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H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard Review

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Get your tax return without a bank account, but beware of inactivity fees.

The H&R Block Emerald card is a great option for anyone who already files their taxes with H&R Block and wants a convenient way to receive their tax refund. But as with most prepaid cards, there’s a lengthy list of fees to watch out for.

  • Get this card if you want to receive your tax return on a prepaid card.
  • Choose another card if you primarily make cash deposits or don’t want to use H&R Block’s tax services.

$0

Monthly maintenance fee

$0

Signature transaction fee

$0

PIN transaction fee

Details

Card typeDebit
Card networkMastercard
Monthly fee$0
Signature transaction fee$0
PIN transaction fee$0

Expert review

Rhys Subitch

Review by


Rhys Subitch is a writer and editor at Finder who tackles topics across the site. With half a decade of experience researching, editing and writing for a Fortune 500 company, university and several independent publications, Rhys brings readers the most up-to-date and curated info on all things finance.

Expert review

The H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Card is best for current H&R Block customers who don’t want to receive their tax return via bank deposit. It offers a mobile app, bill pay, no overdraft fees and more. Plus, you can keep using the card even after you’ve spent your refund.

But you’ll want to watch out for fees that can eat into your cash. If you already have an existing bank account and don’t mind waiting to receive your refund, a traditional bank account may be a better option.

How do I get the H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard?

You can only get the H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard at an H&R Block location or online when you’re using H&R’s software to prepare your taxes. To find your nearest H&R Block:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From the H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard website, select Find an office.
  3. Enter your ZIP code and select Go.

Eligibility

To register your H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard,
you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Have a driver’s license or state ID

Required information

Have the following ready before you register your card online:

  • Full name
  • Residential address
  • Date of birth

How long will it take to get my card?

Your card should arrive in the mail within seven to 10 business days of account approval.

What you’ll like about the H&R Block Emerald card

You can use the H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard long after tax season ends. As with most prepaid cards, it has features like a convenient mobile app that lets you e-deposit checks, find a reload location and manage your account, no overdraft fees and these extra perks:

  • Bill pay. Sign up for H&R Block’s bill pay service to manage your payments in one location. Fees may apply.
  • Receive payments easily. Sign up for direct deposit with your employer or get your government benefits paid to your card.
  • Transfer money. If you have a checking account you’d like to link, you can move funds to and from your card without H&R Block charging a fee.
  • In-store cash withdrawals. You can typically withdrawal cash without paying a fee when you request cash back while making a purchase in a store.

What to watch out for

The H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard has a few drawbacks that you should consider:

  • Limited signup options. You can only sign up for the card at an H&R Block location or as an option for your tax return while filing.
  • Load limits. You’re limited to loading $1,000 per day. If you get paid for a gig in cash, you may have to break up your deposits.
  • Account closure. If your card is inactive for a number of months and its balance falls to $0 by the inactivity fee, it may be closed.
  • Regular fees. You may pay several fees for regular actions, including cash and check reloads and ATM withdrawals. See the table for a breakdown of fees.

If you want a prepaid card with minimal to no fees, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when choosing a prepaid card.

H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard fees

FeeCost
Cash reloadUp to $4.95
Expedited check to cardUp to 4% of the amount deposited
Bill payment$0.95
Expedited bill payment delivery — electronic$2
Expedited bill payment delivery — check$15
Over the counter withdrawal — financial institution$35
ATM withdrawal$3
ATM balance inquiry$1.50
ATM decline$1.50
Inactivity$4.95
Expedited delivery for replacement card$35

Compare with other prepaid cards

Name Product Annual or monthly fee ATM withdrawal Features
ACE Flare Account
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit)
$2.50
  • 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.
Brinks Prepaid Mastercard
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit, or $0 with pay-as-you-go)
$2.50
  • Mobile app
  • Direct deposit
  • Payback rewards
No credit check. No minimum balance. No late fees because this is not a credit card.
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard
$4.95 per month
$1.95
  • Manage money on the fly
  • Receive special offers and cash back rewards
  • Get your state and federal tax refund faster than a paper check
Use the no-cost direct deposit service and have access your funds up to two days faster than what traditional banks offer.
NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit, or $0 with pay-as-you-go)
$2.50
  • No transaction fees
  • $5 per month with a $500+ direct deposit
  • Trusted by more than 7 million people
With Netspend, you get a convenient way to manage your money on a prepaid card that is packed with features.
Netspend Prepaid Mastercard, WWE partner
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit, or $0 with pay-as-you-go)
$2.50
  • No activation fee
  • Payback rewards
  • No minimum balance required
No credit check, mobile check load, and now a WWE partner
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

How can I reload my H&R Block Emerald card?

Your funding options include:

  • Cash. Visit a retail partner to load your card using cash for a fee of up to $4.95.
  • Direct deposit. Receive pay from your employer or government benefits directly to your card.
  • Check. Deposit checks using the mobile app.
  • Bank transfer. Link your bank account and make recurring or one-off deposits.

I got my H&R Block Emerald card. Now what?

Take full advantage of the features of your new card to get the most out of it.

  • Register for an Emerald Online account. Once you’ve signed up, you can log in to the mobile app to manage your card, check your balance, deposit checks and more.
  • Utilize direct deposit. Get your paycheck or government benefits without having to pay a check-cashing fee when you receive them on your card.
  • Contact customer service. Customer service is available year round, 24/7. Call 866-353-1266 with any questions.

Frequently asked questions

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4 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Megan
    March 3, 2020

    Can you use zelle to transfer money from your emerald account to bank account

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangco
      March 5, 2020

      Hi Megan,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are doing well.

      To answer your question if Zelle can be used to transfer money to an Emerald account, as per checking Emerald, you can only link a checking account directly to your Card Account to easily load funds. Given this, while Zelle is a money transfer service, it is not applicable to use Zelle to transfer money to an H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard.

      Note also that there are certain restrictions in transferring funds so check the terms and conditions that apply to this.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    Tisha
    December 19, 2019

    How do I find the atm that are free

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangco
      December 20, 2019

      Hi Tisha,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are doing well. As of this time, all ATM withdrawals charge a $3 fee when you withdraw from your H & R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard. It can be used to withdraw cash at any ATM that displays a Mastercard, Maestro, or Cirrus brand mark. Please note that some ATM owners assess a surcharge for use of their ATM. The surcharge is in addition to the $3.00 per withdrawal fee assessed by Axos Bank® for ATM withdrawals. Consult your Emerald Card Cardholder Agreement for more information.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

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