Ace Elite Prepaid Debit Card Review: Payback Rewards, Potentially Costly Fees

Find out if the ACE Elite prepaid debit card is right for you.

The ACE Elite Visa prepaid debit card, issued by MetaBank through Netspend, lets you “manage and control your money on one convenient card,” according to the ACE Cash Express website. Prepaid debit cards can help with controlled spending, but they still have their own challenges for cardholders to navigate.

Keep reading to see if this prepaid debit card satisfies your financial needs.

ACE Elite Prepaid Debit Card Review

You can withdraw up to $100 a day using your card, but they must be at one of the 950-plus participating ACE Cash Express locations. Once you link your payroll or government benefits check with direct deposit into your ACE card, you can receive these funds two days in advance, dependent on the distributor’s timing for the funds.

The card is accepted anywhere Visa is, but if you’re worried about theft, Visa has the card covered under its Zero Liability policy. This protects cardholders from unauthorized card activity. If you notice something odd on your account, simply report it to ACE so they can investigate the claim and compensate you, if need be.

Your ACE Elite card can also be used to pay your bills online through ACE’s online account center, though some transactions will carry a fee. You can also use ACE’s mobile app for when you’re out and about but still need to review your account information. Both these features can be accessed using your ACE Elite login.

The ACE Elite with Direct Deposit FeeAdvantage Plan comes with a monthly rate of $5, though to be eligible for this you must directly deposit $500 into your account during one calendar month. Here’s an overview of ACE’s other plans:

Ace Elite Prepaid Debit Cards At a Glance
PlanCost of PlanSignature Purchase TransactionsPIN Purchase TransactionsAverage Cost per MonthATM Cash Withdrawals
ACE Elite Pay-As-You-GoN/A$1 each$2 each$15$2.50 each
ACE Elite FeeAdvantage Plan $9.95IncludedIncluded$9.95$2.50 each
ACE Elite with Direct Deposit FeeAdvantage Plan$5.00IncludedIncluded$5.00$2.50 each
Information accurate as of July 30, 2018.

See: 13 Banking Fees You Should Never Pay

Advantages and Disadvantages of ACE Elite Prepaid Debit Card

Like with any credit or debit card, the ACE Elite Visa prepaid debit card comes with its share of advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card:

  • No-fee cash withdrawals at ACE locations
  • Can receive payment earlier than usual
  • Payback rewards present cashback opportunities

Cons of ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card:

  • Requires more oversight since you frontload funds
  • Reliant on ACE locations for most cost-effective use
  • Monthly fees
  • ATM cash withdrawal fees

Is the ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card Right for You?

The ACE Elite Visa prepaid debit card will probably most benefit people who either have a shaky credit history or those who want to more closely manage their money. The need for cardholders to fund the card means more oversight is required when purchasing, and more strategy to optimize your purchases. The guaranteed ATM fees can also be rough, especially since they’re compounded with ATM owner fees. There does not seem to be any apparent options to waive or work around the fees, which means you can expect to fully use less funds than what you put on the card.

Click through to read about the pros and cons of prepaid debit cards.

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This content is not provided by the companies mentioned. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by ACE Cash Express, MetaBank or Netspend.