19 Best Prepaid Debit Cards (Including Some With No Fees)

Prepaid debit cards offer the functionality of a traditional bank debit card without having to open a bank account or agree to a credit check, and there is a wide variety of prepaid cards and issuers to choose from. Typically, prepaid debit cards don’t have an annual fee, but many charge monthly fees (usually under $10 per month). Alternatively, several cards offer a “pay-as-you-go” option and charge a fee for each transaction instead of charging a monthly fee. We list the best prepaid debit card options below.

Direct deposit (for payroll checks, tax payments, and government benefits) is one of the main features of prepaid debit cards. All of the cards below offer direct deposit at no charge. For more deposit options, our previous research features the best prepaid debit cards with mobile deposit.

What We Recommend

Many of the features and fees of the cards listed below are similar, but the American Express Bluebird Prepaid card is our top recommendation — you will not incur any fees with it unless you choose to reload it at a retailer other than Walmart (if so, you may pay up to $4 per reload). The Starbucks Rewards Prepaid Visa by Chase also has no fees as long as you reload online or with the app — just keep in mind that you can’t use this card at an ATM or reload it with cash or checks.

The American Express Serve FREE Reloads Prepaid card has the potential to only cost about $7 per month if you sign up for your card online and reload your card at one of the participating retailers on the list. All of the cards following the top three on our list have additional fees that may include activation, monthly, and/or transaction fees. Many of the cards listed below also charge for both in-network and out-of-network ATM transactions. The best card for you will be determined by your individual needs and spending/saving habits.

Comparison Table

Use the table below to compare your options, or click any card name to find more details in the list below. Note that you can sort the table using the arrows at the top of each column.

Card Name Activation Fee Monthly Fee Transaction Fee
American Express Bluebird Prepaid None None None
Starbucks Rewards Prepaid Visa by Chase None None None in U.S.
American Express Serve FREE Reloads Prepaid Free online; about $4 in stores About $7 None
Paypal Prepaid Mastercard None None None for purchases; $1.95 for ATM
Western Union Netspend Prepaid None About $10 ($5 with $500 in deposits per month) $1.50 pay-as-you-go
Mango Prepaid Mastercard None $5 (No charge with $800 in direct deposits) None for purchases; $3 for ATM
Akimbo Prepaid Mastercard None None $1 per transaction for ATM and PIN
BB&T (Truist) Prepaid Debit None $5 ($3 with $1,000 balance) None
Walmart MoneyCard $6 Up to $6 (no fee if you load $1,000 per month) None
Brinks Prepaid Mastercard None About $10 ($5 with $500 in direct deposits) $1 for signature purchases; $2 for PIN purchases
Green Dot Prepaid Visa About $2 About $8 (no fee if $1,000 per month in deposits) None in the U.S.
Load & Go Prepaid Visa about $4 None $1.50 per purchase
Kroger Prepaid None; $1.50 to purchase temporary card in store About $5 None
PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Visa None About $5 None
Vanilla Prepaid Mastercard or Visa None None $0.95 for all purchases; $1.95 for ATM
Fifth Third Bank Access 360 None Up to $7 (waived with $500 in deposits monthly) $2.75 for out-of-network ATMs
Netspend Prepaid Visa or Mastercard None About $10 None for purchases; $2.50 for ATM
Control Prepaid Mastercard None $8 ($5 with $500 monthly deposits) None for purchases; $2.95 for ATM
RushCard Prepaid Visa None $6 with direct deposit; $8 without direct deposit $1 pay-as-you-go; $2.50 out-of-network ATMs

The List

Note: Our list is in order beginning with the overall best options based on their fees, features, reload availability, and direct deposit policies.

1. American Express Bluebird Prepaid

  • Features:
    • No overdraft fees[1]
    • No annual fee[1]
  • Activation fee: None[1]
  • Reload fee:
    • Free at Walmart registers[1]
    • Up to $4 elsewhere[1]
  • Transaction fee: None[1]
  • Monthly fee: None[1]
  • Account requirements: Bluebird uses Ingo Money for mobile check deposits, which you can link to your bank account. Money held in Bluebird accounts is eligible for FDIC pass-through-insurance.[2]
  • Apply

2. Starbucks Rewards Prepaid Visa by Chase

Note: The Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid does not have ATM access, and you can’t reload it with cash or checks.

  • Features:
    • Earn Starbucks rewards[3]
    • No annual fee[3]
  • Activation fee: None[3]
  • Reload fee:
    • None online or by app[3]
    • Retailers may charge a fee of up to $4[3]
  • Transaction fee: None for U.S. transactions[3]
  • Monthly fee: None[3]
  • Account requirements: No deposit account required — funds are held in an FDIC-insured “sub-account.”[4]
  • Apply

3. American Express Serve FREE Reloads Prepaid

  • Features:
    • Free reloads at CVS, Family Dollar, Walmart, Dollar General, Rite Aid, and 7-Eleven[5]
    • No annual fee[5]
  • Activation fee: Free online or about $4 in stores[5]
  • Reload fee:
    • Free at participating retailers[5]
    • Up to $5 at other retailers[5]
  • Transaction fee: None[5]
  • Monthly fee: About $7 monthly[5]
  • Account requirements: Serve uses Ingo Money for mobile check deposits (requires Debit Account for mobile deposits)[6]
  • Apply

4. Paypal Prepaid Mastercard

  • Features:
    • Earn rewards[7]
    • No annual fee[7]
  • Activation fee: None[7]
  • Reload fee: Up to $4[7]
  • Transaction fee:
    • None for purchases[7]
    • $1.95 for ATM transactions[7]
  • Monthly fee: None[7]
  • Account requirements: Requires PayPal Cash Plus account for mobile deposits[8]
  • Apply

5. Western Union Netspend Prepaid Mastercard

  • Features:
    • No annual fee[9]
    • Optional savings account[9]
  • Activation fee: None[9]
  • Reload fee: About $4[9]
  • Transaction fee: $1.50 per transaction[9]
  • Monthly fee: About $10 monthly (reduced to $5 if you deposit $500 or more per month)[9]
  • Account requirements: Must have active Card Account for direct deposits[10]
  • Apply

6. Mango Prepaid

  • Features:
    • Savings account option (open with just $1)[11]
    • No annual fee[11]
    • Add money from your PayPal account at no charge[11]
  • Activation fee: None[11]
  • Reload fee: None for Green Dot reloads (third-party fees apply if you reload a different way)[11]
  • Transaction fee:
    • None for purchases[11]
    • $3 for ATM transactions[11]
  • Monthly fee:
    • $5 (waived if you make at least $800 in deposits per month)[11]
    • $8 fee after 90 days of inactivity[11]
  • Account requirements: Card funds are held in an FDIC-insured Card Account[12]
  • Apply

7. Akimbo Prepaid

  • Features:
    • Fee-free signature purchase transactions[13]
    • No annual fee[13]
  • Activation fee: None[13]
  • Reload fee: Up to $6[13]
  • Transaction fee: $1 each for ATM transactions and PIN purchases[13]
  • Monthly fee: None[13]
  • Account requirements: Akimbo uses Ingo Money for mobile check deposits; must have a Card Account or linked bank accont for mobile/direct deposits[14]
  • Apply

8. BB&T (Truist) Prepaid Debit Card

  • Features:
    • No annual fee[15]
    • No overdraft fees[15]
  • Activation fee: None[15]
  • Reload fee: Up to $7[16]
  • Transaction fee: None[15]
  • Monthly fee: $5 monthly (reduced to $3 with $1,000 balance)[15]
  • Account requirements: Must have active deposit account for mobile and direct deposits[17]
  • Apply

9. Walmart MoneyCard

  • Features:
    • Earn interest and cash back[18]
    • No annual fee[18]
  • Activation fee: $6[18]
  • Reload fee:
    • No charge at Walmart stores with the MoneyCard app[18]
    • Up to $6 elsewhere[18]
  • Transaction fee: None[18]
  • Monthly fee: Up to $6 per month (waived if you loaded $1,000 or more in the previous month)[18]
  • Account requirements: Must have a Green Dot deposit account for deposits[19]
  • Apply

Note: Our previous research features more details on the Walmart MoneyCard.

10. Brink’s Money Prepaid Mastercard

  • Features:
    • $10 overdraft cushion offered at bank’s discretion[20]
    • No annual fee[20]
  • Activation fee: None[20]
  • Reload fee: $4[20]
  • Transaction fee:
    • $1 for signature purchases[20]
    • $2 for PIN purchases[20]
  • Monthly fee:
    • About $10 per month (reduced to $5 with at least $500 per month in direct deposits)[20]
    • Additional charge of about $6 per month after 90 days of inactivity[20]
  • Account requirements: Must have a Card Account for direct and mobile deposits[21]
  • Apply

11. Green Dot Prepaid Visa

  • Features:
    • No overdraft fees[22]
    • No annual fee[22]
  • Activation fee: About $2[22]
  • Reload fee: About $6[22]
  • Transaction fee: None for U.S. transactions[22]
  • Monthly fee: About $8 monthly (waived if you loaded $1,000 or more in the previous month)[22]
  • Account requirements: Must have an active Card Account for deposits[23]
  • Apply

12. Green Dot Load & Go Prepaid Visa

  • Features:
  • Activation fee: About $4[24]
  • Reload fee: Up to $6[24]
  • Transaction fee: $1.50 per purchase[24]
  • Monthly fee: None[24]
  • Account requirements: Must have active Card Account for deposits[25]
  • Apply

13. Kroger Prepaid

  • Features:
    • No overdraft fees[26]
    • No annual fee[26]
  • Activation fee: None, though there is a $1.50 charge if you purchase a temporary card in-store[26]
  • Reload fee: Up to $5[26]
  • Transaction fee: None[26]
  • Monthly fee: About $5 monthly[26]
  • Account requirements: Kroger uses Ingo Money for mobile check deposits[27]
  • Apply

14. PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Visa

  • Features:
    • Free transactions at PNC ATMs[28]
    • No annual fee[28]
  • Activation fee: None[28]
  • Reload fee: Up to $4[28]
  • Transaction fee: None[28]
  • Monthly fee: $5[28]
  • Account requirements: Must be linked to active PNC deposit account[28]
  • Apply

15. Vanilla Prepaid Mastercard or Visa

  • Features: No annual fees[29]
  • Activation fee: None[29]
  • Reload fee: About $4[30]
  • Transaction fee:
    • $0.95 for all purchases[29]
    • $1.95 for all ATM transactions[29]
  • Monthly fee: None for active accounts; $4 if account is inactive for 90 days[29]
  • Account requirements: MyVanilla uses Ingo Money for mobile check deposits[29]
  • Apply

16. Fifth Third Bank Access 360

  • Features:
    • Free transactions at Fifth Third Bank ATMs[31]
    • No annual fee[31]
  • Activation fee: None[31]
  • Reload fee: None[31]
  • Transaction fee: $2.75 for out-of-network ATMs[31]
  • Monthly fee: Up to $7 (waived with $500 or more deposit per month)[31]
  • Account requirements: Must be linked to active Fifth Third deposit account[31]
  • Apply

17. Netspend Prepaid Visa or Mastercard

  • Features:
    • No overdraft fees[32]
    • No annual fee[32]
  • Activation fee: None[32]
  • Reload fee: About $4[32]
  • Transaction fee:
    • None for purchases (though a pay-as-you-go option is available for $2 per purchase)[32]
    • $2.50 for ATM transactions[32]
  • Monthly fee: About $10 monthly ($6 fee after 90 days of inactivity)[32]
  • Account requirements: Netspend uses Ingo Money for mobile check deposits; must have an active Card Account for deposits[32]
  • Apply

18. Control Prepaid Mastercard

  • Features:
    • Cash back rewards[33]
    • No overdrafts and no annual fee[33]
  • Activation fee: None[33]
  • Reload fee: $4[33]
  • Transaction fee:
    • None for purchases[33]
    • $2.95 for ATM transactions[33]
  • Monthly fee: $8 (reduced to $5 with $500 monthly deposits)[33]
  • Account requirements: Must have Card Account to access all features[34]
  • Apply

19. RushCard Prepaid Visa

  • Features:
    • Cash back and rewards programs[35]
    • No annual fee[35]
  • Activation fee: None[35]
  • Reload fee: Up to $10 depending on your plan choice[35]
  • Transaction fee:
    • $1 with the pay-as-you-go option[35]
    • $2.50 for out-of-network ATM transactions[35]
  • Monthly fee:
    • $6 with direct deposit[35]
    • $8 without direct deposit[35]
  • Account requirements: Must have a Card Account for direct and mobile deposits[36]
  • Apply
  1. https://www.bluebird.com/#adding-funds[][][][][][][]
  2. https://www.bluebird.com/#?intlink=us-bluebird-marketing-home-prospectslp-InComm2018-header-addfunds[]
  3. https://www.starbucks.com/starbucks-rewards/prepaid-card?cell=s02&spid=sppc[][][][][][][]
  4. https://www.chase.com/content/dam/chase-ux/documents/personal/credit-cards/starbucks-deposit-account-agreement.pdf[]
  5. https://www.serve.com/cash-reload-prepaid-card/?intlink=us-serve-marketing-home-home-incomm2018-howitworks-cashloadlearnmore[][][][][][][]
  6. https://www.serve.com/[]
  7. https://www.paypal-prepaid.com/[][][][][][][]
  8. https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees[]
  9. https://www.westernunion.com/us/en/netspend.html[][][][][][]
  10. http://wunetspendprepaid.com[]
  11. https://www.mangomoney.com/what-is-mango/[][][][][][][][][]
  12. https://www.mangomoney.com/customer-agreements/new-cardholders/mango-card-program-customer-agreement/[]
  13. https://www.akimbocard.com/prepaid[][][][][][]
  14. https://www.akimbocard.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Cardholder-Agreement_GPR_Akimbo_FICENTIVEAKIMBOMCGPRTC_1119-7.pdf[]
  15. https://www.bbt.com/banking/prepaid-cards/prepaid-debit-card.html[][][][][]
  16. https://apps.usa.visa.com/slocators/get-a-card.jsp?filter=readylink[]
  17. https://www.bbt.com/online-access/online-banking/how-to-mobile-check-deposit.html[]
  18. https://www.walmartmoneycard.com/about-our-product.html[][][][][][][]
  19. https://www.walmartmoneycard.com/help/adding-money.html[]
  20. https://www.brinksprepaidmastercard.com/[][][][][][][][]
  21. https://www.brinksprepaidmastercard.com/how_it_works.shtml[]
  22. https://www.greendot.com/for-people/our-products/prepaid-cards/prepaid-mastercard-or-visa-card[][][][][][]
  23. https://www.greendot.com/content/dam/greendot/legal/about/docs/gdunlimited3daa.pdf[]
  24. https://www.greendot.com/for-people/our-products/prepaid-cards/LoadandGo[][][][][][]
  25. https://www.greendot.com/content/dam/greendot/legal/about/docs/cardholderagreement-loadandgo.pdf[]
  26. https://www.krogerprepaid.com/prepaid-card/[][][][][][]
  27. https://www.krogerprepaid.com/how-it-works/adding-funds/[]
  28. https://www.pnc.com/en/personal-banking/banking/debit-and-prepaid-cards/pnc-smartaccess-prepaid-visa-card.html[][][][][][][]
  29. https://www.myvanillacard.com/[][][][][][]
  30. https://www.myvanillacard.com/[]
  31. https://www.53.com/content/fifth-third/en/personal-banking/bank/debit-cards/access-360-debit-card.html[][][][][][][]
  32. https://www.netspend.com/prepaid-debit/features/mobile-check-load/[][][][][][][][]
  33. https://www.mycontrolcard.com/[][][][][][][]
  34. https://www.mycontrolcard.com/features/[]
  35. https://www.rushcard.com/[][][][][][][][]
  36. https://www.rushcardlive.com/prepaid/account/faqs[]