanks for you great feedback. I’ll be passing your comments and feedback along to our Debit Card team and Mobile team. ^JL


James August 11, 2012 at 6:25 am

Hi, I would like to know more about the changes to my NAB VISA DEBIT GOLD CARD as it’s now after the 10th of August am I still coverd by travel insurance if I have spend over $500 on international flights? Is the fee still $10 a month? How about purchase protection and also extended insurance are they still included?


NAB August 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Hi James, you can continue to take advantage of the complimentary insurances associated with the Gold Visa Debit card: NAB Gold Visa Debit Overseas Travel Insurance, Purchase Protection Insurance, Extended Warranty Insurance, Price Protection Insurance, Interstate Flight Inconvenience Insurance, Transport Accident Insurance and Domestic Hotel Burglary Insurance. The $10.00 monthly fee remains, which can be waived if $5,000.00 is deposited per calendar month. ^AS


Chun Teck August 13, 2012 at 4:24 am

Hi, I currently live in Malaysia and I had a NAB Visa Debit card. My NAB banking account was opened in Adelaide branch two years ago, and I will visit Perth in next month. My question is, 1) may I increase my daily ATM credit limit via online?
2) or may I withdraw money from cashier at Perth NAB branch?


Chun Teck


NAB August 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Hi Chun Teck, you should have no issues with accessing your account anywhere in Australia if it has had a credit balance over the last 2 years. To answer your questions:
1. Your ATM withdrawal limit cannot be changed. (However, you can select the CR option which will allow you to make purchases exceeding $1000.)
2. You can withdraw money over the counter from any branch (Perth included) at no charge.
Hope that helps! ^JL


brian August 22, 2012 at 1:00 am

If I’ve withdrawn $1k from the ATM today, will I be able to withdraw $1k again after midnight WST? Thanks


NAB August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Hi Brian, that is correct – you are able to withdraw funds up to a limit of $1,000.00 per day. ^AS


brent September 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

hi im wondering if i use my daliy limit an take out 1000 can i still pay a bill at say the post office for 500 or will it not let me


NAB October 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Hi Brent, after using up your daily limit of $1000, you should have no issues with paying a bill for $500 using the ‘Credit’ option. ^JL


Nauman September 28, 2012 at 2:52 am

Hi I’m currently in Japan and I wanted to get some money out of ATM. I wanted to get AUD 1400 worth out. The ATMs here don’t give option of pressing credit account. Can I increase my daily limit for a week or so by calling nab or by online? Or it’s not possible. I don’t want to get slugged by ATM fees every time I get cash out. Pls advise.


NAB October 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Hi Nauman, daily limits on Visa Debit cards can’t be changed unfortunately. You may wish to consider a NAB Traveller card which offers no NAB ATM fees for overseas withdrawals. Let’s get in touch at social.media@nab.com.au if you’re keen! ^JL


rob September 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm

How do I increase daily limit on my debit card?


NAB October 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Hi Rob, daily limits for Visa Debit cards are set at $1000 ($2000 for Gold Visa) and cannot be changed. However, if you press “credit” when you shop with a Visa Debit card, it doesn’t count towards your daily limit. Hope that helps! ^JL


Philip Borel September 30, 2012 at 7:58 am

Dear NAB. I understand that if someone has two NAB Visa Debit Cards linked to the same account, each card allows a daily ATM cash withdrawal limit of $1000. But now I’d like to know if this applies also if this SECOND card is ‘only just a simple’…NAB Debit Card! So thanks very much in advance for your valid reply. Best regards, Philip.


NAB October 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Hi Philip, the daily $1000 withdrawal limit applies to a normal NAB Debit card too ! ^SM


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