KAIKU Visa Prepaid Card Review

I’m still amazed when I read a news report lambasting prepaid debit cards. The main beef with these banking alternatives is high fees. Five years ago that was a legitimate complaint. But today, there are a number of low fee prepaid cards.

Kaiku Prepaid VisaI’ve written about a number of these cards in the past. Today I thought I’d share one with you that I’m betting you’ve never heard of–the Kaiku® Visa® Prepaid Card. It has some of the lowest fees available in a prepaid debit card.

Fees

With any prepaid card, there are four main fees to watch out for: (1) activation fee, (2) monthly maintenance fee, (3) transaction fees, and (4) ATM fees. Of these, the activation fee is the least important, in my view, because you only pay it once. The other fees, if there are any, occur every month. So how does the KAIKU Visa Prepaid Card stack up?

Kaiku® Visa® Prepaid Card

Kaiku® Visa® Prepaid Card

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  • NO FEES when you Direct Deposit $750/mo and use in-network ATMs
  • NOTIFICATIONS & MOBILE QUICKLOOK to monitor spending and alert you of fraud
  • INGO MOBILE CHECK LOADING with the Kaiku Mobile App
  • 6 EYE-CATCHING COLORS to reflect your style
  • USE EVERYWHERE VISA DEBIT CARDS ARE ACCEPTED (Kaiku is Visa Clear Prepaid designated)
  • NO COST TO APPLY and NO MINIMUM BALANCE


And in case you’re wondering, KAIKU has about 55,000 ATM locations in its network. It’s part of the Allpoint ATM network. I live in Northern Virginia and there are dozens of Allpoint ATMs within a few miles of my home.

Features

Like any prepaid card, the KAIKU Visa Prepaid Card works much like a bank debit card. Beyond the basics of using the card for purchases and ATM withdrawals, however, it does offer some additional features.

For example, you can have your paycheck or benefits check deposited directly onto the card for free. Money can be transferred from one KAIKU card to another for free. You can receive free text alerts when money is deposited onto the card or your balance is running low.

If you want family members to have a card, you can get up to three additional cards for just a $2 fee per card. And you can call customer service for free. That may seem like a given, but many prepaid cards actually charge you for calls to customer service.

Mobile

Finally, you can access your account with your smartphone. The KAIKU Visa Prepaid Card has an app for the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry smartphones. The apps let you load money from your bank account, send money to any KAIKU cardholder, check your balance and transaction history, or find surcharge-free ATMs. In addition, it offers Mobile Money Deposit. You can add money to your KAIKU account by taking a picture of a paper check with your smartphone.

28 Responses to “KAIKU Visa Prepaid Card Review”

  1. Could you please send me a list of the ATM’s closest to Ft. Pierce Fl. that is in KAIKU’s network so I do not have to pay the withdraw fee. It states you have 43,000 atms but it doesn’t give you any hint to where they are. Is this good business or is it the way your company planned it for people who are a little preesed to get a debit prepaid card to pay bills easier? Waiting on your reply Douglas Slife

    • Hey doug, dont be lazy goto the website or download the app and you can find ayms in your area in secs. Dont be lazy and dont put up stupid comments without doing a little research!!

    • Hidden fees? How so Other then to fee ($4.95)to load and the monthly fee ($1.95) I have not had any problems with this aspect of the Kaiku prepaid card. Direct Deposit is free for amounts over
      $500 monthly.
      Loading via ready link has been a problem at CVS however and this card does not accept Green Dot Packs which I use on occasion.
      When Traveling I live a green dot pack at home with family. if my card is hacked from using it abroad because I rarely use my bank card or credit card. Even better this card allows free ATM withdrawals in a few foreign countries.
      I would use for:
      Pros:
      1. Direct Deposit +$500 a month a nice back up account that’s cheap.
      2. Need free ATM Withdrawals (55,000) and a few foreign countries, Mexico being the most useful.
      3. Decent load limit $10000 dollars with a maximum of $10000 dollars on this card.
      4. 1.5% foreign transaction fee.
      Cons
      1. Limited load options: no green dot or western union
      2. No free reloads
      3. Cannot waive $1.95 monthly fee.

    • 2/17/2016 Update: Kaiku is probably my favorite prepaid card. I have used it in 4 foreign countries with no problems and a lot safer then bringing my Bank Card with me.
      Visa is very common in Brazil.
      1. Direct Deposit of $750 + a month waives the $3.00 monthly fee.
      2. No foreign transaction fees unlike pretty much every other prepaid card average 3%
      3. $2.45 ATM fee abroad but Allpoint ATM’s are free and in a few foreign countries.
      note many cards charge this fee plus a percent of each withdrawal, Kaiku just charges a flat fee.
      If you want an actual checking account which is good for travelers look into Capital One Mastercard. No foreign transaction or ATM fees.

  2. Elaine

    The Kaiku card recently changed to only allow $100 uploads per day (transfers/wires exceeding this will be returned) and depending upon how you load the card, it takes 3% of the uploaded amount (via credit card) or charges a $2.95-$4.95 for each upload (via third party). You have to be really careful not to trigger all of the various fees. I spent twenty minutes with a Kaiku representative yesterday (worked from Wisconsin and had been with the company for 8 mos) and even she wasn’t sure whether an external wire from my bank account would trigger the 3% fee.

  3. SabineH

    Great article, I am looking for a good prepaid card to use for traveling. I am going to Bali, Indonesia and would like an alternative to travelers cheques (as they are now obsolete). Compared to other prepaid cards, it looks like the fees for the Kaiku card are pretty reasonable. Only a 1.5% currency fee exchange and $2.45 ATM transaction fee? Is this accurate? Or are there additional fees or a catch of some sort?

    • Rob Berger

      Sabine, I’m not aware of any catch. They state their fees right on the website. Be sure to double-check the fees before you get the card to make sure you know what they are.

  4. So I just linked my Kaiku account to Google Wallet and I use Wallet for business, I just made a transfer for $950 from wallet to Kaiku, is it going to go through? Google Wallet says that it should take 2 business days to appear on my account and it is been exactly 48 hours as Im writing this and no money on Kaiku yet

  5. Alandra

    If I could give them 0 stars I would. I have had this card for four months and have been a victim of identity theft every month that I’ve had the card. The first time it was for 17 dollars, no big deal it seemed to me as if it was refunded immediately. Got a new card 2 weeks later (couldn’t touch the rest of my funds during this time period) So I was without for several weeks pending the arrival of my new card. The next time was a month later Jan 30 2016, this fraudulent transaction was for 228 dollars and some change. I filled out a dispute form and had to 2 whole weeks for my new card ( not able to use my funds at this time) My new card arrived Feb 13, 2016, the 228 was debited to my account the following week on the 18th. Wouldn’t you know it a week later Feb 26, 2016 fraudulent charges on my account again. This time 4 transactions totaling 65 dollars. These charges sat on my account for a whole week and I was never notified nor was the account suspended or put on hold. I should mention that my pin number was used to make these transactions… What made me notice these charges was because a week later my account was put on hold for a fraudulent transaction totaling 2,000! On my brand new card mind you. Every fraudulent transaction on my account was posted from a retail store in California, where this company is located. Seems as if someone working for this company is selling my info to people as soon as my card leaves the printing area. How else would someone using my card clear across the country from where I live could get my pin code to make purchases. The purchase that totaled 2,000 I called the merchant and the criminal had a duplicated card with all my info on it because I had my card in my possession the entire time he was in CA using it. How could he possibly have obtained this card except from someone who works for them. I’ve contacted the BBB in Cali and Kentucky. They are crooks and need to be investigated.

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