CashPass Prepaid Visa Card Review
The CashPass Prepaid Visa features are mostly plain vanilla. But you wouldn’t know it from the fees. Check out the details here before you buy.
CashPass Prepaid Visa Overview
When I researched the CashPass Visa card, I noticed the card’s site refers to their two fee plans as “premier” in some places and “premium” in others. Let me settle the discrepancy. They’re neither. I would choose “expensive” and “confusing.” Let’s break it down.
CashPass offers two fee plans. The Premier (or Premium) Unlimited Plan charges a $6.95 monthly fee. But unlike the vast majority of prepaid cards that charge a monthly fee, CashPass also charges for transactions. While there’s no fee for signature transactions, “PIN” or debit transactions cost $2.00 each. There’s also a fee for cash loads. CashPass’s Premier Unlimited Plan charges $2.00. That’s in addition to the fee charged by the Western Union or Visa ReadyLink agent providing the service. That’s another $4.50 or so.
The other CashPass option is the Premier (or Premium) % Pay as You Go plan. This plan doesn’t charge a monthly fee. It still charges the same transaction fees–$2.00 for PIN purchases; $0 for signature. Seems OK, right?
But for cash loads, its charges a fee of 2% of the amount loaded, with a minimum $2.00 charge. So, to load $300 cash on the card, you’ll pay 2% or $6.00 to CashPass and another $4.50 or so to an agent like Western Union. That’s $10.50 for one transaction. Steep.
As to the features, there’s not much to write home about. Certainly not enough to justify the fees. It does offer a bill pay service and companion cards. But both of the services add more fees to your tab.
Here are the details.
As a Visa-branded card, CashPass is widely accepted anywhere Visa debit cards are. It offers standard benefits like direct deposit and easy approval to get the card. The other features include:
Companion Cards / Subaccounts: You can add up to 5 additional or “companion” cards to your primary CashPass account. They can be used to set up budget categories. They can also be used by other family members. Since the companion cards can be used by cardholders as young as 13, they can be used as teen debit cards. But, the fee to get a companion card is $3.95 each.
Bill Pay: CashPass offers a bill pay service. You can pay any vendor. CashPass will send paper checks if the vendor isn’t set up for electronic payment. It costs $1.00 per payment.
Mobile App: The card offers a mobile app for access to account history and balances. But the reviews are brutal.
Limits on the CashPass Card
The CashPass Prepaid Visa does have high limits. It offers a card balance limit of $20,000–higher than the vast majority of cards. Its daily spending limit of $10,000 is also higher than most other cards.
ATM withdrawal limits are $920. The average is around $500.
All prepaid cards charge some fees, but those charged by CashPass are pretty hard to sidestep.
The monthly fee plan charges $6.95 per month. That’s higher than the average among prepaid cards. But it also costs $2.00 per debit purchase transaction. ATM fees are $2.50 per withdrawal. And cash loads are expensive at $2.00 per load plus agent fees up to $4.95.
The pay-as-you-go plan might be a slightly better option if you don’t load cash to the card. There’s no monthly fee. Debit purchases cost $2.00, like the monthly fee plan. And the ATM fees are the same. The kicker is the fee for cash loads–2% of the amount you’re adding to the card with a $2.00 minimum. If you load cash regularly, the fees will add up fast.
Companion cards, if you choose to get them, come with a one-time fee of $3.95 each.
If the card is inactive for 45 days, you’ll be charged an inactivity fee of $3.95.
How to Load Money on the CashPass Prepaid Visa
Direct Deposit: This one’s free. You can load your paycheck via direct deposit without a fee.
Online Bank Transfer: If you have a bank account, you can transfer funds to the CashPass prepaid card online with no fee. But CashPass allows bank transfers of no more than $500 per month.
Adding Cash to the Card: This is the most expensive way to make deposits to the CashPass card. And its pricier than most other prepaid cards. You can load cash through Western Union, Visa ReadyLink, and MoneyGram. The reload services charge $3.74 – $4.95. CashPass tacks on its own charge of $2 – $20 per cash load, depending on your fee plan.
The Bottom Line
The few features on the card don’t offset the costs. Not even close. If you regularly load cash to the CashPass card, it’s going to be one of the most expensive cards out there.
My advice: get a better prepaid card.