Netspend Prepaid Visa Card Review

The Netspend Prepaid Card is loved by millions of Americans for its low-fees, ease, and generous rewards.
  • Annual Fee:
  • Card Limit:
  • Best For:
    Adults, Families

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Finding a prepaid visa card with high limits that also allows you to essentially treat it as a bank account, can be challenging.

Finding one that also offers prescription discounts, access to more than 130,000 loading centers, and being able to transfer from card to card is even more challenging.

Netspend offers all of that and so much more. This article will discuss what Netspend Prepaid Visa Card is, the pros and cons, as well as the features and benefits of the card.

Netspend Prepaid Card Pros and Cons


  • There is no credit check for the Netspend prepaid card.
  • There are no minimum balances on the Netspend prepaid card.
  • No activation fees.
  • You are able to earn cash back rewards, called “Payback Rewards”.
  • You can set up real-time alerts.
  • Get paid up to two days faster with direct deposits.
  • You can earn 5% APY on a Savings Account of balances up to $1,000 and 0.50% APY on amounts more than $1,000.
  • Netspend provides a mobile app so you can manage your money anywhere.
  • You can do Check deposits from within the Netspend app.
  • You can create a virtual card, so merchants do not receive any private information.
  • Higher card limits with up to $15,000.
  • Netspend has an online bill-pay feature.
  • Upgrading to Netspend Premier only takes setting up a direct deposit and having at least $500 a month in payroll or government benefits each month to qualify. Netspend Premier reduces your monthly fee to $5.00, provides a Purchase Cushion up to $10 (more on this below), and you can customize your card for no additional fee.
  • You can transfer between Netspend cards, free and instantly.
  • You and your friend earn $20 when you refer someone that funds their card with at least $40.
  • You can get a Pharmacy Savings card that saves you up to 50% on prescriptions.


  • There is a monthly fee of $9.95 which is higher than most competitors. You can reduce this to $5 by qualifying for Premier. There is also a pay-go model that is free but if you use your card more than 9 times per month, you will be better off with the $9.95 per month fee as you pay $1 per transaction on the pay-go model.
  • You will pay $2.50 for ATM usage.
  • Reloading your prepaid card will cost you $3.95.

What Is a Netspend Prepaid Visa Card?

Netspend is a reloadable prepaid Visa debit card. This means you can add money to your card, anytime, and then use it anywhere Visa is accepted.

Unlike most reloadable prepaid Visa cards, Netspend allows you to fund your card in many different ways, while also providing many added features and benefits that are discussed below.

How Do Netspend Prepaid Visa Cards Work?

You can get started with Netspend in three easy steps.

  1. Order your card
  2. Activate and Verify your ID
  3. Add Money

You can add money at more than 130,000 Netspend locations and you can find the nearest locations from within the Netspend app.

Netspend Prepaid Card Features and Benefits

  • No Credit Check Required: Netspend is a prepaid debit card, therefore there are no credit checks required so your credit score does not matter!
  • Direct Deposit Allowed: You can set up a direct deposit as one of the ways to fund your Netspend Visa Prepaid card. Doing so AND having at least $500 per month from payroll or government benefits makes you eligible for Netspend’s Premier status which has additional benefits.
  • Helpful Mobile App: Netspend provides an interactive mobile app so you can find ATMs and reloadable merchants. Within the app you can also send and receive money, deposit checks, check your balances and transaction history, and much more.
  • Purchase Cushion: One of the benefits of Premier is that you will receive a Purchase Cushion of up to $10. This means if you use your debit card and spend more than you have, up to $10, you will not incur any penalties nor decline of the transaction.
  • Mobile Check Load: You can load checks into your account as another funding method. You do this within the Netspend app. Select “Mobile Check Load” and follow the instructions.
  • Easily Send Money: You can easily send money, card to card, to anyone that has a Netspend card, as well as ACE Elite, Control, and Purpose cardholders. All you need is the other person’s name and their FlashPay ID. Furthermore, you can also send money by setting up your bank account, send/receive via Western Union using your Netspend card, linking your PayPal account, or paying your bills online by setting up your Netspend account and routing number.
  • Real-Time Alerts: You can set up alerts for just about anything with your Netspend account. Do you want to know when your paycheck is available, when you’ve hit a spending limit, or when you are near a reload location? Anytime Alerts by Netspend does this!
  • Customize Cards: When you are a Premier member, you can customize your card for no additional fee.
  • Netspend Savings Account: As a Netspend member, you have access to Netspend’s Savings Account. In the Savings Account, you earn up to 5.00% APY.

Netspend Prepaid Card Rewards

  • Payback Rewards: Payback Rewards are available to you at no extra cost. Payback Rewards is cash back that you can earn just by your using a Netspend Visa debit card. You simply activate the offer and then use your card! As you use your card more, you will receive personalized offers.
  • Refer a Friend: When you refer a friend or family member and they deposit at least $40 on their card, you both will receive a $20 bonus.

Alternatives to Netspend Prepaid Visa Cards

Here are some alternatives to the Netspend Prepaid Visa card.

#1. Chime Visa Debit Card

Chimehas a Visa debit card that is not only usable anywhere Visa is accepted but has more than 38,000 in-network ATM locations where you can withdraw money free.

You can take part in the Chime “SpotMe” program which is similar to Netspend’s $10 Cushion. However, with Chime, you get a cushion of up to $20 which can be raised to $100 overtime.

You get access to Chime’s SpotMe when you set up Direct Deposit and receive at least $500 per month via this method. Also, similar to Netspend, Chime offers a Savings Account.

>> More: Chime Bank Review

#2. Current Visa Debit Card

Current Bank has a free service, Premium Service at $4.99, and Teen Banking service at $36 per year. Depending on what level of service you are at, you can earn 1x points on every purchase as a free plan and up to 15x on Premium and Teen Banking.

Although you do not earn interest with your Current Bank Savings Account, you can set up a Savings Pod which acts as a separate account and have funds added automatically by having Current round-up purchases to the nearest dollar and adding the difference to your Savings Pod.

>> More: Current Bank Review and Current Visa Debit Card Review

#3. Greenlight Debit Cards for Kids

Greenlightis a Mastercard debit card that helps teach kids financial responsibility. Parents have a full line of controls to monitor their child using the card.

If your child is paid an allowance, Greenlight has a built-in feature that allows the parent to set up chores that can then automatically be paid when the child completes them.

Greenlight starts at $4.99 per month but does have a plan with more features at $9.98 per month such as identity theft, phone, and purchase protection.

>> More: Greenlight Debit Card Review

#4. Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard

Similar to Netspend Prepaid Visa, Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard is issued by Netspend. With Brink’s Mastercard, you need to be 18 years or older to be eligible for a card.

You will enjoy many of the same benefits with the Brink’s Mastercard as you do with Netspend, such as early access to direct deposits, real-time alerts, mobile banking, prescription discounts, purchase cushion up to $10, and payback rewards.

>> More: Brink’s Prepaid Card Review

Netspend Prepaid Card FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Netspend Prepaid Visa card.

Is the Netspend Prepaid Card Safe to Use?

Yes, Netspend Prepaid Card is safe to use. With it being a Mastercard, you are protected against fraudulent charges.

Also, your money is insured up to $250,000. You also can set up “virtual cards” which essentially hide your card information from online merchants.

Do Netspend Prepaid Visa Cards Have Fees?

Yes, Netspend Prepaid Visa card has fees, and depending on what plan you are on will depend on how much fees you pay.

If you are on the pay-go plan, you will pay $2 for every PIN transaction and $1 for Signature transactions. If you are on the monthly plan at $9.95 per month or the Premier plan of $5 per month, you will not pay for PIN transactions nor Signature transactions. All three plans do have a $0.50 ATM balance inquire, and a $3.95 Cash reload fee.

Can I Get a Netspend Card with Bad Credit?

Yes, since the Netspend card is a prepaid visa card, there are no credit checks so having bad credit is fine.

Will Using a Netspend Prepaid Visa Card Help Me Build Credit?

No, since Netspend is a Prepaid Visa debit card, there are no credit checks. While this means people with bad credit will also get approved, it unfortunately means no credit is built.

Is Netspend Legit?

Yes, Netspend is legit having been around for more than 2 decades and with over 10 million customers.

Bottom Line: Netspend Prepaid Visa Card Review

Netspend is more expensive than many cards at their pay-go and standard monthly fee of $9.95. However, if you add direct deposit, you can get Premier, which reduces the $9.95 down to $5 per month.

For just $5 a month, Netspend offers you everything but credit building! You will have access to a Savings Account, discounted Prescriptions, mobile banking, early access to direct deposit, capabilities to instantly transfer money from card to card, and much more. This makes Netspend a great option at the $5 per month Premier level.

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Brian Latchford
Brian Latchford

Brian is a serial entrepreneur that loves financial technology and personal finance. From working with start-ups to creating his own recruiting company, Brian knows first hand what it takes to manage money. Throughout his career, Brian has become a respected writer covering topics in personal finance, business, and financial technology.