Prepaid cards including the Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card, and Walmart Money Card allow you to fund your card through ACH transfers.
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 on how to make an ACH transfer, plus a list of prepaid cards that allow ACH transfers, see below.
How ACH Transfers Work
Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions allow for online transfers of money between two financial institutions.
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.
Prepaid Cards That Allow 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.
It’s valid at any online or offline store worldwide that accepts American Express. (See our list of places.) The card can also be used to rent cars and can even be used abroad.
Though there’s no minimum balance requirement, when you transfer money from your checking account, there’s 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 set up 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.
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 also available to ages 13-year-old and up.
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.
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. Note that transactions outside the U.S. will incur a foreign transaction fee of around 3%.
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.
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.
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. The foreign transaction fee is about 3%.
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 the age of majority in your state.
There’s a monthly maintenance fee of $5.95 (waived when you load at least $800 via Direct Deposit in the prior thirty days).
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.
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.
Online Banks With Prepaid Cards
Although the system is convenient, getting a prepaid card and your 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.
The major players in this arena include the following (with links to their prepaid card options):
See our related research for information on which prepaid debit cards allow overdrafts.