If you don’t have a bank account, a prepaid card works well as a debit card substitute. These cards function the same as debit cards in that you can use them for purchases or for getting cash at an ATM.
The difference is that, as the name suggests, you need to load funds onto the card before using them, unlike standard debit cards which are tied directly to a bank account. It’s natural to wonder which is the best-prepaid card on the market since there are a plethora of options available. When it comes to choosing the best-prepaid card, the AccountNow Gold Visa Prepaid Card ranks near the top due to its many benefits and its ease of use.
Here’s the AccountNow Gold Visa Prepaid Card, at a glance:
- There’s no activation fee
- The balance limit is $10,000, but there’s no minimum required balance
- AccountNow doesn’t run a credit check during the application process
- Direct deposits are free
- The monthly maintenance fee is $9.95
Besides those product details, there can be additional fees, but that depends entirely on how you use the card. If you set up direct deposits and only use the card for purchases and bill payments, you can avoid any fees besides that $9.95 monthly maintenance fee.
Even though you need to pay for this card every month, keep in mind that you’re avoiding bank fees and you can’t overdraft this card, either. Withdrawing money from an ATM in the United States has a $2.50 fee, and if the withdrawal is at an ATM in another country, the fee will be $4.95. The ATM could also have its own fees if you’re using one that isn’t part of the AccountNow network. However, since point-of-sale transactions don’t have a fee, an easy way to avoid ATM fees when you need to withdraw money is by making a purchase, selecting the Debit option and requesting cash back for the amount that you need. One nice benefit of this card is the $15 bonus, which you can get within the first six months of having the card. To get the bonus, you must have two direct deposits in consecutive months, and each deposit must be at least $500. These must be recurring direct deposits from an employer or benefits provider. After the second deposit has posted to your account and you’ve met the bonus requirements, you simply need to call AccountNow about the bonus. They’ll verify that you’ve met the terms and deposit the $15 bonus onto your card within 15 days.
How to Apply
Getting your prepaid Gold Visa from AccountNow is as easy as it gets. The application is available on the AccountNow site, and from the homepage, you can click either Sign Up or Get My Card to go to the application page.
The application will ask for the following information:
- Your full name
- Your street address
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Your Social Security number
- Your date of birth
- If you have an employer or benefits provider that offers direct deposit
If you have a referral code, you can also enter that when you apply. Once you’ve filled that out, you can click Send My Card to get your application processed and your card sent out. There won’t be any sort of credit check, and when your card arrives in the mail, you can activate it on the AccountNow site.
Making the Best Use of the Card
Whether you don’t have a bank account because you’re focused on avoiding bank fees or for other reasons, a prepaid card is a valuable tool that can take the place of a typical debit card. When it comes to avoiding those pesky bank fees, the AccountNow Gold Visa is certainly the best-prepaid card available, but you still need to use it correctly to save yourself money. The two most important things you can do with this prepaid card is set up recurring direct deposits and only use your card for in-person or online purchases.
There is also the option of depositing money to your card at certain retail locations, but they can charge up to $4.95 as a reload fee. This is a convenient option when you need to put money on your card, but if you’re going to keep the card long term, you’re better off sticking to direct deposits that don’t cost you anything. Those ATM fees can also cut into your balance quite a bit. Since you can just get cash back instead, there’s almost never a reason why you should eat an ATM fee with this card. Overall, this prepaid card is a reliable option that will work anywhere Visa is accepted, and you can get it for a reasonable monthly fee.