American Express Prepaid
Things We Like
Things We Dislike
This prepaid debit card is a decent candidate for your teen. Transactions are run as a credit card, making cash-back impossible, and ATM use can get expensive. Although American Express does not charge for the first withdrawal, many ATM owners do. Without direct deposit, loading cash onto the card can be costly. We like that there are no monthly maintenance fees, the availability of subaccounts, perks that “feel like membership,” and text alerts and online access to account.
No cash-back from purchases means there is no easy way to get cash without using an ATM. And although American Express does not charge a fee for the first withdrawal, most ATM owners do. Relatively high fees to reload the card unless direct-deposit is used.
The American Express Prepaid card makes it possible to make purchases online and elsewhere with many of the same conveniences afforded by other forms of plastic. There are no transaction or monthly maintenance fees, and you receive one “free” ATM withdrawal per month. (By free, we mean there is no fee from American Express; there likely will be a surcharge from the ATM owner.) Additional subaccounts are available, and activity can be monitored online, making this a great candidate for an allowance card for your teen. There is no monthly maintenance fee and no point-of-service fee for transactions. No free ATM network, but American Express does not charge for first withdrawal each month. Card has a minimum load of $25.
No monthly fee or transaction fees. Direct-deposit is also free, and can easily be done from a bank account. Sub-accounts. You can set up accounts for a teen’s allowance or safely send money to a friend or relative. Text alerts and online access can keep you up-to-date on card use (or alert you to unauthorized use) and balances. The primary user must be at least 18, but authorized users may be as young as 13. American Express branding. Pro: Purchase protection provides coverage for theft or accidental damage of eligible purchases for 90 days from the date of the purchase. Con: American Express is not as widely accepted as some other cards. Easy to reload. Cash can be added to the card at any Green Dot MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload Network Card funding source. Reload charges start at $3.95.