The NetSpend card, issued by The Bancorp Bank, MetaBank, and Republic Bank, is an FDIC-insured prepaid debit card with protection against fraud and identity theft. It functions almost like a checking account, making it a useful substitute for consumers who don’t have a bank account.

The world has changed drastically over the past decade.

As online shopping and digital payments become the norm you see less and less of the conventional payment methods like cash or cheque. If you want to keep up with this increasingly digitalized world you’re going to have to get yourself a credit or debit card. These days, it’s near impossible to manage your expenses without one!

On that account, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about prepaid cards and the importance of a good credit score.

But how does it work? This prepaid card review is your ultimate guide. Read on to find out more about prepaid cards, the difference between credit and debit cards, and why Netspend is one of your best options.

Also, Read Is NetSpend Card a Credit Card?

Is NetSpend a Prepaid Card?

What is a Prepaid Card?

Prepaid cards are electronically produced and delivered. Once you have it, you can use it to make a bill payment or for ongoing transactions with preloaded funds anywhere debit cards are accepted.

Types of Cards

You’ll typically come across the following three types:

1. Debit Card

You use available money from your account while paying for purchases or withdrawing money from an ATM.

2. Credit Card

You borrow money from a bank when you use the card and pay it back later.

3. Prepaid Card

You load money onto the card before paying for purchases or withdrawing money.

However, we do recommend you check the cardholder agreement for details. Just so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Is Netspend a prepaid card?

Netspend is a Prepaid Card and has been a leading provider of card solutions with over 10 million customers all over the US for more than two decades. These cards have FDIC insurance, which keeps your funds protected.

Netspend’s prepaid debit cards work similarly to traditional debit cards, but with a glaring difference.

They are not linked with a bank account. You’ll need to reload the card with cash every time you want to make a purchase. They have an extremely convenient method for making deposits with a nationwide network of more than 130,000 locations for cash reloads and online account centers. 

You can use a NetSpend Visa prepaid card as you would other visa debit cards. Make online purchases, pay bills, cash checks, and receive money with ATM withdrawals.

How to Get a Netspend Visa Prepaid Card?

The process of getting prepaid debit cards is simple and straightforward. Just apply online with your email and basic information.

All applicants need to verify their identity by providing their name, date of birth, address, and government ID numbers like the one on your passport or Social Security card.

Card activation and identity verification are essential steps. You’ll receive your card via mail within 10 working days after identity verification.

You just need to add the cash either physically or through the online account center and start making your payments.

How to Load and Reload NetSpend Funds

One of the best things about the Netspend cards is how simple adding funds to the card is. Add funds via direct deposit, bank transfers, Netspend card account transfers, or through Netspend reload network locations.

There will be no fees if you get it done through direct deposit or through the Netspend online account center.

Pros and cons of Netspend cards

Netspend’s prepaid debit card provides an easy alternative to debit MasterCard. You can use it everywhere a debit Mastercard is accepted with the standard fee, terms, and conditions. Being partners with major companies like Walmart Netspend offers several additional services to its shoppers.

Here are some of the other pros and cons of prepaid debit cards.


1. No minimum balance requirements

No credit check is required, and all you need is funds availability and ID.

2. Faster pay

When you set your paycheck to directly deposit into your Netspend card, you may receive the funds two days faster than your pay by paper check.

3. $20 refer-a-friend bonus

Refer to your friends and family and get an instant bonus of up to $20.

4. Cash back rewards

5.00% APY savings account on balances of up to $1,000, and 0.50% APY on the amount over that. Moreover, earn cash back rewards on purchases through Netspend prepaid Mastercard. The rewards are credited to your card account.

5. Safer

You can use a prepaid card for online purchases safely with virtual account numbers to help protect against fraud and identity theft. It protects you from getting hacked or becoming a victim of fraud.


1. No waiver for fee

All users have to pay a fee for using the card, one way or another. You may want to compare the monthly fee or the transaction fee with other card options that are available to you.

2. No free ATMs

There is no free access to ATMs, and they may be subjected to additional tariffs.

3. No Purchase Cushion

In a prepaid NetSpend card you can only spend the money you load into the account. And if your card is a little low you won’t be able to get what you need, unlike with a credit card where you can pay the bank later.

4. Inactivity Fee

You may find a $5.95 monthly inactivity fee after 90 days of no transactions, withdrawals, or deposits.

5. Credit building Card

It is not a credit-building product. This means it won’t be helping people who need to build up a credit history or credit rating back.

Is NetSpend Suitable for You?

There are some people who will benefit more from the Netspend prepaid card than others. Although these cards are easier to get, since you don’t need to show your banking history or undergo a credit check, there are other operating standards.

When you open your Netspend account you will have to choose between paying a monthly fee or a transaction fee every time you make a purchase. Either way, you should factor this into your decision-making process. This card is best for people:

  • with poor credit scores
  • who are unbanked because their minimum earnings are below the bank requirements or a mistrust of the formal banking sector
  • who are informally employed and have an irregular payment system

Bottom Line

Netspend’s prepaid cards are issued by The Bancorp Bank, MetaBank, and Republic Bank. They work in a similar fashion to debit cards, but with various differences. As they are not linked with a bank account they are easier to get. You can use a prepaid Netspend card as you would any other card.

A Netspend card comes with almost the same features as that of a conventional bank card.

These include virtual account numbers to help protect against fraud and identity theft, customizable SMS and email alerts, account management via mobile app,  compatibility with PayPal and Western Union.

This feature allows you to send money to friends and family and transfer funds between accounts when needed.

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