Bento for Business Review
Bento for Business offers an impressive prepaid card package for business owners of all sizes. Our Bento prepaid card review below breaks down all fees, limits, pros and cons, to help you compare it to other business prepaid card options.
Before going any further, note that Bento for Business is exactly that, for businesses. Individual consumers will not be approved without a registered business.
Bento for Business Cards Overview
Where Bento’s cards – and more importantly, its dashboard – shine is the flexibility it offers businesses. From choosing what types of expenses individual employees can charge to their card, to custom spending limits, to instant on/off management, businesses have total control over each employee’s card.
Business owners will likewise appreciate the transparent pricing structure. Bento charges exactly one fee: a monthly account fee, with pricing options ranging from free to $149/month depending on the number of cards issued.
Bento cards have very few limits, and no balance limit.
There is only way to load money, and that’s with a linked bank account. Don’t expect direct deposits or cash back rewards, but then again, it’s designed for the employer, not the employee.
Bento prepaid cards help employers monitor all spending activity for every employee, contractor and project, with excellent reporting and real-time Quickbooks integration.
Bento gives small business owners complete control over spending in several ways:
- Issue prepaid cards to as many employees and contractors as you’d like;
- Set spending limits per card;
- Restrict purchase categories per card;
- Turn cards on and off in seconds.
The spending controls give businesses several options, such as:
- Keep a prepaid card in each vehicle that’s limited to gas purchases only;
- Keep a prepaid card at each location for petty cash, with dollar limits on each card;
- Give a contract a card with a spending limit for a specific project.
Beyond spending control, Bento offers excellent reporting and accounting support. It includes real-time syncing with Quickbooks, and businesses can export reports to Excel files. Employees and admins can upload receipts to synchronize with expenses in the system.
Reporting includes trend data, budget reports, and real-time fraud detection. Admins can also pull up specific employee spending reports and patterns with a click of a button.
One interesting feature that Bento offers is virtual cards, which can be used for electronic transactions, without issuing a physical prepaid card. They even offer an API that your business applications can interface with to make secure payments.
Bento integrates with Quickbooks. You can view, sort and export transactions. And Bento automatically syncs with Quickbooks.
Bento does not limit account balances. They do limit spending, though with generous caps. Each card is limited to $25,000/day. And, of course, admins can cap individual employee cards at any spending limit they desire.
As for cash withdrawal limits, admins are limited to $500/day. Employees cannot withdraw cash.
Bento only charges one fee: a monthly account fee. The monthly fee is tiered, with four pricing options.
- Free (limited to two cards)
- $29 (card limit: 10)
- $69 (card limit: 25)
- $149 (unlimited cards and admins).
And if your account spends more than $20,000/month, they waive your monthly fee.
Bento does not charge a setup fee, transaction fees, load fees, ATM fees, cashback fees, card issuance fees, or cancellation fees.
The only transactional fee they charge is a foreign transaction fee of 3% for overseas purchases, which they pass along from the payment network.
How Bento for Business Prepaid Card Works
There’s only one way to load money to your Bento account: transferring it from a connected bank account.
When you initially create your account with Bento, you register a bank account. You can use either a checking or savings account.
Bento verifies bank account ownership before approval. That process takes anywhere from instantaneous to two business days, if they request additional details.
Balance transfers occur via ACH and take two to three business days.
Using the Card
Bento prepaid cards can be used anywhere that accepts debit Mastercard. You can use them as a credit card, with signature authorization, or a debit card, with PIN authorization. They have a three-digit security number on the back of the card as well for online purchases.
While Bento cards can be used outside the United States, they do impose a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Employees cannot withdraw cash from an ATM or get cash back from a purchase transaction. Employees authorized by the business owner can withdraw cash, up to a limit of $500/day.
Getting Bento Prepaid Cards
The signup process involves providing Bento with your business’s details (yes, you do need a registered business to sign up for Bento’s business cards!). Approval of your business can be instantaneous, or Bento might require additional documentation.
Bento does not run credit reports, either on the individual owner or the business itself. Bad credit won’t prevent you from opening an account.
The next step if verifying your bank account, as described above. Expect it to take up to two business days.
Lastly, new card delivery can take up to seven to ten business days.
With a free option available and no itemized fees, Bento’s prepaid business card service is an outstanding option for business owners of all sizes.
Between flexibility, reporting, and accounting support, admins have full control over their employees’ prepaid expense cards. Bento also imposes few limits on admins or spending, adding to the sense of control and flexibility.
Petty cash and loose expensing can bleed money from any business. Bento excels at returning full control over employee spending to the employer.
Best For: Businesses that reimburse or cover employee expenses, or who want their employees to be able to buy on the fly.