These cards come with a $5.95 monthly fee, and fees for withdrawals are unavoidable. While direct-deposit is free, adding cash via ReadyLink costs about $3.95 (it can vary by retailer). The bill-pay feature is handy, and the card does not charge a fee for purchases.
Bonuses for depositing checks. Government benefit checks can earn $30, and direct-deposit paychecks can earn $20 (conditions apply). Referral bonuses also available.
Deposits FDIC insured. PayPower Visa cards are issued by MetaBank, and money deposited on the card is FDIC-insured.
Electronic bill pay and text alerts. It’s easy to set up alerts to keep up with your balance (also wise – balance inquiries at ATMs are 50 cents apiece).
Secondary cardholder allowed. The primary cardholder must be at least 18, and so does the secondary cardholder, so this is not an appropriate card for an allowance.
Visa branding. This means wide acceptance.
Bottom line: Fees are on the high side, and there are few ways to avoid or minimize them. The bonus program may hold appeal for some, but be sure the money gained isn’t consumed by fees.
What we like: There is no fee for talking to customer service, and Visa’s Zero Liability policy applies. The bill-pay and text alerts features are also appealing.
What we don’t like: There is no fee-free network, so every ATM withdrawal results in a fee — $1.95 plus whatever the ATM owner charges. Maintenance fees are also on the high side, and though secondary users are allowed, they must be 18.
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