Western Union Prepaid Mastercard Review

The Western Union® Netspend® Mastercard® Prepaid Card is a low cost reloadable prepaid card ideal for those who send or receive money via Western Union. It comes with a long list of features that make it ideal as an alternative to a traditional bank account.

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Our Rating: 4.8

Monthly Fee:

$9.95*

Card Limit:

$15,000

Purchase Fee:

$0

Snapshot

  • *Monthly fee plans as low as $0
  • Send and Receive a Western Union® Money Transfer, shop online or pay bills.
  • With Western Union Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Subject to card activation and ID verification. Terms and Costs Apply. Issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC.
  • Get your tax refund direct deposited to your Card Account and no more waiting in line to cash your paper check!
  • See additional Western Union Prepaid Mastercard® Details

Pros & Cons

What we like

  • High card limit
  • Monthly fee as low as $0
  • Excellent banking features, such as online bill pay, mobile check deposit and optional savings account
  • $10 Purchase Cushion
  • Refer a Friend program
  • No credit check required
  • No chexsystems verification required

What could be better

  • ATM withdrawal fee
  • Inactivity fee

With a partnership between Western Union and Netspend, this prepaid card is designed for those who send and receive Western Union money transfers. Beyond money transfers, however, the card offers similar benefits and features of a Netspend card, such as the ability to receive paychecks and government checks up to 2 days faster.

Western Union has been providing their service to individuals for more than 160 years and in more than 200 countries. Netspend has been in business since 1999, and has helped more than 10 million consumers and over 68 million that are considered underbanked consumers in the U.S.

How does the Western Union Prepaid Card work?

The Western Union® Netspend® Mastercard® Prepaid Card is a a reloadable prepaid card. Load funds on the card and it can be used anywhere that accepts Debit Mastercard, including online. Add money to the card, and you can use it to purchase items online, hospital fees, clothes, monthly bills, and even gas. There are several ways to load money onto the card:

  • Direct deposit of your paycheck, or government checks (this includes tax refunds)
  • Transfer money directly from a qualifying bank
  • Receive Western Union® Money Transfer Transactions
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Add cash at more than 130,000 reload locations

Features

Direct Deposit: This feature allows you to refill your account by depositing your paycheck, tax refund or a government benefits check. Direct deposit is free and allows you to receive your checks up to 2 days faster.

Anytime Alerts: Receive text message alerts 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 Payback Rewards. 

Reload Locations: With over 130,000 retail locations nationwide, this feature gives you practically unlimited accessibility to load cash onto your card.

Western Union® Netspend® Prepaid Mastercard® Mobile App: With this app, you can view any of your balances and transaction history, send money to individuals, transfer your money to or from your Savings Account, deposit checks via the app, or find the nearest reload location.

$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.

Rewards & Benefits

Savings Account: While optional, this FDIC-insured account will help you grow your money with up to a 5.00% APY.

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 Western Union® Netspend® Prepaid Mastercard®, and adds a minimum of $40 to their new card account via cash or through direct deposit.

Online Bill Pay: This gives you the ability to be able to pay your rent, utilities, as well as other bills via this online service.

Reduced Monthly Plan: When you deposit an amount of $500 or more from your paycheck or government benefits, your monthly fee is just $5.

Fees

FeeMonthly PlanPay-As-You-Go PlanPremier
Monthly Fee$9.95$0$5.00
PIN Transactions$0$2.00$0
Signature Transactions$0$1.00$0
ATM Withdrawal Fee$2.50$2.50$2.50
ATM Balance Inquiry Fee$.50$.50$.50
Cash Reload Fee$3.95$3.95$3.95
Direct Deposit Fee$0$0$0

Card Limits

Card Limit$15,000
Transaction Limit$5,000
Daily ATM Limit$940
Daily Cash Load Limit$940

Comparison

Who is the card best for?

The Western Union® Netspend® Mastercard® Prepaid Card is designed for someone who deals with Western Union® transactions on a consistent basis. It’s also good for anyone who is looking for a low-cost prepaid debit card with features such as:

  • An alternative to a checking account
  • Quicker and easier Western Union® transactions
  • Direct deposit of paycheck or a government benefits check (including tax refunds)

Who might do better with a different card?

Someone that is looking for a low-cost prepaid card that would benefit the entire family, this includes any children, would be better pairing with a prepaid card designed specifically for kids and teens.

FAQS

Are there any limitations as to what I can buy with my Western Union Prepaid Mastercard?

Anywhere that accepts Debit Mastercard will allow you to purchase items via in-store, online,  or even over-the-phone. 

What government check is approved for me to direct deposit into my Western Union Prepaid Mastercard account?

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

What credit score is required to be eligible for the Western Union Prepaid Card?

They don’t do a credit check. Therefore, any credit score that you currently have will not affect your eligibility. However, residents in Vermont are not currently eligible to open a card account.

Can I only deposit part of my government check into my card account?

No. If you set your government check to be directly deposited into your card account it must be deposited in full.