With many Prepaid card options out there, it’s important to do your research. We’ve gone throught he list of pro’s and con’s and checked all the boxes on this popular and powerful prepaid card.

What is a prepaid card?

Prepaid cards act a lot like credit cards, however you need to load a cash balance on the card before use. Think of it as a bank account, or a very good budgeting tool.

Learn more about prepaid credit cards here

With many options of prepaid cards, we’ve done our review of Netspend. This card offers many advantages and depending on your spending habits, some disadvantages as well.

Advantages of the Netspend card:

  • No overdraft fees.
  • Open an account with no fees.
  • 5% APY savings account on balances of up to $1,000.
  • You can get your paycheck up to two days early with direct deposit.

Disadvantages of the Netspend card:

  • Large network for reloads or withdrawals, however there is a transaction fee.
  • Inactivity fee if you stop using the card after 90 days.
  • If you want your mobile check deposit available same day, there is a processing fee.

Continue reading for details on Netspend’s general fees, features, funds access, and much more.

General Fees

You may open with no fee. Purchasing and registering the card online is free to you. But if you buy the card through a third party like CVS or Walmart, you can get dinged with a $9.95 fee.

There are transactional fees as well. You can choose one of three ways to utilize the card:

  • Pay $1 to $2 each time you make a purchase.
  • Pay a flat $9.95 per month with free trades.
  • If you have $500 in monthly direct deposits on the card the monthly fee drops to $5 per month along with free trades

Requesting a mailed check with the remaining funds from the prepaid card when closing the account will ding you a fee of $5.95.

Netspend charges an inactivity fee of $5.95 if there is no card action for 90 days.

Unsure about prepaid cards? Maybe a secured credit card is right for you

Purchases & Withdrawls

No fees for cash back at retailer checkouts. Not all prepaid cards are in these payment systems, however this is usually a standard feature for Mastercard and Visa.

Netspend does charge $2.50 for ATM withdrawals. Keep in mind there may also be an ATM operator fee.

No overdraft charges. Transactions that go over the amount available on the card will simply be declined. Also, some qualifying customers have the option of getting a negative balances of up to $10 covered.

$2.50 fee for in-person withdrawals at banks or credit unions.

If your card is rejected at any ATM, a $1 fee is charged.

Reloading options

Choose from over 130,000 reload locations. You may add money to your card from several retailers nationally, typically for a fee.

Plenty of methods to reload money. Apart from money reloads, you can transfer money from a bank account, PayPal, or another Netspend account. Other ways include mobile check deposit, direct deposit, and even tax refunds.

Up to $3.95 fee per cash reload in Netspend locations.

High percentage fee on timely mobile check deposits. A fee of 1% to 5% of the checks amount for same-day processing, or wait 10 days to find the money at no cost.

Additional services

A solid 5.00% APY savings account on accounts of up to $1,000. And for balances above that, the rate drops to 0.50% APY.

Extended support hours. Customer support is available past the conventional 9-to-5 hours on weekdays as well as weekends.

No free online bill pay service. Netspend utilizes a third party for billing who charge a fee. A no cost option for bill pay is to provide a biller your card’s routing and account numbers.

No check writing. Other prepaid cards possess this ability.

Savings rate does not offset fees

Netspend’s biggest advantage is their savings account, Depending on how you use it, it can easily offset the fees for using the prepaid card.