Published on October 31st, 2019 | by Chuck17
[DEAD] Netspend Prepaid United MileagePlus Card Review – Card Now Live
[Update 10/31/19: They’ve now sent out notification that they are closing down this prepaid card. It won’t be possible to load after November, and it’ll close down completely after December.]
The MileagePlus GO Prepaid cards from Netspend is now officially live, as expected. And it’s a bit underwhelming, also as expected.
Netspend Prepaid United MileagePlus Card Review
Netspend partnered with United to release a prepaid card which earns United miles for purchases. The card is issued by Republic Bank & Trust Company and funds are FDIC insured. Like most prepaid cards, no credit check is done when applying for the card, and there aren’t any late fee or interest fees since all funds are pre-loaded on the card before they can be spent.
- $85 annual fee
- Earns 1 miles per dollar, capped at 2,500 miles each month
- PIN-based transactions will not earn points
Like all Netspend cards, this card also offered a virtual account number option which adds some safety to online shopping.
As noted, the card comes with an $85 annual fee which is charged after your first load. If you close the card within 3 months of the fee hitting, the annual fee gets prorated. Afterward it’s lost.
- 3.5% foreign transaction fee
- $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee besides ATM owner’s fee; no fee at MoneyPass ATMs
- $9.95 fee for card replacement; same fee for adding an additional user/card on the account
5% Savings Account
Like all Netspend prepaid cards, this card offers the option to open a linked savings account which earns 5% APY. That rate is excellent, and many of us used to have a Netspend card, or even multiple Netspend cards, to take advantage of this option.
Unfortunately, back in June 2016, they lowered the amount which can earn 5% from $5,000 to just $1,000. This Netspend United card also has the same $1,000 limit.
When the card was initially announced, the main questions were what the earning rate will be, will PIN transactions work, and will there be free. For the most part we can say it failed due to the $85 annual fee and $9.95 card replacement fee, the 2,500 monthly limit, and lack of earning on PIN transactions.
On the positive side it does earn 1:1 and it also has the 5% APY account attached to it. And Frequentmiler points out that it might earn points on PIN-less debit transactions. If that worked, there could be an MS angle here.
The hope was that it could be an option for those past 5/24 who can’t get the one of the Chase United cards. With the fees it’s not likely to be worth it for anyone.
For someone who can’t get an ordinary credit card due to bad credit, the card is probably not worth it either. Instead, choose a no-fee card like American Express Bluebird, Serve, and REDcard. If you’re looking for something on the Visa/Mastercard network, the card can theoretically make sense with the value of the United miles offsetting and outweighing the annual fee. That said, for most people will bad credit it’s probably smarter to find a Visa/Mastercard prepaid card or another secured card with lower fees while working on your credit.
Note: Though all the details are now showing on the site, the link to get the card isn’t yet working.
Hat tip to reader V.