7 Best Prepaid Debit Cards in 2023

Sections of this topic

    The best prepaid debit cards act as an alternative to a credit card or standard debit card. Prepaid debit cards allow you to conveniently make purchases without needing to open a credit card or checking account. They also act as a low-risk way to manage your money. Learn which prepaid debit card is best for you.

    Best Prepaid Debit Cards

    The following table describes the key features and fees of the best prepaid debit cards we selected. These include monthly fees, reload fees, and ATM fees. Learn more about our rating methodology below

    Prepaid Debit Card

    Monthly Fee

    Reload Fees

    ATM Fees

    Foreign Transaction Fees

    Maximum Balance

    Rewards

    No monthly fees

    $0 at Walmart and up to $3.95 at other participating retailers

    Free ATM withdrawals at over 30,000 MoneyPass ATMs

    $0

    $100,000

    None

    Starts at $5/month

    Up to $3.95

    $2.95

    4%

    $15,000

    Payback Rewards program

    $7.95/month

    Up to $3.95

    $0 at MoneyPass ATMs

    2.7%

    $100,000

    1% cash back

    $6.95/month

    $0 at over 45,000 locations

    $0 at MoneyPass ATMs

    2.7%

    $100,000

    None

    Starts at $2.50/month

    $4 to $6

    Standard ATM operator fees

    0%

    $5,000

    $0 for first 4 cards

    $4.95/month

    Up to $3.95

    $2.50 per withdrawal

    4%

    $15,000

    PayBack Rewards program

    $5.94/month, waived when you direct deposit $500 or more in previous monthly period

    $0 at Walmart and up to $5.95 at other retailers

    $2.50 per withdrawal

    3%

    $10,000

    3% cash back at Walmart.com, 2% cash back at Walmart fuel stations, and 1% cash back at Walmart stores

    Bluebird logo

    Bluebird by American Express: Best Overall Prepaid Debit Card

    No monthly fees

    4.9

    The Bluebird prepaid debit card is offered by American Express. It’s an FDIC-insured prepaid debit card with effectively no fees. This prepaid debit card functions similarly to a checking account, making it a great alternative for those without a bank account. It also offers several ways to deposit money onto the card and an extensive free ATM network.

    Why we chose it: Bluebird by American Express is the best overall prepaid debit card because it doesn’t have any monthly fees, cash reload fees, or ATM withdrawal fees.

    • No monthly fees
    • No activation fees
    • Can load up to $100,000
    • No cash back
    • Not available to Vermont residents
    • ATM withdrawal fees at non-MoneyPass ATMs

    Pricing: There are no monthly fees for the Bluebird prepaid debit card.

    Fees

    There are virtually no fees with a Bluebird prepaid debit card, unlike Netspend, which charges $5 per month. However, you are subject to fees if you use out-of-network ATMs and cash reload retailers. 

    Maximum Balance

    You can add up to $100,000 to your Bluebird prepaid debit card. This is one of the highest maximum account balances in the prepaid debit card niche. 

    Reload Options

    Bluebird offers several ways to deposit money into your prepaid debit card. These include direct deposit, mobile check deposits, cash reloads at Walmart, and transfers from a linked debit card or external bank account.

    Membership Rewards

    Bluebird doesn’t offer cash back or any type of rewards program. Therefore, Bluebird isn’t an excellent option for those looking for membership rewards. However, the Serve Cash Back prepaid debit card by American Express offers 1% cash back on in-store and online purchases.

    Additional Features

    Uncommon to most prepaid debit cards, Bluebird offers low balance alerts and family subaccounts. It also doesn’t let your prepaid card go negative, so you won’t get charged overdraft fees.

    Netspend logo

    Netspend Visa Prepaid Card: Best for Account Management

    Starts at $5 per month

    4.78

    Netspend makes it easy to sign up for a Netspend Visa Prepaid Card because there’s no banking or credit checks required to open an account. However, Netspend is unique because it offers two different fee payment options. You can either pay a monthly fee or pay a fee every time you make a purchase. 

    Why we chose it: The NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card is the best prepaid debit card for account management because of its easy-to-use and highly extensive mobile app. It allows you to manage your money 24/7 from any location in the world.

    • Comprehensive mobile app
    • Refer a Friend feature
    • Simple to use
    • Monthly fees
    • High inactivity fees
    • Low maximum balance

    Pricing: The NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card carries two different payment options:

    • Monthly Plan: Starts at $5 per month if you receive at least $500 a month in payroll checks or government benefits each month
    • Pay-As-You-Go Plan: No monthly fee, but pay a flat $1.50 on purchases

    Fees

    The NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card has higher fees than most of its competitors. Furthermore, the monthly plan costs up to $9.95, but you can lower it to $5 if you receive at least $500 a month in payroll checks or government benefits each month. 

    Maximum Balance

    You can deposit up to $15,000 maximum on your NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card. Although this is a low amount compared to the $100,000 maximum balance allowed on a Bluebird prepaid debit card, it should be enough for most individuals. 

    Reload Options

    You can deposit cash at over 130,000 locations, including gas stations, grocery stores, check cashers, and convenience stores. Some examples are Jewel, Circle K, CVS, Speedway, and U.S. Bank.

    Membership Rewards

    The NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card offers a 5% APY (Annual Percentage Yield) savings account on balances up to $1,000 and 0.50% APY on any amount over $1,000. NetSpend also offers a Payback Rewards program which provides customized offers based on your spending habits

    Additional Features

    If you refer a friend to NetSpend, you and your friend receive $20 if your friend deposits $40 or more onto their card. NetSpend also provides useful iOS and Android apps that help you manage your account and budget your spending.

    Serve logo

    Serve Cash Back by American Express: Best for Rewards

    $7.95 per month

    4.69

    Serve Cash Back by American Express is a unique prepaid debit card because it offers 1% cash back on in-store and online purchases. This is a similar feature to most credit cards. Therefore, a Serve Cash Back prepaid debit card is a great alternative for those who want to earn cash back but don’t want to open a credit card.

    Why we chose it: Server Cash Back by American Express is the best prepaid debit card for rewards because it offers unlimited 1% cash back on purchases.

    • No ATM withdrawal fees at MoneyPass ATMs
    • Unlimited 1% cash back on purchases
    • No card opening fee when you open an account online
    • Steep monthly fee
    • 2.7% foreign transaction fee
    • Mobile check deposit can take up to 10 days

    Pricing: Serve Cash Back by American Express has a $7.95 monthly fee.

    Fees

    The Serve Cash Back card carries a $7.95 monthly fee that you can’t waive. However, Bluebird doesn’t have a monthly fee and the PayPal Prepaid Walmart MoneyCard has a $5.94 monthly fee which you can waive.

    If you need to withdraw cash, you can do so for free at MoneyPass ATMs. However, withdrawing cash at non-MoneyPass ATMs costs $2.50 per withdrawal. Furthermore, cash reloads cost up to $3.95 per transaction, depending on the retailer. 

    Maximum Balance

    You can have a maximum balance of $100,000 on your Serve Cash Back prepaid debit card. This is a high maximum balance and should be more than sufficient to suit your needs.

    Reload Options

    There are over 45,000 cash reload locations in the United States. These include retailers such as Walmart, CVS, Family Dollar, Dollar General, Rite Aid, and 7-Eleven. 

    Membership Rewards

    It’s free to open a Serve Cash Back prepaid card when you apply online. Otherwise, it may cost up to $3.95 at participating retail locations. Furthermore, you can create subaccounts for free for anyone 13 and older.

    Additional Features

    You receive 120 days of post-purchase protection on eligible items up to $1,000. In addition, Serve offers a comprehensive mobile app that allows you to manage your account from any location. You can view your balance, manage transactions, send money, and add checks with the mobile app.

    Serve logo

    Serve Free Reloads by American Express: Best for Cash Reloads

    $6.95 per month

    4.55

    Serve Free Reloads by American Express is a neat prepaid debit card that offers free cash reloads. However, you can only add up to $500 or as low as $20 per cash reload. To deposit cash, visit a participating location and give the cash to a cashier. Then, swipe your card, and the money is immediately added to your account. 

    Why we chose it: Serve Free Reloads by American Express is the best prepaid debit card for cash reloads because it offers free cash reloads at over 45,000 participating locations.

    • Free cash reloads at over 45,000 locations
    • No card opening fee when you open an account online
    • Get your paycheck up to 2 days faster when you sign up for direct deposit
    • Above average monthly fee
    • 2.7% foreign transaction fee
    • Mobile check deposit can take up to 10 days

    Pricing: The Serve Free Reloads prepaid debit card carries a non-waivable $6.95 monthly maintenance fee

    Fees

    The Serve Free Reloads prepaid debit card has a monthly fee of $6.95 that isn’t waivable. Furthermore, there are no minimum balance requirements or hidden fees. Although you’re subject to a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, there aren’t ATM withdrawal fees at MoneyPass ATMs. 

    Maximum Balance

    The maximum balance you can hold on your Server Free Reloads prepaid debit cards is $100,000. However, there are no minimum balance requirements.

    Reload Options

    Stated right in its name, Serve Free Reloads offers free cash reloads at 45,000 retail locations. These include Walmart, CVS, Family Dollar, Dollar General, Rite Aid, and 7-Eleven. If you want more reload options, the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard offers access to 130,000 NetSpent reload locations.

    Membership Rewards

    The primary benefit of the Free Reloads prepaid card is the ability to add as much cash as you want without incurring fees. You also get access to a wide range of American Express offers, including shopping and dining. 

    Additional Features

    Serve offers Online Bill Pay which allows you to organize and pay your bills on time. Furthermore, Serve offers FDIC insurance and covers you for fraudulent purchases.

    FamZoo logo

    FamZoo Prepaid Card: Best for Families

    Starts at $2.50 per month

    4.46

    FamZoo offers a distinctive prepaid card dedicated to families. It puts parents in control of their family bank because FamZoo offers automatic allowances and the ability to send interest payments to children based on their savings.

    Why we chose it: The FamZoo Prepaid Card is the best prepaid debit card for families because it offers four free prepaid cards when you signup. 

    • Great way to teach children about money
    • Parents can control kids’ spending
    • No card opening fee on first four prepaid cards
    • Up to $5.99 monthly fee
    • No mobile check deposit
    • $3 card opening fee after first four cards

    Pricing: 

    FamZoo offers four different payment plans based on the length of your subscription:

    • Pay Monthly: $5.99 per month (1-month free trial)
    • Prepay 6 Months: $4.33 per month, $25.99 total (plus an extra free month)
    • Prepay 12 Months: $3.33 per month, $38.99 total (plus an extra free month)
    • Prepay 24 Months: $2.50 per month, $59.99 total (plus an extra free month)

    Fees

    FamZoo starts at $5.99 per month which can be reduced if you subscribe to a longer-term subscription. Although FamZoo doesn’t charge ATM fees, you’re subject to ATM operator fees. 

    Maximum Balance

    Since FamZoo is designed for families, the maximum balance you can load onto a FamZoo prepaid debit card is $5,000. This is the lowest maximum balance out of all the prepaid debit cards on this list. 

    Reload Options

    You can deposit money onto your FamZoo prepaid debit card through direct deposit (free), ACH (free), or cash reload ($4 to $6). You can deposit cash at Green Dot or MasterCard rePower reload agents.

    Membership Rewards

    You receive a $15 referral bonus when you refer a friend, and they spend at least $15 in subscription fees. 

    Additional Features

    FamZoo offers automated chore charts, chore review options, missed payment tracking, and mobile apps for Android and iOS.

    PayPal logo

    PayPal Prepaid Mastercard: Best for PayPal Users

    $4.95 per month

    4.32

    The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard does not require a credit check, so approval is guaranteed. This prepaid debit card is unique because it lets you transfer money from your PayPal account in real-time. Therefore, this prepaid debit card is only suitable for frequent PayPal users. 

    Why we chose it: The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard is the best prepaid debit card for PayPal users because it offers free and quick transfers from your PayPal balance.

    • Free transfers from PayPal balance
    • Get cash back for free at retailers
    • Savings account with up to 5% APY is available
    • ATM withdrawal fees
    • Cash reload fees
    • PayPal transfers limited to $300 per day

    Pricing: This prepaid debit card carries a monthly maintenance fee of up to $4.95.

    Fees

    The PayPal Prepaid debit card offers free ATM withdrawals from in-network ATMs and up to $3.95 for cash reloads. Moreover, the minimum initial load is $10 to $20.

    Maximum Balance

    The maximum amount of money you can have on your PayPal Prepaid Mastercard is $15,000, which is significantly lower than the $100,000 maximum balance allowed on Bluebird and Serve prepaid debit cards.

    Reload Options

    You can reload your card via direct deposit, PayPal instant transfers, or the NetSpend reload network of 130,000 retail locations.

    Membership Rewards

    You receive access to a high-yield savings account, earning you 5% APY on balances up to $1,000. Furthermore, PayPal’s Refer-A-Friend program grants you and your friend $20 for meeting eligibility requirements.

    Additional Features

    You can download the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard app on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. This app lets you monitor your account balance, load checks, review transactions, and receive alerts.

    Walmart logo

    Walmart MoneyCard: Best for Walmart Shoppers

    Waivable fee of $5.94 per month

    3.51

    The Walmart MoneyCard is the ideal prepaid debit card for frequent Walmart shoppers. It offers 3% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, 2% cash back at Walmart fuel stations, and 1% cash back at retail Walmart locations. However, you can only earn up to $75 in cash back reward per year. 

    Why we chose it: The Walmart MoneyCard is the best prepaid debit card for Walmart shoppers because it offers cash back on all Walmart purchases. 

    • Waivable monthly fee
    • Earn rewards on all Walmart purchases
    • ASAP direct deposit
    • High foreign transaction fees
    • $2.50 fee for bank teller and ATM withdrawals
    • A high deposit amount required to waive the monthly fee

    Pricing: $5.94 per month but waivable if you direct deposit $500 or more in previous monthly period

    Fees

    With the Walmart MoneyCard, you get free cash withdrawals at over 5,000 Walmart locations, free cash reloads at Walmart stores, free online bill pay, and free direct deposit of payroll. Since this debit card has a monthly maintenance fee of $5.94, Bluebird by American Express is a better option if you’re looking for a prepaid debit card without monthly fees.

    Maximum Balance

    The maximum balance you can have on your Walmart MoneyCard is $10,000, unlike Serve prepaid debit cards which offer a maximum balance of $100,000.

    Reload Options

    You can deposit money into your Walmart MoneyCard through the Walmart MoneyCard app, Walmart Rapid Reload, MoneyPak, or cash and load checks at Walmart stores.

    Membership Rewards

    The Walmart MoneyCard prepaid debit card lets you add up to four additional family members aged 13 or older. You can also earn 2% APY on up to $1,000 in your optional savings account.

    Additional Features

    The MoneyCard mobile app lets you deposit checks, monitor your account, and transfer money. You can also unlock overdraft protection for up to $200 with opt-in and an eligible direct deposit. 

    Methodology for the Best Prepaid Debit Cards

    Choosing the best prepaid debit card shouldn’t be difficult if you know what you want. Each prepaid debit card has unique costs and benefits, so look for an option that maximizes your benefits and minimizes your costs. Here at the key factors to consider when picking the best prepaid debit card.

    • Fees: Prepaid debit card issuers usually charge fees for various purposes. These fees include ATM withdrawal fees, monthly service fees, foreign transaction fees, per-transaction fees, and cash reload fees. You can’t avoid every fee, but you can minimize your costs by scanning fee policies carefully.
    • Maximum Balance: Another crucial factor is the maximum balance you’re allowed to load onto the debit card. Prepaid debit cards have various limits, ranging from $300 to over $10,000.
    • Reload Options: Reload options specify how you’re allowed to load more money on your prepaid debit card. The best prepaid debit cards allow online transfers and in-person reloads with popular retailers like Walmart or CVS.
    • Membership Rewards: Some prepaid debit cards offer rewards, including cash back, sign-up bonuses, or other specialty items. Other debit cards don’t have reward programs at all.
    • Additional Features: Additional features in a prepaid debit card include account security features, purchase protection, and fraud protection. The best prepaid debit cards offer peace of mind features to ensure your protection. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Best Prepaid Debit Cards

    Before you make your decision, it’s essential to address a few common questions we get asked about prepaid debit cards. This way, you can make the most informed decision possible.

    Bottom Line on the Best Prepaid Debit Cards

    Bluebird, Netspend, and Serve offer the best prepaid debit cards in 2023. These prepaid debit cards offer various incentives, such as no monthly fees, cash back, and no cash reload fees. However, Walmart and PayPal offer prepaid debit cards that can be valuable to you if you use those retailers often.