The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Thursday, October 28, 2021

Reloadable Visa Cards For 2021

Reloadable Visa Cards

credit card advice

Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Posted: October 11, 2021
Advertiser Disclosure

Reloadable Visa cards are handy in several ways. They give consumers access to a card that’s capable of making transactions online or at the register. Consumers can also receive a direct deposit of their paychecks or benefits checks and avoid those pesky check-cashing fees.

Reloadable prepaid and secured cards provide an affordable way to set a budget and live within your means. With the cards listed below, you can load a set amount of money into your card account and be certain that you won’t spend more than you have available.

Prepaid Reloadable Visa Cards

The following is a list of the best reloadable Visa prepaid card options available. You can use your card everywhere Visa is accepted, including online or to pay bills, and never have to worry about accruing debt.

NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card Review

at Netspend’ssecure website

  • 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

The NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card allows every cardholder to earn Payback Rewards points that can be redeemed for cash back as well as personalized discount offers on things you regularly buy.

This card charges a variable monthly maintenance fee that’s based on your balance and direct deposit history. You may also encounter a cash reload fee if you use a retail location to add money to your card account.

NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card Review

at Netspend’ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

3.6/5.0
  • 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
Up-to $9.95 monthly
Not applicable

NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card users can access the award-winning NetSpend Mobile App that allows cardholders to track their balance and spending, review previous transactions, and transfer money to their accounts. They will also qualify for text messages or push notification alerts when there’s a change or a charge on their account.

NetSpend is a leader in the prepaid card space. Netspend won’t evaluate your credit history to qualify you for this card because it is not a credit card.

BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★

4.4

OVERALL RATING

4.1/5.0
  • A BusyKid Visa® Debit Card provides the opportunity for anyone to receive hands-on experience managing money
  • Given it’s backed by the trusted name of Visa®, the BusyKid Spend Card is widely accepted in stores and online
  • Your busy kid(s) will be able to get used to having a debit card in their pocket for in-store and online purchases. They will learn responsible spending in our nearly cashless society.
  • Get 1 free BusyKid Card when you enroll in BusyKid today!
  • BusyPay™, the newest BusyKid feature, is an easy way for family or friends to instantly send money to a child’s BusyKid account
  • Choose from a variety of card designs to find which fits your busy kid best
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
See Pricing
None

The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Debit Card isn’t just your average reloadable prepaid debit card. You’ll receive a personalized card that connects to a mobile app that teaches kids how to budget, spend, save, and invest money wisely.

You can use a BusyKid card at any location that accepts Visa. You can access the BusyKid mobile app and all of its features as soon as you sign up for an account. 

ACE Elite™ Visa® Prepaid Debit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★

4.4

OVERALL RATING

3.2/5.0
  • Manage and control your money on one convenient reloadable prepaid card
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster with direct deposit
  • No-fee cash withdraws of up to $100  per day at participating ACE locations when you have regular direct deposit activity
  • Payback RewardsSM pays you back for many of your everyday purchases – the more you use your card, the more offers at select retailers and restaurants you are eligible to redeem
  • Choose from 3 card designs
  • As a cardholder, you can open an Optional Tiered Rate Savings Account. Balances up to $1,000.00 currently earn up to 5.00% annual percentage yield. No minimum balance required.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Not applicable

ACE Elite™ Visa® Prepaid Debit Card users can turn their card account into an interest-earning savings account that earns as much as 5% interest on balances over $1,000. That’s well above the average savings account interest rate.

You can also add money to your account at any ACE Credit Express location throughout the U.S. The company currently has more than 900 locations.

Secured Reloadable Visa Cards

A secured credit card is different from the reloadable Visa prepaid card options above. Secured cards give you access to a traditional revolving line of credit that’s typically based on the amount of your refundable security deposit.

This means your credit line will allow you to accumulate credit card debt that you’ll have to pay interest on each month.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Review

at Capital Bank’ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

3.2/5.0
  • No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
  • We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search “OpenSky Card” in Facebook.)
  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.39% (variable)
$35
Poor

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card doesn’t require a credit check for approval. Instead, the bank will accept a security deposit to open an account and determine your new card’s credit limit.

OpenSky will report your monthly payment and balance history to the major credit bureaus, which will help you build or rebuild your credit score with regular on-time payments. 

Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Better than Prepaid…Go with a Secured Card! Load One Time – Keep On Using
  • Absolutely No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required
  • Automatic Reporting to All Three National Credit Bureaus
  • 9.99% Low Fixed APR – Your Rate Won’t Go Up Even if You Are Late
  • Activate Today with a $200 Minimum Deposit – Maximum $1,000.
  • Increase Your Credit Limit up to $5,000 by Adding Additional Deposits Anytime
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
9.99% Fixed
$48
Poor/Fair/Limited/Damaged

The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card offers a competitive interest rate for all cardholders. Even better, your rate doesn’t change, even if you submit a late payment. But beware that there’s no grace period for purchases — read the cardholder agreement for more details.

Another unique feature of this card is your ability to increase your credit line with an additional deposit after you open your account. This gives you greater flexibility and freedom in your spending.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • A minimum refundable security deposit of $300 (maximum of $4,900) is required to open this account
  • Access your FICO® Score updated monthly for free, within your Mobile Banking app or in Online Banking
  • Optional overdraft protection option helps prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America® checking account to your credit card. Transfer fees may apply.
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99% Variable
$0
Bad/Limited

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card is a rare offering that allows you to earn cash back rewards you can redeem as a statement credit or deposit into your BoA savings account or checking account.

This card is easy to apply for and requires a nominal minimum security deposit. If you apply for this card on the BoA mobile app, you can use your card account to make purchases within a matter of minutes of being approved.

What Is a Reloadable Visa Card?

The term “reloadable Visa card” typically applies to any card that allows you to add money to it (unlike a credit card) and processes transactions on the Visa network.

These cards are not traditional credit cards. Instead, they link to a card account that acts similarly to a bank account. This account holds any money that you deposit via cash or check direct deposit and allows you to spend that money through the use of the card — similar to a Visa debit card that links to a credit union or bank checking account.

These cards don’t charge overdraft fees, cash advance fees, or late fees because they are not associated with a line of credit. However, you should always read your cardholder agreement because prepaid cards are not 100% fee-free.

You may encounter a monthly maintenance fee, a cash withdrawal fee (such as through a Moneypass ATM), or a transaction fee using these cards.

Many consumers carry a prepaid Visa card or another reloadable card so they don’t have to carry cash with them. A reloadable debit card is also a great tool for creating a budget, as it only allows you to spend the amount of money you’ve loaded onto your card.

You can also typically use your Visa prepaid card account to accept a direct deposit of your paycheck or government benefits checks. Digital delivery of these funds is fast and often puts money in your hands up to two days faster than if you were to receive a paper check through the mail.

What’s the Difference Between a Prepaid Card and a Secured Card?

There are several key differences between a prepaid or reloadable card and a secured credit card. The main difference is evident by their names.

A reloadable prepaid card is similar to a debit card in that it will only allow you to spend up to the amount of money that you’ve deposited into your card account. You can’t accrue debt with a Visa debit card because there’s no credit connected to the account.

A secured credit card gives you access to a revolving line of credit that’s typically determined by the amount of your refundable security deposit. For example, a $500 deposit will often net you a spending limit of $500.

Chart comparing unsecured, secured, and prepaid cards.

You can use a secured card the same as you would a credit card. These cards accumulate debt and interest rate charges and require a monthly payment to reimburse the bank.

When you cancel your secured card account, you’ll receive a complete refund of your deposit amount — as long as your account has no outstanding debt.

Another key difference is that a prepaid Visa card will not help you build credit because the account has no attached credit line. On the other hand, A secured card will report your payment and balance history to at least one credit reporting bureau. With responsible behavior, a secured card can help you build or rebuild your credit score.

A reloadable Visa prepaid card will often allow you to withdraw money for free at a Moneypass ATM or other in-network ATM. A secured card may allow a cash advance ATM withdrawal, but it will come with a hefty fee and elevated interest rate.

If you regularly get cash via an ATM withdrawal, a prepaid Visa card is the best bet for you. This option is usually not available for Visa gift card products that you can buy over the counter because these cards don’t come with a PIN.

How Do You Put Money On a Prepaid Card?

Every reloadable prepaid card will have different rules for adding money to your account. Nearly every card issuer allows cardholders to accept direct deposits of checks into their account as a way of adding money. 

Some prepaid card issuers will waive your monthly maintenance fee if you receive regular direct deposits.

Graphic explaining three ways to load money onto a prepaid card.

Other card issuers partner with retail convenience stores and gas stations throughout the U.S. that will accept your cash and load it into your card account. You can also initiate a mobile check deposit to add money to your account.

Netspend, for example, has more than 130,000 reload locations throughout the country, which makes it easy to add money to your account from just about any town or city.

Some card issuers, including ACE Credit Express, maintain cash advance loan centers that accept cash reloads for your card account.

Will a Prepaid Card Help Me Build Credit?

A prepaid card will not help you build credit because these cards have no associated line of credit attached to them.

Card issuers only report your data to each credit bureau if you have an account that gives you access to revolving credit. A prepaid account only links to your cash deposit account and won’t allow you to spend more than what you’ve deposited. This is why you do not need to undergo a credit check to qualify for a prepaid card account.

If you wish to use your card to build credit, consider a secured credit card instead.

Do Reloadable Visa Cards Have a Limit?

Most Visa reloadable prepaid cards allow you to load up to $15,000 into your card account before you reach your maximum limit.

Screenshot of Netspend's maximum card value amount.

Every card issuer has different rules regarding account limits, so be sure to check your cardholder agreement before attempting a large deposit.

Find the Best Reloadable Visa Cards Online

Whether you’re signing up for a prepaid Visa or purchasing a reloadable Visa gift card for a friend or loved one, these handy financial tools make it easy to save, spend, and budget your money. 

And if you don’t currently have a bank account, you can use your prepaid card account to accept direct deposits or add more money through a bank or retail locations around the U.S.

If you decide to add a secured credit card to your wallet, you can take advantage of a revolving line of credit that adds to your spending power and allows you to build credit with responsible behavior. Both tools are a great way to level up your financial tool belt and build a better life.

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