Published on December 23rd, 2015 | by Chuck113
Netspend to Require Real Direct Deposit for Initial Trigger of 5%
Netspend offers a savings account along with their prepaid product and it offers 5% interest on balances up to $5,000. To be eligible for the savings account, you need to upgrade to a Premier account, which is done by receiving a $500 direct deposit within one calendar month. This direct deposit requirement is a one-time thing, no need to have a monthly direct deposit.
Previously, any ACH transfer worked to get an upgrade to Premier. As of January 22, 2016, only paychecks or government benefits payments will qualify. The change does not apply for those who were already upgraded.
Previously, we did not require specific types of direct deposits to meet the $500 direct deposit requirement to qualify for the NetSpend Premier FeeAdvantage Plan. Now, we will require a total of $500 in direct deposits of paychecks and/or government benefits payments within one (1) calendar month to qualify for the NetSpend Premier FeeAdvantage Plan.
If you previously qualified for the NetSpend Premier FeeAdvantage Plan, you will be allowed to remain on that fee plan, regardless of the type of direct deposits that qualified you for this fee plan.
Here is the link to the PDF with a whole bunch of changes. None of the other changes mentioned there seem to make much of a difference for us.
[Most of us are not on the Fee Advantage Plan, rather on the Pay-As-You-Go, but I think the change affects the upgrade and thus will apply even for those who choose not to go with the Fee Advantage Plan.]
This change will affect all Netspend products, including Western Union, Brinks, and the rest. Note, that the change should not affect the $20 referral bonus requirement of adding $40 to the card; that requirement is just to get the funds onto the card, no need for direct deposit, and ACH transfer would work fine for that.
If getting a real direct deposit is challenging for you, it may be worth opening an account now and doing an ACH transfer to upgrade yourself before the change goes into effect. (Grab a referral from here.) Note that even after the changes you only need a single direct deposit to get an upgrade; if you’re getting a $500 tax refund, for example, that will work.
See an update on this in the post: Netspend Allows Savings Account without Direct-Deposit/Upgrade.