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Do Prepaid Cards Work on Venmo?

Do Prepaid Cards Work On Venmo

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: June 29, 2021
Advertiser Disclosure

If you’re a fan of online person-to-person payment apps, you may wonder, “Do prepaid cards work on Venmo?” They do, and therein lies an interesting story that we’ll address in this article, along with a review of the best prepaid cards to use.

A reloadable prepaid card account is a valuable financial alternative to a credit card and to a debit card or cash card tied to your bank account. Prepaid cards provide a cash substitute for purchases without creating debt, interest payments, or the need for a bank account. One thing prepaid cards don’t help with is building your credit score since no credit is involved when you use a prepaid card account.

Venmo competes with other payment apps, including Square Cash, Cash App, Zelle, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Yes, Prepaid Cards Work on Venmo

We looked at the universe of prepaid cards and selected the following three cards as our top choices. These cards are secure and easy to obtain. In fact, you can use them wherever Mastercard and Visa are accepted.

Brinks Prepaid Mastercard Review

at Netspend'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • Brink’s gives you the peace of mind you deserve. Securing cash and valuables since 1859.
  • With Brink’s Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster* than a paper check.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Use the Brink’s Money Prepaid Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply.)
  • *Card issued by Republic Bank & Trust Company, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Mastercard Debit cards are accepted. “Apply Now” for full details.
  • See additional Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard® Details.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Variable Monthly Fees
Not applicable
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® Review

at Netspend'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.6/5.0
  • Move money from your PayPal account to fund your prepaid card account.
  • Earn cash back and personalized offers, just for using your card.
  • With Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
  • Card issued by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted.
  • Click PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® for additional features & program details, and to request a Card.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Variable Monthly Fee
Not applicable
NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card Review

at Netspend'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.5/5.0
  • With Netspend Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • No Overdraft Fees on purchases using your card.
  • Use the NetSpend Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply).
  • Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. Click "Get My Card" for full details.
  • See additional NetSpend® Prepaid Visa® details.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Variable Monthly Fee
Not applicable

You can also link a gift card to Venmo, such as a Vanilla Visa gift card or a Mastercard gift card.

Armed with a prepaid card and a Venmo account, you can send and receive money without first opening a bank account. If you look at a bank branch and see hassles, bureaucracy, and fees, then a Venmo/prepaid card combo should afford you a welcome sense of refuge.

How Does Venmo Work?

Venmo is a payments platform that allows you to instantly exchange funds with other Venmo users. Venmo’s job is to act as the intermediary for the transfer of funds.

Venmo Logo

But Venmo is more than just a P2P payment cash app — it has a social side. Specifically, you can decorate your Venmo payment with messages and emojis to add a personal touch to Venmo transactions.

In practice, Venmo is simple to set up and use. You can quickly create an account and then send and receive money from other Venmo account holders.

To its credit, this contactless payment app strives to minimize or eliminate Venmo fees. For example, a basic transfer of funds from your Venmo account, prepaid debit card, or bank account costs nothing (although your prepaid card may charge a fee).

There are no fees for online purchases, account setup, or monthly maintenance. However, there is a flat fee for sending money to people using credit card payments.

When you fund your payments with a prepaid card, you avoid any Venmo fees charged for adding money to your account. Transferring money from your account is free except when you perform an Instant Transfer electronic withdrawal, in which case a small fee applies.

Furthermore, there are no fees for customer service with a live agent, real-time alerts, accounts statements, or transaction declines due to insufficient funds.

Which Prepaid Cards Does Venmo Accept?

Venmo accepts most prepaid cards, as long as they’re from Visa, American Express, Mastercard, or Discover — and registered in your name.

The company does make this qualifying statement:

“Cards may be declined by the card issuer or Venmo for funds availability or fraud prevention reasons. Also, some payment cards may require a ZIP code to be linked to your account.”

If you have trouble linking a prepaid card to Venmo, there is probably a good explanation. You can contact a customer service agent at 1 (855) 812-4430 if the problem persists.

Note that Venmo does not allow you to link your PayPal account or PayPal cash card but does not rule out future availability.

How Do I Add a Prepaid Card to Venmo?

Adding a prepaid card is a piece of cake:

  1. Open the Venmo cash app on your device.
  2. Click on the main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines at the screen’s top-left corner.
  3. Select the “Settings” option.
  4. Under “Preferences,” click on the “Payment Methods” menu item.
  5. Click on the “Add bank or card…” item.
  6. A menu will pop up — click on the “Card” option.
  7. Fill out the data fields for your prepaid card, or click on the camera icon to take a picture of your card so the app can automatically populate the required information. Be sure to enter your ZIP code.
  8. Click “Add.”

That’s it! Your new Venmo payment method is added to your account. Once set up, most money transfers take three to five business days to complete.

You may see a line on your prepaid card’s statement for a small amount, between $0 and $1, a temporary charge to confirm your card details are correct. Venmo automatically cancels the charge — you’ll pay nothing for this verification step.

Are There Alternatives to Using Prepaid Cards on Venmo?

Venmo supports bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, as well as ATM withdrawals cards (e.g., a MoneyPass ATM withdrawals card) or gift card offerings in addition to eligible prepaid cards. You can send payments to another Venmo user using a linked funding source, even if you have no money in your Venmo account balance.

If you asked for and obtained a Venmo card — a Mastercard Venmo Debit Card — you can directly supplement your Venmo balance from a verified bank checking account or savings account. The procedure is:

  1. Open the Venmo app and click on the “Manage balance” item.
  2. Enter the amount to transfer to your Venmo account and click “Done.”
  3. Select/confirm the source bank checking account or savings account and click “Next.”
  4. Review the summary information, including the estimated arrival date, and then click on “Add Money.” The transfer will now go through, and you will not be able to cancel it.

The app also features its Cash a Check service for any Venmo user who has confirmed their identity by setting up a Venmo card or arranging a Direct Deposit wire transfer. Cash a Check lets you deposit a check to your account by entering the amount and taking pictures of the check front and back.

Venmo can take anywhere from a few seconds to 1.5 hours to approve the check. You will be notified of approval, at which time you write VOID on the front of your check, take another picture, and submit it to Venmo.

You have two options for how quickly your check will be deposited to your Venmo account:

  • In minutes: Venmo will expedite the deposit, usually in just a few minutes. Fees apply.
  • In 10 days: If you are in no particular rush, you can bypass the fee by requesting this option and your check doesn’t bounce.

You can deposit checks in amounts from $5 to $5,000 per day and up to $15,000 per month.

Is It Safe to Use a Prepaid Card on Venmo?

Venmo, a member of the PayPal family, is committed to safety. It uses PayPal’s trusted encryption and monitoring technology to protect the integrity of your Venmo transactions.

Venmo QR Codes

The app protects against sending money to the wrong person through the use of personal QR codes. Just center your phone’s camera over the “Venmo Me” QR code you want to scan — you’ll be automatically transferred to the recipient’s profile page where you can add them as a friend as well as request or send money.

You can share your own QR code with friends via text messages or email.

You Can Use a Prepaid Card to Send and Receive Money on Venmo

Do prepaid cards work on Venmo? As we’ve explained, prepaid cards branded with any of the four major payment networks are welcome on Venmo, although you cannot include the PayPal account prepaid Visa debit card or PayPal cash card as of yet.

The combination of Venmo and prepaid cards is an elegant solution for millennials and others who have chosen to go unbanked. Yet it works just fine if you do choose to keep an account at your bank or credit union.

As with any financial product, please read and understand all the disclosures provided by the prepaid card before signing up.

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