1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card Review
The 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card highlights its rewards program redeemable for groceries and fuel discounts through the Kroger grocery chain. But given its competitive fee structure and massive free ATM network, it’s a solid choice for a general spending card even if you don’t shop at Kroger.
1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card Overview
The 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card is offered by Kroger, one of the largest grocery chains in the U.S. It’s available as a Visa or Mastercard branded card so it can be used for in-store and online anywhere Visa and Mastercard debit cards are accepted.
As it says in the name, the 1-2-3 Rewards card touts its rewards program, which offers points redeemable for free groceries and fuel discounts at Kroger stores and gas stations. Outside of the rewards program, it’s a basic no-frills card. But its reasonable (and simple) fee structure, together with its large free ATM network, make it a reasonable choice as a general use prepaid card.
Features of the 1-2-3 Reward Prepaid Card
The 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card offers the basic features that most prepaid card users expect, like direct deposit for paychecks and government benefits, and text alerts to get updates on deposits to the card and transactions.
In addition, the card offers the following:
Grocery and Fuel Rewards. As one of the largest grocery chains, Kroger stores are in 35 states. If you’re among the regular Kroger shoppers, you can get a little extra benefit from the card just by using it for your regular grocery shopping. With the 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card, you earn
- 3 points for every $1 spent on Kroger brand items,
- 2 points for all other Kroger purchases,
- and 1 point for every $1 spent outside the store
Every 1,000 points is redeemable for $5 in groceries at Kroger and 5 cents off fuel purchases at Kroger gas stations.
Direct Deposit Bonus. The 1-2-3 Rewards Card offers one other reward–a bonus of $10 to the card for signing up for direct deposit.
Mobile App. The 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices to check balances and see transaction history. You can also deposit checks to the card using the mobile app. Like many prepaid card apps, the 1-2-3 Rewards app uses Ingo Money to process check deposits. That means the check deposit is free but takes 8-10 days to clear; expedited access is available for a fee.
Card to Card Transfers. The 1-2-3 Rewards card offers free transfers to any other 1-2-3 Rewards Card member. A benefit to families that use more than one card.
No-Fee Cash Withdrawals. One of the big benefits of the 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card is that it has no-fee ATM withdrawals at either the MoneyPass or Allpoint Networks. They’re two of the largest, which means no-fee cash access is available just about anywhere.
1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card Fees
The 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card has a simple fee structure.
The card charges a $3 monthly fee and no transaction fees. There is no activation fee for the card, although you will have to pay a $3 purchase fee if you buy a temporary card in Kroger stores. Although the monthly fee can’t be waived, like some cards offer, for using direct deposit or by meeting a monthly load amount, it’s less than the average charge for monthly fee cards.
As noted, the 1-2-3 Rewards card offers a large free ATM network–both MoneyPass and Allpoint. Together, the two ATM networks have over 75,000 ATMs. For out-of-network ATM withdrawals, there’s a $2.00 fee, in addition to any fees charged by the ATM operator.
There are some other potential fees:
Inactivity Fee – The 1-2-3 Rewards card will assess a fee of $2.00 per month after 12 months with no activity on the account.
1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card Limits
The maximum card balance for the 1-2-3 Rewards card is $10,000–about average among prepaid cards. Maximum daily spending is also lower than average, at $2,525. While adequate for most daily spending, it’s something to consider if you plan on using the card for occasional major purchases.
However, the daily ATM withdrawal limit of $1,220 and the daily cash load limit of $5,000 is higher than most cards.
Reloading the 1-2-3 Rewards Card
You have several options to reload the 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card, including four ways to load cash.
Direct Deposit. You can set up paychecks and government benefits to be loaded onto the card via direct deposit. It is free to use direct deposit.
Online Transfers. You can transfer money online from a PayPal or bank account for free.
Mobile Check Deposit. With the mobile app, 1-2-3 Rewards cardholders can deposit checks directly to their card with no fee. It will take about 10 days for the funds to clear. Quicker options are available for a fee charged by the third-party processor.
Cash. You can load cash to the card using Kroger’s own ReCharge card. The ReCharge card is available for $3 at Kroger stores. The 1-2-3 Rewards Card can also be reloaded with Visa ReadyLink (for the Visa version of the card) or Green Dot’s MoneyPak or Reload @ the Register. The card doesn’t charge fees for cash reloads, but the reload services do. Visa ReadyLink runs $3.74 – 4.95 up to $500; Green Dot’s services cost $4.95 – 5.95.
How to Get the 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card
You can purchase a temporary card in Kroger stores for $3 if you want to use the temporary card right away. The temporary card will require getting a permanent card online to take advantage of any features other than making purchases with the initial reload.
Otherwise, you can just get the card online for free. As with any prepaid card, the 1-2-3 Rewards card doesn’t require a Chexsystems or credit check. Just a simple application with social security number (required by law).
The 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card offers some nice-to-have bonuses by offering points redeemable for free groceries for Kroger shoppers. But its simple fee structure with a large no-fee ATM network are what makes it a competitive choice among prepaid cards.
Best For: Kroger shoppers, those making frequent ATM trips
Not So Good For: Those looking for a prepaid card with a waivable monthly fee