NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card review September 2018 |

Review: Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card September 2018

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If you have bad or no credit, the NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card could be a helpful solution — and you don’t need a credit check.

With the NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card, you can deposit checks and pay bills, while gaining more control over your spending. Because the NetSpend Visa is a prepaid card, you can worry less about overspending, late fees and overwhelming credit card debt. And there’s no credit check when you sign up. Unlike many prepaid cards, the NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card includes a rewards program. It also allows you to get paychecks and government benefits checks up to two days faster with a direct deposit.

Product NameNetspend® Visa® Prepaid Card
Annual fee
Card TypeVisa
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
3.5% of transaction value
Minimum Credit ScorePoor (Below 660)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Annual fee
Additional Cardholder Fee$9.95


  • Pay bills and make purchases online
  • Use it when you can't use cash — everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted
  • Protect your money — carrying a card is safer than carrying cash


  • Fees. Watch out for potential fees that can easily accumulate as you use your card.

NetSpend was founded in 1999, and has served more than 10 million customers. It offers over 130,000 reloading locations, and funds are FDIC-insured. Cards are issued through MetaBank.

Product details

  • Direct deposit fee. No fee.
  • Cash load fee. Third-party fee varies by location.
  • Cash transfer fee. Varies — assessed by third parties or the originating bank.
  • Mobile check load fee. Fees determined by mobile check load service provider.
  • Account-to-account transfer fee. No fee for online transfers; $4.95 per transfer when initiated through an agent.
  • Balance inquiry fee. No fee for viewing your balance online, text, email or phone; $0.50 when through an agent or ATM.
  • Check request fee. $5.95 per request.
  • Additional statement mailing fee. $5.95 per statement.
  • Additional and replacement card fee. $9.95 per card.
  • Card delivery fee. Free for delivery in seven to 10 business days; $20 for three-day delivery; $25 for one–two day delivery.
  • Account maintenance fee. $5.95 per month.
  • Overdraft protection service fee. $15 per overdraft occurrence, capped at three per month.
  • Bill payment fee. Varies.
  • Transaction decline fee. $1 each declined transaction.
  • Stop-payment fee for ACH debit or preauthorized payment transactions. $10 each.
  • Custom card fee. $4.95 per card.
  • ATM withdrawal fee. $2.50 per withdrawal.
  • Cash reload fee at retailers. Fee may be assessed by reload location and may vary from location to location.

What are the benefits of the NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card?

  • Easy loading.
    Load money onto your card through direct deposit, e-check deposit or convenient reload locations at grocery stores and gas stations. You can even receive money from family or friends.
  • Control your finances.
    Manage your budget online and set up a purchase cushion that covers $10 if you’re ever short on a purchase.
  • Mobile app.
    See your account balance, transaction information and more from your phone.
  • Cash-back rewards.
    Earn cash and special offers while using your card, as well as additional rewards for referring friends.
  • Savings account.
    Set up a high-yield savings account that earns 5% APY on balances of $1,000 or more.

What to watch out for

  • Fees.
    Watch out for potential fees that can easily accumulate as you use your card.
  • Privacy policy.
    Depending on the product or service you use, MetaBank collects and shares information like your Social Security number, account transactions, balances, purchase and payment history — even after you’re no longer a customer.
  • Upfront card cost.
    If you buy the card at Walmart, CVS or other locations, you’ll pay $4.95. However, you can get it free online.
  • Inactivity penalty.
    If you don’t use the card for at least 90 days, you’ll pay a $5.95 inactivity fee.

Am I eligible for this card?

There’s no credit check required, so you can apply with poor credit. But you must be at least 18 years old and able to prove your identity. The card is available in all states except for Vermont.

What information do I need to apply?

To sign up for the card you’ll need to provide:

  • Your full name and contact information, including an email address.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your bank information for direct deposit, including your routing and account numbers.
  • Government-issued ID, such as your driver’s license or passport.

How do I apply for the NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card?

Applying for the NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card is quick and simple:

  1. Visit NetSpend’s website.
  2. Enter your name, contact information and ID number.
  3. Choose your direct deposit method.
  4. Choose your card’s color and design.
  5. Agree to the terms and conditions.

Once approved, you’ll receive your card in a few weeks. You’ll need to activate your card, but you can begin using it immediately after.

Compare other prepaid cards

Rates last updated September 21st, 2018
Name Product Product Description Monthly Service Fee ATM Withdrawal Fee ATM Balance Inquiry Fee
Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card
With Netspend®, you get a convenient way to manage your money on a prepaid card that is packed with features.
Pink Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card
Trusted by more than 7 million people.
AccountNow® Prepaid Visa Card
The AccountNow Prepaid Visa Card gives you quick access to your money, and is a convenient alternative to traditional bank accounts.
AccountNow® Gold Visa® Prepaid Card
The AccountNow Gold Visa Prepaid Card is a debit card that allows cardholders the convenience of direct deposit without having to open a checking account.

Compare up to 4 providers

I got the credit card. Now what?

Once you sign up for a card, you’ll need to choose your fee plan from NetSpend’s three offerings:

Pay-As-You-Go Plan.With this plan, expect to pay around $1 to $2 per transaction. There’s no monthly fee.
FeeAdvantage Plan.This plan will set you back $9.95 a month in fees. General transaction fees are included in the monthly price.
NetSpend Premier FeeAdvantage Plan.Expect to pay a $5 monthly plan fee, with general transaction fees included in the price each month.

All of the plans have a foreign transaction surcharge of 3.5% of each purchase amount.

Ways to add money to your NetSpend card

Add money to your account through:

  • Direct deposit.
  • NetSpend reload network locations.
  • Bank transfers.
  • PayPal.
  • Transfers between NetSpend card accounts.
  • Tax refunds.


If you’re looking for a credit card but don’t have stellar credit, the NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card is a viable option. Though the card has a lengthy list of potential fees to watch out for, it does offers a great promotional savings interest rate and a bonus rewards program.

Before you apply, learn more about other prepaid cards you could be eligible for.

Frequently asked questions

Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

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