Editor’s Note: A year after the MoneyPak was pulled from the market, Green Dot reintroduced it. It now offers both cash reload services.
Last year, financial services company Green Dot announced that it would discontinue its MoneyPak product early this year. Now that time is here. Several retailers have already been in the process of phasing out the MoneyPak, and as of February 1, 2015, all stores in major chains like CVS, Walmart and 7-11, stopped selling the MoneyPak altogether.
Green Dot started offering its replacement product, Reload @ the Register in 2014, a few months before announcing the phase out of the MoneyPak. Green Dot has now moved entirely to Reload @ the Register, for reloading participating prepaid debit cards.
How It Works
Reload @ the Register is a swipe to reload service. To add funds to your prepaid card, take your prepaid card and the cash to load to the register at a participating retailer and ask the checkout clerk to add cash directly to your card. Any amount from $20 to $500 (up to $1000 at Walmart) can be added in a single transaction, subject to your prepaid card’s balance limits. The checkout clerk will swipe your card to add the funds to your prepaid card account. That’s it. The funds are available for use in about ten minutes. The fee for Reload @ the Register is generally $4.95, but can be less at some retailers (Walmart charges $3.74).
Reload @ the Register is offered at the following retailers:
- Ace Cash Express
- Rite Aid
- 7 Eleven
You can find nearby locations of any of these chains at Green Dot’s website.
Most popular prepaid cards that offered reloads through the Green Dot MoneyPak now offer reloads through Reload @ the Register, including
Advantages and Disadvantages
Compared to the Green Dot MoneyPak, the primary benefit of Reload @ the Register is simplicity. Like Reload @ the Register, reloading using a MoneyPak required prepaid card holders to make the trip to a retailer to purchase the MoneyPak. But the MoneyPak also involved the additional step of going to Green Dot’s website to enter the MoneyPak card number to transfer the MoneyPak funds to the prepaid card. For many prepaid card holders, this meant returning home to transfer the funds from a home computer which meant an additional delay in having access to the funds. Reload @ the Register combines these steps into one, eliminating the interim step of purchasing a reload card and the resulting delay.
There are, however, a couple of disadvantages to using Reload @ the Register compared to the MoneyPak. First, the MoneyPak was available at more retail locations. It could be purchased not only at the locations that now offer Reload @ the Register, but also quite a few other convenience stores and check cashing/financial services locations. That said, Reload @ the Register is still widely available. The large chain retailers that offer the service have over 50,000 locations.
Second, although the cost of reloading–$4.95–is the same for Reload @ the Register as it was with the MoneyPak, some MoneyPak retailers would occasionally offer deeply discounted prices for the MoneyPak, some charging as little as $2.00. While some participating retail chains, such as Walmart, offer a discounted price for the Reload @ the Register service, with fewer retailers offering Reload @ the Register than the MoneyPak, finding similarly discounted fees is unlikely.