Prepaid Cards With Low or No Fees

It is estimated that about 40 million Americans do not have a bank account. The reasons for this vary. For many, they are unable to qualify for a bank account because of past bounced checks. Bounce too many checks, and you’ll find yourself in the Chexsystems, which many banks use to evaluate potential new banking customers. For others it’s simply a distrust of the banking system or frustration with limited hours or the hoops one has to jump through to get service.

Featured Prepaid Cards*

Walmart MoneyCard® Visa® with Cash-Back Rewards

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Walmart MoneyCard® Visa® with Cash-Back Rewards

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  • The Walmart MoneyCard® Visa® Card allows you to earn cash-back rewards by shopping at Walmart and Walmart.com, and now offers Prize Savings when you use the MoneyCard Vault to save up for the future.
  • Earn 3% cash-back at Walmart.com, 2% cash back at Murphy USA and Walmart Fuel Stations, and 1% cash-back at Walmart, up to $75 in cash-back rewards per year
  • No credit check to get a card, no overdraft fees, no bank account required. Use it for purchases everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted in the U.S.
  • Use the card to quickly and easily pay your cell phone, cable, internet, and most other utility bills. Limits apply. Track your money 24/7, view transactions, and find ATMs near you with the mobile app
  • Get access to your money up to 2 days early with FREE Direct Deposit, depending on your payment provider’s process and timing
  • Send money for FREE to another participating card issued by Green Dot Bank, including Walmart MoneyCard. Limits apply.
  • Get cash off your card for FREE at any Walmart Customer Service Desk or MoneyCenter, up to $1,000 per transaction. No purchase required.
  • $0 online purchase fee. Other fees and limits apply. Subject to successful ID verification. See Cardholder Agreement for details.

American Express Serve®

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American Express Serve®

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  • Your Full Service Prepaid Debit Card (American Express Serve is not a credit card.)
  • No credit check. No minimum balance. No hidden fees.
  • FREE Direct Deposit gets you access to your money up to 2 days faster.
  • FREE ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 ATMs nationwide.
  • FREE Online Bill Pay and money management tools.
  • Enjoy American Express service and security 24/7. Shop online and off and enjoy Card Membership benefits like Purchase Protection*.
  • *Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Subject to additional terms, conditions and exclusions.

Whatever the reason, the unbanked often turned to expensive check cashing stores to cash their weekly paychecks. Time Magazine wrote about this phenomenon, which costs consumers $10 billion a year in fees charged by check cashing stores, payday loan providers, and others. It’s not at all uncommon for consumers to spend 3% or more to get a paycheck cashed.

In addition to high cost, check cashing stores present several other problems to consumers. First, there is the question of security. Taking your paycheck to a check cashing store and walking out with hundreds of dollars in cash is like wearing a bulls eye on your back. Second, there is simply the question of inconvenience. The weekly trip to a check cashing store takes time and gas.

For those that can’t get a checking account or simply don’t want one, there is a no cost, convenient, and safe alternative to check cashing stores–a prepaid credit card with no fees or low fees.

List of Low Fee and Free Prepaid Cards

The key to finding the right prepaid credit card is to find one that charges no fees or very small fees. All prepaid cards charge various fees, but some of them waive some or all of the fees if you sign up for direct deposit. So here are the top free prepaid cards and low fee prepaid cards to consider.

American Express Serve® Cash Back

American Express Serve® Cash Back

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  • Your Full Service Prepaid Debit Account with 1% Cash Back on purchases. (American Express Serve is not a credit card.)
  • No credit check. No minimum balance. No hidden fees.
  • Earn 1% Cash Back added to your Account when you spend, for use on future purchases.
  • Free Direct Deposit gets you access to your money up to 2 days faster.
  • Free ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 ATMs nationwide.
  • Enjoy American Express service and security 24/7. Shop online and off and enjoy Card Membership benefits like Purchase Protection*.
  • *Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Subject to additional terms, conditions, and exclusions.


NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card

NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card

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  • Get paychecks or government benefits checks up to 2 days faster* with Direct Deposit.
  • Sign up for NetSpend Payback Rewards and earn cash back.
  • No late fees or credit card debt because this is not a credit card.
  • Use the Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get real time text message alerts (Message & data rates may apply).
  • Funds availability not guaranteed. Card used is subject to activation and ID verification. Terms and Costs Apply.
  • *Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. "Apply Now" for full details.


Midnight Prepaid Visa® RushCard

Midnight Prepaid Visa® RushCard

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  • Get your tax payout sooner by e-filing and loading your payout onto your Prepaid Visa RushCard.
  • Stay connected - keep track of your money on your mobile phone with the free RushCard app.
  • Get your government benefits up to two days early with Direct Deposit.* Certain restrictions apply. See card site for details.
  • Safer than carrying cash. With the Visa Zero Liability policy your funds are protected if your card is lost or stolen.* See card site for details.
  • Real time activity alerts sent to your mobile phone via text or email.* Standard text message and data rates, fees, and charges may apply.
  • Your funds are protected if your card is lost or stolen thanks to the Visa Zero Liability policy.* See card site for details.
  • Your funds are FDIC-Insured through MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card accounts are subject to ID Verification.
  • Click on "Apply Now" to learn more about Gloss Prepaid Visa RushCard.*


American Express Serve®

American Express Serve®

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  • Your Full Service Prepaid Debit Card (American Express Serve is not a credit card.)
  • No credit check. No minimum balance. No hidden fees.
  • FREE Direct Deposit gets you access to your money up to 2 days faster.
  • FREE ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 ATMs nationwide.
  • FREE Online Bill Pay and money management tools.
  • Enjoy American Express service and security 24/7. Shop online and off and enjoy Card Membership benefits like Purchase Protection*.
  • *Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Subject to additional terms, conditions and exclusions.


Walmart MoneyCard® Visa® with Cash-Back Rewards

Walmart MoneyCard® Visa® with Cash-Back Rewards

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  • The Walmart MoneyCard® Visa® Card allows you to earn cash-back rewards by shopping at Walmart and Walmart.com, and now offers Prize Savings when you use the MoneyCard Vault to save up for the future.
  • Earn 3% cash-back at Walmart.com, 2% cash back at Murphy USA and Walmart Fuel Stations, and 1% cash-back at Walmart, up to $75 in cash-back rewards per year
  • No credit check to get a card, no overdraft fees, no bank account required. Use it for purchases everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted in the U.S.
  • Use the card to quickly and easily pay your cell phone, cable, internet, and most other utility bills. Limits apply. Track your money 24/7, view transactions, and find ATMs near you with the mobile app
  • Get access to your money up to 2 days early with FREE Direct Deposit, depending on your payment provider’s process and timing
  • Send money for FREE to another participating card issued by Green Dot Bank, including Walmart MoneyCard. Limits apply.
  • Get cash off your card for FREE at any Walmart Customer Service Desk or MoneyCenter, up to $1,000 per transaction. No purchase required.
  • $0 online purchase fee. Other fees and limits apply. Subject to successful ID verification. See Cardholder Agreement for details.


Compass ClearSpend Prepaid Visa® Card

Compass ClearSpend Prepaid Visa® Card

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  • Limited Time Offer: Get $25 credit when you load $100 to your new card--Offer expires 12/31/2016
  • $0 Monthly or Annual Fee
  • $0 Reload Fees**
  • $0 Purchase Transaction Fees
  • No Overdraft Fees
  • No credit check to apply
  • Available in TX, NM, AZ, CA, FL, AL, CO


Green Dot® Cash Back Visa® Debit Card

Green Dot® Cash Back Visa® Debit Card

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  • EARN 5% CASH BACK on purchases, up to $100 per reward year
  • No overdraft fees, ever
  • No credit check to get a card
  • Get paid up to 2 days earlier with free direct deposit, subject to your payment provider’s process and timing
  • Track your money 24/7 with our mobile app. Deposit checks with your smartphone
  • Write checks from your card to pay rent and other bills
  • Use it everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted in the U.S.
  • Click “Apply” to see our Fee Plan


Sequin KLS Prepaid Visa® RushCard

Sequin KLS Prepaid Visa® RushCard

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  • Get your tax payout sooner by e-filing and loading your payout onto your Prepaid Visa RushCard.
  • Stay connected - keep track of your money on your mobile phone with the free RushCard app.
  • Get your government benefits up to two days early with Direct Deposit.* Certain restrictions apply. See card site for details.
  • Safer than carrying cash. With the Visa Zero Liability policy your funds are protected if your card is lost or stolen.* See card site for details.
  • Real time activity alerts sent to your mobile phone via text or email.* Standard text message and data rates, fees, and charges may apply.
  • Your funds are protected if your card is lost or stolen thanks to the Visa Zero Liability policy.* See card site for details.
  • Your funds are FDIC-Insured through MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card accounts are subject to ID Verification.
  • Click on "Apply Now" to learn more about Gloss Prepaid Visa RushCard.*


Walmart MoneyCard® MasterCard® with Cash-Back Rewards

Walmart MoneyCard® MasterCard® with Cash-Back Rewards

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  • The Walmart MoneyCard® MasterCard® Card allows you to earn cash-back rewards by shopping at Walmart and Walmart.com, and now offers Prize Savings when you use the MoneyCard Vault to save up for the future.
  • Earn 3% cash-back at Walmart.com, 2% cash back at Murphy USA and Walmart Fuel Stations, and 1% cash-back at Walmart, up to $75 in cash-back rewards per year
  • No credit check to get a card, no overdraft fees, no bank account required. Use it for purchases everywhere Debit MasterCard cards are accepted in the U.S.
  • Use the card to quickly and easily pay your cell phone, cable, internet, and most other utility bills. Limits apply. Track your money 24/7, view transactions, and find ATMs near you with the mobile app
  • Get access to your money up to 2 days early with FREE Direct Deposit, depending on your payment provider’s process and timing
  • Send money for FREE to another participating card issued by Green Dot Bank, including Walmart MoneyCard. Limits apply.
  • Get cash off your card for FREE at any Walmart Customer Service Desk or MoneyCenter, up to $1,000 per transaction. No purchase required.
  • $0 online purchase fee. Other fees and limits apply. Subject to successful ID verification. See Cardholder Agreement for details.


24k Prepaid Visa® RushCard

24k Prepaid Visa® RushCard

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  • Get your tax payout sooner by e-filing and loading your payout onto your Prepaid Visa RushCard.
  • Stay connected - keep track of your money on your mobile phone with the free RushCard app.
  • Get your government benefits up to two days early with Direct Deposit.* Certain restrictions apply. See card site for details.
  • Safer than carrying cash. With the Visa Zero Liability policy your funds are protected if your card is lost or stolen.* See card site for details.
  • Real time activity alerts sent to your mobile phone via text or email.* Standard text message and data rates, fees, and charges may apply.
  • Your funds are protected if your card is lost or stolen thanks to the Visa Zero Liability policy.* See card site for details.
  • Your funds are FDIC-Insured through MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card accounts are subject to ID Verification.
  • Click on "Apply Now" to learn more about Gloss Prepaid Visa RushCard.*


AccountNow® Gold Visa® Prepaid Card

AccountNow® Gold Visa® Prepaid Card

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  • Get Paid up to 2 days Faster with Free Direct Deposit ▼ - Get Your Paycheck or Benefits Checks in Your Card Account and Access Your Funds up to 2 days Earlier Than Payday.
  • No CreditCheck to Get a Card. No ChexSystems Check. No Existing Bank Account Required.
  • $0 Activation Fee†. No Minimum Balance. No Overdraft fees, ever!
  • $15 Bonus§ with Qualifying Direct Deposit. Never Pay to Cash Your Paychecks and Get Your Pay Faster.
  • Use it Everywhere Visa Debit Cards are Accepted and Pay Anyone with PayAnyone Bill Pay. Shop Online, Rent a Car, Pay Your Rent and More.
  • Easy Mobile Account Access and Text Alerts. Get Your Account Balance, Transaction Details Sent to Your Phone within Seconds


How a Prepaid Card Works

A prepaid credit card works very similar to a bank debit or ATM card. You can add money to the prepaid card and use it anywhere Visa or MasterCard debit cards are accepted. Money can be added to most prepaid cards in one of several ways:

  • Direct Deposit: Most prepaid cards allow you to have your paycheck, government check, or benefits check deposited directly onto the card. As described below, the direct deposit feature is extremely convenient and allows you to obtain a prepaid card for free or for a small monthly fee.
  • Cash Networks: Cash can be added to most prepaid cards through one of several cash networks, including Green Dot, MoneyGram, Western Union, or Visa Money Link. These cash networks are located at many nearby stores, such as CVS, Walmart, Kroger, and UPS.
  • Money Share: Prepaid cards also permit you to transfer funds from one card account to another. This is a convenient way to transfer money to friends and family, and is why many college students carry prepaid cards.

Prepaid cards are part of either the Visa or MasterCard debit card network. As a result, prepaid cards can be used anywhere that Visa debit or MasterCard debit cards are accepted (which is just about everywhere). You can also use prepaid cards at ATM machines to withdraw cash.

Benefits of a Free Prepaid Credit Card

Prepaid credit cards offer several benefits beyond a simple ATM card. Perhaps the key benefit is direct deposit of paychecks, government checks, and benefit checks. There are several prepaid cards that will waive all fees if you have your paycheck direct deposited to the card. With direct deposit, your paycheck will be added to your card on payday. You don’t have to go to the trouble and expense of driving to a check cashing store to cash your paycheck. And the money is available immediately. If you receive a government or benefits check, you can also have it deposited directly onto prepaid cards for no fee.

There is one other important benefit to these cards–online bill pay. The top prepaid cards can be used to pay bills online. Just like a bank account, you can have funds transferred from a prepaid credit card to pay car loans, the mortgage, utilities, or just about any other monthly expense. Because of this, a no fee prepaid credit card is about as close to a bank account as you can get, without getting a bank account.

Here are some other benefits of no fee prepaid cards:

  • Guaranteed Approval: Unlike a bank or traditional credit card, prepaid cards won’t check Chexsystems or your FICO credit score before approving your application. Approval is guaranteed.
  • No Credit Check: Because prepaid cards do not extend credit, there is no credit check run when you apply.
  • No Bounced Checks: Because the prepaid card acts as a debit card, there is no risk of overdrawing your account. With no bounced checks, there is no risk of paying a bounced check fee.
  • No Over Limit Fees: Credit cards charge a hefty fee when cardholders exceed their credit limit. With prepaid cards, you can only spend what you’ve added to the card, so there is no risk of exceeding a card limit.
  • Free Direct Deposit: For the prepaid cards listed below, they all offer free direct deposit of paychecks, government checks, and other benefits checks. In fact, by using direct deposit, you can get the prepaid card for no fees at all.
  • No Interest Charges: Since you’re not borrowing money on a prepaid card, you never pay interest. Prepaid cards keep you from spending more than you have.
  • No Fees or Low Fees: For the cards listed below, they either charge no fees if you use direct deposit, or their fees are very low (and a lot lower than using check cashing stores).
  • Online Bill Pay: This is a big advantage of prepaid cards. You can use your account to transfer payments to creditors or even other cardholders. It makes paying bills easy and safe, and reduces the risk you’ll miss a payment by mistake.

We will add additional free and low cost prepaid cards as they become available. And if you know of other prepaid card offers that you think should be added to the list, please leave a comment.

Editorial Disclosure: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise
endorsed by American Express.

Topics: Credit Cards

303 Responses to “Prepaid Cards With Low or No Fees”

    • val hart

      yes it is a great way to build or rebuild your credit. Although the card is a prepay, the account still shows up in the credit breaurs as a credit card they do not differ. but theres a catch it needs to have atleast $25.00 on the card at all times for this to work.
      I”m a card holder for the visa one. I have a bank account but had bad credit so i hire a lawyer to help and thats the addvice he gave me. now that i do have it i love it because of fraud and stuff I no longer use my bank card to make online purchases i use the prepay that way if they do get my info they can not run up a bill i just lose what i have on that card which isnt much i only like to keep under 200.00 on there at any given time so im not totally srewed.

      • Right up until they cancel the card(Visa One) like they did mine, without notice, when I called I was told “the card was linked with other accounts that were not yours” or something similarly cryptic. Seeing as how I had to give out the social to get a named card, I inquired as to what happened and if my info was safe or not…”I have no other details sir”. That was that, nothing I can do about it, I get to sit and wonder what shoe will drop next….be very careful with these things, as I do not think they hold the same security levels as normal cards, and the banks that issue them could not give a darn less about you in the long run. Thank god I hadn’t loaded it in awhile and only lost about 15 dollars to this scam.

      • Erik e.

        Maybe with some prepaid cards they do ,but check first. You do not build credit with MANGO prepaid card ! I was going to sign up for it as it was the only one I found, I could use now and not wait a week or so to use,but it’s web site said it does NOT build credit with it. They did say they were working on that. So check back,but as of Jan.03/11 it does not. click on my link and look at # 15 (Will the Mango Card build my credit?) Hope this helps someone.

        • Erik e.

          For some reason the link I put in the Blue box takes you to mangos main page. Click on ( help) at the top of the page then go down to # 15 (Will the Mango Card build my credit?) Again I hope this info helps some one before they sign up thinking this will build credit. Some cards do, Some cards don,t!

    • Answer to your question is no, prepaid cards do not help you build your credit. And they do not report to the credit Bureaus. If you are looking to rebuild your credit the best solution for you is a secured card. With a secured card you put down a deposit of how much you would like to have for a credit limit and you pay on it every month. As you pay your bill each month the bank will report your payments to the bureaus and it will start helping you rebuild your credit limit. This is the way I am currently going. I received my secured card through Wells Fargo Bank. And the good thing is after a certain amount of time (6 months- 1 year) as you pay your account on time each month the bank could consider you for a higher card amount and give you a normal credit card rather keep you on a secured card but I do know that is your choice as well. I hope that this helps.

    • “s using a PrePaid Credit Card a way to build a credit history for someone who doesn’t have one?” No, a pre paid card does not help you build your credit, but if you mess it it, it can damage your credit.

  1. val hart

    ooh yeah you also have to do billpay with atleast one of your bills the card i got was a AccountNow Visa but there are several just Google prepay credit cards one site i went to had visa mastercard and a really cool teen dicovery card that im getting for my son to put his allowance on that way its safe and it has parental controls and they get discounts at some popular teen stores when they shop with it

    • Val, thanks for the comments and tips! By the way, the teen discover card is called Current by Discover, and it does have a lot of great features that allow parents to monitor and control their teen’s spending.

      • Shirley

        Info out of date here ” the teen discover card is called Current by Discover”

        The Current Card was a prepaid teen debit card issued by Discover Bank. In many ways, it was a leader in the teen prepaid card space with excellent parental controls and features. Unfortunately, the Current Card from Discover is no longer available for new account holders (although existing accounts, apparently, remain in service).

  2. I have a Rushcard and it is a very easy and cost efficient card…There is a one time 19.95 charge to activate your card.From then on no monthly fees are taken off your card or anything and you don’t have to have a balance for your card to remain active. You can get money off your card from the ATM and deposit checks. For more information go to http://www.RushCard.com! THANKS and have a BLESSED DAY!

    • Rush charges a dollar for every purchase or 10 dollars a month. They tell you that you signed up for this when there is nothing to sign up for RunDMC’s brother should be ashamed of himself ripping black people off Damn you RUSSEL SIMMONS I’M CANCELLING MY ACCOUNT ASAP .I’M ON HERE LOOKING FOR A PREPAID DEBIT CARD WITH LITTLE OR NO MONTHLY FEE’S.MY ACCOUNT IS NEVER RIGHT THEY STOLE 120 FROM ME FOR HAVING THE CARD FOR A YEAR PLUS EVERY 1 EXTRA TRANSACTION I MADE WHETHER IT WAS TO GET 6 YEAR OLD SOME NOW & LATERS FOR 35 CENT OR 5 DOLLARS IN GAS IT WAS A DOLLAR. PUT THE WORD OUT AND WATCH YOUR ACCOUNT

    • Narayan, I believe you can depending on the card. Keep in mind that just like credit cards, there is an extra fee when making purchases in foreign currency. AccountNow, for example, changes a 2.95% currency conversion fee when making purchase in a foreign country.

  3. Update: All prepaid credit cards have fees of some kind. If you are looking for prepaid credit cards with no fees, the best options are those cards that have fees you can avoid. For example, many cards like those listed here waive activation fees if you use direct deposit. For signature transactions (as compared to PIN transactions), you can often avoid fees, too. ATM usage almost always entails fees, at least after the first couple each month. The key to finding no fee or low fee prepaid cards is to know how you’ll use the card and factor that into your prepaid card selection.

  4. B M S MURTHY

    1. Can the prepaid credit cards offered by you be used for purchasing online globally?!
    2. I am an Indian citizen and reside here in India, so is your prepaid credit cards offer applicable for me or not?!
    3. When I am clicking the apply option, the web page is not opening.
    4. How can I deposit money into my prepaid credit card and what are the methods of deposit?!

    • B M S Murthy, thanks for your questions. You raise several good ones:

      1. First, these cards are not offered by the Dough Roller. The links will take you to the official sites of each of these prepaid cards. That said, prepaid cards generally can be used internationally, although they charge a foreign currency fee much like credit cards. But you’ll need to double-check the terms of each card to make sure. For example, the AccountNow Prepaid Visa can be used intentionally, but it charges a 2.95% currency fee.

      2. I assume that India has its own prepaid cards that would be more cost effective, but I’m just not familiar with what’s available there. To get a U.S. based card to be used in India all the time would be expensive because of the foreign currency fee.

      3. There are several ways to load money onto a prepaid card. The most convenient and cost effective is direct deposit of a paycheck or government benefits check. In fact, AccountNow is currently offering a $25 bonus for those that use direct deposit. Not sure how long that offer will last, but it’s available as of today. You can also send a check to the prepaid card, use a bank transfer, transfer money via a credit card and so one. The thing to watch for are fees. Some of these methods are free, others will cost you a small fee. That’s why it’s so important to check the terms and conditions of any card before applying.

      • By your answers I have understood nobody needs a US Social Security or any Identification number from US or from others countries to get a prepaid card in US and these prepaid cards can also be bought by Internet. Is that right?

    • The response you got was inaccurate: none of the cards listed by DR are issued by banks with a license to operate in India. They can only be issued in the US (and sometimes Canada). Of course you can then take those cards to India and use them from there, but they won’t be issued and shipped to you in India.
      You need to look for cards issued by banks with a Visa or MasterCard license in India.

  5. Joseph Sullivan

    Here’s my take on Prepaid Debit Cards (payroll cards) based on my own experience:

    I used to work at a large national restaurant chain and our card was pretty bad. But, from what I hear, it was typical because most cards either have a monthly fee or pretty limited as to the free items. I have worked at Starbucks for about 7 months now and they allow us to have a card called the Money Manager Card. The choice was pretty simple because there are no monthly fees, I can use it on their network (allpoint atms) free at all times, never any fees to buy things (signing or using my PIN and getting cash back if I want…all without a fee or surcharge), no overdraft. Let’s just say I haven’t paid a fee in the entire time I’ve had the card. It’s pretty simple to use it at no charge and I really don’t have to tip-toe around any limited free items like most other cards I have seen have.

    Oh, and don’t lose most payroll cards! If you do, it’ll cost you $$ even to get the replacement sent by the post office. My new card give free replacements when delivered by the post office all of the time. Or, if I want, I can get it delivered by Fedex for $10. Pretty reasonable as I sent something by Fedex a month ago and paid $14!

    My point is, if an employer is set on offering its employees a Paycard, it should do both the company and its employees and offer a Paycard that truly costs $0 to use. When I say $0, I mean $0. Not just $0 if you jump through certain hoops, etc.

    I should state that Walmart has something that is similar sounding to Money Manager Card. I think it is the Money Card or something like that. That card is definitely not the same.

    I did a quick Google search on Money Card when investigating the Starbucks offering and mistakenly clicked on a link to a Money Card “problem” page where people complained about it. Then, I realized that “Money Card” is not “Money Manager Card”.

    Thought I would let you know so you don’t make the same mistake and get yourself a card that will end up costing you $$$$.

    • Friends, let me tell you, if you get the consumer side of the MoneyCard from Wal-Mart, be prepared for rude customer service associates. I closed mine out when I had issues with their attendants and complained to Wal-Mart’s home office about it. They looked into it and decided to change vendors after numerous other complaints. I tried TODAY to get a card so I could have my Stipend for college direct deposited, and got worse treatment than I ever had before with them.

      I wrote about it in my newsblog.

      Have a read and then see for yourself.

  6. Hello,
    Just wondering from the list all pre paid credit cards have monthly fees with the exception of the Ace & Ready? Is that correct? If an illegal purchase is made on the pre paid card that is connected to a personal bank account for sending funds does a the bank account suffer as well? Thanks.

    • Doug, if you load $500 a month or more on the card, the Mango Money card has no monthly fees. And it’s only $5 a month if you load less than $5. Of all the cards listed, I think it’s the best deal. As to your second question, I think I need more info. Unlike a bank debit card, a prepaid debit/credit card is not associated with a bank account. That’s one of the reasons that people in the ChexSystems who can’t open a checking account can still qualify for a prepaid card. There are limits to liability on bank debit cards for fraudulent transactions, much like a credit card, but I’m not sure if that’s your question or not.

  7. I signed up for a prepaid credit card because i needed to take a business trip to Russia. I have heard so many horror stories of people becoming victims of identity theft after using a credit card in a foreign country. In the end i went with the rushcard. They were the cheapest.

  8. I am interested in getting this type of card so I can safely shop online, but some sites require you to enter the three digit number that’s on the back of the card. Does anyone know if the Mango card (or any other prepaid card) has these three digit numbers on the back?

    • Yes the Mango card does.. they even give you a free virtual card and it gives you a card number exp date and cvc code and its completely different from the card they send in the mail yet its linked to the same account.

  9. Anita

    I think we should all use a prepaid debit card and deal these banks a blow by not allowing them to charge us these enormous fees when you make an error not matter how long you have banked with them without errors. I just got charged $140 by Bank of America whom I have banked with for 25 years because I got the snow-ball effect. Yes I know I should keep good records. I did make an addition error in my account, but $140 fees for debit card transactions of $3.14, $8.47, $48.00 and $ 7.50. I got an alert the next day telling me my balance was low and in danger of incurring fees. The next day! I ran to the bank and deposited money. And even those transactions are still “pending” the bank charged me $140. in fees! I am sick of banks. ( I use to be a bank manager in the days when banks cared and you could deal with them on a personal level).

  10. kia31

    I have been doing some searching for a good prepaid card, so far I have checked with Walmart, Rush Card, NetSpend, account now and others so far I am not sure what one is the Best

  11. elisabeth marriott

    just need toknow the best one and i’m on benefitsfrom dssso you see what is i’m just after a cards thats for social money benefits and for online shopping and paying for paying thing like rent and stuff thx

  12. Barbara McClaran

    To whom it may concern: I am interested in purchasing a pre-credit card to pay monthly dues at 24hourfitness. I do not want the company to have my regular banking information; too many complaints of clubs taking money out of client’s accounts after terminating membership. Is this a good option?; will the bank of the card charge everytime the company takes out my dues? This is pretty much the only transaction I will be using the card for. Thank-you

    • Barbara, because you’d only be making that one purchase a month, it will be difficult to find a prepaid credit card with absolutely no fees. The best option is probably the Mango Money card, which would charge a $5 monthly fee if you load less than $500 a month.

      • Nichelle

        What about the UPSide Debit card? It charges no monthly fee if you load $400 or more. $1.99 otherwise. It is cheaper than the Mango Money card. I am unsure which one is better according to other fees they may have. And how they treat their customers.

        • Nichelle, the UPSide debit card is a good choice as well. I’ve personally used the Mango MasterCard, and love it. But if you load less than $400 a month, UPSide does offer a really low monthly fee.

      • I disagree. Why pay $5 monthly fee for 1 transaction a month. Go for AccountNow Regular Visa (not Gold as it charges $9.95 per month). You will be charged $1 for that 1 single transaction from 24 HR Fitness per month, hence $12 annually not $60.

  13. Chris

    Ms. Marriott,

    The Social Security Administration offers a card for benefits with no fees. It is called the Direct Visa. Call your local SSA office or 1-800-772-1213 and ask for it. I am sure the agents would be happy to help you with enrolling into this card program. It works just like any other Visa prepaid card and is covered

  14. Retired

    Im curious… I am retired, and I already have direct deposit. Ive read and reread many articles pertaining to the PrePaid cards, yet, I havent read anything saying a retirement check can be directly deposited.
    Can it be?

    • Retired, if by retirement check you mean social security, yes they can be direct deposited to a prepaid card. And setting up the direct deposit works the same as it does for a bank. You need your account number and routing number, both of which your prepaid card issuer can give you. Note that your account number for direct deposit will not be the same number that appears on your prepaid card. You can get more information directly from the social security administration.

  15. urskrishna

    Hi DR,
    Nice article and good to know that we have so many options available to come away from the stupid banks..
    I have a Q here. If we use a prepaid debit card will it affect my credit history in any way?

    Thanks!!!
    ~urskrishna

  16. Pre-Paid…. Credit cards. Some vendors won’t accept debit cards. One of the leading Car Rental companies will only rent cars with a valid Credit Card.
    Do you know if any of these ‘Pre-Paid” appear as Credit Cards?

    • Same boat

      No, even though these cards can be used as credit cards for “normal” purchases (e.g., at the grocery store), these cards will NOT appear as credit cards for rental car companies. I think ALL rental car companies allow a debit card for payment AFTER your use, i.e., when you return the car, but only a few allow use of a debit card for the initial RESERVATION.

      Enterprise, for example, WILL allow a debit card for reservation of a rental car (I think they put a hold on the debit card for 120% of the total contract cost). We used them a few weeks ago (and we have no credit cards).

  17. bob hope

    I want to make a few online purchases over the next several months in the 80 buc range at a time, if even that much, I had been hearing alot about visa, whats a good reloadable visa card? there seems to be so many, I’m thinking about starting off with a 100.00 dollar one.

  18. I’ve been checking out the options on this list and I would have to say I like Mango the best but I’m a lil confused by this “APY” (Annual Percentage Yield) of 5.10%??? Could someone explain this to me?

    • Dee, the 5.1% APY is the interest you’ll earn if you open a savings account that Mango offers. It is linked to the Mango card, so you can transfer money between the card and the savings account. You don’t have to open the savings account, of course, but the interest rate is about the best you’ll find anywhere. To open a savings account, you do need to be set up for direct deposit.

    • Shar, most prepaid cards should be accepted at just about any ATM. Some cards, like Green Dot, don’t charge a fee if you use an ATM within the Green Dot network. Green Dot is on the Money Pass network. As for limits, you’ll need to check with the prepaid card company, as these limits can vary. Using Green Dot again as an example, its daily ATM withdrawal limit is $400.

      • If you get a greendot card they use US Bank and you don’t get charged for getting money off the card. I’m not sure but I think they do charge like 0.95 cents to check the balance. You can go to the website and get a balance there or sign up for a daily or weekly balance alert. I have the Mastercard and soon will be getting the Visa one for my rent and utilities. I love them and won’t go back to a bank or credit union….

  19. The good thing about Prepaid Card, be it Master or VISA, is that, you only spend what you have loaded, completely helping you to avoid those tempting debt related with Credit Card.
    Unfortunately, for people outside the US, the cards highlighted in the article can not be applied for. Alternatively, for international people, getting free credit card will warrant joining rograms that offer cards as reward or those that pay with VISA and Master Card. Bear in mind that these programs offer the cards for free.

  20. With out a doubt Mango card is hand down far to none the best pre-paid card out there. there is a saving account you can get up with, them ,as well as its free no fee’s debit card. No Monthly fee if you load more than $500 bucks a month. Most people load that much in two weeks. I had nexis for about 2 weeks and already am out 23 dollars of my own money. They got to many fee’s, Its like they charge a 1 dollar for every breath you take. Garbage. Definitely the worst i ever had.

  21. Did anyone ever hear of AOL. They were free for along time and then one day they turned on the 9.95 fee and overnight the company made 10 million dollars.
    They will turn the fees on when they get to a certain point and then they will make millions by the time people can get their direct deposits moved somewhere else and the fees will be high.
    It’s a great plan so enjoy free while you can it will not last!!

  22. Bottom Flower

    I have been searching & researching for a good debit card. I have Rush card ($1 per transaction fee is too much – stopped using it)

    I even tried something called Smarty Pig. It is a savings account that is supposed to help you save and when you reach your goal (or before) you move the $$$ to their Smarty Pig debit card, gift cards or back to orig bank acct.

    I saved for a few months and thought I’d test out the debit card. While cashing out, I got a notice that the debit card is NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE. Huh?? I was so pissed. All over the website it talks about the debit card… then it’s not available???? I researched and read all the fine print. They don’t tell you it’s not available until you are in the middle of cashing out. Some sort of bank change over or something they’re doing. They said it MAY be available sometime in Nov (umm this occurred in Nov… so…). They dumped all my $$ back into my orig. bank acct., since I didn’t want my savings put into a GIFT CARD! :o( And if you go to their site it still pimps the debit card even though it’s not available.

    So even when you’re careful and do all your research there can be snags.

  23. looking for a prepaid card/debit card for my son in college. he is in Florida, & I’m on the other side of the US. I want a card I can buy here and send to him. I want to be able to put $$ on it here from my bank acct. to his debit card bi-weekly. ($25.00) at first, then I will send him the card. Then bi-weekly I will deposit approx. $50.00 -$200.00. I am on a fixed income so it’s unknown of the monetary amount. But, I am spending $20-30 a month on wiring or doing the money gram,. so my question is: I’m looking for a card I can send to my son (student), that i can reload from my bank acct. He can’t have a bank acct, , we tried thAT, and he is geting financial assistance, grants, scholarship money, so I do not want any SSN ##’s given out. ANY IDEAS?

    THANXS,
    mom

    • Joy, my first suggestion would be the Upside Visa prepaid card. You can load the card from your bank account for free. Each month you load $500 or more, the monthly fee is just $0.99. And in those months you load less than $500, the monthly fee is only $2.99. There is no activation fee and no credit check to get the card. Good luck!

    • Dear Mom,

      You should try obopay.com, they have a great card you can load instantly via a bank card or credit card or with a bank account. When using a bank acct it will take 2-3 days for money to appear on his card. Paypal also offer the same thing, but you must apen a paypal acct and wait 2 month to get a debit card, obopay does not make you wait, but they do charge a 1 time fee of 10.00 to get a card.

  24. Got a question about the Mango debit card: are there any fees associated with online and in store purchases? I mean if I go into the Walmart and make a purchase with my prepaid debit (Mango) will I be charged a fee for usage? I know that with Account now, I would get charged a fee of 50 cents for each transaction in store and online. Actually, I was charged a fee of at least 50 cents each time I used the card no mater where I used it. Please someone, provide response as soon as possible. Thanks.

  25. So my girlfriend and I had our tax return deposited on my bank freedom card. I tried to take all of our money off to get a car and my card was deactivated. When I called to find out what the problem was, I was told that my card was cancelled, because of too many transactions. Also… They told me because my card was canceled I lost all of my money and that they would not be mailing it out. This is a big scam, they took almost $5,000 from me and my girlfriend. So I can’t get my money when I need it? This is some fake suff, don’t go for it.

    • TT38, if the IRS in fact deposited a refund on a Bank Freedom card, as you’ve described, the money is available. If you are unable to access the funds through your Bank Freedom card, contact the IRS.

    • If NY pays unemployment benefits via direct deposit, than you should be able to have the benefits deposited directly on a Mango card. When you get your card, it comes with specific instructions on how to set up direct deposit, including your unique account number and routing number.

  26. singing girl

    Would a prepaid card like this be appropriate for drivers in a trucking business? This would allow them to purchase fuel, get cash advances for tolls, etc. Could it be put in the business name or must it be put in the driver’s name?

  27. Right now the best prepaid cards are the BB&T MoneyAccount card which is through BB&T Bank. There is a $5 a month fee if you deposit $1,000 or more per month and a $10 fee otherwise. There is no charge to deposit cash, use their ATMs, bill pay etc – the only thing missing is the possibility of overdraft.

    If you have direct deposit the MoneyManager card has a single fee 50 cents for bill pay to anyone so if you want them to send a check to someone its 50 cents. 37,000 completely free ATMs and unlimited ATM transactions. No charge for customer service, no monthly fees, no fees for transactions. For someone without direct deposit there is a $4 fee from Visa Readylink. I’d recommend the BB&T for cash deposits since those are free with them.

    Most of the major banks will have accounts just like the BB&T MoneyAccount probably by the summer.

    Outside of those the new Western Union Gold card has no monthly or transaction fees plus you get ‘rewards’ for loading cash onto the card.

  28. Hi,
    i’m looking for a prepaid card. And throughout my research so far i could not find one, that will allow me to put money on it with a foreign card.
    I’m a student here and i have a Russian debit card that is not eccepted on-line, so i’d love to have a US prepaid card to be able to do safe purchases. I have a SSN#, if that matters.
    I hope you’ll be able to help!
    Thanks,
    Kate

  29. Does anyone have the perkstreet account card? Im looking into getting one i was just wondering what you guys have to say about it before i get it..thanks so much.

  30. michael burrell

    hey i was wondering if anyone knew of a card that doesnt have a monthly maintenence fee.my account now cost 3.95 per load plus 9.95 a month.is there any cheeper cards around?

  31. Kenneth vann

    I”m a Green Dot card holder I was shocked ” when at Rite AID I got charged 4.95 to put more cash on the card, and I’m being charged a 5.95 monthly maintenance fee as well. I need something a little less exploitative then that if anyone has any suggestions please E-Mail them.

    • Kenneth, all prepaid cards charge you to load cash. The best way to load a prepaid card is via direct deposit, which should be free. As for the monthly maintenance fee, the Serve card by American Express is an excellent option that doesn’t charge a monthly fee.

      • That’s not true. The BB&T MoneyAccount has free cash deposits at any BB&T branch.

        The end is near for these rip off cards as banks and credit unions enter the prepaid space. The only existing cards that will survive are those that already have no fees and there are only a couple of those – neither of which made this ‘list’.

        This list is not indicative of the better prepaid cards available. This list is basically advertising.

        What criteria was used in coming up with this ‘list’? Every one of them has fees so the title is deceptive.

        Perk Street is not even a prepaid card.

        • Bob, every prepaid card has some fees, including the BB&T MoneyAccount. The key is to find cards that can be used in such a way as to avoid the fees. The Mango MasterCard is my top pick for that reason.

          You are correct that PerkStreet is not a prepaid card. It’s a no fee cash rewards debit card. I’ve included it as an alternative because it’s an excellent product.

          • DR, thanks for your input. However, in regards to PerkStreet, some or most of the people who resort to this part of the worldwide web have “not-so-desirable credit history” or “run-ins with their banks” to have negative items on their ChexSystem reports. I know you are compelled to advertise to include “PerkStreet as an alternative because it’s an excellent product,” but consumers must be informed beforehand that PerkStreet requires clean ChexSystem report in order to be approved for an account and the account is not a “prepaid debit card” but a regular checking account that offers debit card along with the account just as regular banks would offer their account holders..

  32. Robert Roehm

    DO NOT USE ANY METABANK ISSUED CARD. They do not tolerate payments from accounts that you do not own. Metabank is doing this to fight fraud, which their system has too much of.

    My friend paid me $23 from a paypal account for something I sold for him, and that caused my Western Union Gold Card to get closed down with $5,010 in it.

    I had to get my friend to call them, and they grilled him with a lot of questions before releasing the money to me in the form of a check refund. I’m now stuck without a card!

  33. Cannot these people understand English? You type “Feeless” debit card on Google it takes you to a site with big bold letters “Feeless” debit cards – You go to the first one you see – “Mango” it says “Free” “Feeless” debit card in big bold letters. You go to their TOS page and it says $5 a month service fee. Why do these people not comprehend english?

      • The Amex debit card is free, meaning no annual fee, not monthly fee, no minimum amount per month, no fees means no fees. The only catch I see is that you need to reload the account from a checking account.

        • I agree. Except for the fact it’s not only checking you can use to reload Amex Prepaid Card. You can use other sources (e.g., MoneyPak, other prepaid card with routing and account numbers, MoneyGram, etc.).

          Amex is probably the BEST in terms of “feeless” prepaid card. Downside is it does not have routing number to do payroll or government direct deposits. It is meant as a tool for spending safely from merchants, online or otherwise.

          • Gloria

            American Express does have a routing number to do payroll…I just received my card…however, you have to go your account and the information is there (routing, acct number etc)….and as for the $2.00 fee, even your bank will charge a withdrawal fee, especially if you utilize ATM’s other than their own…and there are other means of withdrawal (when making a purchase) other than that AMEX is fee “FREE”…also AMEX offers Roadside Asst…another card you may want to check out is “Vision Prepaid Card”…it offers savings acct w/5.26%, Roadside Asst and 1% cash back on gas purchases…hope this info is helpful

          • Indigo Rain

            AMEX Prepaid now offers Direct Deposit from payroll and Government Benefits. It is simply THE BEST! You can fund with a bank account linked to the card or you can fund with cash at designated participating vendors. NO FEES…EVER! What’s not to love?

          • Michael Duer

            Yeah sure, maybe it is completely “fee-less”, but then you have to deal with the fact that there’s only about 3 stores on this ENTIRE PLANET THAT WE LIVE ON, usually refereed to as PLANET EARTH that actually accepts American Express!!!! hahahahaha

        • No, you don’t. You can still buy a load pack to load money onto an Amex prepaid card. You don’t have to put money on the card from your bank account.
          The only thing I did see was that I don’t think you can deposit government money onto the card, so I don’t know if they will let you deposit your tax return onto it, does anyone know?

          • The only down side to the Amex is that it’s hard to find places that take it. other then a few store no body will take Amex. Heck I’ve had to buy other cards to do some shoping online cause the places would not take Amex..

          • Jennifer

            The AMEX card is great but like some others are mentioning you can use it in a lot of places. I’ve had bills and purchases reject bc they say they don’t accept credit cards and they view the Serve card as that. My telling them it isn’t a credit card doesn’t help. I’m currently searching for another card. Also serve does not allow cash back.

      • Shante

        Not true I have a skylight card and I pay nothing for it. No monthly fees, no transaction fees or anything. Best part I also have an online account so I can transfer money and view my statements.

    • Heather

      Hey John the American express card’s only fee is a $2 ATM and the first one of the month is free. I’ve been looking at cards like these for the past 5 hours trying to find the cheapest fees possible. You still have to pay to load cash but, I’d rather give green dot $5 a load instead of $5 for a lcash load and $10 a month plus a dollar everytime you swipe it. Read those fee charts carefully!!!!!!

    • I completely agree John, I had the same comment – it’s not feeless, you either pay the monthly fee, or the $500 to load the card…either way, it’s not feeless!!! Amex seems to be the best deal on this site. Amazon, Apple, Paypal etc require a credit card be attached to an account in order to be able to use the gift cards/credit amounts I already have available …I just want an anonymous card unattached to my personal bank account.

    • Michael Duer

      I could NOT have said it better myself!! hahaha I actually Googled, “Prepaid cards with NO monthly fee”, and even capitalized the word, “NO”, and all I ended up getting was a BUNCH of cards that say(at least in the description before you read all of the fine print), “no monthly/yearly card fees!”!! As soon as you see one you may be interested in, you just find out that, “Oh, what we meant to say was that there’s no fee UNLESS you……..BLAH BLAH BLAH”. Someone as sharp as a bowling ball can see that THAT IS A DAMN FEE, regardless of the reason you give for it!!! Terrible… A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E!!!!

      • Rob Berger

        Michael, if you are looking for a prepaid card that has no fees regardless of how you use it, you won’t find one. Same with “free” checking accounts. Even a free checking account charges you if you bounce a check or use an ATM owned by another back. These prepaid cards, however, are free in the sense that you can load them and use them without paying any fees. True, some require a minimum monthly load, but they are as close to no fee as you’ll find.

    • Michael Duer

      I could NOT have said it better myself!! hahaha I actually Googled, “Prepaid cards with NO monthly fee”, and even capitalized the word, “NO”, and all I ended up getting was a BUNCH of cards that say(at least in the description before you read all of the fine print), “no monthly/yearly card fees!”!! As soon as you see one you may be interested in, you just find out that, “Oh, what we meant to say was that there’s no fee UNLESS you……..BLAH BLAH BLAH”. Someone as sharp as a bowling ball can see that THAT IS A DAMN FEE, regardless of the reason you give for it!!! Terrible… A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E!!!!

  34. Bill RedCloud

    Bank Freedom (dotcom) is better then all of the ones listed above. GreenDOT sucks big time. They have had over 900 complaints with the BBB yet, they still get a rating of A+++. They owe a lot of people money. Even me. Google “why does greendot have a rating”.

    • Bill, Bank Freedom’s fees are nearly identical to the Mango MasterCard. And the Mango card offers a savings account that pays 5.1%, which is nice. Still, the Bank Freedom is a good choice. Thanks for the tip.

      As for Green Dot, I’ve used the card without any issues. Any company as big as Green Dot will have a lot of complaints. Even Bank Freedom has complaints filed against it with the BBB. I still think it’s a good product.

  35. Al Breeck

    Don’t state ‘No overdraft fees’ on the listed cards, when everyone knows that overdrafts are not possible on debit cards.
    A bank may provide the (not free) service on a checking account, which is different.

    Check cashers can be less expensive than the fees banks charge non-account holders. I would rather pay the small fee than go through the contempt and permanent collection of every number on my I.D. even at a local bank.

    Money Network card Visa version has just a $3/month charge with no loading fee and 25 cents a purchase even if cash back. A company can provide a free non-Visa version as a payroll card.
    Actually a person could just use the employer provided payroll card if associated with MasterCard or Visa. However, the employer reserves the right to charge the account for overpayments or termination disputes.
    One is called Comdata.

    What are usage fees on the other cards?

    • A.J. Meharey

      That’s right Sandra. I just rec’d my W/M MC and the first thing that jumped out at me was the $3 monthly fee (unless u deposit $1000). I don’t have $1000 to deposit. If I did I wouldn’t need a prepaid card, I’d have a bank debit card.

      • Many of these cards do not allow Government deposits, specifically tax returns. And some that do have very low limits and have online complaints that they have held several thousand dollars in tax returns from customers.

        I have the following cards with no fees: AMex prepaid, AMEX campus prepaid, Bluebird, Green Dot Visa. They are all fee-free or waive the monthly fee with a reasonable amount of use ( a certain deposit or number of purchases). Bluebird atm is free with any direct deposit within 30 days. AMEX each provide 1 free atm withdrawal per month- which is more than enough. I rarely have used atms in my life. Almost any merchant accepts cards and I really can’t see they need of more than one $400 atm per month from each card. I guess there are people who need daily cash for certain, um street vendors.

        That said none of these cards will accept a federal tax refund. Or if they do, they have complaints and very low limits. So I need a card that 1. accepts tax refund and 2. has a reasonable load limit- like 10 grand, not some crazy 1000-2500 limit.

        Right now it seems my only option is to direct deposit my tax refund to my online savings account, which has no debit card attached, holds every deposit for 5 days, and takes 5 more days to transfer to another account. So it seems best case, I might have to wait 10 full business days after my tax refund comes to load it onto my Bluebird, in the meantime using my savings account info to pay a limited number of online bills that will accept it as a payment method.

    • Car rentals = No (no legitimate car rental company takes debit cards)
      Booking flights = Yes
      Hotels = Yes (except the bank puts hold on the amount or cost of your hotel room plus incidentals as soon as you check in. If the amount on hold is not all used for the duration of your stay, the remainder stays on hold for more than 7 days.)

      • I’ve rented cars using debit cards. They placed a hold on some money just like hotels do. I’ve never had an actual credit card. But this was back in 2006-2007. Maybe things have changed?

      • I’ve rented cars using debit cards. They placed a hold on some money just like hotels do. I’ve never had an actual credit card. But this was back in 2006-2007. Maybe things have changed?

  36. Kirill Shilov

    Lowest fee
    Western Union MoneyWise Prepaid MasterCard Fees
    0.00 Direct deposit fee
    0.00 Online bank loading fee
    0.00 Withdraw fee
    0.00 Monthly maintnance
    0.00 Money Transfer Fee
    3.25 Western Union Reload Fee, (but you can reload thru checking for free)
    5.25 6 Month Inactivity fee (if you don’t use your card within 6 months)

    • Jeanette

      There are some drawbacks to the Western Union card. I have been denied some services on Amazon and when I called the number on the back of the card I kept getting disconnected. I also had an order cancelled by them for items that were back ordered.

  37. PerkStreet is an absolute rip-off. They say that they do not do a credit check but this is the very reason they denied me. If I am sending my money why is there a credit check anyway. So I sign up on Sunday and get an email on Tuesday that unfortunately they cannot give me a card. But when I signed up on Sunday they had asked for up to $500 in starter funds. When I had checked my bank account there was a debit from this company. I called up and was like how can you take my money without service. She said that it would take up to 7-10 business days to get the money back. I was like it did not take 7-10 business days to get the money. They might have debited on Monday but I did not check until Tuesday. If you know you might not approve an applicant don’t be messing with their money. I think this company is just trying to make money of me in the mean time. I reported them to the BBB and the next move is the FCC and my States’ Attorney General. They messed with the wrong one.

    • Rob Berger

      Tasha, not sure why PerkStreet took your money and then denied the card. And it’s ridiculous that it will take that long to get your money back. I’ve had many readers who have had great experiences with PerkStreet, but it’s crazy how they’ve handled your application.

      For others reading this comment, keep in mind that PerkStreet is NOT a prepaid credit card. PerkStreet is a bank and the card they offer is a debit card. That may explain why they check an applicant’s credit score. The prepaid cards listed on this page do not check credit.

      • I received an approval e-mail from PerkStreet last week. They mentioned on the e-mail that in 3 to 5 business days, they will debit my bank account which they did on the third day. I wonder why Tasha’s experience was as such when her application was declined.

    • Ronald Elrod

      Your best bet is to notify the Better Business Bureau. They can help you get your money back. Plus, they can warn anyone else who plans on using this company in the future. Good luck.

  38. Can I use a prepaid card as my paypal account to receive the payment on from a sale that I make to someone. If so how does that work? Can anyone help me, or offer another suggestion if I cannot do the above. Thanks for any help and advice you can give to me.

  39. Eldridge

    Glad I ran into this website. I’ve been using AccountNow and they charge 9.99 a month for service fees along with 3.50 for every ATM purchase. I think I’m gonna go with another card.

    • Eldridge, I am right there with you. I too use the AccountNow Gold Visa, it stinks! On top of those fees, their website offers a $25 direct deposit incentive. The stipulations are you have to have at least $500 deposited for 2 or 3 consecutive months. I’ve been using the card since December and was making around $1600 a month and never received the incentive. But their customer service sucks too. Hence the reason why I switched to the AMEX prepaid card. No fees other than ATM withdrawals if I need cash I’ll just get it as cash back after a purchase to avoid that fee and I can set up direct deposit. Yep sounds like the card for me! 🙂

    • Rob Berger

      Kym, just about any reloadable prepaid card can accept bank transfers and direct deposit. You can can an account number and routing number from the prepaid card company once you have a card. These numbers would be required for any transfer. In terms of whether you can have a payday loan transferred to the card, that would depend on whether the payday loan company would transfer funds electronically. I assume that most do, but I don’t know for sure. Best of luck.

  40. Don Steffensen

    My new website will be up live beginning next month. I will need a prepaid card that I can direct my merchant account to deposit direct into the prepaid credit card from customers purchases from my site. I will then use the credit card to purchase the item from my wholesale company. Is there a limit to how much money goes into the card? Some of my items are $5,000 or even more. Volume could push the amount into the 10’s of thousands of dollars. What are the limitations if any for how much money can go into the card??? Thank you, Don Steffensen

    • Rob Berger

      Don, prepaid cards do have a limit, and probably would not be ideal for what yo describe. The highest limit I’ve ever seen on a prepaid card is $10,000, and most have limits of $2,500 or less.

  41. Clay Harris

    Can you please comment this chart.

    KAIKU AccountNow 3 Green Dot 4 NetSpend 5 RushCard 6
    Purchase Fee No No $4.95 4a No $3.95-$14.95
    Monthly Fee $1.95 $9.95 3a $5.95 4b $9.95 $9.95
    ATM Withdrawal Fee $1.45 $2.50 $2.50 4c $2.50 $2.50 6a
    Customer Service Fee Free Free Free $0.50 5a Free
    Credit Card Loading Yes Not Offered Not Offered Not Offered Not Offered
    Card-to-Card Transfers Yes Yes Not Offered Yes Yes
    Bank Transfers Yes Not Offered Yes Yes Yes
    Mobile Banking Yes Not Offered Yes Yes Yes
    Direct Deposit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Average Monthly Cost 7 $1.95 $9.95 $5.95 $9.95 $9.95
    Average Yearly Cost 7 $23.40 $119.40 $71.40 $119.40 $119.40

    • Rob Berger

      Emily, the cost depends on how you use the card. If you think about free checking, even these accounts have fees for bounced checks, for example. The cards listed here either have extremely low fees or no fees at all depending on how you use the card (i.e., use direct deposit, load a certain amount on the card, get cash back at retail stores rather than an ATM).

  42. So, I just need a visa card for a recurring internet purchase from overseas. I have very bad credit. Will one of these cards work? I tried a visa gift card, but it didn’t work. I looked at the Walmart card, but looked like it had monthly fees for deposit and for maintenance.

  43. top dog

    I cant have a bank acoount cause my now divorsed wifes os alot of money so if i get a bank it will all be gone cause her debt so i need a card for me to use but with lowest cost to me an im still not sure i like what i see so far an it will take her along time to pay her debt

    • Rob Berger

      Lynn, you should be able to book a flight with a prepaid card. Booking a hotel room is a bit trickier. If you paid in full at the time of booking, it shouldn’t be a problem. But reserving the room might be an issue. Each hotel chain is different, so you would need to confirm with the specific hotel you wanted to book. To be sure, I’d call the airlines and the hotel in advance.

    • Rob Berger

      Elle, all prepaid cards are part of a debit network. Most are either debit MasterCard or debt Visa. That being said, I don’t believe the American Express prepaid card has a debit logo. Instead it says “prepaid” above the American Express logo.

  44. Kristi

    I want to get a prepaid credit card to help raise my credit…what is the best one to get? I want a card that reports to all 3 creditors…and suggestions??

    • Rob Berger

      Krisit, prepaid cards do NOT help you build credit. At one time some of them did, although they never reported to the 3 main credit bureaus. The best option to build your credit is a secured credit credit card. They are designed for those with limited or no credit. Good luck!

  45. My teenage daughter is going to Italy and Greece with her school this summer. They don’t want the kids carrying a lot of cash and want them to have a debit card to use for purchases and ATM’s. What is the best pre-paid card I can get her that won’t charge fees for each overseas purchase? I have checked US Bank and Bank of America and they both charge 3% per transaction outside of the US.

  46. marci

    hi. i want to sell some items on ebay, but have no bank acct cuz ive got terrible credit and banking history…i DO have money though….what banks could i try to get a savings acct. with for pay-pal, since pay-pal accepts savings accounts for seller fee’s, and unfornatually pay-pal does NOT accept pre-paid cc’s as a method to pay seller fee’s. also, If i can’t find a bank to help give someone w/ poor credit a savings account, could i try an online bank—like perkstreet–which lets you uplaod your account from a pre-paid card—then use my perkstreet etc acct. for pay-pal?

    pls pls pls advise, as much as possible, i need help desperatly w/ this issue

    • Rob Berger

      Marci, the PayPal Prepaid MasterCard may be exactly what you’re looking for. It also comes with an optional linked savings account. I don’t recommend it for regular transactions, but it’s a good option if you want to link it to a paypal account.

    • Rob Berger

      Greg, that’s so true! But folks still use the terms prepaid credit card and prepaid debit card interchangeably. I guess it’s like driveway, which you PARK on, and parkway, which you DRIVE on.

  47. i just tried to sign up for a prepaid credit card but it was failed, but i had to enter my SS card # and birthdate… I hope my personal information will be stolen by all those crazy people out there who do such horrible things like that…

      • D. D.D.

        I totally agree. Of all the prepaid debit cards Netspend is one of the worst. They charge $3.95 every time you put money on the card…no matter how low the amount. Want to add five bucks? It’ll cost you $8.95. Every purchase costs a $1.00, and some online transactions cost $2.00. Any ATM withdrawal is $2.50. You do have the option of paying $9.95 monthly for unlimited purchases. But in the past year they have been racking up hundreds of complaints, probably thousands, all across the internet for pulling some really despicable account manipulations on people. I know firsthand bcuz I’m one of them. They actually froze my account to where nothing could be done. I couldn’t even ask for info on a very simple money transfer question. Why did they do that? Get ready…….bcuz I updated my address!!! I am totally serious. I changed the address in my profile bcuz I moved….an action that is of course strictly required by them. And WHAM…account suspended. Now here’s the worst part. They tell me I need to all customer service to straighten out a problem. An updated address is a problem?? But when you call customer service you only get an automated service that tells you they have to call you back in two to four hours!! There is no way to speak to an agent unless you sit there and wait for 2 to 4 hours for them to get around to calling you back. I waited for SIX hours and NOTHING. It’s preposterous. They won’t respond to emails about it. I have money coming back to my card for 2 online orders I cancelled. They won’t accept it now. I read of people getting hundreds and thousands of dollars pulled from there accounts bcuz of “suspicious activity” after they’ve had their card for five years. They send all the documents and ID verification they were asked only to be rejected and told to send it ALL OVER AGAIN!! Positively scandalous. I’m shredding my Netspend card. I know I’ll never see those refunds anyway now. But plenty of good alternatives out there now.

    • I have a NetSpend prepaid card and yes, they do charge you a dollar for every time you swipe the card. However, you do have the option for not being charged by paying $5.00 a month instead, of getting charged $1.00 for every swipe. I would check into that. Overall It’s an ok card to have, but customer service is not all that great.

  48. Sunshine

    Is there a pre-paid debit card that has 24 hour service?
    Is there a pre-paid debit card that lists the atm’s in my area before I actually get the card?
    Is there a pre-paid debit card that allows me to take more that $400 out at a time?

  49. Anonymous

    Hello,
    Last week I cashed my pay check at the issuing bank, WF. It was horrible they made me sit through a 45min sales pitch using needing a finger print as a ruse… I’ll be packing my own ink pad the next time I visit, see how well that goes.

    I then headed over to where I wanted to make my first purchase, Office Max. There I saw silver Visa Gift cards in varying denomination, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to use Cash for on-line purchases I picked up a $50 card. There was a fee for purchasing the card(printed clearly on the packaging), but I have yet to see any others.

    The Card worked perfectly at Amazon and Google Play, even though the name on the card is “gift card recipient”.

    The major draw back of this card is the card is not refillable, though it’s almost advantageous to have a new credit card number every so often it’d seam uneconomical to pay for each new card/refill. Plus when the card is almost empty I’ve no choice but to use it at a retailer where I can pay the rest with cash or gift card. I’ve been using gift cards a lot recently, it feels safer then toating around thousands of dollars.

    The cost of the card in percentage when down the greater the value of card you chose.

    After reading this blog I come to realize that this might be the best option for what I’m attempting to do.

    I want financial independence and freedom, but most of all I want privacy. I want to be anonymous, not only to retailers and financial institutions but also to governments and even law enforcement. I think Benjamin said it best, Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither. Criminals will be crooks and honest ppl can either be crooks or victims, is what I would say. My being a victim won’t stop criminals so I might as well be a crook. I’m not sure you can follow how this applies, but if you lack imagination I suggest you familiarize yourself with the concept of a Police State.

    This technique obviously can’t be used for Tax Evasion, my employer and WF have a record that I’ve received these funds. At best it would be considered Money Laundering, a legitimate business practice if you ask me.

    On to my question, motives aside, considering that Direct Deposit is the last thing one would ever consider and add a cap on the maximum amount of information that should be necessary for obtaining and keeping a card to that which you’d find on a cash receipt(date, time, place, price). What then would you say is the best option for a Visa Card, refillable or not?

    For anyone who shares my views, you may be interested in Tor Project: Anonymity Online and Bitcoin – P2P digital currency. Both are amazing technological and sociological achievements that deserve an honorable mention. If neither of these existed, I probably woldn’t be concerned about financial independence.

    Thanks!

  50. If anyone wants to avoid ATM FEES, I have an alternative solution:

    If you need cash from a debit card and dont want to put up with crazy atm fees, simply go to the nearest major grocery store to you, and buy 1 candy bar and when paying for it at check out, use your debit card & it will automatically ask you if you want cash back (no fees for this) you select the maximum or whatever u need and u will get it without atm or transaction fees as its listed on your bank statement as a SALE, not a WITHDRAWAL.

  51. American Express Pass card is totally free. You can also load money from your actual Amex card. Upside Visa has a totally free credit card also tht it doesn’t advertise. It’s supposed to be for teens. I know one adult who has one.

  52. Pat Brooks

    None of the above comments have addressed the fact that the Walmart prepaid Visa charges back fees if you let your card idle with a zero balance for a few months. I usually only use my card for Christmas shopping online, but ths year I used it when travelling and when I loaded it, I was immediately charged $3 for every month that had elapsed since I last used it.

  53. JM Schmid

    I’m going to South America for one month and need a card for ATMs and purchases. I don’t think I should get AMEX because it’s not accepted as many places as other cards. Are there any problems with using these cards overseas, at ATMs and at stores or with online vendors, and are there any cards that are better than others for overseas purchases?

  54. Well for me..i dont do atms..so there was one card up until Sept of this year that nearly fit no fees to a tee..and that was MIOcard..among the lowest reload fee..but now like most small companies once customers grow..so do other things..now theres a .50 cent fee every month..1.95 fee every month its not used..and no thats not bad..for NOW..but the fact these fees have been added scares me because what happens when they continue to expand..id hate that..so prayfully they dont increase..otherwise im sure that this is currently the best prepaid card available..long gone are cards with no mth fee(mio was the only one)..but for now two quarters isnt too much to spare

  55. I need to be able to load money on the prepaid card using another credit card, for my son in collage. can this be done online?

    Also are there cards out there that let you load several thousand dollars so large monthly bills can be paid?

  56. Ben Hebert

    Usually these free prepaid cards have some sort of “hook” to get you on them and never let go :). I recommend looking into the Mango Money card… it’s one of my favorites out there.

  57. I don’t know why my comment showed up as a reply to someone else. So I will try again with a shorter comment.

    I have 3 AMEX prepaid products and a Green Dot. All are completely free for me. I have multiple avenues for direct deposit, loading $1000 in a month is not a problem, and never in my life have I needed to use an ATM when just about everything accepts a card of some sort. So a card with no startup/transaction/monthly fees that provides up to $400 in 1 free atm per month or a card that is completely free with 1 direct deposit per month definitely means FREE to me.

    That said, none of these cards will accept a federal tax refund.

    So: I need a card that 1. accepts tax refund and 2. has a reasonable load limit- like 10 grand, not some crazy 1000-2500 limit. Mine will probably be 4-5 grand.

    It looks like maybe Kaiku is it, but I was really looking for a no- fee card. Is that the “catch”? No fee cards don’t accept federal government deposits- if you want your tax refund or similar deposit you need to pay fees?

    I’m surprised when I do a search for this feature, I don’t get many results. You have to read the fine print to see most of these cards will not accept a tax refund deposit.

  58. I tried posting before but I kept getting duplicate comment and my comment was showing as a reply to another completely irrelevant comment.

    What’s the lowest fee card that allows the deposit of tax refunds? I have a bunch of the free ones and they do not.

    Is kaiku the lowest fee one? A lot of them you have to read the fine print to even see if it’s allowed. There are horror stories out there by people who tried to load their federal deposits on ones like Green Dot and had their tax returns frozen or stolen. The AMEX products wont let you, and the green dot says in the faqs that they won’t do it. I’m surprised how many don’t even address this topic- which I would think would be perhaps the biggest single financial transaction for the unbanked.

  59. Mark Browne

    I tried to get the Amex card and had to laugh when they asked for a copy of my SS, driver’s license and another form of ID. What part of PRE-PAID don’t these people understand? It’s my money! You don’t need to know what size and color underwear I wear in order to give me a piece of plastic to hold my own money! I have excellent credit and credit cards in good standing. I’m only doing this for privacy issues as I’m separating myself from the banksters that are killing the human race. I may as well just go back to cash and the hell with all of them.

    • Rob Berger

      Mark, you can blame the federal government. All reloadable prepaid cards are required to collect that information as part of government’s efforts to track the movement of cash in its fight against terrorism.

    • Doug Younker

      Technically one could blame the terrorists, the insane war on drugs, and other criminal types. Don’t be mistaken; prepaid debit cards to *not* distance yourself from the banks, so far most I have researched a bank is involved, often one of the large national banks. Free is never free, and there must be some value for our money residing in their banks for even short terms, or these cards wouldn’t exist. Either a bank account or store front check cashing service is needed to cash checks, so someone is going to make money from our using cash.

  60. Kaiku, charges an extra 15% on each hotel transaction you do so if you load the cost of a room on your card you better include the extra 15% or it is not going to go through and customer service is incredibly rude, I had my phone company accidently pull double payments out of my Kaiku account and they quickly reversed the withdrawel I had to wait 2 weeks to recieve my money back from Kaiku because they put a hold on it my son had a birthday with no cake or ice cream and my entire paycheck for that week was held so I could not touch it basically. Also since the phone company still had not been paid and I couldn’t because all of my money was being held my phone was shut off as well. Terrible card do not recommend. I also have yet to find an ATM in Kansas City that is remotely close to anywhere I may be.

  61. chinagirl2

    I have a perk street pre paid card and it is wonderful. I got it from the teaching of Dave Ramsey…it works wonders…check the website out….especially the rewards….

  62. A lot of people use a prepaid debit because of not having a bank account.
    The unfortunate aspect of these prepaid cards is that they charge a cash “load fee”, usually $5, which really is not fair for lending these institutions money for free. The exception to these fees is transferring funds from your bank, and if that was the case, I would just use my bank account debit card.

    Has anyone found a prepaid debit card that does not charge a “cash load fee”?
    I’m sure merchants also pay the standard merchant processing fee to the debit card company each time a transaction is performed.

  63. Shelley

    Are prepaid credit cards only for individuals? Our small non-profit organization wants one to be able to pay for a monthly subscription to an online service. We don’t want a regular credit card.

  64. William Simpson

    Will a prepaid credit card allow me to make on-line (computer) purchases from Europe?
    It seems that many software companies (or outlets) are located overseas these days and my current MasterCard “block” any and every transaction that I have attempted lately. All was fine up until about three months ago.

  65. I am looking for a card with no over draft fee’s what so ever, other pre-paid cards say no over draft fee’s but then when I get my money every month I would sometimes go over and then by next month I would see the money I went over and a 5 thru 15 dollar over draft fee. so if you could have a card that would

  66. Those social security offered prepaid cards do they also offer them to non retired people like the spouse of a retired person, as someone just mentioned in your blog about this deal or would we have to ask the social security office about this card

  67. Jennifer

    I just purchased at Walgreens Balance Financial card. The monthly fee is $2.95 waived with $1000 monthly load. It cost $2.95 to load at Walgreens only apparently. I’m a bit skeptical about this one be I really have to find an alternative to my AMEX Serve card which gives me WAAAY too much hassle when trying to use it. Everyone thinks it’s a credit card and a lot of system reject it. I got charged late fees on a bill bc the company wouldn’t take credit and the routing and account numbers were rejected by the bank. Too much hassle even though the card is amazing.

    • Rob Berger

      Renee, on the Access360 card, it charges a monthly fee of between $4 and $7. There are many cards that don’t charge any monthly fee or where you can get the fee waived based on the amount you put on the card. the Comerica Convenience Card has both an enrollment fee and a monthly service fee. I just don’t see any reason to pay these fees when you don’t have to.

  68. This is a really great and helpful article, Rob! Really appreciate the hard work and effort put into compiling all this information! I’m leaning towards the AMEX Serve, but I’m a little worried after reading Jennifer’s January 2014 post… hoping it works out.

  69. Lydia Harrelson

    Hi Rob,
    Both my husband and I need to build our credit up but need a prepaid credit card because we cant get approved for a credit card or even a secured credit card because we have no credit history. Do any of these prepaid credit cards report to all three of the credit bureaus to help establish credit? Or does only the Barclaycard or READYdebit cards help establish credit? Really could use the help to build our credit up asap. Thanks so much!

    • Rob Berger

      Lydia, prepaid cards do not help you build credit or report to the three credit bureaus. That being said, you really should be able to qualify for a secured card, even if you have poor credit. Have you tried applying?

  70. daron wilbert

    Another prepaid Visa card that is easy to get, easy to manage, and a lot safer than carrying cash is Russell Simmons Ruschard. FDIC-insured through The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.

  71. Alex @ Credit Card XPO

    The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard is one of my favorite prepaid debit cards. Besides the low monthly fee, it’s one of the few prepaid cards that let you earn cash back from select stores.

  72. Lots of good info. Basically I keep my $$ in the safe deposit box, mostly due to my ex whose got his butt into financial problems. But money in safe deposit doesn’t help me if in the middle of the night I need to make emergency travel plans. In basic Econ we learn that banks only need to keep 9-14% of your deposits on hand. So if I put 10k on a card, would my $$ not be available if I decided to cash it all out at once. Also are these funds FDIC insured in case one of these banks collapse?
    Thank do much for your hard work and willingness to share your knowledge!

    • Rob Berger

      Roy, if you have a debit card linked to a checking account, you can load a prepaid card electronically from your bank. Some prepaid cards do allow you to load with a credit card, but there is usually a fee involved. The American Express Serve is one example, but your credit card company could treat it as a cash advance and charge fees as well.

  73. I am looking for a prepaid card to send to my 13 year old son. I am hoping to find one with a small monthly fee with no cost for purchases. I will be putting around $25 a month on it from my checking account but would like it to be in his name. He lives in a different city than I do, and he would be using it mostly for in store purchases. If I could find one that lets me track his account, that would be preferable. Thank you in advance for all your advice.

  74. Hi everyone,
    I wonder if any of you can help
    I will be soon in US and I wonder if it’s possible to get a rechargeable credit card to be used with paypal (so that has the possibility to see online the expenses)

    If yes… How to apply??

    Regards

  75. rebekah

    I have an American Express Serve Card and you don’t even get a pin number with it and can NOT use the ATM to withdrawal money. I was told when I got it, I could NOT withdrawal any money and cant even get cash back from a purchase like I can on my Rushcard. Rushcard is the best card if you ask me and you now can even cash checks onto it, and reload at Walmart for free now. Serve card has some good qualities, but you don’t get a pin number and can’t withdrawal money off of it. They need to change that information because it’s simply not true.

    • Rob Berger

      Rebekah, I’m not sure who told you that, but you absolutely can use a Serve card at an ATM and get cash back at the register. It’s also cheaper than a Rushcard. If you don’t have a PIN, call American Express.

  76. I owe money to PayPal Pre-Paid Master Card under some unfortunate circumstances and would like to open another account that uses Meta-Bank as a provider but I am worried that they will take all my funds and use them to pay the PayPal negative balance.

    Does anyone know if this will happen? I really need a prepaid debit card immediately but cannot pay PayPal the funds i owe then at the moment and need a debt card in order to survive!

    • D. D.D.

      Adam, you can get another debit card no problem. Just pick out the one you want and go through the standard procedure. That card will have nothing to do with the other card. I have several cards. When I have a big problem or debt with one I simply abandon it and continue using the other ones. Been doing that for years. Just don’t open the same card twice with the same info. You can open the same card again if you use a different email and address. Lots of people have the same name. They don’t trip on that. You can even open a new PainPal account if you need to using a different card and info that matches the card. Just don’t keep much money in your PP account so if they freeze it you won’t lose much. Lot of ways you can beat these crooks at their own game.

    • D. D.D.

      Shawn, there are cards that can be reloaded without having the physical card. If you take some time to read about them or ask that question on ehow.com you’ll find what you need. There is one card I know of that does have that option by going to designated stores and buying a “Reload Pack”. It’s the Netspend prepaid debit card. They charge high fees for every reload and a dollar for for every purchase. So not the best card value wise. But might work out for your specific needs. I would Google that question first and ask ehow to see what other cards have those options.

  77. Please stop saying prepaid credit card. There is no such thing as prepaying a credit card.
    It’s either a DEBIT card, PREPAID card, CASH card or CREDIT card., but NEVER prepaid credit card.

  78. I have the Money Card from Walmart. It hasn’t given me any problems so far (I’ve had it for a year and a half) but they charge me a $ 3 fee every time I reload it with money. Is there a prepaid card that doesn’t charge you every time you reload it with money? I don’t mind a monthly fee as long as is not too high. The Money Card charges me $ 3 per/month.

  79. I have a virtual prepaid card, which is only for online purchases. Unfortunately, for a long time I do not use it. It is associated with the fact that when I do my shopping on the Internet often have no choice of payment using the card. Only on google play I can buy some apps for my smartphone.

  80. The best prepaid card that I have found so far is Paypal. You can go to paypal-prepaid.com and get a card they only charge a $4.95 a month maintenance fee plus of course an ATM fee.
    But you can link it too your Paypal account and transfer funds back and forth. You can also have your paychecks, tax returns, etc direct deposit to the card and get it up too 2 days early.

  81. Dear Rob, 11/15/15. 3:10 P.M.C.s.t.

    How is it going, I hope all is well, I’m Charles, this is my first-time writing to you,
    I’ll be brief. A little detail: about these per-paid debit cards, My question is can;
    use any of them, to send and (receive) payment, for my services over the____
    internet? Do these debits cards, have a ROUTING NUMBER,for transferring fund
    to bank, likes PayPal, using a email address, to get paid from clients? I’m a copy-
    writer. At the moment, I don’t have a website – up yet!

    Thank you,
    Charles

    I’d appreciate your response, when you have the chance,
    and thank for the helpful info, about these re-loadable ,
    debit cards, and the many choices.

    P.S. Look forward, in hearing from you soon,
    I hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

    • Rob Berger

      Charles, prepaid cards do have a routing number, which is used when you set up direct deposit. Also, the PayPal prepaid card can be used to transfer money to and from your paypal account.

  82. benjamin tabi

    Am from Ghana-west Africa and very soon will be having my masters abroad probably Australia, Norway or Poland, I need a prepaid card with virtually no fees to keep my money on without losing my little school money to card charges…any help…??

  83. Angelle G

    Hey Rob! Can you recommend a card for me?
    Here’s what I’m using it for.
    Reloading about 50 dollars in one time every month plus another 200 in one time every month.
    That’s about ALL I’m ever going to load on to the card during a one month period, unless I want to buy something online.
    So, I’m ok with a small fee with a purchase (25 cents) as the 50 is going to be a one time purchase on card as well as the 200 every month. I’m not okay with the monthly fees at all BUT I’m ok with the one time fees to load cash onto the card.
    Can you help me out??

    • Rob Berger

      Angelle, how will you be loading the money? Cash? Electronic Transfer? That’s a key question, but it’s expensive to load cash on a prepaid card unless you get one issued by a bank. Also, while you can get prepaid cards that waive the monthly fee, it typically requires that you load more onto the card than what you plan to do. This version of the Amex Serve Card charges just $1 a month, which is an excellent deal. Perhaps that will work for you.

  84. Question I have a friend who is wanting to sign up. I see all the fees and its waived if she has an auto transfer. if her mom were to transfer , there a monthly is there a charge? also if I were to hook up the auto pay with m bank account would they allow that instead of her bank account, it will be a diff name

  85. I need to find a prepaid credit card or debit card for my disabled son who has limited funds — and one that will not allow him to spend money that is NOT on the card — only the loadable money.

    Thank you.

  86. CL Funk

    I’m looking for a way to give my adult son some money every month and not have it used up in fees. Right now he has access to my bank debit card and he hasn’t abused this privilege but it has still caused me a few problems with keeping track of the amount of money in my account. My only income is social security survivor benefits so obviously I’m on a strict budget. I’m thinking of a card where I could load $50 to $100 a month for him, that would be a one time a month transaction on my part and I would still know exactly what I have in my checking account at all times. I know he has a paypal account and I read something here about being able to do something like this with paypal. Is this a good option or do you have any other suggestions? Thank you.

    • Rob Berger

      There is a PayPal prepaid card, but it does have fees. While several prepaid cards waive most fees if you load a certain amount of money on the card each month, they require more than $50 to $100 a month. At that usage level, the Amex Serve is probably your best bet, which costs just $1 a month for its least expensive plan.

  87. I am going to be in charge of my brothers inheritance and am looking for a way to be able to give him his monthly amount. He does not have a bank account and am wondering about a prepaid debit/charge card. I would like to be able to transfer the funds from the account to the card through my computer. I don’t know if he will use it much or just once to withdraw the funds so I want something that has low or zero fees and where I can check on the balance from my computer. The monthly balance transfered will be more than $500 a month. Any suggestions/help would be great

  88. Hello,
    My parents in law will come over to the US for a month and would like to have their own card. I would like to deposit money on it and they use it until they run out of funds. I do not care if it is a Debit or Credit card.
    Is there any card that I can do just that with no (or very limited) fees?

  89. Kelly Clover

    I’m planning to get a prepaid debit card even though I have a credit score of about 800. I’ve been having a lot of problems with greedy merchants charging my credit card in excess of what was agreed to. The problem most often occurs with merchants that charge a monthly fee for some type of service and it’s a company you deal with thru the internet.
    When you tell them you want your service to end, they just ignore it, and continue charging your credit card anyway. It seems like nearly all of them are like that. I get very angry when they do that. NO MEANS NO!! With a prepaid card I can fix it so that many such unauthorized charges will simply be declined because the money isn’t available.

  90. Hi Mr. Rob:

    I want to get a prepaid card for my son, (without enrolling in direct deposit), where he can have cash available (limited to whatever I or he deposit), but without having to be paying fees to reload. Which is better: Compass Clearspend Prepaid Visa card or American express serve?

    • I personally like the Serve card from Amex. It has a subaccount feature which allows you to have multiple cards on one account and designate money to the card holder I use it for my two teenagers and I can see which one of them is spending money and on what. The only negative thing is Amex Serve does not do cash back at Walmart, Walgreens, CVS or any other place for free, it forces you to do cash back at an ATM and charges $5.

  91. I have a shop on Etsy and with it are monthly fees for which I have to provide a credit card account so they can bill me. I am currently using our household account, but wish to discontinue and purge our household account of all monies related to this endeavour. I opened a separate bank account and have income directed there. With the account I have a related debit card. I tried using the debit card to cover the monthly charges but it declined and suspended my Etsy shop account. I am curious about this because typically I can run my household debit card as a credit without using the pin. So I didn’t think it would be a problem to do the same with my new debit card. I was wondering if there is a prepaid card (of some type) that would suffice for this setup. I don’t yet make a lot of money with my shop, so I hate to spend a lot on monthly fees for the card. But if unable to use my own debit card related to the checking account, how would a prepaid debit card be any difference? Can you help me sort this out?

    • Stephanie Colestock
      Stephanie Colestock

      Terri,
      Is your new card simply a debit/ATM card, or does it actually have a credit card symbol on the corner? If it’s a Debit/Mastercard or Debit/Visa, you can run it as a credit card. If it’s merely an ATM debit card (without the MC or Visa symbols shown), it can ONLY be run as debit. You may want to check with your bank and see if they have a debit/credit card option for which you can apply.

  92. I have a question. I’m trying to purchase a cell phone for my daughter on QVC. However when I enter in my Netspend card number, it shows up as “prepaid”. Which prepaid card doesn’t show up like that?

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