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RushCard Prepaid Debit Card Review

March 13, 2019
Banking, Prepaid Debit Cards
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4.0 NerdWallet rating

 

RushCard

at RushCard,

Member, FDIC

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.

Prepaid debit cards can be helpful if you don’t qualify for or would prefer not to use a checking account. But there are other options that might be cheaper or easier, depending on your needs:

If you can’t qualify for a bank account: A second chance checking account can help you become eligible for traditional banking. With time, you can often transition to a traditional account. Read more about second chance checking.

If you’re concerned about overspending: Consider a mobile-focused bank account with low fees that doesn’t allow overdrafts, such as Simple or Chime.


» Getting a prepaid debit card? Here’s what you should know

The bottom line

  • RushCard’s fees are high compared with those charged by some competitors.
  • The card makes it easy to withdraw cash at ATMs and make online payments, but loading cash or checks on the card can be inconvenient.
  • It offers helpful, free services like bill pay and the RushGoals savings feature.

» Want to see how others compare? Check out NerdWallet’s best prepaid debit cards

General fees and features

3.0/5.0

ProsCons
  • No per-purchase fee.
  • One-time fee when you load money onto the card for the first time of $3.95 or $9.95.
  • $7.95 monthly fee (or $5.95 if you set up direct deposit).
  • No way to waive the monthly fee.
Account rated: Unlimited Plan

RushCard is more expensive than some of its competitors, many of which allow users to waive monthly fees. With RushCard’s Unlimited Plan, you’ll pay at least $5.95 per month. This is still a better deal than its Pay As You Go Plan, which charges $1 per purchase.

Both plans charge an activation fee. Many other prepaid cards don’t.

Purchases and withdrawals

5.0/5.0

ProsCons
  • Network of thousands of ATMs, including in chains such as Walgreens and CVS.
  • Part of the Visa network, which is widely accepted nationally and internationally.
  • Can get cash back at stores at no additional cost.
  • No overdrafts possible.
  • A $3 out-of-network ATM fee.
Account rated: Unlimited Plan

Aside from the monthly fee, RushCard’s Unlimited Plan doesn’t charge much to use your money. It’s free to get cash through a participating ATM — not all cards have a free network — or through cash back at retailers. (Not all cards offer this option.)

It’s also free to make purchases. You’ll be charged $1 per purchase with the Pay As You Go Plan. It’s not possible to overdraft with either plan.

You’ll pay $3 per withdrawal to use an out-of-network ATM.

Reloads

2.5/5.0

ProsCons
  • Free mobile check deposit through third-party service Ingo if you can wait 10 days for check to clear.
  • Free direct deposit.
  • Free transfers between RushCards if they belong to the same person; otherwise a fee of 99 cents.
  • Cash reloads are possible only at third party locations, for a fee.
  • If you need a check cleared in under 10 days, you’ll have to pay at least $5 in fees.
  • The maximum balance you can have on your card is $10,000.
Account rated: Unlimited Plan

Like many prepaid card providers, RushCard lets you load for free through direct deposit. It charges for many other reload methods — including instant mobile check deposit and cash reloads — but so do most of its competitors. If you want more free reload methods, a prepaid card sponsored by a bank, such as Chase Liquid, might be a better bet.

Other services

4.5/5.0

ProsCons
  • Free bill pay.
  • RushGoals savings account.
  • Customer service available 24/7 by phone, email or snail mail.
  • Multiple ways to check your balance for free.
  • 50 cent fee to check balance using ATM.
Account rated: Unlimited Plan

RushCard’s extra services help it stand out: For example, some competitors charge for services such as bill pay, and many don’t offer savings features. RushGoals also rewards you each month there’s more than $500 in your account by crediting $2 against your card fees. It’s not a substitute for interest, but it is a bonus.

RushCard reps are also very available — there’s service 24/7, and there’s no fee to call, unlike with some competitors.

High fees compared with others

RushCard

at RushCard,

Member, FDIC

RushCard tends to charge unavoidable fees that competitors waive or don’t have. Look at the company’s fine print and see if its fees would apply to how you would use the card.

If you’ve been having trouble opening a bank account because of past banking difficulties, second chance checking accounts can be an alternative to prepaid debit cards. And if you’re looking for a place to simply store your money, check out our favorite checking and savings accounts.


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.