Brinks Prepaid Mastercard review
The Brinks Prepaid Mastercard gives you cash back on select purchases and early access to direct deposits and government benefits. But as with most prepaid cards, you’ll need to watch out for a lengthy list of potential fees.
- 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 want a card with fewer fees.
Up to $9.95
Signature transaction fee
PIN transaction fee
|Monthly fee (pay-as-you-go plan)||$0|
|Monthly fee with a direct deposit||$5|
|Signature transaction fee||$0|
|Signature transaction fee (pay-as-you-go plan)||$1.50|
|PIN transaction fee||$0|
|PIN transaction fee (pay-as-you-go plan)||$1.50|
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The Dallas Morning News, 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 Mastercard is a prepaid card designed for day-to-day purchases. It’s ideal for those who want early access to paychecks or government benefits or the ability to load funds in-person at more than 130,000 Netspend Reload Network locations in the US.
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. Regardless, you’ll pay $2.50 each time you withdraw cash from a domestic ATM. Given this card’s many fees, you may be better off with a debit card.
Brinks Prepaid Mastercard benefits
The Brinks Prepaid Mastercard has a free mobile app that lets you check your account balance, transfer funds and find reload locations. It also requires no credit check and offers the following benefits:
- No account opening fee. You won’t pay any fees to open this account or activate your card, 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.
- Open a savings account. Open a Brinks savings account to earn up to 5.00% APY on the first $1,000 in your account and 0.5% on your remaining balance.
- Rewards. You’ll receive cash back rewards for using your Brinks Prepaid Mastercard at select merchants, and if you refer a new user who funds their card with at least $40, you both receive $20.
- No international ATM fees. You won’t pay anything to withdraw funds at an ATM overseas, but there’s still a 4% foreign transaction fee.
What to watch out for
The Brinks Prepaid Mastercard has these drawbacks:
- Not open to Vermont residents. If you live in Vermont, you’re not eligible for the Brinks Prepaid Mastercard.
- Expensive foreign transaction fee. You’ll typically pay around 3% for foreign transactions, but the Brinks Mastercard charges a 4% fee.
- Not a credit card. This Mastercard is a prepaid card, so it won’t improve your credit and you’ll need to load money onto the card before using it.
- Loads of fees. Like most prepaid cards, fees add up if you’re not careful. Check the fee table before applying.
|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||$1.50||Included in plan||Included in plan|
|PIN purchase transaction fee||$1.50||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||4%||4%||4%|
View a full list of fees in the Brinks Prepaid Mastercard’s terms and conditions.
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
How to sign up for the Brinks prepaid Mastercard
Sign up online using these steps:
- Visit the Brinks Prepaid Mastercard website and click Get A Card.
- Enter your personal information, including your name and address.
- Select your direct deposit methods.
- Choose your card design.
- Click Get My Card to submit your application.
You’ll typically receive a decision on your application right away. If approved, you’ll receive your card within 10 business days.
This card is open to anyone in the US except for Vermont residents. You must be at least 18 years old and have a valid Social Security to apply.
- Full name and email address
- Home address
- Date of birth
- Government-issued ID number
There are several ways to add or reload money to your Brinks Prepaid Mastercard. You can add money through a tax refund, mobile check upload, a wire transfer and more:
|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|
|Over-the-counter cash withdrawal fee (financial institution)||$3|
|Over-the-counter cash withdrawal fee (NetSpend Reload Network)||Varies by location|
|ATM cash withdrawal fee (domestic)||$2.50|
|ATM cash withdrawal fee (international)||$0|
|ATM transaction decline fee (domestic and international)||$1|
I got my Brinks Prepaid Mastercard. Now what?
Once you get your card in the mail, here’s how to make the most of it:
- 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.