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How We Review Prepaid Debit Cards
We evaluate prepaid debit cards based on four key factors important to consumer:
- Fees: Nearly half of all prepaid debit card users cite avoiding overdraft fees and check-cashing fees as a major reason for using a prepaid card. We therefore evaluate the fees charged by a prepaid card, particularly those fees that cannot be avoided (e.g., a monthly fee that cannot be waived).
- Budgeting: A majority of consumers using prepaid cards want to avoid credit card debt, spend less than they make, and create budget categories to help control spending. As a result, we evaluate the features a prepaid card offers to help consumers better manage their money.
- Make Purchases: Consumers also use prepaid cards to make purchases online and other places that do not accept cash. While all prepaid debit cards by their very nature enable cardholders to make purchases, we evaluate specific characteristics that make using the card easier or harder for consumers.
- Banking Features: Many people want to use a prepaid card in place of a traditional checking account. For this reason, we evaluate important banking features of prepaid cards, such as ATM services, online bill pay, mobile check deposit and linked savings accounts.
We'll first provide an overview of the Brink's Prepaid Mastercard features, benefits and fees. Then will use the above factors to evaluate the card and assess who would be best serviced by this card and who should look for other options. Finally, we'll outline alternatives to the Brink's Prepaid Mastercard.
The is a reloadable prepaid debit card. It distinguishes itself from many other prepaid cards by its long list of features. These include mobile check deposit, online bill pay, and three fee plans you can tailor to your specific circumstances. The card is part of the Netspend family of prepaid cards, and its terms, features and fees are identical, in all important aspects, to the Netspend prepaid card.
How Does the Brink’s Armored™ Account Work?
The is a low cost, reloadable prepaid debit card. This card can be used anywhere in the world that accepts Debit Mastercard. As with all prepaid cards, cardholders must first add money to the card before using it. There are several ways to load money onto the card:
- Direct Deposit: Get paid up to two days faster with direct deposit of your paycheck or a government benefits check (including tax refund)
- Cash Reload: Add cash to your account from over 130,000 Netspend reload locations
- Transfer: Add money through a transfer from a bank account or another Brink's card.
Once funds have been added to the Brink's card, it can be used anywhere that accepts debit Mastercard, including online. In addition, cardholders can pay bills online for free.
Direct Deposit: This feature allows you to refill your account by depositing your paycheck, tax refund, or even a government benefits check. It is free and allows you to receive your checks up to 2 days faster.
Brink’s Reduced Monthly Fee Plan: With direct deposit of $500 or more from your paycheck or government benefits, you will only pay $5 per month instead of $9.95 per month.
Anytime Alerts: Receive text message alerts from Brink’s notifying you about activity on your account such as:
- Declined transactions
- Received deposits
- Individual transaction details
- Budget notifications
Online Account Center: With the Netspend website, you can see all of your transactions, set up direct deposit, and activate Netspend Payback Rewards. Brink’s is currently offering 500 bonus points when you enroll in Payback Points when using the Online Account Center as well.
Reload Locations: With over 130,000 retail locations nationwide, this feature gives you practically unlimited accessibility to load cash onto your card.
Earn Payback Points: This feature gives you the chance to earn cash back as well as merchant offers when making signature transactions with your card such as online, or ordering from restaurants. This allows cardholders to earn one (1) point per dollar spent for each signature transaction. If you use the Online Account Center to enroll in this feature, Brink’s is currently offering cardholders 500 bonus points in return for doing so.
$10 Purchase Cushion: If you have a purchase that exceeds your current account balance, this feature (on approved transactions), could allow you to create a negative $10 balance on your account. Keep in mind though that this is not an extension of credit nor is it guaranteed.
Smartphone App: The Brink’s Money Prepaid Mobile App helps you be able to manage your money on the go. With this service you can view any of your balances and transaction history, send money to individuals, relocate your money to or from your Savings Account, load checks via photograph, or help you find the nearest reload location.
Features & Benefits
Custom Card: Brink’s allows its cardholders to create their own custom card using their very own personalized photograph.
Refer A Friend: With the Refer A Friend feature, you could receive a $20 credit. For every person referred, you can both receive a $20 credit as long as the referred card holder orders the Brink’s Money Prepaid Mastercard®, and adds a minimum of $40 to their new card account via cash or through direct deposit.
Prescription Discounts: Brink’s Money Prepaid Mastercard® allows it’s cardholders to save up to 50% at most major pharmacies. Do this by printing your personalized discount card and show it to the pharmacist.
Savings Account: Cardholders who are eligible for Brink’s Preferred Benefits, including Brink’s Reduced Monthly Plan, can also be eligible for the Savings Account feature. Though optional, this account will help you grow your money with up to a 5.00% APY. There is no minimum balance required to open an account. Keep in mind though that there is a maximum of 6 of these transfers monthly.
Security: You'll get 24/7 access to a suite of security benefits to help keep your account safe, or as Brink's puts it, “armored”.
ATM Access: Get access to over 100,000 Brink’s Money ATMs.
Who the card is best for?
Anyone that is looking for a low cost prepaid card that offers:
- An alternative to a bank or checking account
- A convenient way to budget your money
- The ability to get your paycheck or any government benefits 2 days faster
Who might do better with a different card?
Someone that is looking for a prepaid card that would benefit the entire family, this includes any children, would be better pairing with the teen prepaid card.
Anywhere that accepts Debit Mastercard will allow you to purchase items via in-store, online, or over-the-phone.
Currently everyone is eligible to open a card account except for residents of Vermont. You must have a valid social security number.
No, because the Brink’s Armored™ Account is a debit card, not a credit card.
Yes. The complete list of acceptable direct deposit government payments are the following:
-Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
-Pension and other regular payments
-Railroad Retirement Benefits (RRB)
-Social Security Disability Act (SSDI)
-State unemployment benefits (these vary from state to state)
-Veterans Administration Compensation and Pension
-Defense Finance and Accounting Service Payments (DFAS)
-Social Security Payments
Yes. There are limits that can affect how much money can be withdrawn or loaded onto your card account. This varies though by the type of transaction.