Card.com is a prepaid MasterCard service that offers you similar things that a regular bank account may offer. When you get a bank account, you are often given a debit card (a bank card/ATM card). When you sign up with Card.com, you get an online account and you get a card that acts just like a debit card. It is a MasterCard, which means it is accepted by most businesses and most government agencies. Our Card.com review explains what is hot and what is not about this secured credit card.
Deposit Your Money
- Direct Deposit into your account
- Deposit checks that are processed by First Century Bank for a wireless fee
- Load cash into your account with Western Union
Use Your Card
- Use your card wherever Debit Mastercard is accepted
- Use it with some companies that accept Visa debit
- There is no fee for getting cashback when you make an in-store purchase
- There is no fee for ATM withdrawal if you use one of the 13,200 MoneyPass ATMs
Manage Your Money
- There is an Android app and an iOS app
- Get real-time email alerts and SMS alerts
- Choose your own card design
Signing Up And Applying
When you sign up they will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and for information that helps to identify you. Further identifying documents may be required, such as a copy of your driving license or a copy of your passport.
Do They Run A Credit Check?
Yes, Card.com does run a credit check when you apply, but they only run a soft search so that it will not negatively affect your credit rating. They only run the soft credit check for security purposes. If you have no credit and/or have little credit history, then there is a chance that Card.com will ask for further proof of identity.
The monthly maintenance fee is $9.95 per month, which is a rather high fee. The high fee is to encourage you to have your wages paid into your account for the reasons you will read below.
You can waive the monthly fee if you load at least $1000 via direct deposit within each billing cycle. This means you can avoid the fee if you have a full-time job and your wages are paid into the account monthly. It is the total amount that is paid in that matters, which means that even people who are paid weekly by direct deposit are able to save on maintenance fees if they are paid more than $1000 per month.
The family plan costs $9.95 per month and they give you three cards per month where one is yours and the other two are put in the names of other people in your family. The account itself is registered in your name even if the cards have your other family member’s names on them.
There is no fee for using a MoneyPass Network ATM. This is only true if you use domestic ATM machines. If you do not use a MoneyPass Network ATM, then you will be charged a fee.
It costs $2.95 per transaction if you use out-of-network ATMs. If the ATM charges a fee of its own, then your account will be charged $2.95 and whatever other fee the ATM adds on.
International ATM withdrawal fees costs vary, but the cost is significantly lower if you are using an overseas MoneyPass Network ATM.
Out-of-network-overseas withdrawals at ATMs cost $2.95. There may also be additional fees that are added by the ATM itself, and there maybe currency conversion fees and poor quality exchange rates.
National and internationalbalance inquires are free if you use a MoneyPass Network ATM. You will need your pin number and a MoneyPass Network ATM to check your card balance.
National and internationalbalance inquires outside of the MoneyPass Network cost $0.95 per transaction. Do whatever you can to avoid this fee because it is a disgusting and money-grabbing fee.
A fee may be charged by an out-of-network ATM even if you do not complete the transaction (withdrawal or balance inquiry). Do your best to avoid these types of fees by finding MoneyPass ATMs or by using your money in another way.
Over-the-counter withdrawal fees are $2.95. This is not the same as getting cash back when you buy something in a store. However, if you buy something and the MasterCard company doesn’t note it as a purchase, then you may be charged for your withdrawal. For example, if you buy chips at a casino and ask for cash back, you may be charged for the withdrawal.
Foreign transaction fees are 2.95% of the transaction and per transaction. This sort of transaction fee is high, but sadly common, which is why we always suggest you try Transferwise or CurrencyFair rather than ever using secured cards because 2.95% is too high. Plus, you are not going to get a market rate with your Card.com or your bank.
The paper copy of a statement fee us $1.95. That is the price you pay if you request a paper copy of your statement, which means if you order two of the same statement, then it costs you $3.90.
Card replacement costs $7.95. It will take between seven and ten days to arrive to you. This is the price you pay if you lose your card and you want a new one, or if you want a new one because your old one was stolen. You need to inform Card.com right away if your card is stolen.
It is free to replace your expired card. When your card expires, you will be sent a new one. If you do not receive it around ten working days after it expires, then call and ask them to replace it, but make sure they know it is a replacement for an expired card otherwise they will charge you for it.
It costs $29.95 to have your replacement card expedited. This is the amount you pay to replace your card and have it sent to you with three business days. Please try to avoid this fee because it is a disgusting and money-grabbing fee.
The Website Is Very Fair
There are quite a few prepaid card services that promote their biggest selling point and then try to manipulate you into signing up for their card. Card.com is not like those other cards. Card.com sells you their service and runs you through all their selling points in a non-manipulative manner. It may not sound like a big deal, but if you have reviewed as many secured cards as our research team, you learn to appreciate the ones that are not shoveling horse poop into your face. Personally, I like the fact that their fees are clearly linked at the bottom of the page, and that their fees can be easily found via Google, which means that the Card.com admins are not going out of their way to hide their fees.
Many Of Their Positive Online Reviews Are Fakes Or False
Card.com has an affiliate program that is very easy to join. This means that any mouth-breathing moron can become an affiliate and start adding Card.com adverts to his or her website. This is not a bad thing in theory, but the inevitable result is a bunch of positive reviews online. People write positive blog posts and articles about Card.com with the hopes that their viewers will click on their Card.com adverts or links, for which the blog master, writer, website is paid an affiliate fee. I am not saying that Card.com is a bad company, I am saying that you cannot believe the many online reviews that Card.com has because the people writing the reviews have an incentive to create overly positive reviews.
Card.com Uses A Reputation Manager
Have you ever wondered why Card.com has a bunch of positive reviews on some user review websites and then a bunch of negative reviews on another. This is because Card.com uses a reputation manager. The reputation manager has negative comments and reviews removed from other websites, but there are some websites that they cannot affect, bully or bribe. On the plus side, Card.com doesn’t post a wide number of positive reviews about itself. For example, if you go onto a “User review” website, or a “Complaints” website, you will only see a handful of positive reviews that were obviously posted by the Card.com marketing team—the rest of the reviews will be genuine. Most companies post positive reviews about their service online, but this company isn’t prolific about it.
The Bad Stuff
There are a lot of predatory prepaid cards out there and there are a lot of poor quality and scam cards out there. Card.com is not one of them. It is a legitimate company, it offers a real product, and the prepaid MasterCard it offers is not bad, and they do not offer a bad deal. However, Card.com is not without its faults, so I have covered a few of them below.
The Administration Is Terrible
Maybe it is terrible so that the company can save money, maybe they just don’t care about their customers, or maybe Card.com figures it can get away with having a slow and inefficient business administration because Card.com customers have few choices and are unable to go elsewhere.
The business administration is of a poor quality. This means that when a customer support worker puts in a request or an action, it takes an overly long time for that order or action to be acted upon. This means that things such as account-unfreezing, change requests, and ID verification takes too long. It also damages the quality of the customer service that Card.com offers.
They Intentionally Take A Long Time To Send Out Your Card
Card.com makes you wait 7 to 10 days to receive your card when you order a replacement. They know that many of their customers rely on them because many of their customers cannot get a bank account. It forces people to pay their expedited fee, which is almost four times more expensive than their regular card replacement fee.
Their Maintenance Fee Is Too High
A card maintenance fee of almost $120 per year is too high. That means that minimum wage workers will have to work 17 hours per year just to pay for their Card.com maintenance fee. Some may argue that the high maintenance fee is just another way of getting people to have their wages direct deposited into their account so that they may waive their maintenance fees. However, if the Card.com account holder doesn’t have more than $1000 direct deposited into his or her account every month, then the fee is not waived. This means it is possible for a person working two part-time jobs to still have to pay maintenance fees, and it means that self-employed people will have a hard time getting their fees waived.
The Customer Service department Is Awful
Stuff happens from time-to-time that is going to require you to get in contact with the customer service department to have things resolved. Sadly, the customer service department is poorly trained, feckless, and they are probably underpaid because many of them have a bad attitude. For example, if you have been charged twice for just one transaction, you are going to have a very hard time proving it to where the customer support staff will believe you. For example, if you want your account canceling, you cannot rely on the customer service team to do it for you, which means you may end up paying the Card.com maintenance fee for a long time while you contacting the customer service department and begging them to close your account.
Their ATM Fees Are Unfair And So Is Their Foreign Transaction Fee
Charging people the amount they do for out-of-network ATMs is unfair. Plus, there are times when you are charged for something as small as checking your balance, which is completely unfair. In addition, we know there are a plenty of cards (mainstream and otherwise) that charge high foreign transaction fees, but that is still no excuse for Card.com to follow suit.
Account Freezes Are Very Annoying
Your account will be frozen if you report your card missing or stolen, or if you report suspicious behavior on your card, or if a transaction happens that Card.com considers to be suspicious. The trouble is that the customer service department and the business administration is so bad that getting your account unfrozen is difficult, time-consuming, and very aggravating. Refunds back onto your card may trigger an account freeze because of some sort of charge-back safeguard that Card.com has. This means that an innocent refund may result in weeks of frustrating calls to the Card.com customer service department.
Conclusion – Should You Try The Card.com Prepaid MasterCard?
If you cannot get a bank account, and you cannot get a free prepaid account and card such as the accounts and cards offered by PayPal or Transferwise Borderless, then Card.com is not a bad option. We have seen, tried and reviewed a large number of poor quality secured MasterCards, and we can tell you that Card.com is not great, but it is not as bad as many of the others on the market. If you are going to sign up for Card.com, then plan your finances so that you may one day (soon) have a bank account so that you can cancel your Card.com account. Do not sign up and try to stick with Card.com. Work on your credit rating or whatever other issue is holding you back from having a bank account, and work towards getting away from secured credit cards because they do not have your best interests at heart.