A month or so ago, I was asked to review a different kind of VISA card. Available through CARD.com, this is a prepaid card which allows you to load cash in a variety of ways, including Western Union, Green Dot Money Pak, Direct Deposit, Paypal, or from my bank account. That's convenient.
Additionally, I was able to go onto their site and choose the design that fit my personality best, or that made a statement. The amount of designs on the site is a bit overwhelming . . . thousands . . . and I must admit I spent way too much time perusing the site. The amount of categories alone seems endless and includes Shawn Michael, Star Trek Next Generation, Garfield, Extreme Couponing, Hell's Kitchen, Care Bears . . . well, you get the picture. It seems to include everything.
I settled on a simple design: the flag of Finland.
After I received my card, the company loaded it with $25 for me to use as I chose. However, my first attempt at a purchase did not go so well.
I was out to eat with friends and my bill was $18. Even with a tip added, it was less than the $25 in my account. I was unhappy, not to mention embarrassed, when the waitress returned to the table and told me my card was declined. I'm not sure why that happened, but it did, and it left a bad taste in my mouth.
I eventually tried it again, but this time it was at a self-checkout line so I could avoid being humiliated if it were to be rejected once again. Then I used it for an online purchase and everything was fine.
At the end of the $25, I chose not to reload the card as I already have a bank debit card and a Paypal debit card. I don't see the need for a third card. Besides, unless you load at least $800 per month on the card through direct deposit, there is a whopping $5.95 monthly maintenance fee. No thank you.
So, I discovered this was not the card for me.
That said, I do think it would be an ideal card for people who do not want to maintain a checking account, as they could keep the money on the card and use it to pay bills, shop, get gas, etc. It can be used anywhere where VISA is accepted.
It would also be a good way to keep your college kids on a budget. But this is not a gift card and cannot be used as one. You would have to open an account in the name of the person actually using the card. The fact that it's not a use and toss gift card does make it more appealing to those of us who are green minded.
Also, if you don't have/don't want a credit card, this is an good option, provided you have enough money loaded on the card when you go to use it.
Here are some of the features:
- Free to order, activate and load
- Free app and check deposits from your smartphone
- Free direct deposit
- Free card-to-card transfers, any time, anywhere, in seconds
- No overdraft fees -- never goes negative!
- Safer than cash - 24/7 support, Visa fraud protection and 100% FDIC insurance on funds
- No debt, financially responsible, no interest/credit/APRs
- No credit check and approval in seconds
- 22,000 in-network ATMs
Now, don't the above features make it more appealing? Like I said, it's not for me, but I can see its usefulness in so many other situations. Maybe even yours.
For more information about the VISA prepaid card, visit their website at CARD.com.
Reviewing it for you,