AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card Review

The AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card is a reloadable card. Your available balance on the card is the amount you despot to the card. There is no minimum balance needed to keep the account open. You still get a monthly statement so you can view your account history. Since this is not a line of credit you will can not go into debt and you can not overdraft the account. You can apply for a card regardless of past credit problems or even if you have no credit at all.

AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card

  • 100% Approval* (subject to I.D. Verification)
  • $0 monthly fee†
  • No minimum balance
  • No credit check∞. No risk of overdraft fee.
  • Free† direct deposit and online bill payment
  • Use it everywhere Visa debit card accepted
  • Easy online/mobile account access
  • Perfect for occasional usage

Reloadable and Easy to Use

This is a Visa card which means it is accepted anywhere that Visa is accepted. There are two ways in which you put money onto the card: direct deposit or add cash. Direct deposit is free and convenient. Your employer can have your paycheck transferred directly to your AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card. You get access to your funds on payday, avoid the inconvenience and cost of check cashing stores, and don’t have to worry about carrying around a lot of cash. If you sign up for direct deposit you get a bonus of $15. You can also add cash to the card by going to one of the cash network stores. The amount of each value load must be at least $10.00 not to exceed $5,000.00 per day.

$15 Bonus with Direct Deposit

AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card currently is offering a $15 bonus for those that sign up for direct deposit (which is free). You have to set up a recurring direct deposit of $50 or more for two consecutive months. There are other terms and conditions, so make sure to read the fine print, but a $15 bonus is nice for a feature that’s free to begin with and gives you access to your paycheck or government benefits check faster than a paper check. I’m not sure how long this $15 bonus offer will last, so go to AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card and make sure it’s still available.

AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card Rates and Fees

With this card there are never any late fees, finance charges or overdraft fees. However, even though this card is a prepaid card and not a line of credit, there are still fees for using the card. To get a complete list of fees you should review the Terms and Conditions of the card. Below are some of the fees for the AccountNow card.

  • Purchases: $1.00 per transaction
  • U.S. ATM Transactions: $2.50 plus ATM owner fee
  • ATM Balance Inquiry: $1.00
  • ATM Decline fee: $1.00
  • Online Bill Pay: FREE for standard processing
  • Monthly Maintenance: Free

How to Apply for the AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card

Applying for this credit card is quick and easy. We’ve provided a link below that will take you to the official AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card website. From this page, you can click on the apply now button to go to the AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card secure online application. The application takes just a few minutes to complete.

To get started, visit the AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card official website.

The Credit Card Act–Much Ado About Nothing

The Credit Card Act took effect yesterday, and I’m facing a real literary dilemma. As you can see from the title, we’ve chosen a Shakespearean reference to reflect our sentiments about the Act. But exactly which play to choose from was a tough call. Coming in as a close second was Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5:

[The Credit Card Act is] but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The politicians and consumer advocacy groups (you know, the ones that no best how we should live our lives) will no doubt celebrate today. They will pronounce the Credit Card Act as long overdue; a real win for the little guy. And to be fair, the restrictions on a card issuer’s ability to raise interest rates will benefit some consumers and the expense of others. But here’s the reality about the Credit Card Act:

  • Debt: If you were in credit card on February 21st, you were still in credit card debt on February 22nd.
  • Bad Credit: If you have poor credit, your credit card options have been severely limited. Basically your options are down to a secured credit card or a prepaid credit card.
  • Fees: Fees will likely go up as credit card issuers attempt to address the loss in revenue brought about by the Act.
  • Rewards: One of the fears was that the Credit Card Act would really take a bit out of rewards credit cards. While card issuers have made subtle changes to rewards programs, adding fees for example, the rewards cards are still plentiful.

If you’d like to read other perspectives on the Credit Card Act, check out these articles:

ACE Pink Visa Prepaid Debit Card

The ACE Pink Visa Prepaid Debit Card provides a unique opportunity to manage your money and help fight breast cancer at the same time. As a prepaid card, you can load money onto the ACE Pink Visa with free direct deposit, transfers from a bank account, at retail locations, and even through PayPal transfer. And because the card is a Visa, it’s accepted just about everywhere. Use the ACE Pink Visa Prepaid card at department stores, gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and even places where cash can’t go, such as bill payments over the phone, catalogue and internet shopping. Over 30 million merchants worldwide accept Visa Prepaid Debit Cards.

  • As an official sponsor of the National Breast Cancer Foundation, purchases from the ACE Elite Card have contributed to over $2 million towards breast cancer awareness and detection.
  • Get your tax refund faster with direct deposit.*
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster with free direct deposit of paychecks and government benefits*
  • Free Anytime AlertsTM - Get your balance and transactions via text or email*
  • Secure: Card funds are backed by Visa® Zero Liability*

ACE Pink Visa Prepaid Debit Card

Because the card is not a credit card or part of a checking account, there’s no need to worry about ChexSystems, credit checks, over-limit fees, our bounced check fees. The card is ideal for those with no credit or even bad credit.

Getting the ACE Visa Prepaid Debit Card is easy. You can quickly apply online at, where ACE will verify your name, address, telephone number and collect the one-time fulfillment fee. There is no credit check or application. You are already accepted!

Due to newly adopted government regulations, all customers are also required to provide their date of birth and one form of government ID to activate a card. All U.S. citizens must provide their Social Security Number as the form of government ID. Non-U.S. citizens can provide an alternative form of ID, such as a Driver’s License, Passport, Alien Registration.

ACE Pink Rewards

With the ACE Pink Visa, you support the fight against breast cancer every time you use the card. ACE Express makes a donation with every card transaction. Last year ACE donated more than $350,000, and they hope to surpass this milestone this year.

ACE Pink Rates and Fees

Keep in mind that just because this card does not charge interest, there are still fees associated with using the card. For a complete list of rates and fees you should review the ACE Terms and Conditions. The table below highlights some of the fees associated with using the card.

 Pay As You Go CustomersFee Advantage Customers
Monthly Service FeeFREE$9.95, billed on cardholder's cycle date
Signature Purchase Fee$1.00FREE
PIN Purchase Fee$2.00FREE
Domestic ATM Cash WithdrawalsUp to $2.50 per withdrawal, plus ATM owner fees, if anyUp to $2.50 per withdrawal, plus ATM owner fees, if any
Card Fulfillment Fee$9.95$9.95

UPside Visa Prepaid Card

  • The power of a bank account in a Visa Prepaid card
  • No activation fee. $0 monthly fee if $300 or more is loaded each month. Only $1.99 otherwise.
  • Free Direct Deposit from your employer. Deposit cash at 60,000 locations nationwide.
  • No credit check required. Bad credit is ok.
  • Write personal checks, best to pay rent or other bills.
  • Accepted like any Visa debit card in the US, abroad and online.

UPside Visa Prepaid Card

The UPside Visa Prepaid Card is ideal for teens, students, those with no credit, or even those with bad credit. The card is a reloadable prepaid card, which means your spending limit is the amount you put on your card. Because the card has no line of credit or credit limit, you can’t spend more than you have deposited onto the card. There are no over limit fees, and you can’t go into debt. There are no interest charges.

Reloadable and Easy to Use

The Upside Visa offers free direct deposit of paychecks. In addition, you can load the card at 60,000 retailers (up to $500 per load). And you can even write personal checks with the card online, and UPside Visa will mail the check for you. You can even view your balance and transactions online in real-time.

Upside Rewards
The card does have a rewards program called the UPoints Rewards Program. The Rewards includes both cash back and rewards certificates to nationwide retailers. The UPoints are rewarded in various ways. You can earn up to 15 Points-per-dollar-spent at any of the hundreds of UPside Mall merchants. The purchase does not have to be made with an UPside card. Loading money onto the card will earn you 1 UPoint per dollar (UPside Edge only). If you refer a friend and they become a card member you will earn 500 points. There are also additional ways to earn points like the Create-A-Card contest and the “Purchase of the Month” program. The points you earn depend on where you make the purchase. You will receive between 1 and 15 points per dollar spent, which are worth between 1 and 15% cash back at select retailers.

Upside Rates and Fees

Even though the card is a prepaid card and it does not charge interest, there are still fees that are associated wit using the card. The Upside Prepaid Visa offers 4 different types of cards, and the fees you will be assessed are based on the card you have. The table below shows you some of theses fees. For a complete list you should view the Terms and Conditions of the card.

Activation Fee
Membership FeeFREE$2.99/month$29.95/yearFREE with $300 + loaded/month (otherwise $1.99)
Loads from Debit or Credit Card$2.50 convenience fee for instant loads$2.50 convenience fee for instant loads$2.50 convenience fee for instant loads$2.80 convenience fee for instant loads
Maximum Balance$1000$2000$5000$10,000
ATM AccessN/A$1.49 for withdrawals + fee charged by ATM provider$1.49 for withdrawals + fee charged by ATM provider$1.49 for withdrawals + fee charged by ATM provider
Phone Inquires$0.99/call $0.99/call $0.99/call $0.99/call;
$2 to speak to live agent
Card Replacement$8.95$8.95$8.95$9.95



How to Find a Credit Card’s Minimum Payment

A question we hear a lot is how much is a credit card’s minimum payment? For example, if you have a $2,000 balance on a card, what will the minimum payment be for that card? The short answer is that for most cards, the minimum payment is generally about 4% of the outstanding balance. As a result, for every $1,000 outstanding on a credit card, the minimum payment would be about $40.

Until a few years ago, most cards set the minimum payment at about 2% to 2.5%. At this level, making just the required payment would cover the interest charges and a very small portion of the outstanding balance. At this rate, it would take years to pay off a balance.

In 2005, banking regulators encouraged credit card companies to set minimum payments at a level where consumers would pay down their balances by at least 1%. The result was that most credit card companies moved to the current 4% minimum payment formula.

Don’t confuse minimum payment with balance owed

Keep in mind that the minimum payment and total balance owed are different. The minimum payment is simply the amount that must be paid that month to keep your credit card account current. In contrast, the balance owed is the total owed on the card, which can be substantially higher than the minimum payment.

Should you pay more than the minimum?

Because credit cards tend to charge high interest rates, paying down the balance as quickly as possible is generally the best approach. Of course, it’s important to weigh paying down a card with other financial obligations you may have. But the minimum payment should not be viewed as anything more than the absolute minimum that needs to be paid to satisfy your contractual obligation to the credit card company.

Manage Your Money with Discover Card’s Spend Analyzer

For those that carry a Discover Card, Discover offers a free money management tool that is incredibly useful. Called the Spend Analyzer, Discover’s online tool helps you control spending by giving you an easy to understand snapshot of the money you’ve charged to your Discover card. And the great thing about this tool is that the data is derived automatically from the charges you add to your card. Spend Analyzer organizes the charges by category and presents the information to you almost like a detailed budget.

Because a picture truly is worth a thousands words, here is a snapshot of Discover’s Spend Analyzer taken from my own Discover® More card account (click image to enlarge):

Update: The Discover® More card has been replaced by the Discover it® card.

As you can see from the image, the Spend Analyzer let’s you look at your spending over several different time periods ranging from 1 month to 24 months. And you can drill down into any spending category for more details. Here’s what the detail view looks like for the category Merchandise:

You can then drill down to individual retailers and transactions to see how you’ve spent your money. Spend Analyzer let’s you print out any view and save views to a .pdf file. Of all the money management tools designed by credit card companies, Discover’s Spend Analyzer ranks the highest.

Annual Fee

A yearly fee charged by credit card issuers on some credit cards. The fee is separate from interest charges or other fees, and is assessed regardless of how often the card is used. The annual fee typically is added to the credit card statement along with other charges on the card.

The amount of the annual fee varies. Many credit cards do not charge an annual fee, while some of the more exclusive charge cards have annual fees as high as $450 per year. In addition, most bad credit credit cards charge annual fees, which can vary based on the applicant’s credit history.

Chase Freedom Changes Its 0% APR Introductory Offer

As regular readings know, we track very closely 0% APR introductory offers from most major credit card issuers. Today Chase announced a change in the no interest offer on its Chase Freedom credit card, and we want to pass this important change along to you. Here’s the deal.

Chase shortened the 0% on purchases from 12 months down to 6 months. That means new card holders will still get interest free use of the card on purchases, but now only for the first 6 months, not 12 months. On the bright side, the Chase Freedom card now offers 0% on balance transfers for up to 12 months, which is the longest no interest balance transfer currently offered by credit card issuers. So why did Chase make this change?

The reasons aren’t exactly clear, but Discover credit cards has recently made the same move. It appears that balance transfers must be more in demand than 0% purchase offers. These changes may also be Chase preparing for the new Credit Card Act legislation which takes effect this month.

In addition, Chase has removed the $50 bonus it offered after the first purchase. It’s disappointing to see this go, but the card still pays up to 3% cash back on select purchases, and 1% cash back on everything else. As a long-time Chase Freedom card holder, it’s still one of my favorite cards.

As a quick refresher, there are two types of interest free offers–0% on purchases and 0% on balance transfers. These two types of offers are very different. With 0% on purchases, you don’t pay any interest on purchases for usually 6 or 12 months, depending on the terms of the offer. There are no fees to take advantage of this offer; just use the card for purchases as you normally would. With balance transfer offers, you can transfer high interest debt from other cards onto the new card and pay no interest for up to 12 months. There is a transfer fee involved, usually 3% of the amount transferred.

3% Cash Back Credit Card Offers

With folks looking to save as much money as possible, we put together this list of credit cards that pay up to 3% cash back on select purchases:

Chase Freedom

  • Earn a 1% rebate for each $1 of net purchases
  • additional 1% rebate for each $1 of eligible airfare net purchases
  • Earn 3% cash back between different categories of gas, home improvement, and department stores
  • 0% APR on purchases for 6 months
  • 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months

The Chase Freedom card offers cash back on purchases such as gas, groceries and fast food. If you are an online shopper this card is part of the Chase Rewards Plus program that offers up to 10% cash back when shopping online. With this card there are no annual fees and the card offers a 0% Intro APR.

True Earnings Card from Costco and Amex

  • pays 3% cash back on up to $3,000 in gasoline purchases (1% thereafter)
  • earn 3% cash back at restaurants
  • 2% cash back for travel
  • 1% cash rewards everywhere else, including Costco

The True Earnings Card from Costco and American Express is a cash back rewards card that can earn you cash wherever you shop, not just Costco. The TrueEarnings card also offers a $25 statement credit after your first purchase is made with the card. There is no annual fee if you have a paid Costco Membership. The card also offers a 0% introductory rate on purchases for six months.

Discover More Card

Although the Discover More card pays up to 5% cash back, we thought we’d include it as well:

  • 5% Cashback Bonus® in categories like travel, home, gas, restaurants, movies and more
  • 5% to 20% Cashback Bonus at top retailers through the online shopping site
  • Up to 1% Cashback Bonus on all other purchases automatically

The Discover More credit card offers cash back in categories like travel, home, gas, restaurants, movies. The card also offers a 0% Intro APR for the first 6 months on purchases as well as 0% for 12 months on Balance Transfers. As a bonus, the card allows you to increase, even double, your rewards when you redeem for gift cards from the 100 Cashback Bonus Partners. The card has no annual fee.