Technology has changed the landscape of banking so much that some stores no longer accept cash. For many of us, direct deposit has become the default way to receive our paychecks. Not to mention, some purchases can only be made with a credit or debit card. Even though having a debit card, in the very least, is becoming more necessary, many people haven’t opened checking accounts or lines of credit. And that’s where RushCard comes in.
Thankfully, prepaid debit cards offer a way to use a card for transactions without linking said card to a bank account. Here, we’re exploring everything you need to know about RushCard, one of the most enduring prepaid debit card options on the market, and how it differs from the competition.
What Is the RushCard?
A RushCard is a prepaid debit card; as you might expect these days, it’s also linked to a mobile app. And, as a Visa card, RushCard is widely accepted as a form of payment. Although RushCards are not linked to traditional bank accounts, they do have some rather robust features, which allow you to use it much like a bank-tethered debit card. Aside from the convenience factor, RushCard is also a safe option; these prepaid cards are FDIC-insured against loss — and Visa protections offer a safety net when it comes to potential fraud.
Like most prepaid cards, the RushCard does entail some fees. For starters, it costs $9.95 to even get one and, once you make your first purchase, you’ll be charged an additional $3.95. But that’s not where the fees end; there are two different RushCard plans you can opt into depending on your needs.
For $5.95 per month, you can use the card as much as you want, or you can pay $1.00 every time you use the card. The monthly flat fee rises to $7.95 per month for RushCard users who do not use the direct deposit feature. Of course, these fees only cover the cost of spending with the RushCard. Withdrawals and reloads have fees of their own; one-time fees for withdrawing and reloading are never more than $5.95.
Through the RushCard app, you can access funds on a check by taking a picture of said check. Rather than depositing the money into a bank account, this process takes the value of the check and adds it to your RushCard balance. Another great perk of the app? You can set up direct deposits so that your paycheck gets added to your RushCard. Just like a traditional credit card, the RushCard can also be used for automatic bill pay.
How to Apply for a RushCard
Applying for a RushCard? The process is simple and fully online. The website asks for basic contact information, including your name, address, phone number, and email address. To initially apply for a RushCard, you also need to submit your date of birth and social security number.
Just to reiterate, RushCard is a prepaid debit card with fees; RushCard does not loan money, so the company makes money when people sign up or use their RushCards. All of this to say, there’s no need for a credit check and it’s unlikely that RushCard would reject a paying customer’s application.
How to Use a RushCard
After applying for the card, you’ll order it online. Next, you’ll choose either a flat-fee plan or a pay-as-you-go plan. Before using the card, load it with funds either by cashing a check or paying cash at an ATM, store, or other reload location.
Once you’re all set up, just use the card as you would any traditional debit or credit card. Curious about your first few transactions? Use the RushCard mobile app to review your purchases and reloads. The product’s mobile app is also how you’ll view your account information, set up a direct deposit, and use automatic bill pay.
Pros and Cons
By giving you the ability to access funds, deposit checks, receive direct deposits, and set up automatic bill pay, RushCard provides most of the features associated with a checking account or debit card. It even claims to be more efficient, stating that direct deposits sent to the card arrive two days earlier than they would in traditional checking accounts. This is a massive advantage for people with a credit history or banking history that will not allow them to have a traditional bank account.
For a prepaid debit card, RushCards are relatively easy to reload and withdraw from. Cards can be reloaded at cash registers in many major retailers, including Walmart, 7-Eleven, and Dollar Tree. Additionally, you can withdraw and reload at any ATM in the RushCard network; there are even some banks that will service RushCard withdrawals. Best of all, RushCard’s mobile app makes it even easier to monitor transactions and cash checks.
The biggest drawback of using a this card? The various fees. Attached to almost every aspect of the card — reloads, withdrawals, purchasing — the fees can be a little overwhelming, but, compared to some banks, the RushCard fees may still be lower than monthly maintenance fees on a checking account.
RushCards, however, are great for folks with poor credit or a banking history that limits their options. Although the card has the robust features these individuals need to handle their finances, nothing about the card helps improve their banking or credit history. Since there are no loans involved, RushCard does not report to credit bureaus and, since it isn’t tethered to a bank account, it won’t impact one’s banking history.
What Makes a Prepaid Debit Card Different?
While credit cards allow you to spend money you don’t currently have, RushCards work the same as debit cards in this respect. That is, a RushCard user must already have the money before spending it. The critical difference between a prepaid debit card and a traditional debit card lies in how the card is funded. Not sure if it’s right for you? You may want to compare RushCard’s features with those of traditional debit cards.