What is the difference between Mcard and Blue Bucks and ATM/debit?

The Mcard is the official University of Michigan ID card.  It not only identifies cardholders affiliated with the University, it also is the device that is used to gain access to many services across campus.  Two separate services accessed with the black magnetic strip (see below) on the reverse of the Mcard are Blue Bucks and Mcard ATM/debit. 


Blue Bucks is an extension to the Housing meal plan.  Money (cash or checks) is deposited into a debit account with the Mcard Center.  Money can also be applied via Blue Bucks Web site and billed to the Student Account.  Cardholders then can spend this money by swiping their Mcards at residence hall copier machines, laundry facilities, cafeterias, snack bars, convenience stores, and vending machines (and some campus vending machines as well).  Blue Bucks can also be used at Wendy's®, Subway® and other restaurants in the Michigan Union, Michigan League, Palmer Commons, Pierpont Commons, and University Hospital cafeteria. Using Blue Bucks through the Mcard almost eliminates the need for cash on campus.

Mcard ATM/Debit Card access is possible when the Mcard is linked to a PNC®Bank account.  If this is done, the Mcard can be used to withdraw money from the bank account ATMs on campus and ATMs worldwide.  The Mcard can also be used to make debit card purchases at hundreds of thousands of debit retailers across the nation.  A 4-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) is used when making transactions at ATMs and debit merchants. 

The PNC Visa Debit Card is a separate card from the Mcard and is issued by bank when a University student, faculty, staff or other member opens a bank account.  The Visa Debit Card is an ATM/Debit card with a Visa® logo that can be used around the world anywhere Visa® debit cards are accepted, although it is not a credit card.  The purchase amount is directly debited from a bank account.  This card can also be used in any of the hundreds of thousands of ATMs worldwide. 

PNC Bank does not charge annual fees or fees for debit card transactions when using the Mcard or Visa Debit Card.  The operator of a terminal may charge a fee for non-Visa®system transactions.  Visa Debit Cards used in a non-bank ATM may incur a charge from the owner of that ATM and possibly an ATM fee from PNC Bank (HOWEVER cardholders are allowed 2 non-PNC bank fee ATM transactions per account statement period).