MileagePlus GO Prepaid Card Review
The MileagePlus GO Prepaid Visa card, released in June 2018, is the first prepaid card to offer travel rewards. You can earn United miles with your MileagePlus GO spending and benefit from a savings account. In our MileagePlus GO Prepaid Visa card review, we’ll cover the card’s features, fees, and card limits.
MileagePlus GO Prepaid Visa Card Overview
The United MileagePlus GO Prepaid card, managed by NetSpend, is the first of its kind. Entering the arena once exclusive to credit cards, the MileagePlus GO card is the first to offer travel rewards on a prepaid debit card.
Beyond travel rewards, the card also offers other strong prepaid card benefits like a connected savings account with interest up to 5.00% APY up to $1,000, free ATM access through the MoneyPass system, and an online portal and mobile app to review your balance and transactions.
Although the MileagePlus GO card charges a monthly fee that’s a little higher than average, for travelers, the benefits may outweigh the costs.
The MileagePlus GO Prepaid card has numerous features that are available across numerous prepaid cards. This includes features like direct deposit, a mobile app, and text alerts. But this card also has some unique features as well. A summary is below:
Earn United Airlines miles: With the MileagePlus GO prepaid card you earn United airline miles for all signature purchases, up to 2,500 points per month. PIN transactions, such as any expense where you choose “debit” over “credit”, do not earn miles.
The rate at which users earn points depends on their fee plan. Choose the monthly plan at $5.95 per month and earn 1 mile per $2 spent on signature transactions.
Choose the $85 annual fee, paid when you first load your card, and you’ll earn 1 mile per $1 spent. Unlike most annual versus monthly plan options, paying annually actually costs $13.60 more a year. But the extra cost could be worth it depending on your spending.
On average, United MileagePlus miles are worth 1.5 cents. So, if you spend $152 or more a month on your prepaid card, your extra bonus miles from opting for the annual plan will be worth more than the extra fee. But, you’ll have to spend $945 or more a month to fully earn back your $85 fee in rewards.
Savings account: As part of the Netspend network, the MileagePlus GO prepaid card offers a connected savings account. Transfer funds from your prepaid card into the savings account and earn 5.00% APY on balances up to $1,000. Balances above $1,000 earn a 0.50% APY.
Virtual card numbers: This prepaid card also offers the ability to generate temporary, virtual card numbers to avoid using your prepaid card number for online transactions. This makes it significantly more difficult for identity thieves to steal your card information for fraudulent transactions.
The MileagePlus GO Prepaid card has higher load and spending limits than most prepaid cards.
You can carry a balance of up to $15,000, which is above average for prepaid cards. The maximum daily spending limit is $15,000 as well, significantly above the standard. The Daily ATM limit is $940 and the daily cash load limit of $7,500 are also significantly higher than the norm.
MileagePlus GO Prepaid Fees
The MileagePlus GO Prepaid card offers two fee structures. Pay a monthly fee of $5.95 and earn 1 mile per $2 spent. Or, pay an annual fee of $85 and earn 1 mile per $1 spent.
You can load the card through direct deposit or bank transfer for free, like most cards.
You can load cash can be added through the Netspend Reload Network with over 130,000 locations. The MileagePlus GO card doesn’t charge for reloading cash, but the reload location will. Reloading cash at a Netspend location can costs $2.00 – $3.95 per reload, depending on the location.
The MileagePlus GO card is one of the dwindling number of cards that offer free ATM withdrawals. It’s fee-free ATM network is MoneyPass with more than 20,000 locations. If you use an ATM outside the network or get cash back over-the-counter at a bank, however, you’ll owe a $2.50 fee.
The MileagePlus GO prepaid card also has a 3.5% foreign transaction fee. So, if you’re using your miles to jet overseas, this may not be the best card to use while there.
How to Load Money on the MileagePlus GO Prepaid Card
There are many ways to load your MileagePlus Go Prepaid card. Direct deposit for your regular income or government benefits has no fee. But you can also transfer money from a bank account or third-party provider, deposit a check from the mobile app (fees apply for same day processing), or load your card with cash at one of over 130,000 Netspend reload locations (providers charge up to $3.95 per transaction).
Using the Card
The MileagePlus GO Prepaid card is on the Visa network and works like any credit or debit card. Use it where ever Visa cards are accepted. This includes brick-and-mortar stores around the world, restaurants, gas stations, and other retailers. You can also use this card online to shop at Amazon, eBay, or other websites.
You can get cash from your MileagePlus GO prepaid card from an ATM or with cash back at a retailer after making a PIN purchase. The MileagePlus GO card uses the MoneyPass ATM network, which offers no-fee access to 25,000 nationwide ATMs.
The fee for out-of-network ATMs and over-the-counter withdrawals at financial institutions is $2.50 per transaction.
Getting the MileagePlus GO Prepaid Card
When getting a MileagePlus GO Prepaid card, there is no credit check or ChexSystems inquiry to worry about. You’ll need a valid social security number to verify your identity, as with all prepaid cards, but that’s it.
The MileagePlus GO Prepaid card is not available in stores. It must be ordered online, but there is no activation or shipping fee. You’ll also need a United MileagePlus points account to receive your points – which you can get for free during the order process if you don’t already have an account. Your card will arrive in 7 to 10 business days.
You can complete the online sign-up form by clicking here.
While the monthly fee on this card is a little steep if you don’t plan on using MileagePlus miles to travel, the combination of points rewards and the savings account could make it a valuable travel rewards card for non-credit card users.
Opt for the $85 annual plan and place $1,000 in the attached savings account, and you’ll earn back $50 of your fee just in earned interest. Max out the rewards by spending $2,500 a month and you’ll earn $450 in airline miles, for a $415 profit. Without having to worry about overspending, interest charges, or ATM fees.
Best For: Users who want the benefit of travel rewards and those that make frequent ATM trips.
Not So Good For: Prepaid card users who don’t travel.