Financial Tools



Credit, Debit, and Ability Cards

Contactless Chip Cards

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All cards issued after April 18, 2023 are contactless.

  • + What is a contactless card?

    A contactless card is a chip card that is embedded with a near-field communication (NFC) antenna. This allows you to “tap to pay” at a contactless-enabled checkout terminal without having to swipe, dip, or insert the card.

  • + What is the difference between my existing chip card and my contactless card?

    Contactless cards use the same security as a chip card but allow you to pay without touching surfaces for a quick and secure checkout experience. The key difference is that you can tap to pay at a contactless-enabled checkout terminal.

  • + Why the change to a contactless card?

    Contactless payments are just as secure as payments made with a contact chip card but have the added feature to tap to pay for a touch-free checkout experience.

  • + Where can contactless cards be used?

    Contactless credit and debit cards can be used with any retailer that has a contactless option at their checkout terminal. You can identify these options by looking for the contactless symbol Four arced lines that grow longer left to right * or the words “tap here.”

  • + How do I use a contactless card?

    When prompted by the checkout terminal, bring your contactless card within a few inches of the terminal. Your payment will be processed within seconds.

  • + Are contactless cards secure?

    Yes. Each contactless transaction is conducted using a unique, one-time code. During that transaction, your personal information is not transmitted. The contactless method eliminates the need to swipe or insert your card into the checkout terminal, which means the card cannot be compromised by skimming devices.

  • + What should I do if my contactless card is lost or stolen?

    As with all UFCU cards, if your contactless card has been lost or stolen, or your card has been declined and you suspect possible fraud, call Member Services at (800) 252-8311.

  • + What if the store doesn’t have a contactless checkout terminal?

    Your contactless card also has a chip and a traditional magnetic stripe that can be used at checkout terminals that do not have contactless options.

*The Contactless Symbol is trademarked owned by and used with permission of EMVCo, LLC

Credit Cards

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Debit Cards

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  • + What is a debit card preauthorization hold?

    When you use your debit card to conduct a credit transaction (you do not enter your PIN), the merchant sends us the amount, usually your purchase total, for preauthorization. This amount is placed on hold and removed from your available balance immediately. The hold is released after approximately 72 hours or when the transaction clears, whichever comes first. The hold helps reflect the most current available balance on your account through UFCU’s Online Banking, Phone Banking, Account Alerts and at ATMs.

  • + Will debit card preauthorization holds apply to all my purchases?

    No, they only apply to debit card purchases when you sign your name or do not enter a PIN. Debit purchases and ATM withdrawals made using a PIN subtract the funds immediately from your account, thereby reflecting an accurate available balance.

    Exception: When using your PIN at a fuel dispenser, the merchant may still send a preauthorization request.

  • + What is the difference between my actual balance and my available balance?

    Your available balance reflects any preauthorization holds or deposit holds and is used to determine available funds when future transactions attempt to clear the account.

    The balance we use internally as transactions clear is called your actual balance or total balance and includes all items that have cleared the account up to that point. This actual balance does not include outstanding debit purchases, share drafts (checks), or automatic drafts. If funds are not sufficient in the actual balance at the time of clearing, an overdraft fee is charged for each transaction that attempts to clear.

  • + Why is UFCU implementing debit card preauthorization holds? Won’t that mean less money for me?

    Most members depend on the accuracy of their available balances to help them avoid NSF situations or Courtesy Pay fees. Debit card preauthorization holds allow members to view pending transactions and provide timely available balance information. For example:

    John visits the ATM and sees his available checking balance is $100, so he withdraws $50. He doesn’t realize his wife made a debit card signature purchase for $75 from their joint account earlier in the day. The resulting balance in their account would be negative when the debit transaction arrives for processing, so their overdraft protection is triggered to transfer $25.

    However, if UFCU had placed a debit card preauthorization hold for his wife’s $75 transaction, John would have known that he really only had $25 available to him and could have avoided the NSF situation by withdrawing less money.

  • + Is UFCU implementing debit card preauthorization holds to generate more overdraft fees?

    No, in fact, we believe this feature provides the information needed to help members avoid overdraft situations and thereby avoid Courtesy Pay fees. There is no change to our overdraft transfer or Courtesy Pay policies or processing.

    The advantage of preauthorization holds is that you can check your balance and get a more accurate picture of what is truly available to you before you spend.

  • + How will I know if a debit card preauthorization hold has been placed?

    Your preauthorization transactions will appear as Pending Transactions within UFCU’s Online Banking. You can also obtain your available balance through UFCU’s Phone Banking and at ATMs.

    In addition, you may use an Account Balance Change Alert to notify you via email or text message when your account reaches an available balance threshold you specify.

  • + Will the debit card preauthorization hold always equal the exact amount of my transaction?

    No. Some merchants, especially gas stations, hotels and sometimes restaurants, will preauthorize an amount that is higher or lower than the actual purchase amount. For example:

    Gas stations: Many gas stations preauthorize transactions for amounts ranging from $1 to $75 because they do not know how much gas you will actually pump in advance of your transaction. If they preauthorize $75, we will place a hold for $75, even if your actual transaction is only $45. After 2 hours, we will release the hold and those funds will be available to you again.

    If you are worried about large preauthorization holds from gas stations, we recommend the following:

    Use a UFCU credit card for your transaction.


    Use your debit card as "debit" and enter your PIN.

    Hotels: When using a debit card to make reservations in advance, hotels generally will preauthorize an amount equal to an overnight stay, or more, depending on the length of your stay. This will result in a hold on your account up to 72 hours. Then, when you actually arrive, the hotel will place another preauthorization, often larger than the cost of your stay to cover possible incidental expenses. Because these can result in significant holds against your account, we recommend always using your UFCU credit card for hotel reservations.

  • + When I make a purchase online or by phone using my debit card, is it processed as a credit or debit transaction?

    Online and telephone debit card transactions are generally processed as credit transactions because you do not have the option to enter your PIN. These types of purchases will create a preauthorization hold.

  • + If you place a hold on my account and then the transaction comes in, is there a chance you’ll subtract it again?

    When merchants preauthorize an amount that is different from the final transaction total, there is a chance that the hold and the transaction will not match, and the hold will not release. If the transaction does not match the hold, the system will automatically release the hold on your account in 72 hours.

  • + Do all debit card transactions clear within 72 hours?

    No. Some merchants will not send the final transaction through to us within the 72-hour time frame of the hold. In that case, the hold will drop off and funds will appear to be available again, however, the debit transaction still has to clear your account. Unfortunately, we have no control over how quickly merchants process their transactions.

  • + Can I set up overdraft transfer protection to help avoid fees?

    It is always a good idea to have overdraft transfer protection set up on your account. Overdraft transfer protection helps you avoid larger Courtesy Pay fees by using your Savings Account, Money Market Account or Line-of-Credit loan to automatically cover the insufficient funds.

    When you open a UFCU checking account, your Savings account is automatically established as the overdraft account, but you may also use a Money Market account or Line-of-Credit loan as well. Please contact us for more details.

  • + Can debit card preauthorization holds on my debit card be removed?

    It is not our policy to remove debit card preauthorization holds unless an error was made. If an erroneous hold was placed, or there are extenuating circumstances, please contact us.

Ability Cards

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  • + What is the UFCU ABILITY Card?

    The UFCU ABILITY Card is a reloadable debit card that can be used anywhere VISA® cards are accepted. It is a member-friendly alternative to credit cards and traditional banking.

    With the UFCU ABILITY Card you can only spend what you deposit into your account, therefore there are no costly overdraft or interest fees. This card is easy-to-use with convenient reloadable capabilities 24/7, eliminating the concern of going into debt or overdrawing your account.

  • + How does the UFCU ABILITY Card work?
    • Load your card —
    • Use your card — Shop online or in stores, or withdraw money at any ATM or branch.
    • Reload your card — Continue to add money to your card so you have funds to spend. Plus, you can set up online or mobile account access at to receive Account Alerts, view your balance and recent activity, and transfer money to your UFCU ABILITY Card from an eligible UFCU accounts.
  • + What are the benefits of owning a UFCU ABILITY Card?
  • + Is the UFCU ABILITY Card a credit card?

    No, the UFCU ABILITY Card is a reloadable debit card that you can load with money at any time. Unlike credit cards, you can perform PIN based and cash back transactions at merchants and the funds are withdrawn from the card immediately. This allows you to easily determine how much money you have to spend.

  • + How is the UFCU ABILITY Card different from a gift card?

    The UFCU ABILITY Card is reloadable and personalized with your name. You can continually add money to your card with cash or checks, or through direct deposit. There is no need to open a different card. And unlike many gift cards, you can make ATM withdrawals.

    We do not recommend giving the UFCU ABILITY Card as a gift card.


Load & Reload


Managing your UFCU ABILITY Card

  • + How can I manage my UFCU ABILITY Card online using

    When you enroll in UFCU Online Banking, you can have the convenience of 24-hour banking from your home or office, allowing you to:

    • View and download account information and transactions.
    • Tag expenses, see your cash flow, and create spending budgets.
    • Pay your bills for free.
    • Transfer money between your accounts, to other members, and to other financial institutions.
    • View your statements, tax forms and check images.
    • And more!
  • + How can I check my UFCU ABILITY Card balance and activity?

    There are several convenient ways to check your UFCU ABILITY Card balance:

    • UFCU Mobile Banking — Please note the Mobile Banking Account Summary screen will display your ABILITY Card Current Balance. To view your Current Balance and Available Balance you will need to click through to Account Details screen.
    • UFCU Online Banking with Account Alerts at
    • Call us at (512) 467-8080 — Austin, (409) 797-3300 — Galveston, (800) 252-8311 — US Toll—free
    • Visit any UFCU ATM or your nearest branch
  • + Can my UFCU ABILITY Card have a negative balance?

    A negative balance may occur if the final purchase amount the merchant submits to us is greater than the amount we originally authorized, or the merchant processes a transaction without prior authorization. Your Monthly Service Fee may also deduct from your balance even when your available balance is less than the Monthly Service Fee. You should immediately add more money to you UFCU ABILITY Card to bring your balance above zero. There are no overdraft fees for the UFCU ABILITY Card.

  • + Can I deposit funds into my UFCU ABILITY Card account through UFCU Mobile Deposit?

    Yes, with a capable mobile device. Check deposits using UFCU Mobile Deposit are subject to the Funds Availability Policy.

Good Things to Know