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Best prepaid cards of 2020

Find one with cashback rewards, low fees, ATM withdrawals and more.

Updated

Fact checked
Young man online banking outdoor in cafe

The best prepaid cards enable you to manage your money with ease — without charging hefty fees in the process. For our best list, we researched over 30 prepaid cards and considered key factors such as monthly fees, availability, account features and how easy it is to access your money.

Best for direct deposits.

NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card

NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card logo
Apply now
at Netspend's secure site
$9.95
Monthly fees
$9.95
Card purchase fee
$2.50
ATM fee
With the NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card, you can earn cashback rewards, set up a budget and open a high-yield savings account. There's also no credit check when you sign up.
  • Early direct deposits. You could receive your paycheck up to two days early when you set up direct deposits with Netspend.
  • Multiple reloading options. Put money on your card through 130,000 convenient reload locations, direct deposit, remote check deposit or by receiving money from friends and family.
  • Optional savings account. Open a high-yield savings account and earn up to 5% APY on balances of $1,000 or more.
  • Fees. Netspend charges a lot of small fees that could easily add up as you use your card.
  • Card purchase fees. You can get your card for free online, but you'll pay $9.95 if you buy your card at Walmart, CVS or other locations.
  • Inactivity penalty. Expect a $5.95 inactivity fee if you don't use your card within 90 days.
Monthly fees $9.95
Card purchase fees $9.95
ATM fee $2.50
Card replacement fee $9.95
Paper statement fee $5.95
Account type Debit
Card type Visa
Available to Temporary Residents No

Best for kids.

FamZoo

FamZoo logo
Apply now
at FamZoo's secure site
$5.99
Monthly fees
$2
Card purchase fee
$0
ATM fee

Special offer: Try FamZoo for one month free

FamZoo gives you the tools you need to teach your kids about good money habits. There's an unavoidable monthly fee, but you get access to special features that let you track chores and pay allowances.
  • Free trial. FamZoo comes with a 30-day free trial, so you can try it before you buy it.
  • Parent-paid interest. The FamZoo savings account doesn't pay interest, but you can choose to pay compound interest if you'd like.
  • Save, spend and give. Each kid account is broken up into three subcategories that help them learn the importance of saving, spending and giving.
  • Unavoidable fee. You'll pay a $5.99 monthly fee once your free trial ends.
  • Limited cash load options. You can't reload your card at an ATM. Instead, you have to use GreenDot or Mastercard rePower.
  • Fee for extra cards. If you need five or more cards, you'll pay a $2 shipping fee for each one.
Monthly fees $5.99
Card purchase fees $2
ATM fee $0
Card replacement fee $0
Account type Debit
Card type Mastercard
Available to Temporary Residents No

Best for minimal fees.

MOVO Digital Visa Prepaid Debit

$0
Monthly fees
$0
Card purchase fee
$2
ATM fee
The MOVO Digital Visa Prepaid Debit card has no monthly fees as long as your account stays active.
  • MovoCoin virtual cards. If you don't want to add your card number while shopping online, you can generate virtual prepaid cards for $0.50 a piece.
  • Free person-to-person transfers. You can send money to anyone in the US for $0.
  • Transfer Bitcoin. Movo supports Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash transfers to anyone in the US.
  • Third-party check app. If you need to deposit checks, you'll need to download another app called Ingo and pay a 1% to 5% processing fee depending on your check amount.
  • No EMV chip. Most cards in the US now come with a chip for added security, but MOVO doesn't use this technology.
  • Limited ATM withdrawals. You can't withdraw more than $500 a day from ATMs in the US and $250 a day from international ATMs.
Monthly fees $0
Card purchase fees $0
ATM fee $2
Card replacement fee $7
Account type Debit
Card type Visa
Available to Temporary Residents No

Best for ATM withdrawals.

Fifth Third Access 360 Reloadable Prepaid Card

Fifth Third Access 360 Reloadable Prepaid Card logo
$4
Monthly fees
$0
Card purchase fee
$0
ATM fee
The Fifth Third Access 360 Reloadable Prepaid is best for those looking for a large ATM network. But you'll want to watch out for expensive out-of-network ATM fees if you travel abroad.
  • Large ATM network. Easily withdraw cash at more than 50,000 free ATMs nationwide.
  • Waivable monthly fee. Fifth Third Bank waives the $4 monthly fee for current checking customers or those with at least $500 in monthly direct deposits.
  • Free card replacement. If your card is lost, damaged or stolen, Fifth Third Bank will replace it at no charge.
  • Can't pay at the pump. If you use this card at a gas station, you'll have to go inside to pay.
  • Expensive international ATM fees. You'll pay a $5 ATM fee plus a 3% international transaction fee each time you withdraw money at an ATM overseas.
  • Limited availability. This card is only available to those who live in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Monthly fees $4
ATM fee $0
Account type Debit
Card type Mastercard

Best for budgeting.

Akimbo

$0
Monthly fees
$4.95
Card purchase fee
$1.98
ATM fee
With Akimbo, you can manage your money through one main card and up to five subcards. Give the subcards to family members or use them for different budgeting categories like bills and groceries.
  • No monthly fee. You won't pay anything to maintain this account or activate your card. But you'll pay $5.95 if your account is inactive for a year or more.
  • Instant transfers. You can instantly transfer money from your main Akimbo balance to the other cards on your account. Plus, it's free.
  • Up to five sub cards. Separate your money into different budgeting categories and manage each category in the Akimbo app.
  • Only first card is free. You'll pay $4.95 for each additional debit card you need.
  • Fee for PIN-based transactions. You'll pay $0.99 for the first five PIN-based transactions you make each month. Signature-based transactions are always free.
  • No free ATMs. You'll pay $1.98 plus operator fees each time you withdraw money at an ATM.
Monthly fees $0
Card purchase fees $4.95
ATM fee $1.98
Card replacement fee $4.95
Account type Credit
Card type Mastercard

Best for rewards.

American Express Serve Cash Back

$7.95
Monthly fees
$3.95
Card purchase fee
$0
ATM fee
American Express has three different Serve prepaid debit cards. But the Serve Cash Back debit card rewards you with free cash when you use your card for everyday purchases.
  • Cashback rewards. You'll earn unlimited 1% cash back on all prepaid debit card purchases.
  • Early direct deposits. You could receive your paycheck up to two days earlier than your coworkers.
  • Large ATM network. Withdraw money for free at over 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide.
  • High foreign transaction fees. You'll pay a 2.7% fee each time you use your card overseas.
  • Not accepted everywhere. American Express isn't as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard, so don't be surprised if some businesses won't take your card.
Monthly fees $7.95
Card purchase fees $3.95
ATM fee $0
Card replacement fee $5
Account type Debit
Card type American Express

How to find the best prepaid card for you

Here are a few pointers to help you find the best prepaid debit card for your unique needs:

  • Look for a card with minimal fees. The best prepaid cards strike a balance between convenience and low fees. Before you choose a prepaid card, read through the fee schedule and make sure you’re comfortable paying the price.
  • Ask about reloading methods and if there are extra fees. If you need to deposit a lot of cash, look for a prepaid card that supports cash deposits and won’t charge you hefty fees each time you load money on your card.
  • Nail down your priorities when it comes to features. Consider why you’re getting a prepaid card in the first place. If you want to develop good spending habits, look for a card with budgeting capabilities. If you want a credit card alternative, consider a prepaid card that rewards you with cash back.

Prepaid card fees to watch out for

Prepaid cards are notorious for having little fees that eat into your account balance. Here are some common ones to keep in mind:

  • Monthly fees. Most prepaid debit cards have unavoidable monthly fees that are automatically deducted from your account balance.
  • Transaction fees. You may pay a fee each time you use your card or enter your pin number.
  • Activation fees. Some prepaid cards have one-time purchase or activation fees attached to them.
  • Withdrawal fees. Some prepaid cards come with a large network of free ATMs while others charge you each time you withdraw money.
  • Reload fees. Direct deposits are typically free, but you may pay a small fee if you reload cash at an ATM or retail location.
  • Inactivity fees. You may pay a penalty fee if you don’t use your card for a set period of time.
  • Additional card fees. Your first card is typically free, but you may pay a fee for additional cards.
  • Foreign transaction fees. You could pay a small percentage fee if you use your prepaid card overseas.

What are prepaid cards?

Prepaid cards are an alternative to credit and debit cards. You load money onto the card whenever you want. Then, you use it to pay bills and make purchases.

The difference is, you can’t overspend with a prepaid card. Your transaction is automatically declined if you try to make a purchase that would bring your account balance below $0. Because of this, prepaid cards are a great way to curb overspending and avoid overdraft fees or credit card interest.

What are some prepaid card alternatives?

If a prepaid card is not right for you, consider these alternatives:

  • Checking accounts. While a checking account may come with a monthly fee, you can usually get around it easily by meeting certain deposit or balance requirements. You’ll get an account where you can make direct deposits, plus a debit card to use for your spending needs.
  • Digital bank accounts. Some digital bank accounts give you the option of having a digital and physical debit card. You’ll have the spending flexibility of a checking account, plus your account may come with budgeting and savings options, to help you grow your money.

Bottom line

Prepaid debit cards are a great way to manage your finances, avoid debt and develop good spending habits. As always, compare prepaid debit card options and weigh the pros and cons of each until you find the right one for you.

Compare even more prepaid cards

Use the table below to compare prepaid cards by monthly fees, ATM fees and features. Want to compare multiple cards at once? Click the “Compare” box to explore your top picks side-by-side.

Name Product ATM withdrawal Monthly Fee Features
Greenlight
$0
$4.99
  • Allowance payouts
  • Usage notifications
  • Parent-paid interest
Greenlight is the prepaid debit card for kids that parents manage from their phones with flexible parental controls.
BusyKid
$0
  • High load limits
  • Invest in real stock
  • Donations to 20+ charities
Link your child's BusyKid account to a prepaid card to help teach invisible money management. The base app has no fee, but you'll pay an additional $7.99 annually for each spend card
ACE Flare Account
$2.50
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit) $9.95
  • Earn interest on your Flare Account
  • Optional Debit Card Overdraft Service
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster with Direct Deposit
Withdraw up to $400 in cash per day without a fee at participating ACE locations when you have qualifying Direct Deposit activity.
FamZoo
$0
$5.99
  • Free trial
  • Real-time requests
  • Parent-paid interest
Teach your children good money habits with this comprehensive prepaid card and account.
Brinks Prepaid Mastercard
$2.50
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit, or $0 with pay-as-you-go)
  • Mobile app
  • Direct deposit
  • Payback rewards
No credit check. No minimum balance. No late fees because this is not a credit card.
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