The Ten Best Prepaid Debit Cards for Spring 2015
Posted February 6, 2015
Amex Serve: Amex Serve does all of the right things and it is virtually free. In fact, save for the one dollar monthly maintenance fee, a person could make this their full-time bank account and still avoid incurring any other fees. Of course, it is free with a direct deposit. But unlike with GoBank, the fee can be avoided by realizing a minimum cash load, too. It also comes with a small suite of membership benefits. Realistically, Serve's only shortcoming is that it rides on the Amex network, and thus there are instances where a merchant will not take the card.
Kaiku: For a fixed monthly fee of $3, Kaiku enables you to do pretty much everything that you might want to do with a transaction account. It has INGO remote mobile deposit, card-to-card transfers, AllPoint surcharge-free ATM access, and bill pay. If you need one, paper statements are free. Need to get a replacement card? Yep, that is free, too. But for what it's worth, I would like to add that Kaiku's explanation of its card-to-card transfer service makes no sense at all. It is a short movie of a young couple spending their afternoon buying popsicles and sunglasses. If you know what to look for, at the end there is a moment when the woman uses her smart phone to make a payment. Having watched their video disclosure, my best guess is that card-to-card transfer describes a process of taking spontaneous road trips on a day with an endless sunset.
Simple: Even though it does not run on the prepaid debit rails, I am including this card because it targets the same consumer segment. If a prepaid debit card fits your needs, then the same is most likely true with a Simple account. There are no fees with a Simple Card, and in fact, their accounts pay a slight amount of interest. Simple stopped taking new applications last summer, but they say that they hope to begin taking new accounts in the next month.
Wal-Mart MoneyCard/Wal-Mart Preferred Money Card: You've got to like Sam's Way. Put a decent card out there, sell it in the right place, and then make it possible for card holders to use a handful of ancillary services at the register or at an in-store kiosk. For a lot of people, Wal-Mart's non-bank suite meets all of their needs. Register reload is a genius way to undermine fraudsters while simultaneously saving people money on load fees. For those that plan on making heavy use of their Wal-Mart Card, it is probably advantageous to go with the MoneyCard Preferred. It costs an extra dollar (can be free by meeting conditions), but register reload fees are waived. The Preferred Card also has a saving vault.
GoBank. As with the case of Simple, this is not a pure play prepaid product. But it is meant to serve the same consumers. Realistically, only a person who sets up a direct deposit should use a GoBank account. Otherwise, GoBank hits your account with an $8.95 monthly maintenance fee. I used to feel much better about recommending a GoBank account to people. But last summer, GoBank redesigned its pricing schedule. In the old approach, cardholders chose their monthly fee. Otherwise, it was essentially free. It still has the same fun design, a savings vault, and a budget genie, but now it can cost a lot. There is a purchase fee of $2.95. It also has pre-cleared checks.
Chase Liquid: This might be the best big-bank offering. Chase has decided to use the natural advantage it enjoys from having a sizable branch network to give this card benefits that other prepaid cards cannot match. If you have a Liquid card, you can go into a branch. Indeed, you can actually get a Liquid card inside a Chase branch. With other cards, you would have to pay a fee to draw money from a bank teller. With Liquid, that is free. Chase charges a $4.95 monthly fee. Unless you get a Chase checking account, there is no way around it. It is also hard to imagine why Chase charges $5 for money orders, given that a typical gas station will do the same thing for 75 cents. Because it is issued by a bank with more than $10 billion in assets, Liquid cannot offer bill pay. Liquid has one of most comprehensive but easy-to-understand disclosure forms.
T-Mobile Mobile Money: If you have a T-Mobile prepaid phone account, you should be banking there as well. Essentially, T-Mobile is handing out free transaction accounts to the people that use their phones. I think T-Mobile thinks of the debit card as a cross-subsidy that pays off by reducing the amount of money they have to pay their franchisees. Because of the T-Mobile card, people are less likely to go into a store. More than a few are probably buying minutes directly from the Mobile Money web site. When they do that, the franchisee is left on the sidelines. But to review, if you have a T-Mobile, you will pay nothing to spend, to maintain, to remote deposit, to cash load in a store, to make a bill pay payment, and to use customer service.
The Fifth Third Access 360: As with any of the big bank cards, this is a straightforward no-frills product. You pay four dollars per month to have the card. If you have direct deposit, the monthly fee is waived. After that, the card is basically free. Paper statements, live customer services, transactions in 5/3's branches and ATMs, and money transfers cost nothing. Owing to their size (Durbin. ), there is no bill pay or auto ACH.
Amex Bluebird: While the days of BlueBird may be numbered, there is a lot to like with it for the time being. Essentially, it is the same card as Serve, but it has no monthly fee at all. The trade-off, relative to Serve, is that it costs more to open an account. BlueBird comes with all the right moves: remote deposit, a big free ATM network, multiple sub-accounts, and bill pay.
Mango Money: Mango is the prepaid card for yield-hunting savers. It pays 2 percent interest on savings deposits and 6 percent on savings deposits held in an account with a recurring direct deposit. If you want to use the Mango Card as your spend, though, you will find that there are some drawbacks, though. Mango charges a dollar to check your balance at an ATM and another two dollars to make a withdrawal. In fact, you will need to be very careful about using any ATM with this card, because they have no relationship with a surcharge-free ATM network.
simple prepaid debit card
Osper is one of the most secure card products currently available for under-18s across the pre-paid debit card and banking industry.
We have developed a card which has a number of features, most of which are unique to Osper, designed to make spending as safe as possible for under-18s. These features include:
- 100% transparency: Parents have 100% transparency and real-time visibility of spending through the parent App, allowing them to monitor transactions at all times.
- No overdrafts: Young people can only spend the money thatвЂ™s been loaded onto their Osper card; itвЂ™s not a credit card.
- Built-in spending limits: There are daily load and withdrawal limits on Osper Cards and we monitor for unusual card activity which could be fraud-related. Read more about Osper Card limits here.
- Parent-approved ordering: The age at which parents decide to order an Osper Card for their children is completely up to them. Osper Cards are available for young people from the age of eight, so parents can order them for a child at any age beyond this, up to 18 years.
- Restricted age-inappropriate transactions: Osper will not work in certain merchants by default. This allows us to block purchases from some merchants including bars, off-licences, casinos, online gambling and massage parlours in order to protect children from inappropriate spending. This system works in most normal usage scenarios but it relies on merchants listing themselves appropriately. For example, a pub that serves food can classify itself as a restaurant so a young person would theoretically be able to buy alcohol there. However, as with all in-person sales of age-restricted items, the merchant has a legal responsibility to ID the person making the purchase. If you find any particular merchant is incorrectly classified, please inform us at [email protected]
- Online spending blocks: Choose upfront whether to block online spending then change on a per-child basis. Read more here.
- Simple card locking: If an Osper Card is lost or stolen, both young people and parents can lock their card directly in the app to block all purchases. ItвЂ™s just as simple to unlock the card later, if itвЂ™s found again.
- Text alerts: Osper provides text alerts when transactions are declined, adding an additional opportunity to monitor attempted spending and spot inappropriate purchases.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us on 020 3322 9090 or by emailing [email protected]
How is Osper different to a children's bank account?
Osper is not a bank. Our values are fully focused around young people. We deeply believe in our mission to empower young people to manage money responsibly.
Here are some of the ways in which we've tried to build something young people and parents love:
- Easy, safe setup вЂ“ You can get up and running in under two minutes, for free, from mobile or web. Fraud and identity checks are done in real time, meaning no branch visits! (Though occasionally we may need a further form of ID)
- One app, two logins вЂ“ A secure banking app with separate logins for both parents and young people to manage the same Osper Card. Parents can manage and load money for multiple children through one app and young people can manage money themselves with the tools built for them.
- Automatic Allowance with Alerts вЂ“ Set up an automatic Osper Allowance to encourage budgeting and get alerts whenever the Allowance is loaded.
- Instant loading вЂ“ Parents can instantly load money from their debit card onto their childвЂ™s Osper Card account, meaning a young person will never be without money in an emergency.
- Monitoring spend вЂ“ Instantly check balances and monitor transactions and get Osper Alerts by text when a transaction is declined due to low balance.
- Limits and category blocking вЂ“ Osper Cards have in-built spend limits and also automatically block certain adult categories such as pubs and online gambling sites.
- Card lock вЂ“ Simple card lock function both young people and parents can use directly from the app to block all purchases if an Osper Card is lost or stolen.
- No overdrafts вЂ“ Young people can only spend the money the money thatвЂ™s been loaded onto their Osper card; itвЂ™s not a credit card.
- Our mission вЂ“ Most importantly we're committed to building a tool that's useful for young people and families. So if you think we're missing something, just ask! We'll definitely listen.
Cash is good for learning the basics of money вЂ“ especially at a young age. As young people get older, start buying things on their phones or online or are going out on their own, cash is not always right.
For a start it's easy to lose, and once lost it can't be recovered. You also can't measure how much you've spent or keep track of what you're spending it on. Cash can't be spent online, which means having to borrow parentsвЂ™ credit cards. Finally, cash can't be given to someone whoвЂ™s 10 miles away and stuck at a bus stop!
- With Osper all money is safe and secure on the lockable Osper Card.
- ItвЂ™s really simple! Osper Cardholders know how much money they have and where their money has been spent.
- Parents can also track saving/spending and send money to an Osper Card from anywhere, anytime, instantly.
- Only spend what's on the Osper Card вЂ“ like cash, once it's gone it's gone.
Osper is not a credit card (and isn't anything like a credit card). With your Osper Prepaid Debit Card you can only spend the money on the card.
- As it's prepaid, you can never spend more than is loaded onto your Osper Card.
- You can never go overdrawn.
- When you spend money it's instantly taken from your Osper Card вЂ“ not at the end of the month.
- Our aim is always to help young people manage money responsibly.
Best of all, we find that Osper Cards build awareness and move families away from the bank of mum and dad. Giving a young person responsibility for a regular allowance through Osper sends a clear message вЂ“ it gives you a budget to manage, and when that money is gone, itвЂ™s gone!
Does Osper block age-inappropriate purchases online?
All Osper Cards are blocked Online by default. ItвЂ™s easy for parents to enable online spending during the activation process or by changing the setting on a per-child basis in the Osper App.
Osper will not work in certain merchants by default. This allows us to block purchases from some merchants including online alcohol-selling merchants and gambling sites, to protect children from inappropriate spending. However, this system does rely on merchants listing themselves appropriately.
In terms of online purchases, retail technology is not yet sophisticated enough to restrict the purchase of individual age restricted items from generalist websites such as Tesco or Amazon so there is a risk a young person could purchase items inappropriate for their age on the internet if the merchant chooses not to age-verify before completing the transaction.
Unfortunately, there is currently no online merchant category code for adult content providers, which would allow us to block that area outright. To that end, Osper has joined the ATVOD (Authority for Television on Demand) consultation and has been lobbying for the introduction of an adult content category code. We are also exploring functionality to alert parents immediately if a young person purchases inappropriate material from a mainstream adult content provider.
Osper is committed to working with retail and technology partners to ensure that we continue to offer as much protection online as possible and help to solve this industry-wide problem. We will continue to improve our services based on industry developments and will always take on board feedback from our customers.
We want to ensure parents understand these risks and can make the call on when their child is ready to take on the responsibility that comes with being able to shop online.
You can read more about how Online Spending works on Osper here.
If you have any concerns we encourage you to contact us on 020 3322 9090 or by emailing [email protected]
Using Osper is simple, there are just 5 steps to get going.
- Order: Parents can order up to four Osper Cards for their children using our order form. When they complete the form, we run identity checks on parents electronically in real time. Osper Cards are then printed and sent to your family by post.
- Activate: Once your family receives your Osper Cards, you simply activate them in the Osper App. During this process, parents also attach their personal debit card, which is used to load money onto the Osper Cards from the ParentвЂ™s Osper App.
- Load: Once the App has been downloaded, Parents can choose to load money onto the Osper Cards either as a one-off load or through setting up a monthly or weekly allowance. See detailed instructions on how to do this here.
- Use: Once activated and loaded with money, the Osper Cards can be used wherever anywhere Mastercard ® debit cards are accepted both at home and abroad.
- Manage: The Osper App works on both iOS and Android devices and has logins for both parents and young people. Parents, as well as being able to load money, can see how their family are using their Cards. Young people can check their balance and see where and how they have used their Cards.
First of all parents need to order an Osper Card from the Order Osper Card page. We will then verify their identity and create their cards, before putting them in the post. Parents and Young People will then need to activate their Osper Cards together, including downloading the Osper App.
Young People will need:
- To be 8-18 years old
- Access to an Apple or Android device (young people can use their parentвЂ™s device if they donвЂ™t own one)
Parents will need:
- A UK debit card to load money from
- A mobile number
- An email address
- An iOS or Android device
- To be a UK resident
To start using your Osper Card once it has arrived you'll need to activate it through the Osper App.
- The Parent or guardian who ordered the card and the email address and password they added when ordering
- An iPhone, iPad or Android device with the Osper App installed
- Parents and guardians will need their personal debit card for loading money (no credit cards, sorry)
To start activation, log in to the app as a parent and follow the simple steps. Once completed you'll be able to load up money and start using the new Card!
Getting your PIN for the first time is quick and simple. Once you have activated your Osper card, just follow these steps to retrieve your PIN:
- Log in to the young person Osper App using your username and password. (Make sure you're using the young person's login details as you wonвЂ™t be able to do this when logged in as a parent.)
- Go to the option in the menu 'PIN reminder' and hold the 'view my PIN' button
- Memorise your PIN and don't tell anyone!
How do I load up money onto the Osper Card?
Parents can load up money directly from their Osper App. This money will be transferred instantly from parentsвЂ™ debit cards directly to their childrenвЂ™s Osper Card. That money cannot be transferred to any other location. Every time money is loaded, we email young people and parents to notify them.
Parents can also set up an Osper Allowance - this is a regular fixed amount which is loaded on to an Osper card monthly or weekly. Notification is sent to both parent and child when the amount has been loaded.
Over time, we will introduce other ways for money to be loaded onto the Osper Card - for example, inviting family members to give money.
Osper Cards work everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Find your nearest ATM.
For safety reasons, Osper Cards cannot be used in certain types of shop by default (for example, gambling, some establishments which serve alcohol and dating services).
We are reliant on merchants being accurately categorised to enable our blocking. Please be aware that from time to time, merchants are incorrectly categorised in the coding system (if you find this to be the case, please inform us at [email protected]).
Your Osper Card can also be enabled for online purchases. Parents will need to turn on online spending during the activation process or in the Osper App.
Free for your first month, then from ВЈ2.00 per child per month.
Membership fee paid by parents not young people.
Get The Prepaid Debit Is Very Simple And Clear
Prepaid debit cards are differ from credit cards and those are more helpful for you in your daily life. To get the credit you have to face many problems. First step is you have to apply the credit card from any approval traditional bank. Once you apply the credit card they will check your credits and financial verification is there. Also, there are many confusing rules and regulations to get the credit card. After getting the credit card also you have to take high risk to pay the money on monthly basis. If you do not pay the amount on regular basis then you should have to pay the penalty. In simple words using the credit card is very difficult and confusing than the prepaid debit card.
Easily you can get the prepaid debit card from any traditional bank compare to credit card. Actually, there are thousands of debit card vendors available for you to offer the prepaid debit card. Just you have to buy the debit card from the vendor. But you should have to give your personal details like name, contact number and permanent address etc. Within fraction of minutes you will be able to accomplish the applying process of debit card. Once you apply the prepaid debit card then it will take few days to provide the physical card. That particular debit card vendor sends the card through the post.
After getting the card you will be able to start your money transactions. First you have to put some amount of money in your account before going to use. There are plenty of ways available for you to load the money such as over the mobile phone, through online, person at the traditional bank. So, you have an option to load the money into the card in your flexible manner. Once you load the money then you can be able to utilize that certain amount of money. Here you no need to pay the money on monthly basis to the traditional bank.
Today many individuals and families are purchasing the things and paying the bills by the cash or money orders. Prepaid debit card is the best and right option for those people to pay the various bills. With the prepaid debit card you will be able to do all the things like purchase the various items or things and pay the bills. It is very helpful for those people who are bushy in their daily life, because they can be able to utilize the debit card in their flexible way and they no need to worry about overspending money. Make sure that you will fell comfort with the prepaid debit card and you will get more attractive benefits.