What is a Warm Card?

A warm card is a bank card that allows the user to make one kind of transaction but not another.

How Does a Warm Card Work?

For example, let's assume that John works for Company XYZ and he is the manager of the Cleveland, Ohio, store. Every afternoon, John needs to deposit the cash from the day's sales at the local bank, verify the account balance and record that balance in his daily paperwork. To facilitate this, Company XYZ gives John a warm card, which he carries with him to the bank. He swipes the card to provide the account information to the teller for the deposit and is able to use the card to see the account balance. John is not able to withdraw funds from the account or transfer money, so he must be careful to leave enough cash in the cash register drawers to be able to make change for his cash.

Why Does a Warm Card Matter?

Warm cards are useful for organizations that want to give employees access to accounts (in order to make deposits) but want to prevent theft by restricting their ability to withdraw funds, make transfers or perform other transactions.

Banks offer warm cards with various features. For example, a warm card may allow withdrawals but not deposits, or allow transfers but no other functions. Merchants vary regarding their acceptance of warm cards.