How to Transfer Money From Checking Account to Prepaid Card: Online or Offline

Funding through ACH transfer is available for prepaid cards including the Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card, and Walmart Money Card. Most of these cards allow ACH transfers from either a checking or savings account and sometimes offer extra features like rewards and exclusive discounts. For details of how to make an ACH transfer, plus a list of prepaid cards that allow ACH transfers, see below.

About ACH Transfers

Since the introduction of Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction, online transfer of money between two financial institutions or products has become very easy. When you reload your prepaid card from your checking account, the transfer system follows the ACH principle.

At first, you have to sign up for a card by visiting the card provider’s website. To sign up, you need to provide some official identification numbers. Once you register, the card provider usually takes a short time to verify your identity. Then, the card arrives by mail.

Once the card arrives, you have to go online and enter information like the card number and PIN in the card activation area of the website. After activation, you can load the card by transferring money from your checking account.

Navigate to the bank’s website and follow instructions for ACH transfer or electronic fund transfer. Fill in the required information including your checking account number, the number of the destination prepaid card, and the amount to be transferred.

Transfers usually take one to three business days to complete but for some cards, like the Walmart Money Card, same-day transfers are also possible. Most cards do not charge for loading.

The List of Prepaid Cards With ACH Transfers

Below, we detail some of the most popular prepaid card options which can be funded using ACH transfers. We’ve included information about fees, limits, card features, and who can apply.

American Express Prepaid Card

Any U.S. citizen who is at least 13 years old can use this card. This card can be used at any online or offline store worldwide that accepts American Express (here’s our article that shows the list of places). The card can also be used to rent cars and can even be used abroad.

Though there is no minimum balance requirement, when you transfer money from your checking account, there is a minimum transfer requirement of $25 a day. The maximum fund that you can transfer per day is $2,500. You can fund the card by phone or online.

When funding the card, allow five days for the funds to move from your bank account to the card. If you want to automate this, direct deposit can be setup so you can, for instance, give your college-aged daughter $200 each time you get paid. The American Express Prepaid Card can also be used at ATMs, but there is a $2.50 fee per transaction.

More about the American Express Prepaid Card

American Express Bluebird Prepaid Card

This card is jointly offered by American Express and Walmart. To get and use this card, you have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen. The Bluebird Family account is even available to a 13-year-old kid. You can use this card to shop from stores that accept American Express cards.

There is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee for the American Express Bluebird card. You can use any U.S.-issued checking account to load your AMEX Bluebird card, or you can use direct deposit. Funds typically process to the card within two to three business days of the transfer date, but are available immediately when deposited from a debit card that is either linked or used at a Walmart register. MoneyPass ATMs are free and non-MoneyPass ATMs have a $2.50 fee per transaction.

More about the American Express Bluebird Prepaid Card

Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card

To become the primary Green Dot Prepaid Debit cardholder, you have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen. A child can then get a secondary card and become a secondary user. The card can be anywhere in the world where Visa and/or Mastercard is accepted.

Using your checking account, you can reload the card to a maximum amount of $2,500 a day. The daily withdrawal limit is $400. Green Dot Card products can be found at a variety of retailers, such as CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, Kroger, 7-Eleven, and Walgreens, for a fee of up to $5. You can also order the card for free online. The Green Dot Prepaid Debit can be used outside the U.S. for a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Money can be transferred from your checking account to the prepaid card next business day if scheduled before 1 p.m. EST. Paper check deposits can take up to five days.

More about the Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card

Card.com

The unique aspect of the Card.com prepaid card is that you can personalize the design. This is fun for children and ensures that they don’t accidentally use the wrong card. This card can be used worldwide, anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Any U.S. citizen who is age of majority in their state can become an owner of this prepaid card. Age of majority is usually 18; see Washington University’s guide to find out what the age of majority is in your state.

The card can be used outside of the United States. The foreign transaction fee is 2.95%. There’s a monthly maintenance fee of $5.95 (waived when you load at least $800.00 via Direct Deposit in the prior thirty days).

More about Card.com

Walmart Money Card

This card is available to any U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years of age. The card’s usability is the same as any other prepaid card; it can be used to make payments anywhere that the Visa debit card or Debit Mastercard is accepted.

Walmart offers four types of plans: basic, plus, specialty, and preferred for the card. Fees and load amount limits vary depending on the plan you choose. Regardless of  your plan, the maximum amount of funds the card can hold is $10,000, and transactions can’t be greater than $3,000 per day.

More about the Walmart Money Card

Western Union NetSpend Mastercard

Western Union and NetSpend offer this card jointly. The best feature of this card is that it offers cash back rewards. Any adult U.S. citizen can get this card and can include up to two minors as secondary cardholders. The card has regular prepaid usability. Additionally, you can use Western Union’s money transfer service through this card.

Among many of its funding options, transfer from your checking account to the prepaid card is an option. However, transferring money from your checking account to this card involves fees, which vary based on the transfer service you select, the processing speed, and the amount of the transaction. Because of the fees, the best way to load your Western Union NetSpend Mastercard is through Direct Deposit.

More about the Western Union NetSpend Card

Online Banks With Prepaid Cards

Although the system is convenient, getting the prepaid card and the bank to cooperate can sometimes be tricky. If you’re worried about the complexities of using a different prepaid card system, your bank will probably have an in-house solution. This is by far the simplest way of being able to transfer money from your checking account onto a pre-funded card. Here are the major players in this arena (with links to their prepaid card options):

In Summary

ACH transfers allow you to add money to your prepaid card from your checking or savings account, whether your card is an in-house option from your bank or comes from another provider, such as American Express. Transfer limits vary by card, but ACH transfers are usually fee-free.

Looking for information on prepaid debit cards that allow overdraft? Our article has the details.

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15 comments

  • My Cousin Transfer some money to my Walmart Money card from his Checking bank account and he said his checking bank account Already debit with the amount of money he transfer to my Walmart money card and the money not in my Walmart money card yet as of now. Please Advice

    • Kathleen Wilson says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Scott,
      How long ago did your cousin do the transfer? It might take a day or two for the funds to show up on your account. If it’s been more than a couple of days and they still haven’t shown up, your best bet is to call Walmart Money Services customer service at (800) 666-3947. Hope this helps!

      • Hi Kathleen,
        Thanks for your response and the transaction was made yesterday and my cousin Bank account already debited for the transaction. And still not have the money in my Walmart money card yet as of now. Hope to hear back from you soon.
        Thanks
        Scott

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Stacy,

      Usually, you can reload a prepaid card electronically by transferring funds from your checking account to your card. Specific cards often have more ways to load money, for example, the Walmart Money card can be reloaded in person at any Walmart. You should check the terms that came with your specific card to see what the option are for loading your card or log into your account on the card website. There’s also usually a phone number on the back of your card that you can call for help.

  • Please help me. Lost my i.d. and Bank of America debit card. I now have to wait a week for a new card in the mail. So I need to access my money.. how do i transfer money from my bank of America checking account to a prepaid debit visa rushcard??

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Sky,

      I would recommend getting a Green Dot card (available at most CVS, Walgreens, Giant Eagle, etc. stores) or Walmart Money Card and registering it online when you get home. Once it is registered, you can transfer money from your Bank of America account onto the card to use until your new bank of America card arrives. Hope this helps!

    • Sarah Quinn says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Nora,

      This article’s focus is on how to transfer money from a checking account to a prepaid card. Unfortunately, due to the volume of comments we receive, we are not able to help with specific, individual requests. I recommend contacting American Express at (800) 528-4800 to learn more about how to make your transfer; I hope this helps!

  • Paul Ogwuche Michael says:

    I want to know if Bofi Federal Bank allows it netspend visa card to run ACH or wire transfer on the debit prepaid card.

      • Hillary M. Miller says:
        First Quarter Finance logostaff

        Hi David,

        Here’s what I found out about transferring money from a Netspend account:

        The Netspend website states that cardholders can send money to other Netspend cardholders (with no fee for online account-to-account transfers), and they can also transfer money between their own accounts with participating financial institutions (which is an opt-in service called Me-to-Me, for which fees may apply). The website doesn’t offer further specific details about ACH transfers or wire transfers, but if you log into your Netspend account, you should be able to find additional details on how to send money from your account. (If you have another account through a different institution, you could transfer the money from Netspend to the account with a bank that does allow ACH transfers.) I hope this helps and best of luck to you both!

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Paul,

      The Netspend website states that cardholders can send money to other Netspend cardholders (with no fee for online account-to-account transfers), and they can also transfer money between their own accounts with participating financial institutions (which is an opt-in service called Me-to-Me, for which fees may apply). The website doesn’t offer further specific details about ACH transfers or wire transfers, but if you log into your Netspend account, you should be able to find additional details on how to send money from your account. (If you have another account through a different institution, you could transfer the money from Netspend to the account with a bank that does allow ACH transfers.) I hope this helps!

    • The Netspend account and many other accounts have done something pretty smart. They have forced you to go to the external website to load in the netspend account or greendot account on the external site only. You cannot enter any information unless it is a debit card information