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Review: AccountNow Prepaid Mastercard

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Please note: This card has been discontinued, and it is not available on our site.

Editor's pick: PayPal Prepaid MasterCard

  • Manage money on the fly
  • Receive special offers and cash back rewards
  • Get your state and federal tax refund faster than a paper check

Editor's pick: PayPal Prepaid MasterCard

Use the no-cost direct deposit service and have access your funds up to 2 days faster than what traditional banks offer.

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    AccountNow Prepaid Mastercard review

    The AccountNow Prepaid Mastercard is not a credit card – it acts as an alternative to a checking account, and is a helpful way for people to stay on budget.

    Applicants don’t need to worry about a credit check, because you’re not opening up a line of credit. Instead, you’ll find easy approval after successful ID verification. Load the card up with as much cash as you’d like with no direct deposit, monthly or annual fees.

    This prepaid card is ideal if you want quick access to your money without the rigorous credit checks and high fees that typically come with a bank account. Beyond a $4.95 activation fee, you won’t pay overdraft, bounced check, monthly or direct deposit fees. Cardholders instantly get an account number at signup, and there’s no minimum account balance requirement.

    Use your AccountNow Prepaid Mastercard at a network of ATMs or anywhere that takes Mastercard. To manage your spending, you can check your balance online whenever you’d like.

    The perks

    • Poor credit OK.
      Because the AccountNow Prepaid Mastercard isn’t a credit card, it doesn’t require a credit check.
    • Easy approval.
      With successful verification of your ID, you won’t have to worry about ChexSystems verification or strict eligibility requirements.
    • Few fees.
      You’ll pay a one-time $4.95 activation fee — no monthly or annual fees. And it comes with no overdraft or bounced check fees, no charges for direct deposit or cash deposit and free cancellation.
    • No minimum balance.
      You don’t need to maintain a minimum balance, which gives you some room if you’re struggling financially, and there’s no inactivity fee.
    • Wide acceptance.
      Use your card anywhere that accepts Mastercard debit cards and access your cash at more than 135,000 locations. Avoid ATM fees by using it as a debit card for cash back at your local grocery store

    What to watch out for

    • Online ratings.
      AccountNow doesn’t garner a positive rating with BBB. And customers complain about missing money, unexpected fees or unposted deposits.
    • Customer support.
      Customer service isn’t great, which means it could be hard to speak with a representative for help.

    The nuts and bolts

    • Fraud protection.
      Cardholders are protected by the Mastercard’s Zero Liability and aren’t responsible for unauthorized transactions. Furthermore, the card’s funds are FDIC insured for up to $250,000.
    • Low activation fee.
      Activate your card for a one-time $4.95 fee.
    • Checking account alternative.
      This checking account alternative allows you to withdraw cash, make purchases and preload it with any amount you choose.
    • Additional fees.
      The card comes with a lot of fees, including a $2.50 nonissuer’s ATM withdrawal fee, a $2.50 issuer’s ATM withdrawal fee, a$1.50 ATM balance inquiry fee, a $1 point-of-sale transaction fee, and a $1 signature transaction fee.
    • Declined transaction fee.
      You’ll pay $1 for any declined transaction fee at an ATM but no charge for other declined purchases.
    • Direct deposit.
      Ask their employer to send your paychecks or benefits to the card through direct deposit at no cost. Because funds are electronically deposited directly onto the card, you won’t need to wait for checks to clear.
    • Maximum balance.
      This prepaid card limits your maximum balance to $10,000.

    How to apply for the AccountNow Prepaid Mastercard

    Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

    Eligibility criteria

    • You must be at least 18 years old or your state’s age of majority.
    • You must be a US citizen or legal resident.

    Required documents and information

    • Your full name and residential address
    • Your email address and phone number
    • Your Social Security number and date of birth
    • Your employer or benefits provider offering direct deposit
    • In some cases, your driver’s license or other identifying documents

    Bottom line

    If you’re looking for an alternative to a checking account that comes with no monthly or overdraft fees, this prepaid card could be an option. But before settling on the AccountNow Prepaid Mastercard, compare your full range of prepaid card options.

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