Can You Overdraft a Prepaid Card? Answered

Short Answer: You cannot overdraft most prepaid gift cards or reloadable prepaid debit cards. However, there are a few prepaid debit cards that let you overdraft. The ACE Elite Visa, Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard, Netspend Prepaid Mastercard, Netspend Prepaid Visa, PayPal Prepaid Mastercard, and Western Union Netspend Mastercard are all prepaid debit cards that may let you overdraft on PIN- and signature-based transactions. Each of these prepaid debit cards also provides overdraft protection for small amounts. For more details on these prepaid cards with overdraft coverage, see below.

Can You Overdraft a Prepaid Card?

Single-use prepaid cards, such as Visa gift cards, do not allow you to overdraft. The card contains a set amount of funds, and you cannot charge a purchase larger than that amount unless you use a secondary payment method to cover the difference.

For reloadable prepaid debit cards, however, overdraft policies vary depending on the financial institution that backs the card and the details of your cardholder agreement. (Our list below details the policies for the major U.S. prepaid debit cards that let you overdraft.)

Some reloadable debit card issuers will allow you to overdraft small amounts without requiring you to link a bank account to your prepaid account. The next time you reload your card after creating a negative balance, the issuer will deduct the overdraft amount from your new balance — so if you overdraft by $10 and then load $100, for example, your positive balance will be $90. Fees for this type of overdraft vary by issuer; there is usually no fee for overdrafts of $10 or less, but fees of around $15 will apply for higher overdrawn amounts.

Want to add more funds to your prepaid card to avoid overdrafts? See our articles on how to transfer funds from your checking account to your prepaid card and where to load a Netspend card.

The List of Prepaid Cards With Overdraft Coverage

Since the overdraft policy varies by issuer and cardholder agreement for reloadable prepaid cards, we have compiled the list of prepaid cards with overdraft coverage. Our list includes each prepaid debit card’s overdraft protection options, overdraft process, and penalties. We collected this information by contacting each card issuer and viewing the official account disclosures for each card. We’ve ordered the list starting with the best overall options.

ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card

  • Overdraft protection:
    • Purchase Cushion: Covers up to a $10 negative balance when you make an overdrawn PIN or signature transaction; available to cardholders with monthly direct deposits of paychecks or government benefits totaling at least $500
  • Overdraft process: After receiving Purchase Cushion assistance, you must repay your negative balance within 30 days of the overdrawn transaction. After 30 days, you will not be able to make transactions using your ACE Elite Visa, but your card will still be able to accept deposits and load funds. The issuer may also choose to send your account to collections after 30 days.
  • Fees and penalties: None
  • Find out more or apply (paid partner link)

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard

  • Overdraft protection:
    • Purchase Cushion: Covers small overdrafts on PIN- and signature-based transactions (up to a $10 negative balance) for cardholders who have completed at least one direct deposit
  • Overdraft process: Purchase Cushion protection is not guaranteed; it is available on select transactions at the discretion of the card issuer. If you receive a Purchase Cushion, you will need to add funds to your account within 30 days to cover the negative balance. After 30 days, the issuer will freeze your card from completing new transactions and may send your account to collections.
  • Fees and penalties: There is no fee for Purchase Cushion service.
  • Find out more or apply

Netspend Prepaid Mastercard and Visa Cards

  • Overdraft protection:
    • Purchase Cushion: May cover your overdrawn PIN-based or signature-based purchase if the total amount is up to $10 more than your available balance; available to cardholders who receive qualifying deposits of at least $500 per month from paychecks or government benefits
    • Optional Overdraft Protection Service: Available for overdrafts greater than $10 for cardholders who receive ACH deposits of at least $4oo in the first 35 days after account enrollment and continue to receive at least $200 in ACH deposits every 30 days
  • Overdraft process: Overdraft transactions are at the discretion of Netspend and may either process, resulting in a negative balance, or result in denial of the purchase. If you overdraft, you must add sufficient funds to your card within 30 days of the overdraft; after 30 days, Netspend will lock your account until you repay the balance and may pursue collections.
  • Fees and penalties:
    • No fees for Purchase Cushion coverage
    • Overdraft Protection Service Fee: $15 per overdraft transaction with a negative balance greater than $10; waived if you repay your negative balance within 24 hours
  • Find out more or apply

Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard

  • Overdraft protection:
    • Purchase Cushion: Available to cardholders with $500 in monthly, qualifying direct deposits; covers up to a $10 negative balance at the discretion of the card issuer; not valid on ATM withdrawals, ACH transfers, or third-party bill payments
  • Overdraft process: If you receive a Purchase Cushion, you will need to repay your negative balance within 30 days to avoid having your account frozen or sent to collections. After 30 days, your account will be open to deposits and fund-loading, but will not be eligible for other transactions, such as bill payment, until the balance is positive.
  • Fees and penalties: Purchase Cushion protection is fee-free.
  • Find out more or apply

Western Union Netspend Mastercard

  • Overdraft protection:
    • Purchase Cushion: Coverage for overdrafts up to $10; available to cardholders with direct paycheck or government aid deposits of at least $500 per calendar month
  • Overdraft process: Approval for Purchase Cushion transactions is at the discretion of the issuer, Netspend. If you receive Purchase Cushion coverage on a PIN-based or signature-based transaction, you will need to repay the overdraft within 30 days. After 30 days, your account will only be open to deposits and loads until you repay the full negative balance, and Netspend may send the account to collection.
  • Fees and penalties: No fees; however, you may only receive one Purchase Cushion at a time
  • Find out more or apply

The List of Prepaid Cards That Don’t Allow Overdraft

In the course of our research, we identified the following prepaid cards that do not allow overdrafts. With these cards, keep in mind that if your account does incur a negative balance due to a merchant fee or other unexpected charge, you will be responsible for repaying the negative balance; the issuer will likely debit the overdrawn amount from your future deposits. However, these cards will typically deny overdrawn transactions and do not have overdraft protection or “purchase cushion” policies.

  • AAA MemberPay Visa Prepaid Card
  • Akimbo Prepaid Mastercard
  • American Express Serve
  • BB&T MoneyAccount Prepaid Debit Card
  • BBVA ClearSpend Visa Prepaid Card
  • Bluebird by American Express
  • Cash App Cash Card
  • Commerce Bank mySpending Card
  • Green Dot Prepaid Cards
  • Green Dot Load & Go Prepaid Visa Card
  • H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard
  • Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Mastercard
  • Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Visa
  • Money Network Prepaid Debit Card
  • MOVO Digital Prepaid Visa Debit Card
  • MyVanilla Prepaid Mastercard
  • MyVanilla Prepaid Visa Card
  • PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Visa Card
  • Ralphs Rewards Visa Prepaid Debit Card
  • Regions Now Card
  • RushCard Live Prepaid Visa Card
  • Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid Card
  • TD Connect Reloadable Prepaid Card
  • Visa TravelMoney Prepaid Card
  • Walmart MoneyCard
  • Xpectations Visa Prepaid Card