MLB Prepaid Card Review - With a Savings Account and Rewards, it's a Home Run
For those with limited or poor credit, the Netspend MLB Prepaid card could be an excellent choice.
- Customize your card
- Easy activation
- Choice of three plans
Netspend and Major League Baseball have teamed up to offer the Netspend MLB Prepaid Card. It’s a way to give baseball fans an even greater appreciation for America’s pastime. Each card is branded with your favorite MLB team logo and team colors. The card is designed to give baseball fans more control over their finances, as well as an alternative means of handling their financial management.
A prepaid card has a number of financial benefits, as well as specific perks related to your favorite professional baseball team. And unlike most debit cards, the Netspend MLB Prepaid Card offers payback rewards.
Netspend is one of the leading providers of prepaid cards, including Visa Prepaid Debit Cards and Mastercard Prepaid Debit Cards. The company has 68 million customers, many of whom are considered to be unbanked. That’s an industry term describing consumers who don’t have a traditional bank account, and must rely on alternative financial services.
Founded in 1999, the company is based in Austin, Texas. It’s a subsidiary of TSYS (NYSE: TSS), a company that provides electronic payment processing services to banks and other financial institutions. TSS had almost $5 billion in sales in 2017.
Prepaid cards give the unbanked the ability to transact business in much the same way as those who have traditional bank accounts, as well as use of credit and debit cards. Netspend MLB Prepaid Card performs that exact mission, but with affiliation with and benefits from Major League Baseball.
One of the biggest advantages of the Netspend MLB Prepaid Card is that Netspend does not require a credit check. This is perfect for unbanked consumers, who often have limited credit, or even poor credit, and can’t qualify for a credit card.
There is also no activation fee, and no required minimum balances.
Since the card can be either a Visa or MasterCard, it will be accepted anywhere those cards are welcomed. But in addition to using it in lieu of a credit card, you can also use it to pay bills online, or even make cash withdrawals from ATM machines. It works as a perfect substitute for credit cards and bank debit cards, since it is an actual debit card.
Related: Best ATM Locator Apps
Netspend MLB Prepaid Card Works through the Netspend online account center, which is the online platform you manage your prepaid card from. You can view recent transactions, activate payback rewards, and set up direct deposit from the account center.
Funding Your Netspend MLB Prepaid Card
There are several ways you can fund you card:
- Direct deposit: This can be done by tying your payroll check or your government benefits payment to the card. As is typically the case with direct deposit, you’ll be paid two days quicker than you will if you cash a paper check at a bank.
- Mobile check load: If you prefer, you can also fund your card by mobile check load. You simply take a picture of the check, front and back, and download it to the Netspend app.
- Direct deposit your income tax refund: You can have your refund direct deposited onto the card, in the same way you would a bank account. All you need to do is provide your Netspend account routing number and personal account number on your tax return, and the refund will be direct deposited onto your account when issued. If you e-file your tax return, you can get your refund back in as little as 21 days.
Netspend MLB Prepaid Card Plans
Netspend MLB Prepaid Card offers three plans:
- Pay-As-You-Go Plan: This plan has no fee, but you pay a small fee each time you make either a signature or PIN purchase transaction. This plan is best for consumers who will use the card only occasionally.
- FeeAdvantage Plan: With this plan you pay a flat monthly fee, but all purchases, both signature and PIN, have no additional fee. This plan is best for consumers who will make frequent use of their prepaid card.
- Netspend Premier FeeAdvantage Plan: This plan works like the FeeAdvantage Plan, but the monthly fee is reduced by 50% if you direct deposit $500 or more in payroll or government benefits payments in one calendar month. This plan also comes with Netspend’s Purchase Cushion feature. Netspend may cover you for up to $10 if you’re short on a purchase. When they do, you’ll make up the shortfall the next time you reload your card.
Pricing for each plan is in the Netspend MLB Prepaid Card Pricing section below.
The Netspend network: Netspend has a nationwide network of more than 70,000 distribution locations, and over 130,000 reload points. With a Netspend MLB Prepaid Card, you can make purchases and reload your card at thousands of neighborhood retailers, check cashing services, convenience stores, grocers, pharmacies, and even insurance providers and tax preparers.
Payback Rewards: The Netspend MLB Prepaid Card offers rewards, just as many credit cards do. You can receive rewards for making certain purchases with select merchants, on a revolving basis. The categories change regularly, so the rewards don’t apply to all purchases you’ll make. The rewards are credited to your card at the end of the following month.
Anytime Alerts: Protecting against identity theft has become a major concern with all types of cards, and you’ll have alerts with your Netspend MLB Prepaid Card. You’ll receive both a text and email message when certain events occur. For example, you’ll be alerted when a paycheck is available, when you reach a spending limit, or when you are close to a reload location. Both the types and frequency of the alerts can be customized to your own preferences.
Refer a Friend: You can earn additional credit by referring family and friends to Netspend cards. When the friend you refer activates a new card, and loads it with at least $40, each of you will get a $20 credit. There is no limit to the number of family and friends you can refer.
Sending and receiving money with other Netspend cardholders: You can send money back and forth with other Netspend card holders, using instant cardholder transfers.
Customer support: Available by email, traditional mail, or by phone. Customer service is available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM (all times Central).
Security: Funds held on the card are FDIC insured through the card’s issuing bank. You’re also protected from unauthorized charges through either the Visa Zero Liability or Mastercard Zero Liability protection programs. With either program, you must notify Netspend immediately when you have an unauthorized charge.
For online transactions, you can use virtual card numbers to keep your real number hidden. You do this by creating a temporary card number for online transactions.
Netspend also uses secure socket layer (SSL) technology to encrypt your personal information to keep it secure when it’s being transmitted over the Internet.
The Netspend Savings Account
This is one of the most interesting features of the Netspend MLB Prepaid Card, mainly because it’s so unusual with prepaid cards. Netspend offers a Netspend Savings Account, allowing you to make transfers between your card and your savings account.
You can use the AutoSave feature to set up automatic transfers to your savings account. The transfers will happen each time you load funds on your card, and you can set a specific amount that will go into savings.
You’ll have plenty of incentive to create a savings account as well. You can earn up to 5.00% annual percentage yield (APY) on the first $1,000 account, which is more than online banks and certificates of deposit are currently paying. Balances in excess of $1,000 have an APY of 0.50%.
As is typical of savings accounts, you’re limited to no more than six transfers per month from your savings account to your prepaid debit card.
Related: Best High Yield Savings Accounts
The Netspend Mobile App
The app is available for Android and iOS mobile devices, and can be downloaded at either the App Store or Google Play.
The app will allow you to check your balance and recent transactions, as well as send and receive funds to and from family and friends. You can do this with family and friends who also have a Netspend card, or with ACE Elite, Control, or Purpose cards.
You can deposit checks using the app’s mobile deposit feature.
Earlier we mentioned that the Netspend MLB Prepaid Card offers three different plans, Pay-As-You-Go, FeeAdvantage, and Netspend Premier FeeAdvantage. The fee structure for each plan are as follows:
|Plan/Fee||Plan/Fee||Signature Purchase Fee||PIN Purchase Transaction Fee||Foreign Transaction Surcharge|
|Pay-As-You-Go||No fee||$1 each||$2 each||3.5% of US dollar amount of the purchase transaction, in addition to the normal purchase fee (Signature or PIN)|
|FeeAdvantage||$9.95 per month||Included in plan||Included in plan||3.5% of US dollar amount of the purchase transaction|
|Netspend Premier FeeAdvantage||$5.00 per month||Included in plan||Included in plan||3.5% of US dollar amount of the purchase transaction|
There are no fees charged by Netspend when adding funds to your card, whether that’s for direct deposit, a funds transfer from a bank account, or mobile check loads. However, there may be fees assessed by reload locations.
Cash withdrawal fees are as follows:
Related: Low fee Prepaid Credit Cards
Netspend uses a three-step sign up process:
- Order your card.
- Activate and verify your ID.
- Add money to your card.
To sign up, you complete a one-page online application:
Per federal law, you’ll need to supply your date of birth as well as your government ID number (typically your Social Security number). You may also be required to provide a copy of your state issued driver’s license.
Once you sign up for your Netspend card, you will receive it in the mail within seven to 10 business days.
Once signed up, you can access your account through the Netspend Visa login page.
- Customize your card: You can customize your card with the logo and colors of your favorite Major League Baseball team.
- Easy activation: No activation fee and no credit check is required.
- Choice of three plans: This is based on your expected or actual use of the card.
- Multiple ways to fund your card: You can fund your account with automatic deposits, mobile check load, or even depositing your income tax refund.
- No minimum balance necessary: There is no minimum balance requirement to maintain the card.
- Get a Netspend Savings Account: The card comes with the Netspend Savings Account, paying interest up to 5.00% APY. It’s an opportunity to add a savings component to your spending card.
- Cashback rewards: These are available on a rotating basis.
- Pay-As-You-Go plan can get pricey: If you choose this plan, you’ll pay a fee for each purchase transaction.
- Will not help your credit score: Prepaid cards cannot be used to build or improve your credit score. This is true of all prepaid cards, and not just those issued by Netspend.
- Limited personal funds transfers: You can transfer money to and from family and friends who have a Netspend card, or select other cards. Unlike most money transfer services, you can’t send or receive money to or from anyone with a bank account.
Question: Do Netspend cards have any spending limits?
Answer: You’re limited to the following:
- Not more than $4,999.99 every 24 hours for either purchase transactions, or over-the-counter cash withdrawals.
- For ATM cash withdrawals, the limit is $325 per withdrawal, or up to $940 per day, for up to six transactions per 24 hours.
Question: Where is the Netspend Savings Account held?
Answer: At one of several banks, including Axos Bank, The Bancorp Bank, MetaBank, or Republic Bank & Trust Company.
Question: Does Netspend offer prepaid cards for businesses?
Answer: Yes, and it’s not a bad deal at all! Prepaid cards are an excellent way to both track and limit business spending. They also help to separate business and personal expenses, since you can use a prepaid card strictly for business. Netspend also provides payroll cards for employees, which are becoming increasingly popular. And perhaps best of all, a small business can customize prepaid cards, to help market their business.
If you don’t have either a credit card or a bank account with a debit card, you’ll need some type of card to transact business. It’s just the way things work today. Absent the other options, a prepaid card is an excellent alternative. They can be used just like credit and debit cards, making purchases, and even accessing cash at ATM machines.
If you’re a baseball fan, you’ll really appreciate the Netspend MLB Prepaid Card. Not only does it allow you a custom card, it also identifies your affiliation with your favorite team.
If you’d like more information, or you’d like to sign up for the card, visit the Netspend MLB Prepaid Card website.