How to get one: You can order a Green Dot prepaid Visa online for free or purchase one for a few bucks at the store. Lots of tax prep offices, gas stations, and grocery stores - more than 100,000, if we’re being exact - carry Green Dot cards.
Who accepts it: You can use Green Dot anywhere that accepts Visa debit cards. We’ve found that many people who use other prepaid cards can’t rent cars or reserve hotel rooms, but Green Dot cardholders report that they generally don’t encounter issues doing either of those things. Keep in mind that renting a car or hotel room may result in a preauthorization hold on your account, which isn’t anything Green Dot can control.
Features: You can have your tax refund deposited as long as it doesn’t exceed $10,000. We like that Green Dot lets us keep tabs on our funds with text notifications that tell us about our daily and weekly balances. Oh, and if you’re worried you’ll forget to pay a bill, Green Dot lets you schedule payments via online bill pay an entire year in advance. Guess we can’t use the “I forgot to pay” excuse anymore when a bill is due.
Fees: At $9.95, the monthly fee for Green Dot is higher than most other prepaid cards on our list. However, you can get the fee waived if you make 30 purchases in one month or deposit at least $1,000. You also have the option to use the pay-per-purchase plan instead of paying a set monthly fee.
ATM withdrawals are free when you use MoneyPass ATMs and $2.50 at other machines. Expect to spend up to $4.95 if you reload your card using cash rather than direct deposit or paper check.