Posted by Chuck on November 7, 2017
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on November 7th, 2017 | by Chuck

17

Bento for Business Prepaid Mastercard with $125 Signup Bonus Referral Program

Bento for Business Prepaid

The Bento for Business Prepaid Mastercard is an employee spending solution for businesses which allows the owner/manager strong controls over employee spending.

Many banks have certain controls on employee spending, such as the ability to limit spend, Bento goes a step further and allows users to restrict spend to a specific category. So if your employee needs a gas card, the card will only work at the gas station. You can also limit the spend amount allowed in given timeframe.

Bento has been around for 4 years and was covered on Forbes a couple of years ago. The prepaid card is issued by Community Federal Savings Bank and is FDIC insured.

As is usually the case for prepaid card, no credit check is done when signing up with Bento. They make this clear multiple times during the signup process.

There are various pricing plans depending how many employee cards you’ll need. The good news is that the first two cards are free so you can start small and try it out. They also offer a 60-day free trial even on the paid plans.

Referral Program

FAQ / Terms

Earn $125 for Signing Up

Bento has an excellent referral program with a nice bonus for both new members and existing members:

  • New members get $125 Amazon gift card

To be eligible for the bonus, the new member must do the following:

  1. Signup for a new Bento card account
  2. Transfer $2,500 into their account
  3. Make one purchase with the card within 30 days of account activation (I think that means ‘card activation’ but it’s possible they’ll start counting from the day you signed up)
  4. After making the purchase, you’ll get $125 Amazon gift card via email within 4-6 weeks

Referral Program for Members

Existing members get two bonuses when they refer friends:

  • $125 Amazon gift card which comes after 4-6 weeks
  • $500 after making 4 qualified referrals

“Program Rules: We may revise any of these terms at any time with 30 days prior written notice. In addition, we may terminate program with 30 days prior written notice. If we terminate the program, you will still receive any rewards accrued up to the termination date.”

Final Thoughts

Bento for Business looks like a robust employee spend solution, perhaps better than other banks offer. The downside is that you’ll lose out on credit card rewards when using this solution since the prepaid card is funded via electronic ACH transfer and Bento does not offer rewards are earned on purchases. For the right business, Bento could be a worthwhile option which will save you time and money dealing with unwarranted spend.

The referral bonus especially caught my eye as we don’t usually see such a large bonus for signing up for a prepaid card. Just keep in mind the $2,500 loaded to the account needs to be spent down using the card, either as a credit transaction or as a debit transaction using the PIN. You can’t just pull the funds out of the account with a routing/account number (according to the rep I chatted with). The $125 is a nice starter bonus for someone considering using the Bento system.

Hat tip to Maximizingmoney



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Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

I wonder if the card will work to buy a money order at Walmart…

Joe S
Joe S

hmm…

dan
dan

chuck, if no ACH, do bills pay & MO purchase ok? do u happen to know what the max load per day/month? did the bank close or shutdown accts in the past for excessive trans?

bob
bob

i assume you can’t use it to pay a BoA/Citi/CapOne bill, right? i mean, if the purchases are category-restricted…

DH7
DH7

FAQ seems to imply that business owner can withdraw $500/day via ATM

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

I downloaded their “How to Stop Expense Leaks” booklet. The concept seems interesting, but I do take issue with a few things noted in the section (page 13) where they are downplaying business credit cards in favor of their card.

Examples:

1. Employee could access your entire credit line. Well, no. Every business card I have allows me to set spending limits for employees.

2. May only have one card for multiple employees. Most business cards have free employee cards. There may be a limit (99 maybe?) but if you have 100+ employees who need credit cards, you’re not a small business.

3. To cancel an employee credit card “a lengthy phone call is needed to close it”. Again, not really. I can log in to Chase or Amex and change the limit on an employee card, or deactivate it in less than a couple of minutes.

On the plus side, I do like the idea of being able to restrict usage to certain categories and what days of the week the card can be used. I can see the reduction-of-fraud angle here too, but you still need to get receipts. Just because you limit an employee card to gas stations on weekdays doesn’t mean the guy isn’t inside loading up on lotto tickets, cigs and a case of Little Debbie snacks every Tuesday.

I solve that by looking at every single receipt my employees submit. Usually after they get called out for buying a drink and taco along with their gas fill up (which I get paid back for or deduct from their paycheck) I don’t see any issues in the future.

I might get one of these to experiment, but I’m not sold on the concept just yet.

james
james

do they ask for ein? do they know if you have a business or not?

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

From https://bentoforbusiness.com/faq/

Bento works to qualify every verifiable business owner and business. As required by our banking partners and in support of the US Patriot Act, Bento must verify that every Bento applicant is a qualified individual (not a criminal or on the US government terrorist watch list) and a verifiable business. If you believe that you satisfy both of these requirements, here are some steps that you can take to validate that you are a legitimate business:

(1) . File your proper business paperwork with your city/county/state for your business entity, and have the following documentation ready:

Sole Proprietorship or Partnership: Certificate of Assumed Name, Business License, and/or Registration of Trade Name

LLC: Articles of Organization or Certificate of Formation

Corporation: Articles of Incorporation

(2) . Establish a formal business location and provide proof of residence/physical presence at said location (utility bill, executed lease, bank statement, etc.).

Once you can document that you are a verifiable business, please apply for Bento again or contact support@bentoforbusiness.com.

I would have doubts that a “business” would qualify, but until someone tries, no way to know for sure.

Meed18
Meed18

Has anyone done this?

meed18
meed18

Hey Chuck , I never got around to doing this before, but thinking about it now. Just wanted to make sure you still had an account and your referral link was still valid.

Emporio
Emporio

Bento has switched from a prepaid MasterCard to a prepaid Visa. This would matter to someone who may want to use the card on Plastiq to make a (business or personal) mortgage payment as only MasterCards are accepted for this. Also their T&C state that if you close the account and have a credit balance on your prepaid card that this balance will be refunded to you via check as long as the balance is greater than $15. That statement in their T&C makes me more willing to experiment with this.

Emporio
Emporio

Signing up for the account was straightforward and verification of my business took 2 days.
Since I use Mint.com to manage my financial accounts, I was disappointed to learn that Mint.com doesn’t support Bento. However you can export your Bento transactions to Excel directly from the Bento website.

The Bento referral program was still live as of Jan. 16 2018. I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d consider using my referral link:
https://bentoforbusiness.com/bentofriend68222

Emporio
Emporio

I signed up for Bento on 1/11/19 and was paid the $125 Amazon bonus on 3/11/19. However, I did have to follow up a couple of times in order to get the bonus which was paid out about 3 weeks past the promised date.

For those who are wondering, Bento can be used to purchase Walmart MOs but cannot be linked to AMEX Serve.

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