Brinks Prepaid Mastercard review
- Get this card if… you’re looking to more quickly access your paycheck or want to load your card through NetSpend Reload locations.
- Pick something else if…you don’t want to pay a monthly fee.
Monthly fee with a direct deposit
Signature transaction fee
PIN transaction fee
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
The Brinks Prepaid Mastercard may be a good choice if you’re looking for fast direct deposits or you like the convenience that comes with loading your card in person at NetSpend Reload locations. The prepaid card offers cashback rewards and the ability to earn up to 5.00% APY if you open a Brinks savings account.
But given this card’s many fees, you may be better off with a debit card.
The Brinks Mastercard is a prepaid card you can use for day-to-day purchases. This prepaid card can be most useful if:
- You want access to your paycheck or government benefits more quickly.
Access your funds up to two days faster than you would with direct deposit through a bank.
- You want the convenience of reloading the card in person.
You’ll find more than 130,000 NetSpend Reload Network locations in the United States.
Unfortunately, the card comes with a rather long fee table. If you choose the entry-level Pay-As-You-Go plan, you’ll encounter a fee each time you use your card. If you choose the higher-tier plans, you’ll pay a monthly fee to maintain your card. All plans charge a $2.50 fee each time you withdraw cash from a domestic ATM.
That said, you may be better off with a debit card from a bank. Find one that doesn’t charge a monthly fee and allows you to withdraw money for free.
Another way to avoid the $5 fee
To access your paycheck faster, consider the free Earnin app (formerly called Activehours). Earnin lets you upload your timesheet and receive up to $100 in your bank account quickly — with few catches.
|Pay-As-You-Go||Monthly Fee||Preferred Fee|
|Account opening fee||None||None||None|
|Plan fee||None||$9.95 a month||$5 a month|
|Signature purchase transaction fee||$1||Included in plan||Included in plan|
|PIN purchase transaction fee||$2||Included in plan||Included in plan|
|Balance inquiry fee||$0 by text message or Online Account Center; $0.50 by phone or ATM||$0 by text message or Online Account Center; $0.50 by phone or ATM||$0 by text message or Online Account Center; $0.50 by phone or ATM|
|Account inactivity fee||$5.95 a month||$5.95 a month (replaces plan fee)||$5.95 a month (replaces plan fee)|
|Foreign transaction fee||3.5%||3.5%||3.5%|
|Over-the-counter cash withdrawal fee (financial institution)||$2.50|
|Over-the-counter cash withdrawal fee (NetSpend Reload Network)||Varies by location|
|ATM cash withdrawal fee (domestic)||$2.50|
|ATM cash withdrawal fee (international)||$4.95|
|ATM transaction decline fee (domestic and international)||$1|
|Direct deposit fee||None|
|Adding money at NetSpend Reload Network location||Varies by location|
|Bank transfer fee||Varies by bank|
|Account-to-account transfer fee (website)||None|
|Account-to-Account transfer fee (through customer service agent)||$4.95|
View a full list of fees in the Brinks Prepaid Mastercard’s terms and conditions.
- No account opening fee.
The card comes with no activation fee, unlike many other prepaid cards.
- Faster access to deposits.
When you deposit your paycheck or government benefits directly to your card, you can access the funds up to two days faster than direct deposit to a bank account.
You’ll also like …
- A free mobile app.
Check your account balance, find reload locations and more.
- Open a savings account.
Open a Brinks savings account to earn up to 5.00% APY.
- Refer a friend.
If you refer a new user who funds their card with at least $40, you both receive $20.
- Cash back.
At some merchants, you’ll receive cash back rewards for using your Brinks Prepaid Mastercard.
What to watch out for
- Not a credit card.
This Mastercard is a prepaid card. You’ll need to load money onto the card before using it.
- Loads of fees.
The prepaid card charges nickel-and-dime fees at every turn. Check the fee table before applying.
If you want a prepaid card that had zero to minimal fees, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when considering a prepaid card.
Compare with other prepaid cards
What should I know before I apply?
There’s not much you need to know about applying. But always consider your options and your financial situation before you begin using a prepaid card.
Information you’ll need
- Full name and contact information
- Home address
How to apply for the Brinks Prepaid Mastercard
- Visit the Brinks Prepaid Mastercard website and click Sign Up Now.
- Complete the application with information like your name, address and contact information. Then click Get My Card to submit your application.
How long will it take to be approved?
You’ll typically receive a decision on your application right away. If approved, you’ll receive your card within 10 business days.
I got the card. Now what?
- Avoid fees. Reference the fee table to understand the fees you could be charged.
- Customer service. If you have questions, contact customer support at 877-849-3249.