How to Transfer Money from a Bank Account to a Prepaid Debit Card

A simple and free way to load cash onto a prepaid debit card is to use a bank transfer. You can transfer money online, and it takes just a day or two for the money to become available. In this article, we walk through how to transfer money from a bank account to a prepaid debit card.

Transfer Money from Bank Account to Prepaid CardOne of the easiest ways to load money on a prepaid debit card is through an online transfer from a bank account. Bank transfers are free with virtually all prepaid cards, and the transfer can be completed online. There are, however, a few steps to take, and setting up the process can take a few days.

In this guide, we’ll walk through step-by-step how to transfer money from a bank account to a prepaid debit card. We’ll use the Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card as our example, although the process is similar for all prepaid cards.

Want to find a better prepaid card? Check out our recommendations for some of the best prepaid debit cards.

Step One: Get the Account Number and Routing Number

The first step is to get the bank account number and routing number associated with your prepaid card. Each prepaid card has an issuing bank that’s usually different from the card issuer.

For example, the issuing bank for the Netspend Visa is MetaBank, Member FDIC. The account number is a unique number that identifies your prepaid card, and it’s different from the number listed on the face of the prepaid card. The routing number identifies the bank that issued your prepaid card.

It’s easy to get this information for your prepaid card. Using Netspend as an example, simply log into your Netspend account and select the button or link to add money or transfer money. The issuing bank, account number, and routing number for your card will be listed under the option for adding money from a bank account.

Here’s what it looks like inside a Netspend account (note: the routing number for your card may be different than the one shown below):

Netspend Routing and Account Number

Step Two: Add Your Prepaid Card to Your Bank Account

To transfer money from your bank account to any other account, you have to set up an external account through your bank. While the process varies somewhat from bank to bank, the basic steps are the same.

Log in to your bank account and navigate to where you can transfer money. Your bank should have a place where you can set up an external account. Here you can use the bank, account number, and routing number of your prepaid card to create an external account. If you run into problems, call your bank and they should be able to walk you through the process.

Step Three: Test Deposits

Before you can transfer money to your prepaid card (or any new account, for that matter), your bank will likely require verification of two small test deposits to the account. Once the deposits are reflected in your account, you log into your bank account and enter the amount of the test deposits.

This verifies that the external account has been set up correctly and that the transfers are being received by your prepaid card account. Once this verification is complete, you should be able to transfer money from your bank to your prepaid card.

Step Four: Transfer Money

Once your prepaid card is setup with your bank, transferring money is simple. Go to the transfer page on your bank’s website, and select the amount you want to transfer, the account to transfer the money from, and your prepaid card account as the account to transfer money to.

Transfers generally take at least one business day, so it’s important to note that the money will not be available on your prepaid card immediately.

32 thoughts on “How to Transfer Money from a Bank Account to a Prepaid Debit Card

  1. Hi Danielle, Let me see if I can help. First, the Way2Go card is not a bank account. It’s a prepaid card, although it’s used exclusively for receiving benefits. The process to transfer money from the Way2Go card works basically the same as a bank though. It uses an ACH transfer when you make direct money to be transferred to another account, such as your TurboTax Debit Card. Although ACH transfers have gotten faster, they can still take up to 3-5 business days. And if you request the transfer late in the day, your transaction may not be processed until the next business day. So, everything may work itself out by tomorrow. That’ll be four business days from your transfer request. As I understand it, you saw the transfer information that says “Greendot” through your Way2Go portal. No worries there. Greendot Bank issues the TurboTax Prepaid card, so that’s what it should say. Now, that said, I wouldn’t wait more than two more days to take action. Just like I said in the response to the comment below, if your transfer is a no-show after two more days, contact Way2Go and ask them to reverse the ACH transfer. Two other things. If the TurboTax card is the prepaid card that you typically use for spending, you can arrange for most types of benefits to be directly deposited to that prepaid card (and most other prepaid cards). The Way2Go account is just available for people who haven’t set up direct deposit with their bank or regular prepaid card. Also, as to the two deposits mentioned in the article, banks (and prepaid cards) vary on their process when a customer adds an external account. It’s purely dictated by the security policy of the bank, but is still common practice when customers add an external account to a bank account. Hope this helps!

  2. I transferred money from my Way2Go account to my TurboTaxDebit on Wednesday of last week 11/17 which was accepted through Way2Go on Thursday 11/19 but it still hasn’t posted in my TurboTaxDebit account it’s Tuesday 11/23. I contacted TurboTaxDebit they said they don’t see it and Way2Go said they can’t tell me the account number and routing number only I can look online on a computer to see it. So I went on computer but it doesn’t give me a option to view the transfer information it just says Greendot! I’m positive I put the right information I triple checked before I sent it. It also didn’t have me send in two small payments before doing transfer so your article is incorrect. Do you have any advice for me that can help?

  3. Hey Daniel, A week is plenty long for an ACH transfer, so I wouldn’t wait any longer. First, check that the routing and account numbers are correct in your outbound transaction on your Way2Go card. If so, I would start with contacting support at TurboTax Prepaid Card. The number will be on the back of your card. It is possible that ACH transfers can be rejected by the recipient–in this case, your TurboTax card. Generally, however, an ACH transfer is rejected because the recipient can’t identify the account to credit, so that goes back to making sure the routing and account numbers are correct. Make sure you’re not using the number on the front of your TurboTax card. That isn’t the account number. If you have made an error in the routing or account number, contact Way2Go support. They would need to reverse the ACH transfer to recover the funds.

  4. I transfered money from my way2go card to a turbo tax prepaid visa green dot debit card a week ago and it still has not hit on my card. Will it go back to my original payment if it don’t accept it,or how can I find out where my money is

  5. Nah, Netspend and Brinks both have daily cash load limits of $7,500 and card balance limits of $15,000. But a caveat here. The retailers that handle prepaid cash loads impose their own limits. Maybe that’s what you’re running into. $200 is super low though. Walmart’s Rapid Reload, for instance, has a limit of $1,100. So, you might try there.

    As to loading your card from someone else’s bank account, I have to confess that I don’t know if it’s possible. I get this question from time to time and totally understand why someone might want to do that. I suspect that the transferring bank may limit linking external accounts that don’t belong to the bank account holder. If that’s correct, this would be true of any external account, not just prepaid. But if you’re dealing with a family member that’s transferring to your account, I’d give it a try. If a small transfer fails, you’ve just lost a little time with the experiment. If you try it, I’d love to hear the results.

  6. Hi Jill,

    While I can’t guarantee your bank will allow the transfer, I doubt you’ll have an issue. The bank transfer is like any ACH transfer, and virtually any bank should be able to accommodate that. If there’s a problem, then it wouldn’t be specific to Netspend, it would be all prepaid cards, and I doubt that’s the case with your bank. So, I totally get why you would want a guarantee before setting it up, but you can get the Netspend card online without funding the card. So, if you’re interested in getting the Netspend card, I suggest making your first load your bank transfer and see what happens. If it doesn’t work well for you, cancel and move on. It’s a little time, but you’re not out any money. Good luck!

  7. I haven’t set-up a NetSpend account yet, but am wondering how to transfer funds from my bank account to the pre-paid NetSpend card. I read on other sites that only certain banks allow the transfer to NetSpend. I tried calling my banks to see if they accept it and both say they don’t think they can. Is there a workaround to this? I called NetSpend Customer Service and they won’t even pick up without me being a customer yet. I don’t want to go to the trouble of setting this all up without being able to fund it, if banks don’t recognize the banking account and routing numbers of MetaBank/Netspend. Do you know of other banks that do accept it? Thanks!

  8. So, it doesn’t have to be my bank account that transfer the money to my Netspend or Brinks card? I was worried. Also, I wanted to receive it quicker than having to wait a few days, so, I was just going to get cash and load it, but, they just told me that I can only load $200 max per 24 hours, and $500 per week. I replied for clarification, but, I’m going to send another message to them. I also asked to see if I can actually get money transferred by another person’s bank account to my Netspend because they only explain about setting up my bank account to connect to my Netspend.

    Thanks a lot

  9. Hi Maria, I couldn’t agree more. Netspend has been around a long time, and they’ve had at least a couple issuing banks. So, to make sure the routing number is correct for your specific card, login to the Netspend portal. Select Direct Deposit. Your account number, along with the routing number, should appear in the gray box on the right side of the screen. If you’ve signed up for Anytime Alerts, you can text DIRECT to 22622 to get the info by text.

  10. I’ve tried setting up a transfer to Netspend from 5 different accounts and every bank (majors banks like Wells Fargo or Direct Deposit from my work) don’t recognize the routing number from Netspend. Unfortunately, Netspend’s “customer service” hasn’t responded to multiple inquires. This card is useless if you can’t put money on it!!

  11. What’s up, Kudakwashe? For your first question, your refund will go back to your prepaid Visa card, as long as it’s reloadable. That sounds like that’s what you’re talking about here. As to your second question, let me explain. No, there’s too much; let me sum up (courtesy, Princess Bride). Visa Direct is similar to ACH transfers except faster. ACH payments generally take about three business days. The ACH network handles things like bill payments from your bank account, bank-to-bank transfers, and bank transfers to prepaid cards. Visa Direct makes those same types of transfers in about 30 minutes. The Visa Direct network handles transfers behind the scenes for P2P apps, like Cash APP, for example. Typically, there’s a fee associated with a faster Visa Direct network and is offered by some places as an alternative to the free, but slower, ACH transfer.

  12. Hie Mike, paid for some goods on Alibaba with a prepaid Visa card and later applied for a refund…is it possible to receive the funds on it and what do you understand about Visa direct

  13. you can try setting it up through cash app. First add the bofa card(I know that you use to be able to connect your chime card to cash app although I am not sure if you still can) to your cash app account as your debit card. Once you have done that then simply hit the “add cash” option on cash app and add the amount of funds that you would like. After that step is complete then you can try adding you prepaid MasterCard to your cash app account (do it the same way that you did the bofa/chime card only this time tap on the card that option you’ve already added and options will come up tap on “replace card” and enter the card info) once you have added the card then simply hit the “cash out” option on cash out. You will have to pay a fee to do it instantly, but this is one of the only ways I know how to do this if you need it done and for the funds to be available instantly(the other options include a fee as well and a higher one and have a lot more steps involved).

  14. Hi, The answer is not directly. Chime is an online bank account, so any transfer to an external account–such as your prepaid Mastercard or even another bank account–is an ACH transfer. Those transfers are handled by the Automated Clearing House (thus “ACH”) network, and they generally take one to three days for the funds to be available. I assume the Bank of America card is also a bank debit card–same thing there. The only speedier option is an indirect one. You can use either debit card to get cash and then add cash to your prepaid card. That takes minutes but there are fees for this option.

  15. Is there anyway to tra,sfer funds from my chime card or bofa card with visa logo to a prepaid mastercard immediatly. Without waiting 24 hours to use the mastercard.

  16. Just got my green Dodge prepaid card in the mail today I want to link my bank account to it how long does it take before I can use my green dot card My wife has the debit card and I have the prepaid card I need to get gas any suggestions Or how long does it take

  17. Hi Erika, Try this. Open Cash App. Navigate to your profile. Select Add Bank Account. Chime should appear in the list of banks. Select it. This will prompt you to log in to your Chime account. Enter your Chime account credentials. And you should be good to go.

  18. Two things here. First, for clarification, Chime isn’t a prepaid card. It’s an online bank account. Because it’s online only (i.e. no branches), there are a number of similarities to prepaid cards. Second, banks differ on how they handle wire transfers. In Chime’s case, they don’t support receiving funds through a wire transfer. You might want to try one of the P2P solutions, like Venmo or Cash App.

  19. Can you wire money from your traditional bank checking account to a friends CHIME account?

    If so, how do you do this from your traditional bank account?


    And is it possible from within your CHIME account to receive an external “wired money”?

    Thank you!

  20. As they say up north, you betcha. Sign onto Chase, select Pay & Transfer, then External Accounts. Add your Netspend account using the routing number and account number, and you’re ready to roll.

  21. The process is the same as described in the article. Just sign into your account center for your bank account associated with your card and add your Netspend account as an “external account”. For banks, it’s usually under the “payments” section in your online account center.

  22. Need the routing number and the account number so family can transfer money to my netspend account

  23. I have the same question as Tammy..and what if that is the only option?
    How can someone transfer money to my Netspend card using their bank?

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