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RushCard is a prepaid debit card that can be a convenient alternative to a checking account. But, like many prepaid debit cards, you’ll pay for the convenience — and RushCard is more expensive than some of its competitors.
In 2017, RushCard’s parent company, UniRush, and its payment processor paid out millions after a technology outage left tens of thousands of users locked out of their accounts, some for weeks. UniRush and RushCard are now owned by prepaid card issuer Green Dot.
Those who value fee-free access to cash from in-network ATMs or through cash back at retailers.
Those who want to use bill pay and a savings account.
Those who don't mind paying a monthly fee in exchange for conveniences like wide card acceptance.
» See more options: Check our list of best prepaid debit cards
No per-purchase fee.
Part of the Visa network, which is widely accepted nationally and internationally.
Cash back at stores at no additional cost.
Free direct deposit and bill pay.
» Looking for a way to build credit instead? Learn about secured credit cards
One-time fee of $3.95 or $9.95 the first time you load money.
$7.95 monthly fee ($5.95 if you set up direct deposit); no way to waive it.
Cash reloads are possible only at third party locations, for a fee.
A $3 out-of-network ATM fee.
» Ready to open a traditional savings option instead? See the best high-yield savings accounts
Overview of prepaid debit cards
What is a prepaid debit card?
A prepaid debit card is a type of payment card that only lets you spend the money you load onto the card. They don’t help you build credit. Like a debit card, a prepaid card works at any merchant that accepts its payment network, such as Visa, Mastercard or American Express. It’s safer and more convenient than using cash. Usually the prepaid card has a mobile app to deposit checks and transfer money. Learn more on our guide to prepaid debit cards.
Unlike checking accounts, prepaid debit cards may lack some services such as free ATM or branch networks, checks, among others. If that doesn’t work for you, see our list of best checking accounts. Or, if you’ve struggled with banks before, check out second chance checking options.
Prepaid debit card vs. debit card vs. credit card
Prepaid debit cards — pay before: You load money onto the card via cash, checks, direct deposit or a bank account before paying for transactions.
Debit cards — pay now: You use money directly from a checking account when paying for purchases or withdrawing money from an ATM.
Credit cards — pay later: You borrow money from a bank when you use the card and pay the money back later.
How does FDIC insurance on prepaid cards work?
Prepaid debit cards nearly always have FDIC insurance, which keeps your funds protected in case the issuer goes bankrupt. Only financial institutions can have FDIC insurance, so a prepaid card is either managed by a bank or by a prepaid card company that partners with a bank to offer that insurance. You must register your prepaid debit card with your name and other identification information in order to be eligible for FDIC insurance and other protections.
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