Review Of The Netspend Visa Prepaid Card

Review Of The Netspend Visa Prepaid Card

November 21, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

There are millions of Americans who do not have any type of bank account. It is difficult for these “unbanked” consumers to obtain a credit or debit card. Prepaid cards are an excellent way for the unbanked to make online transactions as well as in-store purchases without having to carry cash. The Netspend Visa Prepaid Card is a card to consider if you find yourself in these circumstances.

What Company Offers The Netspend Visa Prepaid Card?

The Netspend Visa Prepaid Card is offered by Netspend which is a subsidiary of Global Payments, a leading payment processing service. Netspend is one of the country’s leading providers of prepaid debit cards for both personal and commercial use. Netspend was founded in Austin, Texas in 1999.

The Netspend Visa Prepaid Card

The Netspend Visa Prepaid Card is designed for people who may not have the ability to obtain a credit or debit card, but still want to make online transactions or not have to carry cash. Consumers who don’t have a credit history or bank account would be candidates for this card. Since it is a prepaid card and a credit check is not required, just about everyone can be approved for the card.

The card is free to obtain online, but there will be a charge if it is purchased at a retail location. The amount of that fee will vary depending upon the specific retail location. There is no activation fee on the card, and no minimum balance required. There are reloading fees if you make a deposit into your account at a retail store, but that fee can be avoided if you make a direct deposit with your payroll check or government benefit.

You should not have any trouble using the card since it is offered through the Visa network.

One of the unique features that makes this card stand out among other prepaid cards is Netspend’s rewards program. With the Payback Rewards program, consumers can generate some cash back with certain purchases. The amount of cash back and the applicable retailers will change each month. You can also earn money through Netspend’s Refer-a-Friend program: cardholders receive a credit to their account if a friend activates the card and loads a certain amount of money onto the card.

Netspend has a mobile app which can assist cardholders with determining their balance and seeing their transaction history. You can also set up alerts via email or text, which can let you know you are near your spending limit or allow you to see when transactions are processed.

Unlike a credit card, the Netspend Visa Prepaid Card will not help you build your credit, since the activity is not reported to any major credit bureau. So responsible use of the card will not affect your credit score. There can be some significant fees on this card so consumers should study the fees associated with the Netspend Visa Prepaid Card. The card is free to obtain online; however, you will incur a card purchase fee if you buy it from certain retail locations. Consumers have a choice to make on their ongoing fees: they can either pay a monthly fee and receive an unlimited number of transactions; or can choose the pay-as-you-go plan in which a fee is assessed for each transaction but there is no flat monthly fee. No matter the plan selected, both plans have the same charge for a cash reload fee at retail level, an ATM withdrawal or balance inquiry, or an inactivity fee which is charged if there is no activity for 90 days.

Is The Netspend Visa Prepaid Card Right For Me?

If you do not have a bank account or a good credit history, you may want to consider the Netspend Visa Prepaid Card. Prepaid cards offer the convenience of not having to carry cash as well as giving you the opportunity to make smooth online transactions. Being part of the Visa network means the card will be accepted almost everywhere. The card can be free to obtain if you do so online, but buying it at a retailer will cost you money. The ongoing fees are the biggest obstacle to the card. You will either have to pay a fairly significant monthly fee and have access to unlimited transactions; or the pay-as-you-go plan where you will pay a fee for every transaction but not have any set monthly fee. Consumers should carefully study these fees and see if they outweigh the benefits to the card.

Check out our full listing of prepaid cards.

Another option for unbanked consumers or those with a limited credit history might be a secured credit card. This type of card requires a security deposit; however responsible use of a secured card will usually help you start to build your credit profile since most of these cards report to the major credit bureaus. Here are some secured cards to consider:

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Discover has one of the top secured cards on the market. What sets the apart from a number of other secured cards is the cash back feature. Cardholders can earn 2% cash back on all gas and restaurant purchases up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter; and 1% cash back on all other transactions. Plus, Discover will match your cash back rewards at the end of the first year. The card requires a security deposit of at least $200, and reports to all three major credit bureaus. After eight months of responsible use, Discover will consider transitioning you to an unsecured card. It has a standard APR 24.49% Variable for purchases, and an introductory APR on balance transfers for the first six months as a cardholder. There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee on this card.

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Citi is another major issuer that offers a secured credit card to people with limited credit or no credit. When you apply for the , new customers put up a refundable security deposit of between $200 and $2,500. When they are approved for the card, the cardholder’s credit limit will be equal to the amount of the security deposit. This secured card also reports to all three major credit bureaus. The Citi Secured card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. It has a standard APR 23.99% (Variable) for purchases. There is no annual fee, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee on this card.

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The is one of the best secured cards on the market, and is a solid choice for people with limited or no credit. New applicants first submit a refundable security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, depending on their creditworthiness. Then, you will receive a credit line between $200 and $3,000, and the card works like any other credit card. You will receive a statement each month, and must make a minimum payment. Capital One reports regularly to all three major credit bureaus, helping you build up your credit history. You will get access to a higher credit line if you make on-time payments for the first five months of being a cardholder. The standard interest rate for purchases as well as cash advances is 26.99% (Variable). There is no annual fee or foreign transactions fees for this card.

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The is offered by Green Dot Bank and has an annual fee of $39. In addition, it has a relatively low APR of 13.99% (Fixed). This card reports your payments to the three major consumer credit bureaus, allowing you to build your credit by making on-time payments. Credit lines are available from $200 to $5,000. There are no processing or application fees on this card.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 21, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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Top Features : No annual fee; reports to major credit bureaus; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Top Features : No Annual Fee; Cash Back match at the end of your first year; Social Security Alerts
Top Features : No annual fee; builds credit by reporting to major credit bureaus; initial security deposit can be as low as $200
Top Features : Good credit or bank account not required; initial security deposit can be as low as $200
Top Features : Builds credit by reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus; low fixed 9.99% interest rate; no penalty rate