So first we wanted to start off by saying technically speaking there are no prepaid cards that doesn't have fees. If this was true, the company would have a rough time making a profit. However, there are prepaid cards with little fees and the fees that the companies do charge are easily avoidable making them fee-less. The most important fees to look out for are the monthly fees (including any inactivity fees), ATM fees & transaction fees.
Screenshot of our Prepaid Card With no Fees
The above image is a screenshot of our prepaid card statement from Serve, for the month of November 2020. as you can see on the right hand side of the image we have not paid any fees for this month. We completely avoided ATM fees, transaction fees, monthly fees and reload fees completely. On the left hand side of the image you will see "Money Added" is $0.00. Serve does not display money that have been added through direct deposits, which makes up 95% of our added funds majority of the time. When we transfer money from another card into our Serve account (which is free) or reload at the cash register (not free) that amount will be displayed there. Below are other screenshots from 2020 where we have added, held and actively used the money in our account without ever being charged a fee.
Month of October 2020 (No Fees)
Month of December 2020 (No Fees)
Cashless Society Mindset
To really take advantage of these reloadable cards and reduce your fees to $0 per month as we did, you have to rewire your brain away from using cash at all. You have to make the decision to become one of many whom adopted the "cashless society" mindset. It's true you can withdraw cash from an ATM for free using a surcharge free ATM, but eventually you'll fall into the trap of just using the nearest ATM regardless of fees.You can purchase almost everything online.
From paying your bills, to purchasing groceries, paying for streaming services like NetFlix and Hulu or transportation services like Uber & Lyft it's all available online with a click of a button and can be paid for using your card. You can also get your laundry taken care of and have it delivered to you as well as use your prepaid card at selected laundromats in your area if you do not have a washer and dryer.If you ever needed to purchase items from a retail store you can still use your prepaid card there as well. The prepaid cards we've listed here does not charge a fee for transactions that require you to enter your pin or provide a signature. The point is, use cash less.
These Reloadable Cards Have no Fees at All
These reloadable cards have no fees at all, when you use surcharge free ATMs to withdraw cash and use direct deposit to add money onto your card.
1. Bluebird - At the top of the list is the Amex Bluebird prepaid card. This card only charge a $2.50 ATM fee which cardholders can bypass by going to a MoneyPass or AllPoint ATM machine. Using direct deposit will allow you to avoid any reload fees. Unlike many other cards you can also load a Bluebird card at Walmart for free.
The only drawback is that American Express is not accepted in as many online & retail stores as Visa or Mastercard. This is one of the most recommended prepaid cards not only by us & other websites, but by other prepaid cardholders as well. So this is the top choice if you are searching for prepaid cards with no fees.
2. Chime - Once again we have to include Chime. Chime is not a prepaid card but a debit card connected to a mobile bank account backed by Bancorp & Stride bank. However, Chime very much works like a prepaid card and the reason we love Chime so much is that it's comparable to the Bluebird prepaid card when it comes to fees. The only fee Chime bank charge is a $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee, which can be bypassed with MoneyPass & AllPoint ATMs. There is a reload fee of $5.95. Chime has partnered with Green Dot's Reload @ The Register to load funds onto their debit card.The reload fee can be bypassed by using simple tricks. If the cardholder links Chime bank account to any other prepaid or bank account they can simply ACH push funds from that account into Chime for free. We are currently doing this with the combo of Serve & Green Dot linked to Chime.
3. Serve - American Express Serve card is ideal for individuals living in New York, Texas or Vermont who's searching for a reloadable card with no fees. Serve charges a $1 monthly fee in these states however that fee can be waived if cardholders direct deposit $500+ per month. If you do not live in one of these three states, the monthly fee is $6.95 which is pretty high. Serve prepaid card only charge three other fees which is a $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee which can be bypassed by going to a MoneyPass or AllPoint Network ATM, a .50 cents withdrawal declined fee, and a replacement card fee. Most of these fees cardholders won't need to pay attention to because they will likely not apply to cardholders. If Serve cardholders check their account before trying to withdraw cash then the ATM withdrawal declined fee doesn't apply.
We understand that with these options you will have to be conscious and aware of your actions to waive and bypass fees, but it will be worth it. While there are no prepaid card company that doesn't charge any fees, these are the closest you will find. If you are searching for a prepaid card or with no fees we definitely recommend Bluebird and Serve. If you are interested in a fee-less mobile bank account then Chime is the way to go.