Today is going to be all about prepaid cards and how to actually transfer money from a prepaid card to a bank account work. For all of you completely new to prepaid cards, we start our discussion by explaining what prepaid cards are. Then move on to the list of exact steps that will enable you to transfer money from a prepaid card to a bank account fast and pain-free. The exact steps to make things as simple and straightforward as possible.
Of course, I also provide you with a list of prepaid cards and their issuing banks. So take a closer look at the fee-based transfer method and fee-free transfer method, which should provide the information to decide which one will better work for you. Then I discuss some main alternative transfer methods that can be very handy.
Finally, we discuss some main alternative transfer methods that can be very handy and wrap things up by answering frequently asked questions, which may be of extreme value to many of you.
We hope you are ready to dive into prepaid cards. Let’s do this.
What is a Prepaid Card?
Prepaid cards are very practical and secure cards. They are not linked to any account, though they are normally linked to an individual or a company. Prepaid cards are issued by either bank, financial institutions, or private card-providing companies. They look and feel very like credit cards or debit cards.
The fact they relate only to the money that was deposited on to them makes them very safe and as such a popular method for online payments and other riskier payments.
Prepaid cards are issued based on filling out application forms. In many cases, one can also get a prepaid card for a third party. As such they are often used as a gift as well. Actually, you can view prepaid cards as gift cards, that can be used basically at any place that accepts debit or credit card payments (of course it depends on the type of prepaid card you use) and that can be topped up at will.
Prepaid cards can also be used to withdraw money using ATMs. Prepaid cards are of two types –
- Prepaid debit cards and prepaid credit cards. A prepaid debit card may be Visa or Mastercard system based (two most common options) and may be linked to your checking account for easy money transfer, which is never automated, which still checks the safety box.
- Prepaid credit cards are basically a more secure version of credit cards that have a credit limit based on security deposits. The limit amount must be paid in advance and normally in a scheduled manner.
In general, the name itself (PREPAID) tells the essence of prepaid cards. You place money on them in advance. In order to be able to use them and purchase various items and services, you need to deposit/transfer money on them ahead of time. The balance on a prepaid card is deducted from the same instance that a payment is made.
How to Transfer Money from Prepaid Card to Bank Account
There are several options to transfer money from a prepaid card to your bank account. The simplest is to go online. In order to get this done, certain steps must be completed. We will take a closer look at each of these steps below. Keep in mind that the process can be overwhelming if you are completely new to prepaid cards and online money transfers. However, keep in mind that it is safe and not all that difficult. Once you get used to it, it will be like a walk in the park.
Moreover, keep in mind that transfer speed varies from the prepaid card type and your bank account. It may take a few days to get through but more on that in the next section.
List of Prepaid Card with Their Issuing Bank
There is one major prerequisite; if you want to use a prepaid card, you need to own one. Thus, we decided to first provide you with a list of prepaid cards and their issuing banks. This will help you to obtain your prepaid card and also to obtain the two essential numbers that we discuss in the next subsection.
The list below does not include all existing prepaid cards, however, it does cover all the most commonly used ones.
|NAME OF PREPAID CARD||ISSUING BANK||FDIC MEMBER|
|Brinks Prepaid Mastercard®||Axos Bank®||YES|
|Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Visa® Card||U.S Bank National Association||YES|
|Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card||MetaBank®||YES|
|PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®||The Bankcorp Bank||YES|
|Walmart MoneyCard® Prepaid Debit Card||Green Dot Bank||YES|
|Western Union® Netspend® Mastercard® Prepaid Card||MetaBank®||YES|
First Step: Get the Bank Account Number and Routing Number
To start any sort of money transferring, you will need two things: account number and routing number related to your prepaid card. This is related to a prepaid card issuing bank and is unique for every prepaid card. Some cards may have account numbers written somewhere on the card, however, in many cases, the number on the card will be the card number, which won’t do the trick.
To make things clearer, let’s have a look at an example. For Netspend Visa Prepaid Card the issuing bank is Metabank, which is an FDIC Member that means that the account number issued by the bank is unique and it can only identify your prepaid card. Also, the account number is different from the number listed on the face of your prepaid.
To obtain the account number and routing number talk to the bank or other issuer of your card. They should provide you with these pieces of information.
Help yourself out with the list provided above. It is very easy to obtain both accounting and routing numbers for your prepaid card. You simply log into your prepaid card account and then select the button or the link to add money or transfer money. Once you are done, the issuing bank, the account number, and the routing number of your prepaid card will appear under the option for adding money from your bank account. Simple, right?
Second Step: Link Your Prepaid Card to Your Bank Account
To be able to transfer money from your prepaid card to any other bank account, you must set up an external account through your bank. Generally speaking, linking your prepaid card with your bank account takes two simple steps, which can be read below.
The two steps to link your prepaid card to your bank account:
- Log in to your bank account and locate a button or section where you can transfer funds. You may need to scroll down a bit in some online banking systems.
- To actually make an external account, you will use your bank account number and routing number of your prepaid card, which was obtained in the first step (the subsection above).
Third Step: Complete the Test Deposits
Note: This safety step is set in place to protect you, so make sure you appreciate it, though it may be annoying if you are in a hurry to transfer funds.
Before you will be able to transfer larger amounts of money to your prepaid card or any new account, your bank will require verification. This is normally done by conducting two small test deposits to your account. Once the deposits appear in your account, you log into your bank account and then enter the amount of the test deposits into a verification box.
This step confirms that the external account has been set up successfully and that you are the one in control of the account. It also ensures that the transferred money is received by your prepaid card account, which is definitely something you want to be 100% certain of. Once you’ve completed the verification process, you can enjoy the convenience of transferring money from your bank to your prepaid card, in no sweat.
This step enables you to top up prepaid cards from anywhere (assuming you have internet access).
Fourth Step: Transfer Funds
Once you’ve completely set up your prepaid card and connected it successfully with your bank account, the transaction will run simply and smoothly. You will easily transfer money to your prepaid card account by visiting your bank’s website. Once there, you fill-up the following information:
- The amount you want to transfer
- The account to transfer the money from (in case you have several accounts)
- Your prepaid card account
Using your prepaid account online access and your banking online system you can easily transfer money back and forth between the two. Though, in practice, the money is normally transferred to prepaid cards and then spent on various purchases. Transferring money from prepaid cards to bank accounts is rarely performed.
Now that you know how to transfer money from a prepaid card to a bank account and vice versa, it is time for us to discuss the two available methods, which are presented below.
Choose Your Transfer Method
As a prepaid card user, you have the ability to choose between two fund transfer options. Like often in life, none of the two options is perfect, thus make sure to focus on the advantages and not disadvantages. One is fast but comes with a fee, while other is slower but free.
We will assume that you’ve already completed the steps from the previous section and have successfully connected your prepaid card with your bank account. That makes things a lot easier for you. Below are the two options available to you to transfer money from your prepaid card to your bank account.
Fee-Based Method (Fast)
When you will visit your prepaid card’s account website or app, you will see that there is a bank transfer option already available. With this option, you can just fill in the form by entering the details about the money transaction you want to complete.
Let’s say that you are a Netspend prepaid cardholder. This means that you could simply tick or tap the ‘bank transfer option’ and complete the process.
The downside for this type of money transfer is that it includes a fee. The fee is not fixed and varies from prepaid card types and banks, however, most commonly this sort of transfer comes with a $4.95 fee per transfer. But keep in mind that the actual fee varies as it is determined by the transferor’s bank.
This service is not always automatically available and in some cases, you will need to consult the transferring bank regarding the availability of this service. This information can also be obtained by visiting your prepaid card provider’s website or calling their support.
An alternative valid option is having a Square reader.
A Square reader is a device you usually plug into your smartphones or tablets that allows you to take payments by simply swiping the card just like you do with credit or debit card payments. These days, Square readers that use touchless technology are also available. This of course only works with cards that have touchless options. You can also get a basic magstripe reader for free once you have signed up with many of the prepaid card providers. Normally they will charge you 2.75% for every swipe. Many users find this method to be one of the easiest ways to transfer funds, especially if you have the Square app linked to your bank account.
Fee-Free Transfer Method
As mentioned previously, this method is slower, thus you could go with this method if you do not need the money right away. The main reason why this process takes longer lies in the fact that it requires three parties to do their thing.
First, you must have a type of digital wallet. This is basically a downloadable mobile app that you install on your smartphone or tablet. Second, your prepaid card (Visa gift card works best for these). And thirdly, your bank account. It is a process that normally takes between 3 – 5 days but it is free and as such a great option for those who are not in a hurry.
The best apps include Venmo, Pop Money, and Square Cash. All of these mobile payment services enable you to complete payment processes fee-free. You connect your prepaid card or a gift card to your app account and transfer funds from the card to the app. Then you use the app to transfer the funds to your bank account, normally by choosing the “Transfer to Bank” option from the menu.
We will go into further detail on each of the three apps in the next section.
Other Popular Ways to Transfer Money from Prepaid Card to Bank Account
If you went through the previous section, you know that these alternative methods enable you to transfer money from your prepaid account to your bank account for free, which comes at the expense of being slightly slower as it can take up to 5 days.
Venmo is one of the most popular Android and iOS money transfer apps available on the market. It makes it very easy to pay friends and request money with the tap of a finger, all from your phone.
Of course, the app without the money source (bank account, debit card, credit card, or prepaid card) won’t help you much. Since we are fully focused on prepaid cards herein, we will provide you with instructions on how to link your prepaid card with Venmo and then transfer the money to a bank account.
Link a prepaid card to Venmo and Transfer to Bank Account:
- Download and install the Venmo app on your smartphone or tablet.
- Open the app.
- Tap the three horizontal lines on the top-left corner of the screen (the menu button).
- Go to Preferences and then tap the Payment Methods option, which should be the second item from the top.
- Once inside the Payment Methods, find the “Add bank or card…” option and tap on it. It should be at the bottom.
- In the pop-up menu, tap the “Card” option (it is normally a second item).
- Enter your prepaid card information into the corresponding fields. You can also use the camera button next to the blank “Card Number” field to simply take a picture of the card and have the app auto-populate the information. Whichever method you use, make sure to double-check that the information is correct.
Note : Since the card isn’t officially registered to any address, simply enter your ZIP code.
- Tap the “Add” button to add the card to your account.
After completing the above steps, you may use your prepaid card freely.
Using Square’s Cash App
Cash App makes peer-to-peer money transactions very easy. Sadly, transactions can’t come from just any payment method. However, their customer support claims that most government-enabled prepaid cards are also supported, but depositing to these cards does not work. It means that you won’t be able to transfer money to those prepaid cards but you could transfer funds from your prepaid card to your bank’s account.
They do have a special prepaid program set in a place called Cash App Prepaid Card Program. All details related to that program can be obtained following the link in the parentheses (https://cash.app/legal/us/en-us/card-agreement).
Using Pop Money
Using Pop Money is simple. You create your account and then link your prepaid card and your bank account to it. You can use their services on their official website (or their mobile apps) or directly on your bank’s website (if applicable).
In general, you can send money or request it. You can send money by sending it to the recipient’s email or mobile. They get notified with “You’ve got money” message. Money goes then directly to their bank account. When requesting money from individuals or groups is possible. They receive a message to pay and you get money to your account.
FAQ – Frequently Ask Questions
How do you activate a prepaid debit card?
It varies from provider to provider. In many cases, cards are activated as soon as they have some funds on them. In some, they need you to access their websites for online activation or by using your phone to activate it.
Activation instruction will be provided to you at the time of purchase/order of prepaid card.
How long does it take for a prepaid card to activate?
If activation is needed, it normally doesn’t take longer than 24-48 hours.
Are prepaid cards FDIC insured?
Not all. Herein (the ‘List of Prepaid Card with Their Issuing Bank’ section) we have provided a list of the most popular options. All those are FDIC insured.
What happens if you lose your prepaid card?
Prepaid card provider’s website or app usually enables you to lock or deactivate the card. It may also enable you to transfer fund of it to your bank account. You can always call your prepaid card provider and ask what is best to do.
Are prepaid cards for travel a good idea?
Yes, it is recommended to have a prepaid card on your travel. Though it may be better to have it as a secondary or alternative payment option. Depending on your prepaid card provider, the card may not be operational worldwide. Though, prepaid cards normally offer lower fees and provide you with additional safety.
How much money can you put on a prepaid Visa card?
Visa prepaid card is a broad term since there are many card payment providers that have their cards based on the Visa payment system, the limits vary. It is normally set at $15,000 or $20,000.
Can you transfer money from a Greendot card to a bank account?
Yes. As long as they have a routing and an account number, they can move money through the ACH system. It depends on your bank, whether you will be able to do that directly or with the use of third-party services (such as explained above).
Can you transfer funds from a gift card to a bank account?
Gift cards usually don’t come with the account number and routing number, which means the money cannot be transferred from them. Moreover, a gift card is rarely rechargeable.
Can I transfer money from a prepaid debit card to my bank account?
Yes. Use the methods presented in this article. You have fast (comes with a fee) option and a fee-free slower option.
We hope you’ve been able to gather the information you’ve been looking for from our extensive overview regarding prepaid cards. You should have learned how to transfer money from a prepaid card to a bank account either fast or fee-free.
Before you decide to get a prepaid card make sure it offers you the option and money transfer freedom that meets your needs and expectations. Then follow the tips and instructions provided herein to complete the transfers.
Enjoy your prepaid card wisely.