Posted by Chuck on August 18, 2015
Checking Accounts

Published on August 18th, 2015 | by Chuck

180

Guide to 5% Interest Prepaid-Savings Accounts

[Updated 9/4/15]

List of Available Options

We’ve written numerous posts about various high-interest checking or savings accounts. Many of these are actually prepaid cards which come with the benefit of an attached savings account with high-yield interest. Typically, you get an interest rate of 5% on balances of up to $5000.

There are currently nine accounts available which offer 5+% interest on balances of $5000:

Update 5/31/16: Netspend, Brinks, Western Union, Ace Elite, Control, H-E-B, and probably Paypal are lowering the 5% rate to just $1,000, effective July 1, 2016.

Other options, not as rosy:

Card Brands and Administration

There are actually two or three separate entities involved in each of these cards:

  1. There’s the front end of the card which is run by the names mentioned above (Brinks, Paypal, Control, etc.).
  2. There’s the back end of the account which is the bank who is holding the FDIC-insured accounts.
  3. Most of the above cards have a third party – confusingly Netspend – administering all of the details of the card, including customer service, programs, etc.

Let’s go through the cards and break them down as follows:

  • Netspend administers their own card and has MetaBank as the backer of the card.
  • Ace, Control, Purpose, and Western Union have Netspend as the administer of the card and Metabank as the backer of the card.
  • Brinks and H-E-B have Netspend as their administer and BofI Federal as the backer of the card. (H-E-B actually appears as part of the Netspend website itself.)
  • Paypal, Vision, and Momentum have Netspend as their administer and Bancorp as their backer.
  • Mango administers their own card and has Sunrise Banks as the backer on the accounts. (This card is unrelated to Netspend.)
  • Insightcards is part of the GreenDot system and is backed by Axiom Bank of Florida. (This card is unrelated to Netspend.)

Multiple Accounts

In order to maximize the high-interest savings, one would have to open multiple accounts since each of these accounts only gets the 5% rate on a maximum of $5,000.

Although many of these cards are issued by the same companies/backers, it’s possible to get multiples of these cards and maintain a 5+% interest rate on multiple sums of $5000.

You can use the same email address for all accounts, but each one needs a unique username.

How many can you have?

First we need to break down this issue by card issuer; most of these cards are part of the Netspend system while Mango and Insight Card are entirely separate.

You can obviously have one Mango, one Insight, and one Netspend card.

Mango: you may even be able to have multiples of those cards.

Netspend: It’s possible to have multiples of these cards. Some mention that it may even be possible to have multiples of the same card (e.g. two Brinks cards) while others suggest getting one of each type (e.g. one Netspend, one Brinks, one Paypal, etc.)

Total Number of Netspend Cards

There’s a hard rule that you can only have a total of three Netspend cards backed by each unique bank. So you won’t be able to get Netspend, Ace, Control,  and Western Union, since that would be four cards all backed by Metabank. But you can get Netspend, Ace, and Control.

Many report a limit of five Netspend accounts total; you can get, for example, three cards backed by Metabank, and another two backed by Bancorp. While numerous people had success with five Netspend accounts total, some people start having problems with activation on card #4 & 5. On the flip-side, some even had success getting 6 total, within the confines of the 3-per-bank rule.

The system will not allow you to open two cards within 24-hours (clearing cookies won’t help). You’ll have to wait 24-hours between applications even when applying for distinct cards, e.g. Netspend and Brinks. This limit is apparently an address limit and even separate people at the same address can not order more than one card within 24-hours.

Other than the 24-hour wait, each unique individual should be able to open up numerous Netspend accounts, even multiple people from the same address.

Illustration

If we’ll assume the 3/5 rule mentioned above (three per bank, five total), we’ll give the following illustration. You can have:

  • One Netspend, one Ace Elite, and one Western Union card. These three are all issued by Metabank and this maxes you out on the three-per-bank limit mentioned above.
  • One Brinks and one H-E-B. While these are also Netspend cards, they are backed by a different bank (BofI). This will now max you out on the five-Netspend-total limit.
  • One Mango and one Insight. These accounts are completely unrelated to Netspend so you can have these accounts in addition to the Netspend accounts. (Possibly, you can even get multiples of these, as noted above.)

Total of at least seven 5+% savings accounts which will get you an APY of around 5% on $35,000.

Netspend Referral Program

Most of these cards have a referral program which allows us to refer new members to the prepaid card get a bonus.

  • Refer-a-friend and each of you will get a $20 bonus after the new member adds $40 to their account.

Only the Netspend-family cards have the referral program, not the Mango and Union Plus which are unassociated with Netspend.

Some people have been opening these prepaid accounts just for the sake of the $20 bonus. That may not be worth it for many, but it is an added little perk to go along with the 5% Savings Account. You’ll only get the $20 bonus if you use a referral link, not if you open an account directly.

The following cards are part of the Netspend referral bonus program: Netspend, Brinks, Western Union, Ace Elite, Control, and Paypal. H-E-B probably has the referral program as well.

Exceptions: Paypal Prepaid offers just a $5 bonus and Ace Elite offers just a $10 bonus.

Referral Limits

There is a limit of one referral bonus for the recipient across all Netspend-family cards within 180-days. This means that if you sign up for two of these cards on the same day (for example, Brinks and Netspend), you’ll only get the bonus for the first one. After 180-days, it resets and you can get another bonus.

There is no limit as to how many people you can refer, you can refer as many people you want and get the referrer bonus for each one. So long as the referred member is eligible for the bonus, you’ll get the bonus as well.

Please do not leave any referrals in the comments of this post. Instead, please visit our dedicated page for referrals on all Netspend-family products. You can pick up a referral there (to net the $20) and you can leave your referrals there. We also wrote more details there on the rules of the referral program.

Opening an Account

All of these prepaid cards don’t have any kind of credit check done and there is no hard pull or Chex inquiry done. You will have to verify your identity and give them your SSN/DOB, same as opening any bank account.

With regards to some of the Netspend cards, the process of opening an account is to signup with your name and address, without giving your SSN and other personal info. After getting the card, you’ll give in this info at the time of activating the card. Other cards (Paypal, Ace, and Mango) will require the SSN initially at the time of signup.

Do not try to ACH funds into your account before receiving and activating the card. It needs to be activated first.

Loading Funds

These prepaid accounts have a routing number and an account number, same as any checking account, and you can transfer funds to it the same way you would transfer funds between any two checking accounts.

All funds initially come into the prepaid account (via ACH or any other method such as cash loading) and are transferred to the attached Savings Account. There is no way to fund the Savings Account directly.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Since these are prepaid cards and not ordinary checking accounts, some banks may not allow transfers to it. My experience so far is that my banks are treating the prepaid account as an ordinary checking account.
  • We don’t recommend trying to transfer from a CapitalOne360 account since they’ve been known to have problems with people making transfers to prepaid accounts. Some mention not to use Chase or Discover either.
  • Bluebird/Serve/REDbird works for me with Mango, although one report mentions that it doesn’t work for Netspend.

What Counts as Direct Deposit?

Some of these cards need some form of direct deposit: the Brinks card needs a one-time $500 direct deposit to trigger the upgraded status which allows us to open the 5% savings account, and the Mango needs a $500 monthly direct deposit to make us eligible for the 6% interest rate.

In the past, any standard ACH transfer from another checking account has worked to satisfy these requirements. For the Mango account, ACH has been working to trigger the higher interest rate. As for Netspend, they used to allow any ACH transfer, but as of 1/22/16, a real payroll or government payment is required. This change does not affect those who were already upgraded.

Note that most Netspend cards don’t need any direct deposit at all to be able to open the savings account, but the Brinks car does need a one-time $500 direct deposit to enable you to then open the savings account.

Withdrawing Funds

‘How will I get the money out when I need it?’

People are often nervous about putting money in these prepaid accounts since they want to know that it’s easy to get the money out when necessary. Obviously, you could spend the money down on the prepaid card, but most of us don’t want to do that.

All the Netspend accounts come with an account/routing numbers and are ACH-enabled. Using the account/routing numbers, you can pull the money out into your linked bank account or you can pay your credit card bill on the card issuer’s website. (Be sure to first transfer the money from the savings account into the prepaid.)

ACH withdrawals seem to be working with the Mango cards as well.

Miscellaneous

Geographic Limitation: The Netspend accounts are not available for residents of Vermont. I have not found that restriction with regards to the Mango account.

Tax Implications: As with all bank accounts, you will receive a 1099INT form for all interest received.

ITIN User: You can open the account with an ITIN in place of a SSN, BUT you can’t get the upgraded account. Basically, the only reason you’d want to do this is if you actually want the prepaid account or if you want the $20 referral bonus; you won’t be able to get the 5% savings account. (This is the case with regards to Netspend accounts. Unclear what the Mango rules are.)

Mint.com Users: Most of these accounts can be added to Mint, but not all. Netspend, Brinks, Ace, and Mango show up in their system. HEB and Western Union can be added by choosing the Netspend option and using the HEB or Western Union credentials (HT: Kevin). Insight shows up but doesn’t add properly.

Options in Brief

We’ve written about each of these 5% savings options in dedicated posts. Here, we’ll try to round up the main details of each and we’ll include a link to the main post where you can read more.

Insight Card

Link to Main Post

This is the easiest with no direct deposit requirement. Downside is that it pays out quarterly as opposed to monthly.

Beware of the 90-day inactivity fee. Automate a monthly or by-monthly $1 ACH transfer from your regular checking account to the card to avoid that.

Mango

Link to Main Post

Link to Related Post

Pros

  • 6% interest rate, paid monthly
  • No inactivity fee to worry about

Cons

  • $3 monthly fee
  • Needs monthly direct deposit of $500
  • Needs a $1 balance on the card in order to be eligible for the high-interest rate

Netspend, Brinks, Western Union, Ace Elite

Link to Main Post 

These cards are great options since all you need to do is one initial direct-deposit/ACH-transfer and after that you’ll be eligible for the 5% interest rate. You can just leave the card as the default pay-as-you-go plan and it will end up completely fee-free.

Note, there is a stated 90-day inactivity fee. We wrote more about this in the original post on these cards.

H-E-B/Netspend

Link to Main Post

This account is identical in every respect to regular Netspend cards (Netspend, Brinks, etc.), with the single exception that it comes with an initial $2.95 signup fee.

Control

Link to Main Post 

This card closely resembles the regular Netspend cards and it’s also part of the regular Netspend referral program.

The key difference is that the Control card has a non-waivable $5 monthly fee, whereas with most of the other Netspend cards you can opt for the pay-as-you-go plan which leaves you completely fee-free.

Paypal Prepaid

Link to Main Post

This card is also part of the Netspend family. Two key differences between the Paypal Prepaid and the other Netspend cards:

  • The Paypal Prepaid has a non-waivable $4.95 monthly fee, whereas with most of the other Netspend cards you can opt for the pay-as-you-go plan which leaves you completely fee-free.
  • For the Paypal Prepaid you need a Paypal account and that account can be used to transfer money to and from the prepaid card account.

Union Plus

Link to Main Post

This card is currently unavailable for signup. It’s issued by the same company as the Mango card and most of the details mirror that of Mango. The interest rate is slightly lower at just 5.1% but without the $3 monthly fee, making the two cards a pretty comparable value overall.

Final Thoughts

The idea of juggling multiple accounts with $5,000 in each one is surely not fun, but many of us find it worthwhile. If we’d assume a standard APY of around 1%, you’ll get an extra ~4% utilizing these options, or around $200 annually per account.

Whether or not the $200 makes it worth the hassle is an individual decision. Personally, I wouldn’t do it for a single year, but since I hope that these will last for a while I decided it’s worthwhile to do the initial setup and hopefully reap the 5% rate for an extended period of time.

If you manage to max out seven cards with $5,000 each at ~5% rate, you’ll end up with ~$1750 annually, or $1400 more than you would have gotten at 1% interest rate.

For most people, I’d think that the best options would be as follows:

  • Netspend, Brinks, Western Union,  and Ace Elite would probably be the best options to start with.
  • The H-E-B is just as good as the others, with the single downside of the one-time $2.95 card ordering fee.
  • Mango is a great option if you’re willing to manage the $500 direct deposit requirement.
  • Paypal and Control are also something to think about, but they do come with a ~$5 monthly fee which really brings down the overall value of the account. At the very least, it would make sense to max out the other options first.

Other High-Interest Checking/Savings Accounts

The focus of this post is prepaid cards which come with 5+% interest rates. For the sake of having all info on one place, we’ll try to keep a list here of other reward and high-interest accounts.

See also An Introduction To Rewards Checking Accounts for more.



180 Responses to Guide to 5% Interest Prepaid-Savings Accounts

  1. joE says:

    You never seize to amaze me with the quality and frequency of your content. Most people might say IF I had to pick one site…well to be honest I’ve stopped going to alot of other blogs because of the quality of this site.

    Keey up the amazing work and know it’s very appreciated.

  2. yessireeeee says:

    Never heard of this before, and will seriously consider getting the 4 starter cards you mention. If I have 2 addresses can I double up?

  3. Rose says:

    Chuck – I have to say it – this is a totally awesome guide to navigating this confusing territory. Sometimes it feels like you are trying to find your way thru a mine field – one wrong move and bang …..
    THANK YOU!:)

  4. mk712 says:

    FYI I just added the ACE Elite account to my Chase online banking to make the initial transfer (the card has already been received and activated) and it locked my Chase account. I just spent 15 minutes on the phone with Chase and they are asking me to visit a branch with 2 forms of ID as well as a statement from the ACE Elite bank account (which I obviously don’t have). This will be a pain to sort out, and in the meantime I can’t access my Chase account (which is my main bank account).

    • mk712 says:

      And yes, I know it was advised against 😉

      • joE says:

        What was advised against? To fund a new account with your chase account? people do this all the time with no issue so what’s going on in this case?

        • mk712 says:

          Chase doesn’t like NetSpend products. There’s a warning in the article.

          • james says:

            Don’t use Chase. Chase closed my savings when I tried to add my Mango as an external transfer account, even though it was there before and I just readded it.

            I’ve been using Chase to do ACH pulls from Mango and Santander to the account, so I guess they were spooked by it.

    • MrDioji says:

      Yeah, the same thing happened to me when trying to add netspend. 1.5hrs on the phone and 30 minutes in a branch unfroze my account. I saw somewhere else that Chase has worked so figured I’d try out myself. It did not work…the Chase account is unfrozen, but is not connected to Netspend account.
      I’m really disappointed with how Chase handled it (long hold times, several transfers to other hold lines, the CSR in-branch needing to be on hold for 20 minutes) and will be closing the checking account soon.

  5. Compeek says:

    I have both the netSpend and Brinks ones already and transfer to and from Discover without issues. The $500 ACH push qualified me for the savings, and I received interest as expected at the end of the second quarter of 2015 (signed up a few months ago). I highly recommend these as an easy source of 5% interest on $5,000 and will be signing up for the ACE and WU ones as soon as I can find referral links.

  6. joe says:

    Anybody get the following:

    Sorry, we seem to be having trouble verifying your information. Please call us at 1-866-780-0041.

    • joe says:

      They are saying it has to do with my browser.

      • Eric says:

        What does that mean? I am having the same issue that you are having where it says they are having trouble verifying my information. Also that 1-866-780-0041 phone number does not work.

        Have you gotten this issue resolved?

  7. Eric says:

    How are people funding the $500 for DD for the Mango card?

    • Chuck Sithe says:

      I guess an ACH transfer.

      • Eric says:

        Hey chuck. Was wondering if you knew how to fix the browser issues I am experiencing when trying to apply for the Netspend and the Brinks card. Its freaking annoying and I don’t know how to resolve this. I have tried different browsers with no success. I am trying to apply via a referral link. Any advice?

        “If you are reading this message, you are not using a standard browser. Pages in this site may not be displayed correctly on non-standard browsers. If you want to download a standard browser, please refer to Web Standard Project site (WaSP) for more information.

        Sorry, we seem to be having trouble verifying your information. Please call us at 1-866-780-0041.”

        • Chuck Sithe says:

          I have no idea. Are you using a regular computer? Try a different browser? Try going incognito?

          • Eric says:

            It turns out that my middle name was missing which is required to get it validated on the website. This crappy thing is that the form doesn’t include spaces to fill out your middle name. Not only that but the Netspend verification system is sensitive to your full name….even a middle initial is insufficient.

            So those that have struggled in my situation where the website isn’t cooperating, please enter your full middle name in the “First Name” field and the Netspend verification system will take.

            Chuck can you add this tidbit in your post just as a FYI. Thanks.

  8. Al says:

    For people with UnionPlus Accounts:

    Just curious, has anyone received interest payments on their savings account on their August monthly statement? I was told by a UnionPlus CS that they will not be paying out interest on the savings account anymore. I don’t know if this is true or not, it wasn’t communicated in the end of July announcement that interest payments would terminate immediately.

  9. cbkcc1 says:

    This is what I see (opened a long time ago and haven’t messed with it):

    Open a Mango Savings™ Account

    Earn 6.00% APY† with Mango Savings™ if you’re enrolled in Mango’s Direct Deposit Service

    Earn 2.00% APY† with Mango Savings™ if you’re NOT enrolled in Mango’s Direct Deposit Service

    ————————————-Earn 0.10% APY† on the portion of your balance over $5,000

    Open your Savings Account today:

    Open account with as little as $1
    Up to 6 transfers out each month
    Check your balance 24/7 from your mobile phone**
    Transfer money using your mobile phone or our website**

  10. Mary says:

    Looks like NetSpend charges for everything — is there any way to check on the card/savings balance, other than going to a free ATM? I’d like to be able to do online. If you’ve already covered this and I overlooked it, my apologies. These NetSpend posts are great, btw. Thanks.

  11. Mary says:

    I hope I’m not the only reader out there who is this dumb: I didn’t realize Referral Codes are unique, that is, one-time-only use. So I used a Code that had already been used — I was the second person to have used that Code. Now I realize you can’t do that. So I’ve started over again, same contact info, using a Code that apparently hasn’t been used yet. Can you see any flaws in this course of action? Feeling mighty stupid right about now. Thanks.

  12. Dan says:

    So over the past couple weeks I’ve ordered:

    NetSpend
    NetSpend – Western Union
    NetSpend – Brinks
    NetSpend – HEB
    NetSpend – Ace Elite

    I activated the NetSpend (original), Western Union, and Brinks cards just fine. When I tried to log in to activate the HEB and Ace Elite, I kept getting a “We’re sorry, there is a problem with your account” error saying I needed to call them at 1-866-387-7363. After calling them and getting transferred to the fraud department, I had to answer multiple questions to prove my identity such as a state I grew up in, a street close to where I live, the county where I live, etc. After jumping through all those hoops (phone time: 45 minutes) they told me I can only have 3 NetSpend accounts and that is why the other two accounts were placed on hold. I told them that the limit should be 3 per BANK, not 3 TOTAL. The representative checked with her supervisor and they closed the HEB and Ace Elite accounts. Not sure how people are getting more than 3 cards, I was shut down pretty quickly.

    • Eric says:

      Do all 5 of them pay the same rate? This is good to know as I was under the assumption we could open 1 of each.

    • Chuck Sithe says:

      Thanks Dan, I’ll add the data point into the post.

      • Compeek says:

        As another data point, I’ve had the Brinks and netSpend ones since May or so, and I ordered and activated the Western Union and ACE ones this past week with no issues.

        • Eric says:

          Did you only receive the referral bonus on one of them?

          • Compeek says:

            Yes, only one. Although I didn’t bother trying with the last two because I couldn’t find referral links and knew they only give it on your first account anyway (somebody told me this on Reddit). I never received the bonus for my second one so I think you can only get it on one.

        • Chuck Sithe says:

          Yea, I wonder if the issue is just some time span that needs to be placed between activation of the multiple accounts.

    • Chuck Sithe says:

      I have NS, Brinks, and WU, and just now I was able to activate the HEB fine. It did glitch out a little on me, but in the end I was able to do it all automatically online.

      Not sure why you had a problem.

    • Jeremy says:

      I opened the same five accounts as you did and I had the same issue. I was apparently only allowed to have three active cards as well so I had to close two of them. I brought up the two different banks as well and Netspend had the same response that they gave you.

      • Dan says:

        Jeremy, you might want to wait a few weeks then try opening an HEB account. That’s what I did, so now I have 4 active accounts. When I tried to do the same for the Ace Elite (the only one I’m missing) it gave me an error when I tried to have the card sent to me.

        I used a different address for the HEB card.

    • Shawn says:

      It appears I’ve encountered the same. First 4 went smooth, only after applying for 5th at HEB did things go awry. Now login will not work on any. Will have to wait until I receive cards to sort it out I guess.

  13. Don says:

    Was unable to fund Netspend (MetaBank) from PNC. Received “invalid ABA Number” error

  14. Mary Johnson says:

    Something about this whole NetSpend thing isn’t “right”: I’ve spent three days trying to get my card activated, but their website won’t accept my info, and their customer service phone line only allows you to activate a card, which I did, but then they tell you you’ll need to activate the card (after I just got through doing so, with them). They have no Technical Support Department, or so I was told by Customer Service, so I can’t get help with online access issue(s). That is, I won’t be able to fund this account because I can’t even activate it. Maybe I’m the only one having these issues, but I’ll bet not.

  15. David says:

    I just opened a NetSpend account and I’m reading the cardholder agreement. It states, “Cost to Open Account/Card Purchase Fee: Fee will be determined and assessed by operator of retail location. In no event will the fee exceed $9.95”

    What does this mean?

  16. Tim R says:

    Should you avoid using these cards for MS activity? Do any of these have bill pay as a feature?

  17. Don says:

    Had some trouble loading because of external ACH limits placed by my bank $X/month. Just another element to think about.

  18. David in Michigan says:

    Can someone recommend a bank TO use with funding these pre-paid bank savings accounts whereby the outgoing bank transfer won’t incur a fee. I used SalemFive Savings with Netspend and was charged $3.

  19. Pingback: LMCU Limits Credit Card Funding for Checking Accounts - Doctor Of Credit

  20. John says:

    Vision Prepaid Card seems not available to apply online now. Could anyone send me a referral link, pleases? Thank you very much!

  21. Shawn says:

    First four cards went smooth – netspend, WU, brinks, Ace. Applied for H-e-b this morning and am now getting errors on netspend and heb login. Heb and netspend apparently use the same login page, just different usernames. Error code 900. Customer service was no help, I will have to wait to start receiving cards to see if it resolves itself. Any similar experiences?

  22. Shawn says:

    Talked to Fraud dept this morning and was informed that the 5% is only for one account, cannot have 4 accounts totaling 20k getting 5%. Do not know if this is a new policy, or what. I canceled all accounts, spent too much time on hold for CSR and having too many problems.

  23. Joseph says:

    I talked to the fraud department today and had the same conversation… informed that the 5% is only for one account, cannot have 4 accounts totaling 20k getting 5%. The representative said it’s okay to have all accounts open. However only the first account opened will have 5%, the rest will be at the standard rate.

    • Eric says:

      Are you saying if I have both a Netspend and a Brink’s card I will only earn 5% on the first one I received? This is news to me and will piss me off if true. What is the “standard rate”?

    • Chuck says:

      Many people have experienced otherwise.

    • Octavio says:

      This might be a case of CSR not being well-informed and making stuff up. I checked the T&Cs and did not see anything supporting the information provided to you. It does say that you can only have one Savings account in connection with your card and that the APR is 4.91% up to $5000 and 0.49% for the portions above $5000. Maybe the person thought that the $20K is pulled together somehow (even though they are in different accounts) and you’ll get .49% on the other $15K as that amount is above the $5K threshold.

      I guess we’ll find out for sure when we get paid for this quarter. As of last quarter, all accounts were getting 5%,

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  25. beatgammit says:

    I just signed up for Ace Elite and it said it was backed by Bofi, not Metabank. I don’t know if they’ve changed since this was originally written, but that’s what my account says. I haven’t activated yet, but I’ll post back if it changes after activation.

    I’ve had a NetSpend card for a few months now and will be activating a Brinks, Western Union and Ace Elite over the next couple weeks (just signed up this week). If all goes well, I hope to get an H-E-B funded before the deadline.

  26. savemesf says:

    I opened my first of these account (Netspend) last quarter and see the 5% interest posted today 🙂

    Just curious if anybody with multiple accounts has seen the 5% rate posted for all of them? There was some chatter from Shawn and Joseph above about the “Fraud Dept” saying the 5% rate is only valid for 1 account. I’m assuming they were misinformed, but would be great to get confirmation the 5% is still working for multiple accounts. Thanks in advance.

  27. Phil says:

    Does one Netspend online login manage all Netspend backed cards? Or should I have different online logins for each card?

    I just opened a second one (Brinks) and told me the username was already taken. When I logged in with said username, it redirected me to the main Netspend page and I see my first account (w/ Netspend card).

  28. Mike D says:

    I just received my ACE Elite NetSpend card. I was able to enable the savings as soon as I logged in. Do I still have to do a ACH of $500.00 to get the 5%? My Brinks would not unlock the savings until I ACH’ed the $500.00.

    • Eric says:

      Do you mean after you activated the card or after you initially logged in upon signing up? Did the terms of the savings say it was 5% when you enabled it? I would transfer $500 to be safe.

  29. Eric says:

    Has anyone here actually received multiple NetSpend referral bonuses? I looked at the terms (see below) and it would seem that we can only receive 1 bonus unless we have no activity for at least 180 days in previous accounts. I’m wondering if a “cash withdrawal” means literally taking cash out of an ATM or if doing an ACH withdrawal counts for that. Does anyone know?

    No rewards credited to either party if referred individual had a NetSpend card that was used for a value load, purchase, cash withdrawal, or incurred a balance inquiry fee at any time during the 180 calendar days before the day the $40 load requirement is fully met.

    • Rene says:

      Was told my bf was not eligible for the bonus as he had applied for a card previously, which he never loaded or used. I referred him over a year later and was told we don’t qualify as he was a previous cardholder. That is NOT what it says. He NEVER used the card so by the wording, 180 days of no activity, we should have got the bonus. Never did. Cheats n liars.

  30. David in Michigan says:

    Just opened up my fourth card, ACE Elite. No problems. Tried to now open up my 5th Card, HEB/Netspend. But I had trouble because it’s the same website as the Netspend card. I believe perhaps cookies may have signaled something, and my HEB account was blocked when I tried to start it. Yet I received an HEB/Netspend card in the mail. I called customer service, and they unblocked my account. They suggested I use the Netspend account on one device, separate from the HEB account which I should use on a different device like a smartphone.
    Here’s my question: Customer service said that my HEB account is not linked or able to be linked to a savings account. Does anyone know whether or not HEB/Netspend card no longer offers the savings option? The customer service agent sounded like she was 18 years old.

    • Don says:

      Opened HEB October 2015 and was able to open savings.

      I did hit a limit at 4 cards though, needed to switch family members for #5.

    • David in Michigan says:

      So I don’t think the HEB/Netspend has a savings account because when I look at the mobile app, there’s no transfer money to Savings option like there is in the ACE Elite Mobile app.
      I don’t have money yet in either account. So not sure whether or not to send money to HEB account. Don when you first opened up your HEB account was there an option immediately to open a savings account even before money was in there?

  31. Don says:

    I didn’t look. I did the $500 ACH, before trying to fund the Savings Account.

    To me online (through a web browser) the HEB Interface is essentially the same as the Netspend Interface (minus the HEB Graphic)

  32. Sam says:

    I am getting an error on Brinks signup – “Please enter a valid date”. Anyone know how to fix that?

    • Will says:

      I’m getting the same error on the Western Union signup. Any help would be appreciated.

      • David in Michigan says:

        I would try using their app on your smartphone and see if that works better. I found the websites often don’t work on a regular computer, but maybe their apps are better.

        • Phil says:

          Good advice. I was unable to log into any of the websites for Netspend accounts (used different browsers too) until I used their apps. Thanks.

    • Will says:

      Sam, I was just able to signup without the error. Might be worth giving it another shot now.

      • Sam says:

        The error may come from putting multiple periods in your email address or perhaps from reusing an email address from a previous signup.

  33. Phil says:

    Regarding the $500 direct deposit requirements for full benefit of the Control and Mango cards, does it have to be a single transaction of $500+ or can it be multiple so long as it adds up to $500 per month?

  34. NoonRadar says:

    Chuck & Will, a valuable piece of info to include (when known) for these, but also for regular bank bonuses, would be the ACH fee, whether it is free or there is a fee for incoming and outgoing transactions. I try to establish this with the accts I open (via a sm) and note it on my spreadsheet. Most of us do ACH routinely and might want to utilize the no-fee option via the churning accts as opposed to our permanent checking/saving accts.

    Maybe others can chime in about these accts here, if they have attempted ACH transactions recently (like last year) and whether there was a fee, especially for outgoing ones, trying an ACH push from one of this prepaid accts to a checking/savings with another bank.

    Thank you for compiling all the info here!

    • MrSpats says:

      I don’t believe you can ACH push from the Netspend Accounts.

      But an ACH pull from a Bank/CU is fee free.

      • David in Michigan says:

        Some banks do charge fees for ACH transactions so you need to check with each bank. Some banks have limits as to how many external account you can link to. Savings and checking accounts will also have different policies with respect to ACH fees or limits to external account linkages.

    • Usually included in the fee schedule so I’ll try to remember to include it.

  35. Victor says:

    Great post, very helpful. What happens if your balance goes over $5k? Would the 5% APY still apply to the first $5k, or does the interest rate fall for the whole balance?

  36. mappeal says:

    For multiple account holders (Ace, NS, PP, Mango), does the ACH source have to be unique for each account? i.e. Can I fund all of them with the same bank account?

  37. David in Ann Arbor says:

    So I have four of these accounts, Netspend, Ace Elite, Western Union and Brinks. But the 5th Account, HEB/Netspend was opened just recently and I missed the Jan. 22nd deadline. Prior to deadline any ACH transaction of $500 would grant access to the savings, but now I think one needs to do payroll direct deposit or tax refund or something like that. Oh well.

    • Chuck says:

      Try a regular ACH and see if it works. It’s possible it won’t be fully enforced.

      • Phil says:

        I also opened HEB last and was concerned about the deadline.

        I had a ACH transfer for HEB that I started late last week and completed today. The savings option enabled for me.

        In fact, the saving options was enabled for all the cards even when I had zero balance. Except for Brinks and that was enabled after a ACH transfer.

        • David in Michigan says:

          Unfortunately, when I placed a $502.95 deposit into my HEB/Netspend account it didn’t magically open up the savings option. I did get an email from HEB stating I was now able to take advantage of their cheaper fee plan, which I obviously won’t elect.
          It seems like I somehow got an HEB account which isn’t linked to a savings account. I sent an email to customer service about whether a savings option is available, but I have not yet received a response.

          On another note, I’m wondering if the other accounts will provide a 1099-INT in the statements section of the website

          • David in Michigan says:

            Ok I have to correct myself now. I logged onto netspend.com using the HEB username/password and was able to then start the Savings Account. For some reason I couldn’t do this on my smartphone. This time I used the Microsoft Edge browser to log in, instead of my usual Google Chrome browser. I think I’ll have to log into HEB using a browser different from the browser I was using for my regular Netspend account. In the past I was having trouble with doing both accounts on the same browser.

  38. JoeinCT says:

    Does anyone have multiple of the same variety? It is mentioned in the post that “some” say it is possible, but there was not a link to that data point. I’d love to get multiple Netspend (original) because I live in CT and wouldn’t have to worry about the inactivity fee.

  39. Victor says:

    Which banks work to ACH funds FROM the prepaid accounts? Based on other comments and my experience: Santander works for transfers to the prepaids but not from; Barclays works to and from but has max 3 external accounts; BoA and Everbank would not let me link accounts. I’ve read Discover works and Chase seems to trigger fraud alert for some. Any others work?

  40. Paul says:

    Advance Cash Express also has a netspend account with 5% savings. Fee structure seems to be the same as the netspend branded card. Anybody up to give it a try. Right now I have nestpend, Brinks and WU. Prefer the 1st two on basis of features.

    https://www.gowithpurpose.com/plans-and-fees

    • Paul says:

      Oh. It’s a Metabank card.

    • Paul says:

      Sorry. It’s Advance America. I’m getting the names of all these outfits mixed up. Cash America and Check n Go also have netspend cards, but I think you have to get them in store. Payday loan, pawnshops, check cashers, etc. like the netspend cards because they can put the money in them instead of keeping cash in the storefronts. Plus, they may get extra income from the card issuer.

    • Chuck says:

      Looks to me like the Purpose card that we mentioned briefly in the post. Can’t be ordered online, if I’m not mistaken.

    • Don says:

      I tried to get the Purpose in branch (store? [Advance America]) today.

      No luck, system blocked me saying that I could not have more than 3 cards.

      I think that I may be grandfathered in with (2 METAs, 2 BOFIs).

      The fee would have been $4.98 – guess you have to load some money to the temporary card in branch.

  41. MrMcbean says:

    It has been reported on Fatwallet that the Savings Account in connection with the Momentum Visa Prepaid Debit Card program will be closed on February 29, 2016.
    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1434408/m19377064/#m19377064

  42. Victor says:

    Data point on max # of accounts. Ran into issues with account #6. Fraud dept froze my HEB account about 2 weeks after opening. Called fraud dept, rep said that normally the max is 5, but if the accounts have been already opened and approved, then they can be left open. She said what triggered the fraud alert was accessing all 6 accounts from the same IP address.

  43. Ben says:

    Apologies if this is a newb question, but: does Brinks also require a real payroll or government deposit to trigger the higher rate? Or is it only for the Netspend branded card?

    Looks like I’m about a month late to the party…

  44. Minh Nguyen says:

    Having trouble finding a bank account that allows a netspend account to be linked to ACH push/pull. Been reading mixed reports of Ally, so what bank account is everyone using?

    • Victor says:

      I use Santander to send money to and local credit union to pull from.

    • Kevin says:

      Discover Bank is great for free push/pulls from Netspend and other prepaid savings accounts. I’ve had no issues linking the accounts and moving funds between them

    • Victor says:

      My credit union updated their online banking system and now doesn’t allow transfers from Metabank-backed cards (WU, AceElite, Netspend and Paypal). Any suggestions other than Discover for ACH pulls?

  45. Pingback: "Which High-Interest Savings Account Should I Get?" - Doctor Of Credit

  46. Charly Chang says:

    For people who had Union Plus and old Mango card, should we receive 2 1099-ING? I only got one from “Rev Worldwide”. Whom should I contact to get the other if I suppose to receive 2.

    TIA

  47. nab says:

    DON’T link a Western Union card to Chase!! Chase assumes WU is fraud, and they will either lock your account or close it immediately without warning. Branch rep unlocked my account but said sometimes the system will just close it, no questions asked. He said as far as Chase is concerned, WU=fraud.

    • David in Michigan says:

      That wasn’t my experience. Not only did I link my Chase checking to the Western Union account, but it is linked to 4 others as well. I haven’t had any trouble.

  48. Ken says:

    I filled out the referral form and when I hit submit I got an error that I already applied for the card. I have not. Can I contact them through email or social media to figure this out?

    • Vasv says:

      I had the same issue before. It happens only when I use the referral links. Tried the direct link and able to order successfully without the error. downside i missed the referral bonus

  49. HG says:

    Is the rule regarding DD from payroll being enforced?

    • Paul says:

      As of a few days ago it was not. The DD for savings was dropped months ago, but kept for the “lower” “premier” fee option (which costs more if you’re only in it for the savings account); so it’s a non-issue. They keep sending “premier” solicitations, but I’ve never done payroll. They have no way of knowing if it’s payroll anyway.

  50. Shaun says:

    Has anyone gone through the mortgage approval process whilst using multiple prepaid accounts? I’m wondering if a mortgage lender treats them just like any other bank savings account or if I should gather all my funds in one bank account three months before I apply.

  51. Vasv says:

    I applied netspend on 3/16, Card received and activated on 3/24. Deposited and transferred money to savings also. but today i got a secure message

    Subject: Address Change/Card order notification from Netspend

    “Dear …..,Thank you for contacting NetSpend about your recent change of address and subsequent card order. If you did not request an address change or order a card, please contact the NetSpend Customer Service Department at 1-866-387-7363 as soon as possible.

    I didn’t request for any address change. I am worried if my card or login is misused. Also I keep getting emails to activate my card which I already activated. Should I call netspend to find out? anyone faced similar situation?

    • Ken says:

      So your address was changed and a new card sent out and you’re wondering if you should call them? What do you think?

      • Vasv says:

        no, my address is not changed and haven’t received any other card apart from the one received first time while signup

    • Chuck says:

      Sounds odd…I’d probably contact them. Nothing like that happened on any of my accounts.

      • Vasv says:

        Thanks.

        Update: I did contacted netspend. nothing to worry as per netpsend
        1. repeated activation pending emails is looks like its for my premier card which i haven’t received yet
        2. address change notification – they didn’t give me a straight answer but the agent says everything looks good on my account and address are validated and correct

  52. Erik says:

    @Chuck:
    According to this blog the Netspend card required a Payroll deposit to qualify for the Savings account. I just activated my new Netspend and WU-Netspend cards and was able to sign up for the savings account without any deposit at all!

    I confirmed with CS, and no DD is needed for the savings account. Please confirm and update this post.

    p.s. I wish that I had known. I signed up a with payroll company to be able pay myself and GF using payroll. To late to get my fees back :-(.

  53. Erik says:

    Not only does the Netspend cards not require any payroll or even direct deposits, but I simply used Billpay (with ACH) to pay myself and that let me open Savings with Brinks.
    @Chuck you may want to update again…

    • Ken says:

      The Brinks says it requires a $500 direct deposit. Are you saying that you used bill pay from your bank to your Brinks account? Or something else?

      • Erik says:

        Yes, as I said, I used Billpay.
        My credit Union lets you send money via Billpay using ACH (to an individual if you have their account number and routing number). They use a company called ACI for their Billpay.

        A regular ACH “external account transfer” may also have worked but that is not what I had tried.

  54. Erik says:

    Yes, as I said, I used Bill pay.
    My credit Union lets you send money via Bill pay using ACH (to an individual if you have their account number and routing number). They use a company called ACI for their Bill pay.

    A regular ACH “external account transfer” may also have worked but that is not what I had tried.

  55. Andrew C says:

    I haven’t seen interest post for April in any of my NS accounts — anyone else experiencing this? Did have ACH activity in them.

    • Paul says:

      They don’t post for April. Interest is posted on the last day of each quarter.

      • Andrew C says:

        oh riiiiiiiiight, forgot about that. This was my first quarter using the savings accound on any NS product. Finally decided to add some to my stable of Mangoes (which do pay monthly). Thanks!

        • Eric says:

          When you say “stable of Mangoes” how many do you have? Did you use the same phone/email for all of them?

      • Andrew C says:

        oh of course — clearly I read the above so carefully! Thanks!

  56. Emily says:

    Might want to add note warning not to try connecting external bank account until you’ve received and activated the card (not as soon as you can login).

    • Chuck says:

      I haven’t seen that it’s possible to add money when initiated from Netspend. We mentioned not to add money when initiated from your bank until card is active.

  57. Justin Lover of Life says:

    Is everything in this post still current? Finally taking the plunge to get 7 prepaid accounts and would like for everything to be in order so there’s no snags?

  58. B says:

    Bad news, I got e-mails for all my cards today that said effective July 1, 2016 the 5% interest will only be on the first $1000 of the savings

  59. Grace says:

    I got the same email for all my NetSpend cards. Are any other prepaid cards still offering the 5%?

  60. T says:

    Mango – 5k@6% with $3 monthly fee (still ends up a tad higher than 5%)
    Insightcards – 5k@5%

    DCU Savings – 500@3%
    3% on 20k http://www.cfsbky.com/personal/checking/kasasa-cash.html
    3% on 15k https://www.lmcu.org/banking/checking/checking_max.aspx
    3% on 10k http://www.destinationscu.org/accounts/checking/kasasa-cash.html

  61. sam says:

    Hello
    please tell me. I never had such account! For example I deposit $5,000 to get 5.00% APY, next month they will add interest to my account around $20 so I will have $5020 MORE than $5,000 as they are saying APY will reduce to 0.10% does it work like that? What I need to do? DO I need to monitor the account every month and transfer interest??
    THANKS!

  62. Pingback: Netspend Neuters their 5% Savings Account, Effective July 1 - Doctor Of Credit

  63. Don says:

    I just saw the prepaids pop-up on a main stream personal finance site

    Forbes:

    http://www.forbes.com/pictures/emdk45ehfdj/prepaid-debit-cards/#7bb11f299641

    Links to Prepaid Cards 123

    http://www.prepaidcards123.com/blog/prepaid-cards-high-yield-savings-accounts/

    Which Links back to DoC. Wow

  64. Dizzle says:

    Confirmed that paypal is dropping their 5% on $5k. It’s been lowered to 5% on the first $1k then .5% bove that. Paypal has sent me a notice this started 7/1/16.

    • Victor says:

      Which means the Paypal prepaid account is not worth keeping open. The monthly fee of $5 exceeds the ~$4.17 in monthly interest from 5% on $1k. You can request to close the account online. Just make sure to pull all funds out first, or else they charge a fee to mail a check.

  65. sam says:

    Hey, I doubt that all of these still exist
    “Mango: you may even be able to have multiples of those cards.
    Netspend: It’s possible to have multiples of these cards. Some mention that it may even be possible to have multiples of the same card (e.g. two Brinks cards)”

    Only one account I think possible per customer per bank! Anyone knows otherwise? Which banks? Thanks

  66. Tomtoo says:

    My wife and I have each been able to open 2 Insight Cards (4 total), but they won’t let us do any more. We each made sure each card was received and the savings account funded before trying the second card. And just to be safe, each time after I applied for my card, she waited 24 hours before applying for hers, since that was how it worked with the Netspends.

    We haven’t tried multiples of any others, will probably go for our first Mangos next.

  67. Pingback: Insight 5% APY Prepaid Card on up to $5,000 - Doctor Of Credit

  68. David of Michigan says:

    Insight just sent me a notice that the Savings Account tied to this prepaid account will have any APY of 0.00% effective July 1

  69. Felix says:

    What happens if someone who already has multiple Netspend accounts (Netspend, Ace Elite, WU, etc.) purchases one of the pre-paid Netspend visa cards from a place like CVS? I ask because these pre-paid cards can be purchased with a credit card and funded with up to $500 for just a $3.95 fee. It’s a temporary card and you have to call in to activate it. Since the card is already funded though, they couldn’t really say “sorry, you already have too many Netspend accounts” could they?

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