We Value Your Opinions

After netSpend shut down my account the other day and refused to tell me why, I haven’t been a big fan (see “We’re sorry, there is a problem with your account”).  So, I found it funny when this email appeared Friday morning:

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It was great to hear that I’m still a valued cardholder!  Too bad they won’t let me use the card anymore. 

Too bad, too, that they forgot to say who “is committed to providing the best quality of service” (see first sentence of their email under “Dear Greg”).  Maybe that omission was intentional when they realized that no-one they know is really committed to that.

I filled out the survey, but then was taken to this familiar screen:

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Do they really value my opinions?  Were my survey results even recorded?  Do you think I gave them positive ratings? 

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. No worries my man, there’s other similar cards not run by MetaBank that you can still get, and Vinilla’s visa debit might be similar too.

    On a side note, I was able to pay one of my credit card balances using the free bill pay feature in netspend. It was only a couple hundred bucks, but I’ll test it some more and let you know how it goes.

  2. The bill pay feature of Netspend is very intriguing. There really are some interesting possibilities. I think I’ll give it another go in a round about way. Just because Netspend says I can’t play anymore doesn’t mean my wife can’t.

  3. They do value your opinion…in the amount of the shut down account balance. I hate those surveys too. Especially after you type your response and comments, hit submit, and find theres a 255 character limit which they didnt tell you about at the start and oh by the way they deleted your response since it exceeded that limit.

  4. Hahaha! That’s funny stuff. The third-party survey employee that composed that boilerplate letter, looked around the Netspend office to see who in fact was “committed to providing the best quality of service”… and came up with zip. 😉

  5. emily : I believe Netspend has a feature that allows you to mail a money order to someone. I wouldn’t use this feature though, because large amounts will invite unwanted attention.

    Piecerate: it’s beyond intriguing. What’s even more interesting is the possibility of opening several such cards, each issued by a different bank. They all take the same reload packs, and this would be a way to avoid large transactions on one account.

  6. Can I load 2000 dollars and then send it to my sister? They are going to close the card anyway so this is the fastest way I guess. What is the fee for this and how do I do it thank you

  7. To provide offers to the masses these companies have to have rules and communication methods to protect their interests. Sometimes they are flawed.

    Looking at the glass half full – I’m sure you will be fairly compensated for the referral link you posted in your original post. In addition, you were able to stretch three blog postings out on the subject.

  8. Mike, just buy a money order and pay using your debit card. That is the easiest way. USPS sells money orders for $1.55 up to $1K. Just buy 2.

  9. AlphaCkn – Dont know how you are so sure he will get compensated for the referrals. Netspend isnt the most upstanding company out there. I have seen better companies do much worse things.

  10. these cards are no good. they lure you in with arb potential but just end up screwing you with fees and shutting down accounts

  11. I tried this last month with NetSpend and was shut down immediately after 1 transaction ($500 bill pay direct to Chase) which successfully went through. In retrospect, not a wise idea to use the billpay function- not only was it an obvious redflag to NetSpend and/or Chase, it goes against the spirit of paying for a potentially lucrative service. If i had the opportunity for a do over I would immediately signup for NetSpend’s $10/mo plan to pay them their due and just use the account for random small dollar POS purchases + ATM withdrawals. 1 More thing before I end this comment though- Are you really surprised by the lack of customer service? NetSpend is window dressing for pawn shop thieves- the service seeks to cash in on low income, disadvantaged types who either can’t qualify, or are too stupid to get a real bank account- Noone in their right “I make more than 40K a year” mind can take this service seriously- it’s an extemely sketchy operation (but it was worth a try)– I found the link online to their company’s CEO after getting nowhere with the Phillipino customer service– called and left a message– received call back from his assistant and got precisely nowhere. Love your blog- Good luck!

  12. FlyerX: interesting info, thanks. This coming week I will attempt to pay my $800+ mortgage and see what happens. I already paid my electric bill and a $200 credit card bill this past week, so I’m curious what exactly triggers a shutdown in their mind. Is it how much you upload in one sitting, or how much you take out?

  13. atxtravel: Not sure man- NetSpend absolutely refused to give me a reason (other than for “improper use of the account” and citing some sort of homeland security law or other nonsense) for shutting me down. Not only did they shut me down- I was told that I could never be a NetSpend customer again! Crazy! I did investigate on my end thoroughly so that I could use the info and try not to trip up again with future cards. I suspect they got some warning email from Chase- I do remember one of the NetSpend reps finally blurting out to me they had received a request “from my bank” to shut my account down. Perhaps Chase receiving a payment from METABANK triggered their anti-money laundering algorithm somehow– ofcourse everyone who reads this forum would love to know those precise triggers- I’m sure each company has well guarded algorithms they utilize- I would love to get my hands on them and spread the wealth if you know what I mean. There is an antimoney laundering conference every year apparently- I’m thinking of attending but not sure if I want to admit to myself that I’m that obsessed with building miles/points/cash yet 🙂

  14. To Greg: Hats off to you for building this site- It’s a fun read and it’s earned me 10s of thousands of miles so far. Thanks!

    • FlyerX: Thanks! Plus, thanks for the useful info about your NetSpend situation. Note that when they say “they received a request from your bank” they really mean “MetaBank”. They act like NetSpend and Metabank are completely different.

  15. FlyerX: I think the “your bank” they’re referring to is MetaBank. They own the checking account out of which Netspend operates your card. I highly doubt Chase would email them. I’ll test that theory this coming week when I pay my mortgage. I don’t see how anyone can confuse payment a loan with illegal activity.
    My suspicion is it’s how much you load onto the card, and how often/quickly you do it. If you can remember those details that would be useful.
    Also, there’s Bancorp bank, which issues a host of similar cards, including the upcoming Vanilla reloadable card, so here’s your chance to try this again.

  16. atxtravel + FM: I think you guys are right about the Metabank being the bank who requested the shutdown. I’ll be interested to hear your results with trying to pay your mortgage atxtravel. I got the NetSpend card and loaded it once with $500 from vanilla reload- and made the 1 $500 transaction billpay to Chase Ink Bold-that’s it! One thing is for sure though- The more random transactions you make the better. When I go to office depot I try and buy a couple of small things along with the reload cards + never purchase more than $1K in cards, and try and use the Chase Ink Bold card as much as possible for coffee, bubblegum etc. I think the more Chase sees you using it, the more likely they’ll be to overlook a questionable over-expenditure at office depot, or even multiple high dollar purchases in 1 week (2 is my max per week). I also think (if it hasn’t already been said) that it’s a safe idea to stay under 30% credit utilization at all times while you’re using this “opportunity”. This goes for your chase ink bold and all of your accounts combined. Going over that consistently may put you in the category of High Risk by Chase’s standards and flag your accounts for review or perhaps increased scrutiny.

  17. FlyerX: when you paid your Chase bill, did you just issue a money order to be mailed to them? Or did you use the ACH ebill type of transaction?

  18. I just bought a $500 Vanilla reload at my local Office Depot with my Ink Bold card. Then I loaded on my brand, spankin’ new Netspend debit/credit card. I checked with Neighborhood Wal-Mart just down the street and was told that I could buy a money order from them, up to 1K, for a 60 cent fee. 60 cents! It will print off blank, and I can pay for it with my Netspend debit. I will then make it out to me, deposit it in my bank account, and voila, almost free money! Except for the $2 Netspend fee for a PIN transaction. So $2.60 will get me 1K of free money (less $3.95/$500 Vanilla Reload fees). I know Netspend will shut me down, maybe even after my first MO. But so what. I’ll get a free $20 initial load bonus, plus some almost free cash. And 2500 plus UR points. Whatever.

    • Preacher: That sounds like a great plan. Let us know if Netspend shuts you down. Maybe you’ll get lucky and they won’t shut you down right away? The target demographic for Netspend cards, probably uses Wal-Mart money orders, so maybe this plan won’t trigger a shut down.

  19. Mortgage payment was a success, I got a $950 reload pack at a grocery store last weekend and made an $800+ mortgage payment using ach edebit, free. I still have a few hundred left in the account and will try to pay another credit card bill with it. Not sure when or if my account will get shut down, but looks like several smaller transactions in the beginning mixed with a few big ones might keep them happy.

  20. Funny story…I got the email too, asking for my valued opinion. At first I thought maybe my acct got closed but turns out all is good.

    Just the other day, I had yet another ACH bill payment go through, this time it was around $400 for one of my credit card payments.

    So far I’ve cleared almost $1500 in 2 weeks at the cost of $9.90, which includes two reload fees and two filler store purchases I made to create spending variety. I think the key to using this card is to start of slow, with small purchases and bill payments, and to ramp it up over several weeks. I don’t know where the limit is before you get shut down but so far this scheme has worked for me.

    The ACH bill payment feature is a free transaction and has great potential to generate a lot of extra spending every month. I can just keep buying reload packs and using them to pay back the resulting credit card tab.

  21. Bought a $490 MO yesterday and a 1K one today at Wal-Mart. 60 cent fee for each, plus the $2 each from NetSpend. Almost free money and haven’t been shut down yet! 7500+ more easy UR points…

    Where can I purchase MOs larger than 1K? Anyone out there in FM-Land know? That’s the max at Wally World!

  22. Ho hum. Another day, another 5000+ UR points/2 Vanilla reloads/1K MO. How many more days will this gravy train last? I’ll keep ridin’ it till it does!

  23. Same day as yesterday. In the past 4 days, I’ve run 7 Vanilla reloads through my Netspend, with about $3500 of MOs. So 35K+ UR points through my IB cost me $3.95 X 7 plus $8 Netspend fees and $2.40 WalMart fees. And they still haven’t shut me down…SWEEEET!

  24. Men in dark suits are watching you 🙂 expect some black Suburbans with dark tint to pull up to your house soon.

    that’s pretty sweet deal going on, I’ve been spreading it around to more grocery / OD mix of stores and using bill pay, which is free and less suspicious looking.

  25. Is the ACH bill pay feature free only if you opt for the $10/month fee-free plan? I don’t have that plan and I was charged a 1$ fee to pay $500 of my son’s University tuition today. How do I get in on this “bill-pay, fee-free” extravaganza?

  26. Preacher: don’t know why you get charged, but the way it works is you set up a routing and acct number from your card the same way you’d pay a bill from a regular checking account. Somewhere inside your online profile for this debit card there’s a page that shows these #s. Then you start the payment from inside your mortgage or CC account page. It may not work for every financial institution but try it out.

  27. @Preacher: $3500 in IB spend is going to be 17.5k UR, right? Unless there is a way to get 10x on IB spend in OD..

    Your experience is truly inspiring for me to get the netSpend card. So, looks like you are going with their basic plan that charges 2 bucks per PIN transaction. How many of these “revenue” transactions did you do before starting the MOs?

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