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ECARD prepaid card review

Make purchases almost anywhere with this globally accepted card.

With a quick application, the prepaid ECARD is accepted around the world and online. But you need at least $100 to get started and the card has a maximum balance of $10,000.

  • Get this card if you want a low-fee prepaid card that can be used for shopping at home, abroad and online.
  • Pick something else if you’re looking for a card with a solid track record, as ECARD is fairly new.
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Monthly maintenance fee


Signature transaction fee


PIN transaction fee


Card typeDebit
Card networkUnionPay
Monthly fee$0
Signature transaction fee$0
PIN transaction fee$0
Additional Card Fee$4.99

Review by

Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.

Expert review

ECARD is a versatile prepaid card that you can use online and internationally. It works like a debit card and has low transaction fees, but be aware of other potential miscellaneous fees that can quickly add up depending on how you use the account.

How do I open an ECARD account?

Sign up for ECARD online, at the New York storefront location or through ECARD partner travel agencies. To sign up online, follow the steps below:

  1. Select Apply now.
  2. From the ECARD website, enter your email address and click Apply Now.
  3. Read through the fee schedule and click OK.
  4. Enter your personal information, including your name, date of birth and residential address and click Continue.
  5. Verify your phone number, upload photo ID and proof of address, then click Next.
  6. Review all information, then click Confirm.
  7. Once your application is complete, you should hear back within 24 to 48 hours.


To get approved for ECARD, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Phone number to verify your application
  • Valid Social Security number
  • Valid passport or state-issued ID
  • $100 initial deposit

Required information

During the application, you’ll be required to provide the following information:

  • Name, address, phone number and email
  • Social Security number
  • Occupation
  • Proof of address
  • Photo of ID

Funding options

To fund your ECARD, download the mobile app and link your bank account. From there, you can make transfers to and from the card.

How long will it take to get my prepaid ECARD?

If your application is approved, it should take between five to 10 business days to receive your card.

What you’ll like about the prepaid ECARD

Similar to most prepaid cards, ECARD has a quick application process and a user-friendly mobile app that helps you budget and spend safely, along with other benefits:

    • No monthly or transaction fee. Unlike other prepaid cards, ECARD doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee and you won’t pay any per-transaction fees when you use your card in the US.
  • Supports multiple cards. Get one card for yourself and up to two additional cards for family members who are at least 13 years old. The primary card is free, but additional cards cost $4.99 each.
  • International ATM network. Withdraw cash for free at any NYCE or SUM ATM across the globe.
  • Shop anywhere. Use ECARD online and in over 170 countries.
  • Rewards program. Earn benefits, discounts, cash back and more at participating ECARD and UnionPay merchants.
  • Security features. ECARD is issued by the FDIC-insured Global Bank. It allows you to set up notifications that tell you when your card is used and lets you block the card if it’s lost or stolen.

What to watch out for

Keep an eye out for these potential drawbacks:

  • Balance requirements. Your initial deposit must be at least $100 — and you can’t keep more than $10,000 on your card at a time.
  • Miscellaneous fees. There’s a $5 fee for teller-assisted withdrawals, a 1.49% conversion fee when using the card through the UnionPay Network. Plus, a $15 fee for denied transactions from your bank to your card, and $1 if your card is denied at an out-of-network ATM.
  • Bill pay processing time. Bill pay funds will be removed from your card immediately but won’t reach the recipient for two to seven business days. Any bill pay initiated after 11 p.m. PST (2 a.m. EST) will be processed the next business day.

Not sure if this card lines up with how you need to manage your money? Our guide to prepaid cards has even more providers for you to compare and tips for finding the best one for your financial situation.

Compare with other prepaid cards

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Netspend Prepaid Mastercard, WWE partner
Netspend Prepaid Mastercard, WWE partner
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit, or $0 with pay-as-you-go)
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Control Prepaid Mastercard
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$3.99 per month
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The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Card gives your kids the freedom to spend anywhere Visa® is accepted, and parents see every transaction made.
Netspend All-Access Account by MetaBank
 Netspend All-Access Account by MetaBank
$5 per month
  • Earn cash back on everyday purchases
  • Earn up to 6% APY with an optional Savings Account
  • Receive your paycheck up to 2 days earlier with Direct Deposit
With Netspend All-Access Account by MetaBank there's no credit check and no minimum balance to open an account.
PlayCard Prepaid Mastercard
PlayCard Prepaid Mastercard
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PayPal Prepaid Mastercard
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard
$4.95 per month
  • 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
NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit, or $0 with pay-as-you-go)
  • No transaction fees
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  • 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.
Flare Account
Flare Account
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit)
  • 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.

Compare up to 4 providers

I got the card. Now what?

Once you’ve received your ECARD, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of it:

  • Activate your card. Visit the ECARD website to register and activate your card.
  • Log in or download the mobile app. This allows you to attach a bank account to fund your card and provides access to all account features.
  • Fund your card. Deposit at least $100 onto your ECARD to start using it.
  • Use the UnionPay Network. You won’t be charged any transaction fees when you use the UnionPay Network, so try to use these ATMs if possible.
  • Shop at partners to earn rewards. Explore the list of ECARD merchants and partners to find out where you can get discounts, cash back and more.
  • Take advantage of all of the features. Log in or open the mobile app to perform functions such as adding other users to your account and setting up bill pay.

Frequently asked questions

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