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AchieveCard Visa Prepaid Debit Card Review

Oct. 6, 2016
Banking, Prepaid Debit Cards
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

AchieveCard Prepaid Debit Card
NerdWallet’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0

3.5 stars out of 5

[Updated Aug. 28, 2017: According to AchieveCard’s parent company, Green Dot, AchieveCard is no longer accepting new customers. On its site, you’ll be redirected to get a Green Dot or AccountNow prepaid debit card. You can also check out NerdWallet’s list of best prepaid debit cards.]

The AchieveCard Visa prepaid card, which is issued by The Bancorp Bank, comes with a wide network of free ATMs, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a store that lets you load cash onto it.

The AchieveCard’s fees are its biggest weakness; you will have to pay, at minimum, nearly $120 each year just to use it. What’s more, it doesn’t offer much in the way of budgeting tools or other helpful add-ons.

The bottom line

  • There’s no way to waive the AchieveCard’s steep $9.95 monthly fee, or the cash-loading fee of up to $4.95.
  • The card offers a free direct deposit service.
  • Users can take advantage of free online bill pay and can sign up for text alerts to monitor their balances.

» MORE: Prepaid debit cards: What you should know

Our Ratings
General account fees3.0 stars out of 5
Transactions and funds access4.0 stars out of 5
Reloads3.0 stars out of 5
Other services3.5 stars out of 5
Overall3.5 stars out of 5

Read on for more details about the AchieveCard’s general account fees, transactions and funds access, reloads and other services.

General account fees

3.0 stars out of 5
3.0 / 5.0

You’ll be spared certain fees, but the monthly charges will definitely add up over time.

ProsCons
  • There are no activation or account closure fees.


  • AchieveCard users also don't have to worry about an inactive card fee.
  • There's no way to dodge the $9.95 monthly fee.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best prepaid debit cards of 2016

Transactions and funds access

4.0 stars out of 5
4.0 / 5.0

The AchieveCard has reasonable transaction fees and is accepted by all merchants that take Visa cards.

ProsCons
 
  • There is no signature-based purchase transaction fee.


  • Customers receive reward points for every purchase they make.


  • As a member of the MoneyPass ATM network, the AchieveCard comes with at least 25,000 free cash machines.


  • The PIN-based purchase transaction fee is $0.95.


  • Out-of-network ATM withdrawals cost $2.50.

Reloads

3 stars out of 5
3.0 / 5.0

You’ll be able to load cash onto your card at over 50,000 retail locations, but you’ll have to pay up to $4.95 each time you do so.

Pros Cons
  • These retailers include 7-Eleven, CVS, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.


  • The AchieveCard offers a free direct deposit service.
  • The in-store cash-loading fee can't be waived.

Other services

3.5 stars out of 5
3.5 / 5.0

During the week, AchieveCard users can reach customer service representatives from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central time, and can do so from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time on weekends. There are also a few ways to check your balance, both when you’re at home or on the go.

ProsCons
  • You'll be able to use free online bill pay.


  • You can check your balance on MoneyPass ATMs, or via text alerts and the card's online banking platform and mobile app.

  • The AchieveCard doesn't come with checks.


  • Checking your card's balance on an out-of-network ATM costs $0.95.


  • The website doesn't list an email address, and live support is available only to current AchieveCard users.

Better options are available

If you don’t mind paying a hefty fee just to use your AchieveCard, and can rely on direct deposit to load money onto it, this prepaid card might not be the worst alternative to a checking account.

But know that not all prepaid card issuers charge steep monthly fees, and that there are certainly cheaper options.

Tony Armstrong is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: tony@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @tonystrongarm.


Ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s overall rating is a weighted average of each category: general account fees, transactions and funds access, reloads and other services. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include fees, ATM access, reload options, breadth of merchant acceptance, account features and limits, user-facing tech and customer service. 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