Kroger Rewards Prepaid Visa Review
The Kroger Rewards Prepaid Visa highlights its rewards program redeemable for groceries through the Kroger grocery chain. There are some benefits, but unfortunately, they’re less than they used to be.
Kroger Rewards Prepaid Visa Overview
The Kroger Rewards Prepaid Visa is offered by Kroger, one of the largest grocery chains in the U.S. The Kroger Rewards card was first offered in 2018 and replaced Kroger’s 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card. Unfortunately, the replacement loses a lot of benefits of its predecessor.
Like other prepaid cards, the Kroger Rewards card is a Visa-branded card so it can be used for in-store and online anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
As it says in the name, the Kroger Rewards card touts its rewards program, which offers points redeemable for free groceries and fuel discounts at Kroger stores and gas stations. Outside of the rewards program, it’s a basic no-frills card. Its fees are around average for major brand prepaid cards. But they’re significantly higher than its 1-2-3 Rewards card. The monthly fee for jumped from $3.00 to $4.95 and in-network ATM withdrawals went from $0 to $2.50.
On the plus side, the grocery rewards program stayed intact.
Features of the Kroger Rewards Prepaid Card
The Kroger Rewards card offers the basic features that most prepaid card users expect, like direct deposit for paychecks and government benefits, and text alerts to get updates on deposits to the card and transactions.
The card also offers the following:
Grocery Rewards. As one of the largest grocery chains, Kroger stores are in 35 states. If you’re among the regular Kroger shoppers, you can get a little extra benefit from the card just by using it for your weekly grocery shopping. With the Kroger Rewards Prepaid Card, you earn
- 3 points for every $1 spent on Kroger brand items,
- 2 points for all other Kroger purchases,
- and 1 point for every $1 spent outside the store
Every 1,000 points is redeemable for $5 in groceries at Kroger.
Fuel Discounts. The card also comes with fuel discounts of 5 cents per gallon when you use your Kroger Rewards card to buy gas at Kroger fuel centers.
Direct Deposit Bonus. The Kroger Rewards Card offers one other reward–a bonus of $10 to the card for signing up for direct deposit.
Mobile App. The Kroger Rewards card offers an updated mobile app for both iOS and Android devices to check balances and see transaction history. The app also promises some nice new features, such as setting savings and budgeting goals in the app. But, it’s had a rocky launch. Right now, it’s rated at 2.5 stars on Google Play and 2.8 on Apple’s App Store. It also appears that the new app can’t handle check deposits to the card.
One Fee-Free ATM Withdrawal. The Kroger Rewards card offers one fee-free ATM withdrawal per month at MoneyPass ATMs. It’s nice to have another fee-free way to get cash from the card outside of cash-back at the register. But it pales in comparison to the 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card that provided no-fee ATM withdrawals at either the MoneyPass or Allpoint Networks.
Kroger Rewards Prepaid Card Fees
The card charges a $4.95 monthly fee and no transaction fees. There is no activation fee for the card, although you will have to pay a $1.50 purchase fee if you buy a temporary card in Kroger stores. While some cards offer a way to waive the monthly fee for using direct deposit or by meeting a monthly load amount, the Kroger card doesn’t.
While the Kroger Rewards card still offers in-network ATM transactions at MoneyPass, which will allow you to avoid the ATM operator’s surcharge, it charges its own fee for the transaction. ATM fees for the Kroger Rewards card run $2.50 per withdrawal and $.50 per balance check. As noted, it does offer 1 free withdrawal at MoneyPass ATMs each month.
Kroger Rewards Prepaid Card Limits
The maximum card balance for the Kroger Rewards card is $10,000–about average among prepaid cards. Maximum daily spending is a little less than average, at $2,525. While adequate for most daily spending, it’s something to consider if you plan on using the card for occasional major purchases.
However, the daily ATM withdrawal limit of $1,220 and the daily cash load limit of $5,000 is higher than most cards.
Reloading the Kroger Rewards Card
You have several options to reload the 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card, including four ways to load cash.
Direct Deposit. You can set up paychecks and government benefits to be loaded onto the card via direct deposit. It is free to use direct deposit.
Online Transfers. You can transfer money online from a PayPal or bank account for free.
Mobile Check Deposit. With the mobile app, 1-2-3 Rewards cardholders can deposit checks directly to their card with no fee. It will take about 10 days for the funds to clear. Quicker options are available for a fee charged by the third-party processor.
Cash. You can load cash to the card at Kroger stores at the register or by purchasing Kroger’s ReCharge card Both cost $3 for the service. The Kroger Rewards Card can also be reloaded with Visa ReadyLink. Visa ReadyLink runs $3.74 – 4.95 up to $500. The Kroger Rewards card dropped the options of using Green Dot’s MoneyPak or Reload @ the Register that was offered with the 1-2-3 Rewards card.
Where to Get the Kroger Rewards Prepaid Card
You can purchase a temporary card in Kroger stores for $1.50 if you want to use the temporary card right away. The temporary card will require getting a permanent card online to take advantage of any features other than making purchases with the initial reload.
Otherwise, you can just get the card online for free. As with any prepaid card, the Kroger Rewards card doesn’t require a Chexsystems or credit check. Just a simple application with social security number (required by law).
The Kroger Rewards Prepaid Card offers a nice-to-have bonus by offering points redeemable for free groceries for Kroger shoppers. Unfortunately, the increase in fees over its predecessor 1-2-3 Rewards card take some of the shine off the rewards.
Best For: Kroger shoppers
Not So Good For: Those looking for a prepaid card with a waivable monthly fee, free ATM access or more cash load options