What is a prepaid card? It’s simple: Unlike a debit card, a prepaid card does not link to your bank account. Instead, you load money onto prepaid cards in advance and you typically can’t spend more than the available amount on the card. Explore these six best prepaid debit cards on the market and see if a prepaid debit card is right for your financial needs.
|The Best Prepaid Debit Cards|
|Prepaid Debit Card||ATM Fees||Card Loading Options||Acceptance|
|Walmart MoneyCard||$2.50 per transaction; $0.50 per balance inquiry||Mobile check deposit, add cash at Walmart register, online bank transfer, tax refunds||Everywhere MasterCard or Visa debit cards are accepted|
|Green Dot Prepaid Card||$2.50 withdrawal; $0.50 balance inquiry||Direct deposit, deposit a check, tax refunds, bank transfer, add at retailers and financial service centers||Everywhere MasterCard or Visa debit cards are accepted|
|American Express Serve||$0 at MoneyPass ATMs; $2.50 at non-MoneyPass ATMs||Direct deposit, mobile check deposit, transfer from a linked bank account, cash reloads||Everywhere American Express card is accepted|
|PayPal Prepaid MasterCard||$1.95 per withdrawal||Direct deposit, PayPal instant transfers, NetSpend Reload Network, tax refunds||Everywhere MasterCard debit card is accepted|
|AccountNow Prepaid Visa Card||$2.50 per withdrawal; $1.50 balance inquiry||Direct deposit paycheck, tax refunds, add cash at 135,000 locations||Everywhere Visa debit card is accepted|
|Western Union NetSpend Prepaid MasterCard||$2.50 per withdrawal; $0.50 per balance inquiry||Direct deposit, Netspend Reload Network, bank transfer, money transfer||Everywhere MasterCard debit card is accepted|
|Information accurate as of Aug. 29, 2018.|
If you want to get cash-back benefits, consider this Walmart prepaid debit card when you’re comparing reloadable prepaid cards. You’ll get 3 percent cash back when you shop on Walmart.com, 2 percent when you make purchases at Murphy USA or a Walmart fuel station and 1 percent if you make purchases at a Walmart location. You’ll also get up to $75 in cash-back rewards per reward year.
If you set up a free direct deposit, you can get paid up to two days early without paying preload fees. And if you’re a frequent Walmart shopper, you can load cash on your card and buy money orders at an in-store Walmart MoneyCenter Express.
Must-Read: The Best Prepaid Debit Cards With No Fees
Green Dot Prepaid Card
You can get paid up to two days earlier when you set up direct deposit, and you won’t be subject to any purchase transaction or overdraft fees if you choose this prepaid debit card. You can earn 5 percent cash back for a maximum of $100 per year. You don’t need a credit check to get this card, and you can deposit checks from your smartphone, send money to another Green Dot card instantly and write checks to pay bills.
American Express Serve
American Express will approve you for a prepaid debit card without a credit check. You can withdraw cash for free at more than 24,000 MoneyPass ATM locations around the country and enjoy features such as free online bill pay, mobile account management and 24/7 live customer service.
Click to see the best debit card rewards programs.
PayPal Prepaid MasterCard
If you have a PayPal account, you can get a prepaid debit card for free. You can add money to your card by direct deposit, via a check or bank transfer or by generating a barcode from the PayPal app to add cash to your account at one of 20,000 Rite Aid, CVS or 7-Eleven locations across the country. You won’t pay any monthly or annual fees with this PayPal card.
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AccountNow Visa Prepaid Card
Consider the AccountNow Visa prepaid debit card if you want to build your credit and save money on fees. Add money to your card via direct deposit for free — and likely qualify for a $15 direct deposit bonus — or add cash at more than 135,000 locations nationwide. In addition, you can earn $20 for you and $10 for a friend with the AccountNow Refer-a-Friend program.
Western Union NetSpend Prepaid MasterCard
If you need to make money transfers and want a prepaid debit card with cash-back rewards, consider the Western Union NetSpend Prepaid MasterCard. You can set up direct deposit for your paycheck or government benefits and receive the funds two days faster than you would without direct deposit. In addition, you can get cash back and referral rewards — the Refer-a-Friend program earns you $20 for each friend or family member who loads at least $40 on a card. Use the card’s optional savings account to start saving money — you’ll get a 5.00% APY on balances of up to $1,000.
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Barri Segal contributed to the reporting for this article.
GOBankingRates.com identified the best prepaid debit cards by analyzing fees, loading options and places where the cards are accepted. All fees and rates are subject to change at the debit card issuers’ discretion, and some bonus offers might no longer be available on the providers’ websites, depending on how you access the web page.
GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been endorsed by American Express.