Control Card 5% APY On Up To $5,000 + $20 Sign Up Bonus

This is our first post in our new series on high interest prepaid products and checking accounts. Every week on Friday we will be looking at a new alternative that earns a much higher than normal interest rate. You can follow all of the posts in this series by clicking here. You can also see what other weekly series we will be running here.

  • Interest Rate: 5% APY
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Maximum Balance: $1,000 (drops to 0.49% APY if over this balance)
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: Initial $500 ACH transfer (see below)
  • Hard/soft pull: Unknown
  • Credit card funding: Unknown, doubtful
  • Monthly fees: $7.95, this is reduced to $5 if you have monthly direct deposits of $500+
  • Insured: FDIC
  • Length of promotion: Unknown

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Receive an APY of 5% on balances of up to $1,000 after you receive a direct deposit of $500+ in one month.

control card

You just need to receive one direct deposit of $500 or more and then you’ll be eligible for the upgraded plan which has the option of opening a savings account with 5% interest.

Update 5/31/16: Netpsend is lowering the 5% rate to apply on just $1,000, effective July 1, 2016. 

The Fine Print

Avoiding Fees

Control does not charge any set up fees, but they do charge a monthly fee that is not avoidable. This fee is:

  • $7.95 per month if you did not receive a direct deposit of $500+
  • $5 per month if you did receive a direct deposit of $500+

They also charge you $2.5 to withdraw cash plus any owner operator fees (the owner operator fees are waived at all AllPoint ATMs). You can find a full list of fee free ATMs here, although please keep in mind you’ll still pay $2.5 to get cash out using these.

There are no direct deposit or bank transfer fees (unless you want an instant bank transfer, in which case you pay $1.95 per $100).

Control Card has a few more fees, you can view the full fee schedule by clicking here.

Refer A Friend

It’s possible to refer a friend to Control card. If they sign up and add $40 in funds, you’ll both get an additional $20 in credit. The person you are referring cannot have been a Control Card holder in the past to qualify.

If you have a referral link, please feel free to share it in the comments. Just let us know whether this card was a hard or soft pull to open and what you’ve been using to count as a direct deposit.

Other Perks

The Control Card comes with a number of other perks, for example:

  • Cash Back Rewards. This looks to be similar to the Chime card and American Express offers in that they have selected offers and you receive cash back for shopping with these merchants.
  • Sweepstakes.  Not sure if this is being offered in 2015 again or not, but last year they ran three sweepstakes in which you could win tickets to BET Experience, Hip Hop Awards & Soul Train Awards as well as one free night at a hotel.
  • Prescription Discounts. They offer access to My Free RX Card, which claims it can save an average of 46% on prescription drugs.
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. You need to receive $500 a month in direct deposits to qualify for this benefit and it’s only available in some states. “In the event of a covered accidental injury or death, the cardholder and/or the cardholder’s beneficiary are eligible to receive a monthly benefit for up to twelve consecutive months that’s based on the amount direct deposited to the card (up to $8,000) during the preceding 35-day period.”
  • Virtual Account. Allows you to create unique card number, expiration date, and security code to make shopping online and over the phone safer.
  • Refill a prepaid phone and get a buck back. If you add $25 or more to your prepaid mobile phone balance, they will add an additional $1.

Our Verdict

The Control Card is basically a rebranded NetSpend card which also earns 5% with different features and fees card. If you max out this account with $5,000 you’d earn a maximum of $250 in interest, but you’d also have to pay $60 in monthly fees which brings this down to $190. You’d be better off going with the Mango money prepaid account as this would earn $264 after all the monthly fees have been paid. Plus the requirements for getting the increased interest rate are much easier with Mango.

See Netspend 5% Savings Accounts on up to $5000 for a look at the other Netspend options.

See Guide to 5% Interest Prepaid/Savings Accounts for a full roundup of all 5% prepaid/savings options.

Direct link to offer | Screenshot of offer

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oldest most voted

Jason (@guest_308268)
October 21, 2016 11:56

off topic: (got an email today regarding my control card that I never activate)

Load a check of $100, Get $10!

Load checks to your Control™ Prepaid MasterCard® with your mobile device, using the Control Card Mobile App.2 For a limited time before 12/31/2016, get a $10 bonus with a Mobile Check Load of $100 or more!1 Simply follow the on-screen instructions and apply promo code Control10 in the Mobile Check Load flow.

PS: I remember control card has monthly fee so not sure if I should still go with this one yet or whether I can close it after cashing out $110

JB (@guest_64623)
January 24, 2015 11:47

Talking about Netspend: you’d probably be better off using the Paypal Prepaid Mastercard. It has the same limits/perks but additionally you can transfer money back and forth between your PP account and have no DD requirement. How would one get money out of this Control account anyway? I mean other than spending the money in stores? Does it work with Evolve or Square?

fury (@guest_83454)
March 1, 2015 22:05

Pulling money out with Square will not end well. It’s against their terms of service and they closed my account for doing it with some of my other cards.