The Best Prepaid Cards with Direct Deposit in 2021
As many as 145 million Americans take advantage of direct deposit in order to receive their salaries or government benefits. Why? The short answer is that direct deposit is often much easier than waiting for a physical check to come in the mail. The long answer is, well, sometimes setting up direct deposit can help you save on banking fees and access your cash faster.
While most people set up a direct deposit via their traditional bank account, it’s possible to set up direct deposit if you have a prepaid debit card, too. While the setup process might look slightly different, the end result is the same: cash in your hand faster than waiting on physical checks to arrive in the mail.
Because not everybody in the US qualifies to apply for a regular bank account and debit card, prepaid debit cards are a more inclusive option for most. Not all of these cards, however, offer the option of setting up direct deposit. Here’s what to know about prepaid cards, along with the best option for those looking for great direct deposit features.
What is a Prepaid Debit Card?
A prepaid debit card acts as sort of a gift card in that you purchase a card and load it with cash. When you use the card, the transaction is deducted from your balance. Some prepaid debit cards are reloadable, meaning that you can add more cash to the card after using it.
Does that mean you need a checking account so that you can link it to your prepaid card and load it with money? You can do that, yes, but you don’t have to! Most card issuers will give you a variety of ways that you can load money onto the card without having to link a checking account.
People who may not have checking accounts or credit cards often utilize prepaid debit cards for many of their purchases as it's an easier way to pay online and even in-person as opposed to carrying around cash.
Do Prepaid Cards Have Monthly Fees?
People lose up to about $100 a year in banking fees, with the average monthly fee for simply having an account coming out to around $10. While that might not sound like a lot, it’s a ridiculous fee to have to pay just to spend your own money.
Because prepaid debit cards work differently than “regular” debit cards, does this mean that the fees are different as well? Not necessarily. As the FTC notes, some of the most common fees for a prepaid card include:
- Monthly fees
- Transaction fees
- Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees
- Balance inquiry fees
- Cash reload fees
The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard, for example, comes with a $4.95 monthly fee that gets deducted straight from your PayPal account. And, the FamZoo prepaid debit card comes with a fee of $5.99 per family. On the other hand, however, both the Cheese Debit Card and the American Express Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card come with $0 monthly fees. So, it’s really just a matter of looking at your best options and comparing the fees and parks.
Good Prepaid Cards to Start With
We’ve reviewed our top picks for the best prepaid debit cards here. However, we’ve gotta call out our top two favorites aside from the Cheese Debit Card. First, let’s start with the American Express Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card.
For starters, Bluebird is accepted virtually anywhere where they accept American Express. While American Express isn’t as widely used in the US as Visa or Mastercard, it’s a great option for frequent travelers or international students. On top of that, there are close to zero fees associated with the card, free direct deposits, free bill pay, and Purchase Protection.
Another great prepaid card to start out with if you’re new to these kinds of cards would be the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard. While it does come with a $4.95 monthly fee, it’s great due to the fact that most people in the US already have a PayPal account set up. It’s simple to set up and use, plus the card comes with a free direct deposit option that works with most major banks.
On top of the ease of use of the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard, you gain access to lots of features such as the ability to use an online bill pay service and open a linked interest-earning savings account if you connect it to an existing PayPal account.
Prepaid Cards with Direct Deposit
Most cards these days come with the ability to set up an ACH direct deposit. That’s nothing too new. However, what is special is the ability to enjoy early direct deposits. Nowadays, many non-traditional banks offer the ability to not only enjoy direct deposit features but also to access those direct deposits up to two days early.
The American Express Bluebird Prepaid Debit Cards is one of the few prepaid debit cards that does allow you to access an early direct deposit. However, the perks don’t really rival what the Cheese Debit Card offers (read more on that below).
Learn how to set up direct deposit with Cheese here and start receiving your paychecks up to two days earlier.
Other Cards Options with Direct Deposit
Looking for a fee-free debit card that’s built to reward you? Not only are you able to get a Cheese Debit Card without a SSN, but it’s also designed with lots of perks to help you save your hard-earned cash. Plus, we offer an early direct deposit feature that allows you to access your paycheck up to two days early.
From our $5 signup bonus and the chance to earn up to 10% cash back at your favorite stores to our commitment to offering fee-free banking to everybody regardless of their immigration status, we’re dedicated to serving you. To sign up for the Cheese Debit Card, simply use your passport and valid visa, along with a valid US address, to access our unique zero-fee, cash back debit card.
Once you sign up for your Cheese Debit Card, you’ll have access to all of these perks:
🧀️ No SSN required
🧀️ Apply with just an established US address, passport & valid visa
🧀️ $5 signup bonus
🧀️ Up to 10% cashback with every purchase
🧀️ Early paycheck (up to 2 days early!)
🧀️ No incoming wire transfer fee
🧀️ NO annual fees, minimum balance, or ATM fees
🧀️ Giveback fund for Asian communities & NGOs