Money Network® Prepaid Visa Review: Unique Features but Challenging Limits
Money Network has gotten a boost in visibility recently. It manages the stimulus payment prepaid cards (or EIP Cards) issued throughout the coronavirus pandemic. But Money Network has its reloadable prepaid card apart from the non-reloadable stimulus cards.
The Money Network Visa has a couple of unique features–like the ability to transfer money from the card to your bank–and its fees are better than most prepaid cards.
Money Network Visa Overview
The Money Network Visa has the basic features you would expect from a prepaid card, like broad Visa acceptance for purchases at nearly any store or online and free direct deposit. But it has a couple of stand-out features, too, like the ability to transfer cash off the card and budgeting features.
The fees are reasonable too. If you load the card with $400 per month, the monthly fee is waived altogether. If you don’t plan on putting that much on the card, you’ll incur a monthly fee of $1.95, which is well lower than the typical prepaid monthly fee.
The biggest downside is the card’s limit of $5,000. That’s among the lower card limits for prepaid cards.
Here’s the detailed breakdown of the Money Network Card’s features, fees, and limits.
Money Network Prepaid Card Features
Piggy Bank Savings: The Money Network Visa has a Piggy Bank feature, where you can set aside money for future purchases. It’s not an interest-bearing savings account, but it is a handy budgeting tool that lets you plan for those larger expenditures. Funds transferred to your Piggy Bank are removed from your spending balance. You just move them back when you’re ready to make your planned purchase.
Money Network Checks: Several prepaid cards offer paper checks that you can use like regular bank checks. They can be used for those occasional times when you still need the old-school method of making a payment. Like rent payments, if your landlord isn’t on-board with digital yet. Here’s the unique part–you can cash a Money Network check fee-free at select locations. You can find the locations through the mobile app, the online portal, or here.
Mobile App: Like most prepaid cards, the Money Network card has a mobile app that you can use to check your balance, see transaction history, and deposit checks to your card. It’s available for Android and Apple devices, but note that the Apple version has been a bit rocky with its reviews.
Text Alerts: You can set alerts through the mobile app to get a text notification for transactions or low balances on your card.
Transfers to (Just About) Anyone: While most prepaid cards will let you make transfers to other cardholders, the Money Network Visa lets you transfer money from your card to anyone with a bank account as well. It works similarly to other P2P apps, like Venmo and Zelle. You just use a mobile phone number or email of the recipient. Sending money to other Money Network cardholders is instant. Transfers to bank accounts take 3-5 days.
Transfers to Your Bank Account: With any prepaid card, you can transfer money from your bank to your prepaid card. But transfers from your card to your bank aren’t possible. The Money Network Card lets you do both.
Fees with the Money Network Prepaid Visa
The fees are pretty light with this card. The monthly fee is considerably lower than most at $1.95 and can be waived entirely by loading the card with at least $400 each month.
The Money Network Visa doesn’t charge any transaction fees for purchases. But it does charge an ATM withdrawal fee of $1.50. Note that the Money Network site touts “surcharge free” ATMs. That’s technically true but a bit misleading. The “surcharge” refers to the fee charged by the ATM operator. If you use an Allpoint ATM, you avoid that fee with your Money Network card. But Money Network still charges the $1.50.
That said, the fees are competitive with or lower than most other prepaid cards.
Money Network Visa Limits
Like every prepaid card, the Money Network card has balance, spending, and load limits.
Spending using your card is limited to $2,500 per day–lower than average among prepaid cards, although probably adequate for most prepaid card users.
The Money Network Visa has a couple of unusual benefits, like its free check cashing feature and money transfers to non-cardholders. The fees are quite reasonable among prepaid cards. But it lacks interest-bearing savings. And some users may find the limits a little too, well, limiting.
Best For: Prepaid card users looking for an inexpensive card or check cashing features.
Not So Good For: Prepaid card users that want a bank account alternative that allows for balances beyond Money Netowork’s modest limits.