The advent of prepaid credit and debit cards has heralded card charges which stretch the imagination, with purchasers paying in some instances over $200 in fees each year. Despite the fees they represent the biggest growth area within the card market, but fortunately some issuers are now launching cards with much lower fees and even rewards programs.
MetaBank has introduced the UPside prepaid card which has very few drawbacks and plenty of pluses. The card has very low fees, effectively works as a bank account, and has a rewards program which is simplicity itself. Rewards points earned are simply converted to cash which is added to the card, with 2000 points equating to $20 cash back. Card holders may use virtual checks.
The UPside Visa is free to obtain, and has no activation fee: in fact it gives 500 rewards points when the card is activated online. Card holders that sign up for direct deposits receive an additional 1000 rewards points. Extra rewards points can be earned by using the card for cell phone refills and by making online purchases at the UPside mall.
Loads from employers and government benefit providers are free. The bank levies a monthly fee of $2.99 which is automatically lowered to just 99 cents if $500 a month is loaded onto the card. The minimum load onto the card is $25, and in addition to free direct deposit loads, cardholders can also utilize GreenDot loads. Companion cards can be issued and monthly fees are $1.99 which are waived if $1000 per month is loaded onto the card. All funds held on the card are FDIC insured.
The terms and conditions outline other charges which UPside Visa card holders may face. Replacement cards cost $9.95; there is a 2% foreign currency fee and ATM withdrawals are charged a flat $1.70 plus any charges levied by the ATM provider. ATM balance inquiries cost 99 cents. MetaBank promote the fact that ATM cash withdrawal fees can be avoided by drawing cash when purchases are made. However the biggest drawback of the card is that point of sale purchases have a $60 limit and are restricted to 15 per month.
To get the best usage from the UPside Visa prepaid card, ideally one should have a minimum $500 direct deposit loaded onto the card on a monthly basis. Drawing cash back with purchases and thus avoiding ATM machines will save unnecessary fees, and dealing with the account strictly online will avoid the telephone charges which are levied if live customer service is used.
The cash back program is simplistic and almost $20 can be earned simply by activating the card online and signing up for direct deposit. Once 2000 points are earned, the reward program has effectively covered 20 months of fees at 99 cents, making the card totally free.
MetaBanks UPside prepaid Visa card represents the best current deal available in the prepaid card market as optimum use of the card makes it free. UPside Visa thus shatters the stigma of high fee prepaid cards and proves how unnecessary it is to pay fees to use ones own money.
Source: UPside card com.