Brink's Prepaid Mastercard® Review
The Brink's Prepaid Mastercard® offers bank-level features without hefty fees. From bill pay to a mobile app, text alerts to a purchase cushion, the Brinks reloadable debit card is one of our top rated prepaid cards. Compare its features and fees in our detailed review.
Brink's Prepaid Mastercard® Overview
The Brink's Prepaid Mastercard® is a good option for anyone who wants to be able to get their money quickly and manage their funds around the clock using a smartphone. Cardholders can sign up for direct deposit to get paychecks or government benefits up to two days faster than what banks can offer. Money can be added from your existing bank account, your PayPal account or another Brink’s card.
Here’s a look at some of the other perks offered by this card:
- Trust Brink’s with your money. Securing cash and valuables since 1859.
- Get paid up to 2 days faster with Direct Deposit.
- Access your money whenever, wherever you are. Use your mobile phone and online Account Center to check your balance, send money, find reload/ATM locations and much more.
- Let Alerts help you stay connected to your money. Know when your card is used, direct deposit arrives, transaction details and your available balance.
- Shop securely Online with a Virtual Account so you don’t have to use your card number.
- Add extra protection for shopping in stores by putting your photo on your card.
- Earn Cash Back via the Payback Rewards program from restaurants, shops and more.
- $10 Purchase Cushion When You’re A Little Short.
Features and Benefits of the Brink’s Card
The Brinks prepaid debit card carries the Mastercard brand and can be used for purchases anywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted. But the Brinks card comes with additional benefits beyond spending. Its features include
- Savings Account: The Brink’s card offers a high-interest savings account connected to the prepaid account. You can transfer money to the savings account and earn 5.00% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) on deposits up to $1,000. Even if you save more than $1,000, you’ll still receive 0.50% APY on the portion over $1,000–higher than many traditional savings accounts.
- Cash Back: As a Netspend-managed card, the Brink’s card participates in Netspend Payback Rewards. If you opt-in, you’ll receive cashback offers at select retailers. The offers are selected based on your spending habits.
- Mobile App: Brink’s provides a mobile app that allows you to check your balance, see a transaction history, or even send money to other Brinks or Netspend cardholders. Convenient if your family has more than one card.
- Budgeting Tools: You can create an online budget and track your spending against your budget. You can even set text alerts to let you know when you hit the limit for your budget category. A nice nudge to keep you on track.
- Refer-a-Friend: You can get $20 when you refer a friend to Brink’s (so does your friend).
- Virtual Card Numbers: Get extra security when making online purchases by creating a temporary “virtual” card number for a one-time purchase.
- Text Alerts: Brink’s users can set up customizable, on-demand text alerts. You can receive alerts for transactions, deposits, or when approaching budget limits.
- Purchase Cushion: The Brink’s card may cover a transaction for up to $10 over your balance. It’s discretionary but it’s also fee-free.
Brink’s Card Fees
The Brinks card offers some choice for fee plans. Here are the three options:
- Pay-As-You-Go Plan
- Preferred Fee Plan
- Monthly Fee Plan
The Pay-As-Go Plan has no monthly fee. But the plan comes with purchase fees. For those looking to make few purchases during the month but wanting to take advantage of the savings account and transfers between cards, this may be a good choice. But if you’re using it as your primary spending card, you’ll want to opt for the monthly fee plan.
The monthly fee plan has no purchase or transaction fees. The $9.95 monthly cost of signing up for the basic monthly fee plan is somewhat higher than most prepaid cards. But that fee is nearly cut in half–to $5–with the Preferred plan. You automatically qualify for the Preferred plan when you load $500 or more per month using direct deposit. The $5 per month is right about average for prepaid cards.
The card charges $2.50 for ATM withdrawals. ATM fees can be avoided by getting cash back when making purchases with the card. You can just choose “Debit” and entering your Brink’s PIN when making a purchase. Then request cash back for the amount you want to withdraw. There are no fees when getting cash back at the register
Other less common fees include
- $2.50 cash withdrawal fee for over-the-counter transactions at banks
- $4.95 international ATM cash withdrawal fee
- $1 ATM transaction decline fee
Adding Money to Your Brink’s Card
Like most prepaid cards, you can add money to the Brink’s card for free by transferring money from a bank account or by receiving your paycheck to the card using direct deposit.
You can also load checks for free using the Brink’s mobile app.
Cash loads, however, cost money. You can load cash using the Netspend Reload Network. The Brink’s card doesn’t charge a fee to load cash, but the agent location does. The fee is $2.00 to $3.95 per cash load. The Netspend Reload Network has over 130,000 reload locations that include major retailers and convenience stores.
Some Extra Perks
This card offers cardholders cash whenever they refer friends. You’ll receive $20 whenever a friend that you referred signs up for a card and loads at least $40. That friend also receives $20.
You can also look forward to getting rewards when you make purchases using your prepaid card. The company will send offers directly to your account from stores, restaurants, and brands that you like. You’ll get money credited back to your account when you accept the offers and make purchases. This aspect of the card works a lot like the loyalty programs offered by major credit cards.
Final Word on the Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard
The Brink’s card comes with a feature set that makes it worth considering. The savings account, easy account management, and budgeting features set it apart from most cards.
The fees can be reasonable if you use direct deposit. You can limit the cost to $5 a month. But you’ll have to watch the avoidable fees–like ATM withdrawals or balance checks and cash loads.
Best For: Prepaid card users with direct deposit or who make just a couple of purchases with the card each month; Those that will take advantage of the savings and cash back features.
Not So Good For: Prepaid card users without direct deposit and who frequently visit an ATM or make frequent cash loads.