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Western Union NetSpend Prepaid Mastercard Review

  • Get this card if… you’re looking to receive Western Union transfers more quickly.
  • Pick something else if…you don’t want to pay a monthly fee for a debit card.
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Up to $9.95

Monthly maintenance fee

From $0

Signature transaction fee

From $0

PIN transaction fee


Card typeDebit
Card networkMastercard
Monthly fee$9.95
Monthly fee (pay-as-you-go plan)$0
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
Additional Card Fee$3.95

Review by

Kevin Joey Chen was a credit cards, banking and investments writer for Finder. His work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report,, Lifehacker and

Expert review

If you receive Western Union transfers and are willing to put up with pesky fees, the NetSpend Prepaid Mastercard may be for you. It lets you automatically deposit your paychecks and quickly receive Western Union transfers.

But the card is loaded with fees that you’ll want to look out for.

How much does the Western Union Netspend Prepaid card cost?

You won’t pay a dime to open your account, but you might pay a monthly fee depending on which plan you open. Use this table to see which fees to expect with your Netspend card:

Pay-As-You-GoMonthly FeeAdvantagePremier FeeAdvantage
Account opening fee$0$0$0
Monthly plan feeNone$9.95$5
Signature purchase transaction fee$1.50Included in planIncluded in plan
PIN purchase transaction fee$1.50Included in planIncluded in plan
US ATM/bank cash withdrawal fee$2.50$2.50$2.50
Balance inquiry fee$0 by text message; $0.50 by phone or ATM$0 by text message; $0.50 by phone or ATMNone
Account inactivity fee$5.95 a month$5.95 a month$5.95 a month
Foreign transaction fee4%4%4%

View a full list of fees in the Western Union Netspend Prepaid Mastercard terms and conditions.

How do I open a Western Union Netspend Prepaid Mastercard account?

Apply for an account in three steps:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From the Western Union NetSpend Prepaid website, complete the on-screen application with details like your name, address and direct deposit information.
  3. Choose a card design, review the Cardholder Agreement and then choose Get My Card to submit your application.


If you live in Vermont, you’re ineligible for the WU NetSpend Prepaid Mastercard. Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a prepaid card.

Required information

Keep the following information handy when applying for the card:

  • Full name and contact information
  • Date of birth
  • Government ID number, if you’re looking to deposit government benefits checks

How long will it take to be approved?

You’ll typically receive a decision on your application right away. After you’re approved, your card arrives in the mail within seven business days.

The basics

The Western Union Netspend Prepaid Mastercard lets you receive Western Union money transfers within minutes — a big plus if you’re used to picking up cash from Western Union locations or waiting for bank account deposits.

But the card comes with a rather long fee table. You’ll pay $2.50 for each ATM withdrawal. Plus, a per-transaction or monthly fee depending on which plan you choose.

If you’re not into monthly or ATM fees, you may be better off with a debit card from a bank.

What’s great about the WU NetSpend Prepaid Mastercard?

If you’re in the market for a prepaid card, you may like these noteworthy features:

  • 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 you would with a direct deposit to a bank account.
  • Load money quickly. Set up direct deposits, receive Western Union money transfers or reload your card at more than 130,000 locations in the NetSpend Reload Network.
  • Mobile banking app. The NetSpend Prepaid Mobile Banking app lets you upload checks, send money and receive Western Union transfers — all from your mobile phone.
  • Cash back. Earn cash back when you use your WU NetSpend Prepaid Mastercard at select merchants.
  • Refer a friend. If you refer a new user who funds their card with at least $40, you and that person each receive a $20 credit.

        What to watch out for

        Although the Western Union NetSpend Prepaid Mastercard has a long list of interesting perks, you may want to watch out for the following:

        • Not open to Vermont residents. If you live in Vermont, you’re not eligible for a Western Union Netspend Prepaid Mastercard account.
        • Not a credit card. This Mastercard is a prepaid card. You’ll need to load money to 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.
        • Account inactivity fee. If your account is dormant, you’ll pay $5.95 a month.

        If you want a prepaid card with zero to minimal fees, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when looking for a prepaid card.

        Compare with other prepaid cards

        1 - 9 of 9
        Name Product Annual or monthly fee ATM withdrawal Features
        Brinks Prepaid Mastercard
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        $9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit, or $0 with pay-as-you-go)
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        No credit check. No minimum balance. No late fees because this is not a credit card.
        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)
        • No activation fee
        • Payback rewards
        • No minimum balance required
        No credit check, mobile check load, and now a WWE partner
        Control Prepaid Mastercard
        Control Prepaid Mastercard
        $7.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit)
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        No overdraft fees on card purchases. No credit check. No cost to order
        Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
        $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
        $5 per month
        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
        • $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.
        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?

        • Avoid fees. You may be assessed fees for everything from a purchase to a simple balance inquiry. Check the fee table to understand the fees you might encounter.
        • Customer service. If you have questions, contact customer support at 800-214-5483.

        How to load the Western Union Netspend card?

        There are several ways to add or reload money onto your Western Union Netspend card. These are your options, along with associated fees.

        Direct deposit feeNone
        Adding money at NetSpend Reload Network locationVaries by location
        Bank transfer feeVaries by bank
        Western Union money transfer feeFree to accept money. Fee varies for sending money.

        Frequently asked questions

        What’s the difference between a prepaid card and a debit card?

        A debit card is linked to a bank account, while a prepaid card isn’t. You need to load money onto a prepaid card before using it.

        Ask an expert

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        1. Default Gravatar
          March 12, 2019

          How do I sign up for the western union card

          • Avatarfinder Customer Care
            March 13, 2019

            Hi Javonni,

            Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

            Please see instructions below on how to apply for the Western Union NetSpend Prepaid Mastercard:

            Go to the Western Union NetSpend Prepaid website and click Get My Card.
            Complete the application with details like your name, address and direct deposit information. Choose a card design. Then click Get My Card to submit your application.

            Hope this helps!


        2. Default Gravatar
          October 30, 2018

          How long does it take for a money transfer to be available on the card?

          • Avatarfinder Customer Care
            October 30, 2018

            Hello Kevin,

            Thank you for comment.

            Western Union NetSpend Prepaid MasterCard gives you access to your money as soon as the funds are electronically deposited to your card account and that can be up to 2 days.

            Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.


        3. Default Gravatar
          October 25, 2018

          What is the limit for Mobile check load?

          • Avatarfinder Customer Care
            October 25, 2018

            Hi Heidi,

            Thanks for reaching out to finder.

            If you are referring to mobile check load service to credit funds from checks to your NetSpend card account, the limit is $2,500 per check; $5,000 per day and $10,000 per month. Also, please note that the checks must be in an amount between $5 and $2,500.

            I hope this helps.


        4. Default Gravatar
          October 7, 2018

          can i send monwy r another card

          • Default Gravatar
            October 8, 2018

            Hi Marie,

            Thanks for your inquiry and for visiting finder.

            Yes, you can send money to another Western Union NetSpend account. However, please be aware of the fees associated with this service. You can check the fee table as given above.

            Hope this helps! For any clarifications, feel free to message us again.


        5. Default Gravatar
          July 5, 2018

          Can someone put money on my western union card

          • Default Gravatar
            July 5, 2018

            Hi Karen,

            Thanks for leaving a question on our page.

            Yes, anyone can add money to your Western Union card via Direct Deposit. You can use this as your everyday expense account.

            Hope this helps.


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