Which prepaid card has the most fees? There's a tool to find out

January 31, 2012|Eileen Ambrose

Update: A spokeswoman for Suze Orman says NerdWallet has it wrong. Jill Zuckman says the monthly fees for the year don't add up to $39, but $36 because the first month's fee is waived.

She also adds: "Also,it’s fine to mention the MoneyGram cash loads, but you have no mention of the fact that there are no fees for people who do a minimum direct deposit of $20 a month and stay within the Allpoint Network."

This is a good time to remind readers to look closely at the fees.

 

 

One of the big complaints about prepaid cards is all the fees, some not so transparent.

NerdWallet, a card comparison site, has launched a prepaid card comparison tool today. You can plug in how you expect to use the card, such as how often you will reload money or use the card at an ATM, and the tool will calculate how much you will pay annually in fees.

Out of 46 cards, the American Express was ranked No. 1 by NerdWallet, which gave the card an A. Annual fees were the lowest of the bunch, amounting to $72. American Express doesn’t charge monthly fees or a fee to activate the card. If you make 2 monthly ATM withdrawals a month, that will cost $48 a year. To reload money on the card twice a month will cost $24 a year.

The Approved Card by Suze Orman, recently introduced with much fanfare, was rated 11 out of 46. NerdWallet figures you’ll pay $39 a year for the purchase price and $3 per month fee, and if you reload the card twice a month — which you might do if you put your paycheck on it — you’ll pay another $84. Altogether, NerdWallet gives the Approved Card an A-.

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