Posted by Chuck on October 31, 2019
Prepaid Cards With High APY's

Published on October 31st, 2019 | by Chuck

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[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

Direct Link (Other links: link, link, FAQ)

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.

Key Details:

  • $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.

Fees

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.

Other fees:

  • 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

See the full fee schedule here.

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.

See a list of other high-interest accounts here.

Final Thoughts

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.



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az
az

Nothing fancy.

Dan
Dan

Utter garbage. Fits with other garbage you reviewed and recommended to say clear of.

projectx
projectx

I can only imagine the mood in the room at Netspend during the last meeting before launch.

“There’s a sucker born every minute, AMIRITE?! (high fives and laughter all around)

NinjaX
NinjaX

prepaid card with annual fee? yea right!

artgriego
artgriego

Anyone actually able to read the cardmember agreement on the landing page? The URL is a .pdf but it just reloads the page for me.

Abe
Abe

I’m sticking with my Bluebird and Serve Amex prepaid cards.

TheMonkeyTech
TheMonkeyTech

DOA

wzb
wzb

Does this card give 25% MPX bonus miles?

Sa
Sa

Not completely related but:
I had inactivity fees $6 charged on two Netspends because, as they replied when I inquired, i had not had any purchases or balance inquiries the last three months. The ACHs on auto that i had set up since the 5% did not count.
Anybody else?

Jeremy
Jeremy

Isn’t the regular NetSpend $9.95/mo, $85/year is less. If you do get extra inventory or MPX bonus, this could be worth it.

Richard Michael Parrotte

This company has the absolute worse customer service I have ever experienced. And so far the card has not worked in any foreign country I have tried it in because their crappy software can’t tell the difference between the foreign currency and USD so their system thinks you are trying to withdraw two million dollars if you are in Vietnam trying to get $90. !!!! The card is good for people with no credit / bad credit !?!? It is a debit card like any other anyone can get one without all the stupid restrictions and incredibly crappy customer service that comes with this card. And banks DO MAKE MONEY OFF OF DEBIT CARDS OR THEY WOULD NOT HAVE THEM! This company holds you money, restricts withdrawals and a host of other things that allows them to make free interest on millions and millions of dollars. This card is supposed to be for United customers – that would seem to these Brainiac’s that these customers might be traveling overseas. But the card does not work in China, Vietnam, or Thailand because there software is so primitive that it can’t tell you are withdrawing a foreign currency and trips a “over your daily limit” block and then turns off your card. All major banks have debit cards and I have no idea why anyone would waste their time and money on this one. The amount of miles paid are negligible. Also anyone with NO credit or BAD credit can get a secured credit card and a debit card from a real bank and not deal with the terrible, horrible customer service of Net Spend / MileagePlus. Whoever at United approved this deal should be fired.

NATALIE REVELL
NATALIE REVELL

Mileage plus #netspend is a JOKE DONT get this CARD. I live in California and someone got my card info online and made a FAKE card with my info and spent over 2,000.00 on my card. I called the actual vendors that this person spent my money at and they havent heard from #NETSPEND. This is outrageous. I cant pay my rent or get grocieries. I had to canel my card so the little money I have in there i cant get. My card still isnt here. It has been 13 days since this happened and NOTHING. I have called EVERYDAY and placed a police report and wrote a letter to them and everything and STILL NOTHING. I am BEYOND UPSET. #mileageplusprepaidcard #netspendmileageplusprepaidcard #republicbankd&trust

Darvin Ray
Darvin Ray

They sent me this card even though I did NOT ask or apply for one.It has my name and United Frequent flyer number on it.

It turns out they were just sending this out, hoping you will activate the card. I call the 800 number on the back of the card find out why I received this card. It turns out they were sending this out as an “offer.” The rep on the phone said I can decline the offer and close the account if I want. I told them to do so right away.

The phone menu to get a hold of a human being is pretty shady too. You have to call during office hours (Mon to Fri only. 7am to 8pm), enter the debit card number when prompt. When it ask for your birthday or social security number, do NOT press any button so that it will transfer you to a live human being.

Ferris
Ferris

I mean I’m surprised it lasted this long. People using prepaid cards aren’t thinking about the next time they will fly. Points are useless to them – it’s not even an incentive.

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