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AccountNow Gold Prepaid Debit Card Review

Banking, Prepaid Debit Cards
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AccountNow Gold Prepaid Debit Card Review

AccountNow Gold Prepaid Debit Card
NerdWallet’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0

3.5 stars out of 5

AccountNow
Learn more
at AccountNow
The AccountNow Gold prepaid debit card, managed by AccountNow and issued by Green Dot Bank, has a high sticker price each month in exchange for standard services you’d get with a checking account. This includes free web features, but if you deal with cash you’ll end up paying more fees.

The bottom line

  • Steep monthly fee that can’t be waived.
  • Multiple ways to load cash but no free option.
  • No overdraft or purchase transaction fees.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best prepaid debit cards

Our Ratings
General fees and features3.0 stars out of 5
Purchases and withdrawals4.0 stars out of 5
Reloads3.5 stars out of 5
Other services4.0 stars out of 5
Overall3.5 stars out of 5

NerdWallet’s overall rating is a weighted average of these four categories: general fees and features (40%), purchases and withdrawals (35%), reloads (15%) and other services (10%).

Read on for more details about the AccountNow Gold’s fees and services.

General fees and features

3.0 stars out of 5
3.0 / 5.0

The monthly fee is high, but you won’t be hit with fees for getting or closing the card. Having direct deposits can earn you a one-time bonus.

» MORE: What you should know about prepaid debit cards

ProsCons
  • No inactivity or closure fees.
  • No charge to get the card online.
  • $15 bonus for having $500 in direct deposit for two consecutive months.
  • $9.95 monthly fee, which is high for prepaid debit cards.
  • No way to avoid monthly fee.

Purchases and withdrawals

4.0 stars out of 5
4.0 / 5.0

The card doesn’t charge for purchases or declined transactions, and it works at all merchants that accept Visa. You can get cash back with purchases at retailers when available, but there’s no free withdrawal network.

ProsCons
  • No fees for making purchases.
  • $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee, plus any ATM operator fee.
  • Costs 3% of amount withdrawn at any bank teller, plus any fees charged by that bank.

Reloads

3.5 stars out of 5
3.5 / 5.0

Direct deposit and cash reloads are the main ways to add money, but you can also use mobile check deposit or bank transfers from a checking account. Online bank transfers can take days, and free mobile check deposits process in 10 business days. There’s no free way to reload cash.

ProsCons
  • Multiple ways to add cash onto the card.
  • Cash reloads subject to retailer fee of up to $4.95 from the following transfer services: MoneyGram, Western Union, Visa ReadyLink and Reload @ the Register.
  • Costs 1% to 4% of check amount to have mobile check deposits processed same day.

Other services

4.0 stars out of 5
4.0 / 5.0

Some services are free: You can pay bills online, transfer money between AccountNow cards, check your balance online and get customer service support. Online bill payments are sent either as electronic transfers, which take one to two business days, or paper check, which takes four to five business days. The method depends on whether your billing company accepts online payments, but you can get bills processed faster by paying extra. Getting a second card or paper statements and checking your balance at ATMs also will cost you.

ProsCons
  • Extensive customer service phone hours, including weekends.
  • Free text alerts you can opt into.
  • Free online transfers to friends and family, either to other Green Dot-issued cards or through PayPal.
  • $1.50 fee for ATM balance inquiries.
  • $9.95 fee for processing bill payments within a day.
  • $10 fee for getting an additional card.

Services provided don’t offset sticker price

AccountNow
Learn more
at AccountNow
The AccountNow Gold costs nearly $120 in monthly fees alone in the first year. Although the card comes with free services including online person-to-person transfers and mobile check deposits, you’ll be inconvenienced with fees for any cash reloads and ATM withdrawals you make.

If you’re trying to avoid fees, you might be better served looking at other prepaid debit cards.

Spencer Tierney is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: spencer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SpencerNerd.


Ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s overall rating is a weighted average of these four categories: general fees and features (40%), purchases and withdrawals (35%), reloads (15%) and other services (10%). Factors we consider, depending on the category, include fees, ATM access, reload options, breadth of merchant acceptance, account features and limits, consumer-facing tech and customer service. Because prepaid debit cards help to manage money without using credit, any overdraft program gets penalized under the “purchases and withdrawals” category. Several Nerds contribute to prepaid debit card ratings to ensure consistency and accuracy.

What the ratings mean:
5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best
4.5 stars out of 5 — Very good; only minor caveats for most customers
4 stars out of 5 — Good; issues that might make a difference to some customers
3.5 stars out of 5 — Fair; make sure strengths and weaknesses are a good match for you
3 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution
2.5 stars out of 5 (or below) — Best to avoid