Coopera Prepaid Visa Card Review
The Coopera Prepaid Card is targeted to the Hispanic community and offered through smaller credit unions. Fees vary by credit union, but the features are slim across the board.
The idea behind the Coopera prepaid card was to offer reloadable prepaid cards through credit unions using a common platform. That pretty much describes the ATIRAreload card. There’s a reason. The same company that manages ATIRAreload offers the Coopera card. And it’s offered by some of the same credit unions. So, the two cards have a similar fee structure and feature set.
Unlike ATIRAreload though, Coopera is intended to appeal specifically to the Hispanic community. That’s not entirely unique. The Univision Prepaid Card targets Hispanics in part by capitalizing on the association with the popular Spanish-speaking network. But it also offers services that may appeal to Spanish speakers, such as offering Spanish-speaking customer service and product information.
That’s not the case with the Coopera card. Although it provides some Spanish language translations of its product information, Coopera doesn’t use Spanish as its default language for customer service. In fact, it’s unclear what Coopera offers that addresses specific needs of the community.
Coopera Prepaid Card Fees
Like ATIRAreload, Coopera’s fees are determined by the credit unions that offer them. So, they differ depending on where you get the card. But for many of the credit unions, the fees can be quite low.
Most credit unions that offer the Coopera card charge a monthly fee that ranges from $2.95 to $5.95. Nearly all of those credit unions waive the monthly fee if you load a minimum amount to the card. The minimum amount is typically very low–as little as $25. Other prepaid cards that charge no monthly fee based on deposits to the card require a minimum of $500 – $1,000.
The Coopera card doesn’t offer a free ATM network, but its ATM withdrawal fees are lower than most prepaid cards that don’t. They cost $1.00 plus any fee charged by the ATM owner. However, balance checks at ATMs cost just as much–higher than the typical prepaid card charge of $.50. Coopera also charges an ATM decline fee of $1.50. That’s the charge if you attempt a withdrawal but are declined for an insufficient balance.
One fee that we always find objectionable is a customer service fee. It’s a throwback to days when prepaid cards tended to charge for just about everything. Unfortunately, Coopera charges one–both for live assistance ($1.50) and automated help ($1.00). As a saving grace, it does offer one free customer service call per month.
Coopera Lacks Features Compared to Other Cards
Like the ATIRAreload card, the Coopera card offers few features beyond the basics. For instance, it lacks a mobile app, which is common with most prepaid cards. With its customer service fees and ATM balance check fees, the absence of a mobile app becomes more important and potentially more expensive.
And it doesn’t offer a savings feature or any money-management tools outside of a basic online transaction history.
On the positive side, you can get up to 6 secondary cards with the Coopera card. Those cards can be used by other family members or friends. And Coopera is one of the few prepaid cards that can be used by teenagers.
Also, you can add cash for free to the Coopera card at the credit union where you purchased it. But since the card is offered by smaller credit unions, access to branches to take advantage of this cost savings is not likely to be convenient.
The Final Word on the Coopera Card
For those looking for a card emphasizing Spanish language services, Univision might be a better bet. But the Coopera card might be an option if you happen to live close to one of the credit unions that offer a monthly fee that can be easily waived.
Still, the lack of features and the customer service charges means that you’ll likely be served with a better prepaid debit card.
If you decide on the Coopera prepaid card, you’ll need to go to the issuing credit union to buy it. It’s not available online or in stores. You can find the list of credit unions offering the Coopera card here.