Netspend – An Overview
Netspend is an Austin-based company that offers prepaid debit cards, usually Visa or Mastercard, that can be used to make in-store purchases, shop online, and withdraw cash at ATMs. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation acts as a guarantor and provides insurance for all of the transactions that are made with the card.
Customers can order a Netspend card online from the company’s website or purchase one at participating retailers at a small fee. The cards are sent via mail within seven to 10 days after making an order online. On receipt, customers must activate the cards and deposit funds into the card before they can begin using it to make purchases and pay bills.
How to Open an Account Online and Get a Netspend Card
Opening an account on the Netspend website is relatively simple. Customers are required to provide their name, physical address, and email address. On the Netspend.com website, first compare the various packages by looking at the features, fees, and benefits of each package. Once you’ve identified the package that fits your preferences, click the sign-up button to open the sign-up page. The page requires users to input their name, address, and email address.
The next step is to select the preferred color from a choice of four different colors. Then, create a username, password, and a security question. Once the application is approved, log into the customer portal and order your Netspend card. The card will be delivered via registered mail within seven to 10 days.
An alternative to the online application is to purchase the company’s card from an authorized retailer such as a gas station, grocery store, or check-cashing store. Participating stores usually display the company’s sticker at the counter. Vendors require customers to provide their name, address, date of birth, and make a copy of an official identity document such as a passport or driver’s license. Retailers usually sell the cards at a fee ranging from $2.95 to $4.95.
How to Use Netspend Cards
NetSpend prepaid cards can be used to pay for shopping, refill your gas tank, pay online bills, and withdraw cash from ATMs. They have the flexibility of being used as a credit card and as a debit card. They typically include a $1 transaction fee whenever used as a credit card, and an even higher fee of $2 when used as a debit card. There are variations to the amount of these fees but they are usually in the $1-$2 range. There are also fees for cash withdrawals at ATMs, which will typically vary on location, with international withdrawals having more expensive fees.
If you are a large user, you can upgrade your subscription to the FeeAdvantage Plan or Netspend Premier FeeAdvantage Plan that charges $5.00 and $9.95 per month, respectively. Over-the-counter cash withdrawals are charged $2.50 per transaction, plus a transaction surcharge for foreign OTC cash withdrawals. Domestic ATM cash withdrawals are charged $2.50 per withdrawals while international cash withdrawals are charged $4.95 per withdrawal, plus the foreign transaction surcharge.
How to Add Funds to the Netspend Card
There are several ways that customers can use to add funds to their accounts. They include:
Direct deposit is the most convenient way to reload funds into the Netspend prepaid card without incurring any expenses. Customers can choose to deposit their paychecks and government benefits directly to their prepaid cards. Tax refunds from the IRS can also be deposited directly to the card account.
Netspend Reload Locations
Netspend lists over 130,000 locations around the United States where cardholders can add money to their accounts. The company’s website offers a reload center locator that customers can use to find the most convenient reload locations near their cities.
Customers can also add money to their Netspend accounts from any U.S.-issued bank account. They can use their bank debit cards, savings, or checking account balances to add funds to the card.
PayPal also offers a convenient way where customers can link their Netspend cards and deposit money directly to the prepaid cards.
Transfer Between Netspend Card Accounts
The company also allows customers to transfer funds from one Netspend card account to another account at a small fee.
Netspend Overdraft Protection
Netspend overdraft protection allows prepaid cardholders to incur fees or complete transactions that exceed their card account balances. Customers are allowed to use the overdraft protection service up to three times per calendar month. Customers are charged a transaction fee of $15 overdraft transaction services for customer withdrawals that exceed their card balance by more than $10.
However, for customers to enjoy this protection, they must meet certain activation and eligibility requirements. One of these requirements is that customers must provide a valid email address and agree to the company’s electronic delivery of disclosures and amended terms to the overdraft protection contract. Also, account holders must make deposits to their card in excess of $200 every 30 days to continue using the service.
Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to Netspend. CFI is the official provider of the global Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional resources below will be useful: