Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Visa® Card Review
The Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Visa highlights its rewards program redeemable for groceries through the Kroger grocery chain. With a $10 direct deposit bonus and one free ATM withdrawal per month, it’s worth a look.
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 REWARDS card was introduced in 2018 and replaced Kroger’s previously offered 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card.
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. Its fees are around average for major brand prepaid cards. Unfortunately, the Kroger REWARDS card dropped the free ATM transactions that were available with the 1-2-3 card.
On the plus side, the grocery rewards program stayed intact. And the Kroger REWARDS card still offers one free ATM withdrawal per month through MoneyPass ATMs.
Features of the 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 an 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 the 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.
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. It dropped the across-the-board free in-network ATM withdrawals that the 1-2-3 Rewards Prepaid Card offered. But you can still avoid ATM surcharges (the fee charged by ATM owners) when you use the Kroger REWARDS card at MoneyPass ATMs.
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 fee for the transaction. ATM fees for the card run $2.50 per withdrawal and $.50 per balance check. As noted, it does offer one free withdrawal at MoneyPass ATMs each month.
Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Visa 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 are higher than most cards.
Reloading the Kroger Rewards Card
You have several options to reload the 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’s free to use direct deposit.
Online Transfers. You can transfer money online from a bank account or PayPal for free.
Mobile Check Deposit. With the mobile app, cardholders can deposit checks directly to their card with no fee. It will take about ten days for the funds to clear. Quicker options are available for a fee charged by the third-party processor, Ingo.
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, one of the lower fee cash loading services. You can also load the REWARDS Card with Visa ReadyLink. Visa ReadyLink runs $3.74 – 4.95 up to $500.
Where to Get the Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Card
You can 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).
Alternatively, 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.
The Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Visa® Card is one of the few prepaid cards that offer rewards. It offers points for all card purchases that are redeemable for free groceries at Kroger stores. The Rewards card also offers some other nice-to-have benefits like lower cost cash loading, one free ATM withdrawal, and a direct deposit bonus. Unfortunately, the increase in fees over its predecessor 1-2-3 Rewards card takes some of the shine off the benefits.
Best For: Kroger shoppers
Not So Good For: Those looking for a prepaid card with a waivable monthly fee or free ATM access