5 Types of Fees to Expect with Prepaid Cash Cards

When using prepaid cash cards, there are a number of fees you can expect to encounter. These fees are nominal, designed to support the company issuing the cards. These fees include: reload fees, transaction fees, monthly maintenance fees, balance inquiry fees, and ATM fees.

Fee Type #1: Reload Fees

These fees may or may not apply, depending on the method used to reload the card. With an in-person cash reload at one of the authorized retail locations, there is usually a small fee per reload to compensate for the instant access to the funds. Fees will vary depending on the card issuer, as well as under what circumstances they apply. Consult the terms and conditions of the card agreement to find out more.

Fee Type #2: Transaction Fees

Depending on the card issuer, there may be transaction fees for as much as $1 per transaction. Some cards charge more for a transaction being ran as credit over debit. Usually, the per transaction fee can be avoided by electing to use a monthly maintenance fee instead.

Fee Type #3: Monthly Maintenance Fees

Typically speaking, the maintenance fee is not over $9.95 per month, so those who intend on using their cards for more than 10 transactions per month will save money with the monthly maintenance fee. This fee is charged instead of the per transaction fee in most cases. Consult the terms and conditions of the card to determine if this fee is applicable and if so, under what circumstances.

Fee Type #4: Balance Inquiry Fees

While checking the account balance online is usually free, some companies charge a nominal fee of around 50 cents each time customers check their balance via telephone. This fee may or may not be incurred depending on the card issuer, so it is important to take a close look at the terms and conditions of the card to determine if the fee is applicable, and if so, under what circumstances.

Fee Type #5: ATM Fees

While there is generally always a fee incurred for using an ATM at the machine level, an additional per transaction fee may be accessed on the card. For example, if the ATM used charges a $2.50 fee and your card charges a $2.00 fee, the total cost for a $20 withdraw would be $24.50. Generally speaking, it is not worth this amount of money because you should not have to pay to have access to your own funds. If you need to remove more than $20 at once, it becomes more worth the expense, but generally, it is better to pay your bills with the card and either avoids using cash all together or save some cash from reloading on the card. 

The fees incurred with each card will vary. While some card issuers will have all five of these fees, others may only have a few of them. This is why it is important to comparison shop before purchasing a card to ensure you are getting the best possible deal available.


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