MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card Review: Is It Worth It?

Banking
Updated: 6th Jul 2021
Written by Jordan Blansit
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Banking
July 6, 2021
Written by Jordan Blansit

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The MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card is a debit card designed for the modern age. This unique, next-generation Mastercard ties together online and in-store payment options without the need for a traditional bank account.

In fact, the system is fashioned top-to-bottom as a prepaid e-wallet alternative to traditional prepaid cards – though you can still request a contactless, EMV-chip enabled plastic card should you need one.

MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Multiple contactless payment options
  • Can generate safe, single-use or purpose-designated virtual card numbers
  • No monthly or balance reload fees
  • No maximum balance limits

Cons:

  • A plethora of potential fees
  • Must request (and pay for) physical card
  • $500 ATM withdrawal limit per day
  • Cryptocurrency abilities on hold

What is the MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card?

The MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card is a twist on the everyday prepaid debit card. Instead of focusing on the physical card and reload options, with MOVO, it’s all about the Cash app and contactless payments.

From the MOVO Cash app, you can deposit funds, pay your bills, make online purchases, and generate virtual cards.

The service charges no monthly fees to use your card – though there is a $4.95 inactivity fee.

And best of all, it runs on the Mastercard network, so you get all the protections of a Mastercard debit card.

How Does the MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card Work?

The only way to get a MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card is to apply on the MOVO Cash app.

You can download it directly from the App Store on iPhone or Google Play store on Android, or you can use the redirect links on their website. Note that your device must be capable of running iOS 9.0/Android 4.1 or later.

Once you have the app, it’s just a matter of providing some basic information, including your phone number, date of birth, and Social Security Number.

If approved, you’ll be able to access and use your card in just minutes – there’s no need to wait for a physical card to arrive!

Though you have to fund a minimum of $20 to the card before you can go on your first shopping spree.

You can spend money by:

  • Activating your digital card for online use
  • Adding your MOVO card to Apple Pay or Samsung Pay wallets
  • Generating one-time or purpose-driven virtual “CASH cards”
  • Waiting for your physical card

Unusually, MOVO doesn’t send you a physical card automatically. If you want one, you’ll have to request it in the app for a healthy fee of $5.95.

And if you know you’ll need one soon – say, to make ATM cash withdrawals – it’s best to order it sooner rather than later, as they can take 1-2 weeks to arrive via snail mail.

MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card Features and Benefits

As a primarily digital prepaid card, MOVO comes with a unique set of benefits – plus a few standard options.

No Monthly Fees

Unlike some of its contemporaries, the MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card comes with no monthly fees so long as you use it.

Otherwise, you’ll incur a $4.95 inactivity fee after 90 days with no transaction. This card also comes with zero:

  • Activation fees
  • Account registration fees
  • Reload fees of any kind
  • Bill pay fees
  • “Fast Fund” fees for transfers to PayPal, Venmo, Apple, or others
  • Domestic PIN or signature debit purchase fees

Easily Set Up Direct Deposit

With MOVO, it’s easy to set up direct deposit with your employer or government benefits agency.

All you have to do is provide your account information like you would with a traditional bank account!

Manage Card Activity from the App

MOVO is all about their flagship Cash app. In fact, it’s such an integral part of the MOVO system that you can’t even order your card without downloading the app first.

And once you have it, you’ll see why it’s so important: it’s the backbone of the MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card.

From this full-service app, you can:

  • Set up bank transfers
  • Fund your account
  • Track spending and cash flow
  • Set up account and spending alerts
  • Pay your bills at over 8,000 billers with MOVO eCheckbook
  • View the transaction history on your primary and CASH cards
  • Transfer money to a variety of digital payment vendors
  • Lock and unlock your phone and the card

Create Virtual Cards

One unusual feature of the MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card is the CASH card. These are virtual cards with unique numbers that let you spend money online or over the phone without giving out your account number.

CASH cards are distinctive because you can generate them for one-time or purpose-driven uses.

For each card, you can change the name and reason for use – for instance, paying for Amazon purchases – load the exact payment amount, and give the 16-digit number to the relevant vendor.

CASH cards provide a way to manage purchases without being overdrafted, double-charged, or sucked into a subscription after that free trial you forgot about expires.

In other words, you can protect your main account for unnecessary risk while enjoying the luxuries of capitalism.

And because you can generate up to 100 CASH cards per account, you’ll never run out of ways to segment your finances.

Plus, each virtual card is easily managed, loaded, and reloaded via the MOVO digital wallet’s nifty in-app ledger.

That said, MOVO does charge $2.95 for each CASH card you generate – so spend wisely!

Person-to-Person Transfer

Another cool feature of the MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card is their fast, private person-to-person transfer system. For just $0.50, you can send cash to anyone via a mobile phone number or email.

All that’s required is for both parties to have an active MOVO account. But don’t worry – if you send cash to someone who doesn’t, your money will be returned in three days.

Transfer Bitcoin

A long, long time ago – we’re talking way back in 2019 – MOVO used to act as a Bitcoin transfer portal.

You could send and receive Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash to anyone with a cryptocurrency account, making it one of the only “traditional” card portals for novel digital currencies around.

Unfortunately, MOVO has since suspended their Bitcoin compatibility, though their website notes that a cryptocurrency portal is underway.

Until then, all mention of their infamous crypto transfers have been scrubbed from their website and app.

MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card Fees Explained

The MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card may not come with any annual, reload, or Fast Cash fees – but it’s not without its charges. In fact, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to rack up the fees in a hurry.

If you order a physical card, the first charge you’ll encounter is the $5.95 fee for making and shipping your EMV-enabled card.

After that, one of the most common – but avoidable – fees is the $2.95 per virtual CASH card generated.

Moreover, MOVO also charges a $2.95 annual renewal fee on every CASH card you keep.

The rest of MOVO’s fees can be broken down into two types: domestic fees and international fees.

Within the United States, MOVO charges:

  • $0.50 to move money from your CASH cards to your primary card
  • $0.50 for person-to-person transactions
  • $1 per additional mailed statement requested per month
  • $2 per bank teller withdrawal
  • $2 per ACH (bank) transaction to move money from MOVO to your bank account
  • $2 + operator surcharges per ATM withdrawal
  • $4.95 per month after 90 days without use
  • $10 ACH insufficient fund and return fees
  • $15 per ACH decline

Outside the United States, MOVO charges:

  • 3% on all international transactions
  • $2 + 3% + operator surcharges per ATM withdrawal
  • $2 per bank teller withdrawal
  • $0.50 per ATM decline
  • $0.50 +3% for both PIN and signature debit transactions

How Does the MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card Compare?

#1. MOVO® Prepaid Visa Card vs Netspend Prepaid Visa Card

MOVO has its fair share of fees – but it’s nothing compared to Netspend®, one of the costliest prepaid debit cards on the market.

Netspend®, users have to decide between a pay-per-transaction model or monthly charge of $9.95.

Plus, there’s no free network for reloads, a $15,000 card limit, and inactivity fees if you quit using your card.

That said, Netspend® is one of a few prepaid cards that offers an interest-bearing savings account. Currently, it carries a healthy 5% APY on balances up to $1,000.

#2. Greenlight Debit Cards vs MOVO® Prepaid Visa Card

Greenlight debit cards are a kid-friendly option for parents who want to keep an eye on when, where, and how much their kids spend.

The card is relatively cheap at just $4.99 for up to five kids, though it offers no cashback, interest, or bonuses.

That said, higher tiered plans come with additional perks such as kid-friendly investing accounts.

#3. Western Union® Netspend® Prepaid Mastercard vs MOVO® Prepaid Visa Card

The Western Union Prepaid Mastercard® is another expensive prepaid card option with three payment plans: $9.95 per month for full benefits, $5 per month with $500 direct deposit, or $1.50 per transaction with partial benefits.

At this price, it comes with features such as direct deposit, money transfer, and free cash reload, as well as cashback rewards.

The Western Union Prepaid Mastercard® also offers a 5% APY savings account on up to $1,000 and a $10 purchase cushion.

#4. Brinks Prepaid Mastercard vs MOVO® Prepaid Visa Card

The Brinks prepaid Mastercard® debit card is also more expensive the MOVO’s prepaid card.

This option costs $9.95 per month – or $5 per month with $500 direct deposit – and includes a steep 4% foreign transaction fee and $2.50 ATM fees, as well as the potential for online bill pay charges.

That said, it, too comes with a 5% APY savings account for eligible Preferred Benefits cardmembers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Put Money on the MOVO® Cash Card?

You can fund your MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card via:

  • Direct deposit
  • PayPal
  • Visa ReadyLink
  • Bank transfer
  • Green Dot MoneyPak

You can also deposit paper checks using the third-party app Ingo, though this comes with a 1% to 5% fee.

Where Can I Use My MOVO® Cash Card?

You can use your MOVO card anywhere that accepts Visa Mastercard, including online, over the phone, and in store.

How Do I Get a MOVO® Prepaid Card?

The only way to get a MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card is to download the app on iOS or Android.

Is MOVO® Legit?

Yes! The MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card is a legitimate prepaid debit card.

Bottom Line: MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card Review

Aside from its fancy virtual CASH card and Apple/Samsung Pay integrations, the MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card doesn’t have a lot going for it.

The card comes with tons of hidden and action-based fees, no cashback or interest-bearing accounts, and is only viable with the accompanying MOVO Cash app. Plus, it’s most infamous offering – Bitcoin transfers – is on hold until further notice.

That said, the MOVO® Virtual Prepaid Visa Card offers all the functionality of a prepaid debit card in the ever-evolving world of digital payments.

If you’re into digital transfers and payments, a security-focused virtual debit card, and contactless and Tap-to-Pay technology, MOVO might be right for you.

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Jordan Blansit
Jordan Blansit
Jordan is a freelance writer with an inexplicable predilection for investing and personal finance. When she’s not click-clacketing from the comfort of her living room, you can find her (or not) craftily avoiding human contact in the California redwoods or Oregon Siskiyous with her black cat, Bean.