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.

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

  1. 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!!

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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).

    2. 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

      1. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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?

    ALSO:

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

    Thank you!
    R.W

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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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