Card.com

Date Tue, November 26 2013

This review is for a service that’s quite different from anything I’d used in the past. I signed up because a free $25 is always useful, right? I wish I’d just saved my time and skipped the whole thing. It’s kind of been a hassle. Card.com is a prepaid card, much like a debit card. You must deposit money in the account. Rather than a generic Visa gift card, your name is actually on it, so it offers a bit of security. However, this is also one of the hassles. You have to apply for the card, which means the system needs your SSN and looks are some sort of credit history. According to the website, there’s no credit check, so I think the approval process is just to verify your ID.

Bettie Page design by Card.com

Bettie Page design by Card.com

The process goes like this:

  1. Pick your card design
  2. Fill out the application and wait for approval.
  3. Sign in and add money.
  4. Receive card in mail.
  5. Call to use it.

The system sounds all well and good. I had some problems with money being added to my card through the review program but most people won’t. I do like that all the information shows up on the Card.com website. In fact, the use control panel is probably the best thing about it. However, the website as a whole could use some improvement. Like I said, the main draw is that you can pick out your card design, but you can’t search through the designs. While I like the Bettie Page design that I got, I certainly don’t like it enough that I will keep my Card activated. Plus, many banks and credit card companies allow you to pick from designs or even upload your own. This isn’t revolutionary.

The Card works both as a credit card when you can’t process it like a debit and as a debit. I called and set up my PIN but, to be honest, have already forgotten it. Oops. Card.com charges a $5.95 monthly fee. After paying that from the card balance, I’ve got $19.05 left.  Even if you have no money on your account, you’ll get a negative balance. I’m sure I’ll have to eal with this when I want to close my account. According to them, there’s a $7 fee to close your account, which is a bummer.

If you decide you don’t want to keep the card, just make sure you spend all $25 before 30 days from the activation date and destroy the card. If the balance is zero after 60 days, the account will close itself due to inaction. OR you can call the number on the back and cancel at any time, but you have to make sure your balance is zero, to avoid the $7 “liquidation fee.”

However, if you deposit more than $800 in a given month, the fee is waived. You can add money via free direct deposit if you give a form to your employer or, if you prefer, Western Union or MoneyPak. I like that you can add money from PayPal or your bank, but I already have cards for both of those accounts, so I can’t figure out what I’d have to do. When adding money from PayPal, Card.com acts like your bank account. Adding PayPal isn’t instantaneous as you have to wait for two small deposits into your PayPal accounts, so keep that in mind when you’re linking them.

One thing that I do like is that this is a debit card. You have the full support of Visa fraud protection and 100% FDIC insurance for the money on your card. You can get cash back and withdraw money from the ATM. Plus, there’s no ATM fee. I’m spoiled as I live three blocks from my bank and this was already the case with my PayPal card, but I know not everyone is this lucky. This could be potentially useful if you’re on the move and can’t access your bank. If you know other CARD users, you can also easily transfer money to them.

In short, Card.com bills itself as an easy-to-use service for spending money at places that accept credit cards, but it’s a glorified bank account without the benefit of face-to-face banking. If you already have a bank account at a bank that you can access in person, I really just don’t see the benefit for me, but you might like it.

I wrote this review as a part of a Blog Friendly PR outreach campaign for CARD.com, I was compensated for me time but all opinions are my own.

Leave a Reply