Prepaid cards are payment tools that resemble debit cards in their operations. However, the cards do not link to any bank or credit union account, even though you can link at will. The cards are some of the most important payment tools that assist people in their day-to-day transactions. There are various ways you can use your card, as we shall see. Later, we shall check on the prepaid debit cards with mobile check deposit.
Nowadays, you do not have to carry large cash in your briefcase as you know how risky it can be. You may lose the money to thieves on your way to your shopping center. Traditionally, people used to keep money under their mattresses and in boxes inside their houses. That possed a great danger as fire, and other calamities such as floods can destroy money and other valuable property.
For your understanding, prepaid cards are plastic or metallic. Remember that I have told you that the cards operate like debit cards. The appearance is also the same, and you may not be able to differentiate them. We also have virtual prepaid cards whereby you have the card details other than the tangible metal or plastic. Virtual cards only allow you to shop online.
How do prepaid cards work?
First of all, the cards independently operate in that you do not have to link them to any financial institution such as a bank or credit union. When you apply for one, you have to recharge to transact. Usually, the card issuers partner with various merchants so that you can add money at their places. For example, you can reload your Walmart MoneyCard at Walmart centers.
Once your card has money, you can shop at various stores that accept card payments. When buying at physical branches, you have to swipe or tap at the register to make your payments. The systems automatically deduct the spend amount per the Point-of-Sale recordings.
When making your payments online, you should enter your card number, the expiry dates, and the CVV on the fields provided during checking out. Online payments are faster and more secure than physical store payments since you only need to use your phone to purchase your goods and services. For example, Amazon requires you to check out online and pay with cards from Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and others.
Additionally, you can transfer money from a prepaid account to a bank account. Even though not all prepaid cards allow that due to their business policies, most can allow you to move your finances to your bank for various uses. Also, you can add money to your prepaid card account from your bank account.
When you look at your card, you will notice an expiry date for the card. When your card expires, you should order another one. It is always advisable to order a new card several days before the current card expires. That helps you to stay connected all the time.
How to apply for a prepaid card?
There are two main ways you can apply for your prepaid card. They include online and physical branches. The online application is the most convenient since you only need to use your computer or tablet to carry out the process, and you are good to go. You can upload all the necessary details for verification.
Since prepaid card accounts are financial institutions like banks and credit unions, you must comply with the federal government’s regulations by providing the necessary items, including the following.
- Social Security Number
- Identification Documents such as your State ID, passport, military ID, or Driver’s license
- Email address
- Phone number
- Physical address
Next, you should choose your card’s appearance. Some issuers allow you to customize your card with your art, photo, etc. A good example is Netspend which allows you to customize your card the way you feel better for you. Customizing a card instills a sense of ownership in the card user.
After ultimately finishing everything, you will need to wait for your card at your location. Most issuers deliver the card within a week after the date of application. You will need to activate it to begin using it for your transactions. When applying at a branch, you only need to provide the original documents plus their photocopies, fill out the necessary forms and either get the card the same day or wait for several days for processing.
What are the factors to check when applying for a prepaid card?
You cannot just apply for any card you come by since you may indulge yourself in a big problem regarding the costs of the card. The following things are essential to check
- Monthly maintenance fees
- Annual fees
- Foreign transaction fees
- Daily transaction limits
- Mobile app
- Zero liability protection
Also, you need to check if you can transfer money from your prepaid card to a bank account. As I mentioned earlier, some prepaid cards do not allow you to move money to your bank account. Since you need money in your account, you should make sure that you get a card that gives you that option.
Which are the 10 best-prepaid debit cards with mobile check deposits?
The following are the ten best-prepaid cards that allow you to receive finances via direct deposit. Have a look.
1) American Express Serve
The card charges direct deposit fees of up to 5% with a minimum fee of $5. The daily transaction limit is $5,000/day and $10,000 per month. The card is from American Express, one of the world’s largest service providers for payment cards. You can access your account online via the mobile money service.
2) Bluebird by American Express
The card is also from American Express and charges you up to 5% or $5 minimum for your direct deposit. You can receive up to $5,000 in a day and up to $10,000 per month. You can use the cards anywhere American Express cards are accepted.
3) BB&T Prepaid Debit Card
The card has no fees for direct deposits and allows you to save substantial amounts of money for your transactions. You can receive direct deposits of up to $2,500 per day and $5,000 per month. It is one of the best cards with excellent customer service.
4) Brink’s Money Prepaid Mastercard
The card is one of the most beneficial prepaid cards you can have. Its fees are variable depending on the amount of money you are sending. Also, there is no specific amount you can transfer per day or month. Therefore, it is flexible to receive as much money as possible through direct deposit. The card offers you the best features you should have.
5) GreenDot Prepaid Visa Card
GreenDot Prepaid Visa Card charges you fees of up to 4% depending on check type. You can get a direct deposit of up to $5,000 per day and $10,000 per month. It is one of the cheapest prepaid cards you can get today, bearing in mind the small fees you have to pay. You can use the cards to purchase goods and services online and in physical stores. You can also transfer money using the routing number and account number to your bank account when the need arises.
6) Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Visa
You can receive direct deposits of up to $5,000 per day and $10,000 per month with the card. The fess you pay can go up to 5% of the transaction amount or a $5 minimum amount, whichever is greater. You can earn rewards when you purchase groceries and fuel at filling stations, helping you save significantly.
7) MOVO Virtual Prepaid Card
The fees for direct deposit can go up to 5%, depending on check type. You can receive funds up to $5,000 per day and $10,000 per month. The card has no activation fee, and you can use it everywhere Mastercard is accepted.
8) MyVanilla Mastercard and Visa
Like many other cards, you can receive direct deposits of up to $5,000 per day and $10,000 per month. The fees go up to 5% or $5 minimum, whichever is greater. You can also get the MyVanilla App which provides fast, secure, and easy access to your prepaid card.
9) Netspend Prepaid Debit Card
Netspend is among the most popular prepaid card issuers. The Netspend Prepaid Debit Card charges fees of up to 5% or $5 minimum, whichever is greater. You can receive direct deposits of up to $2,500 per check, up to $5,000 per day, and $10,000 per month. The card does not require any minimum balance whatsoever.
10) PayPal Prepaid Mastercard
PayPal is one of the largest money transfer companies in the world. Apart from offering online money transfer services, it has the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard that allows you to receive direct deposits with fees of up to 5%. Sometimes direct deposits can be free with 10-day processing. Deposit limits can go up to $2,500 per check, $5,000 per day, and $10,000 per month.
A prepaid card allows you to buy goods and services just as you can with a debit card. Although you can link at will, it does not require you to link to any bank or credit union. You can either have a virtual or a tangible prepaid card. Virtual prepaid cards are only useful when purchasing goods and services online. You can either do it at a branch or online when applying for the cards.