NetSpend challenges the throne

Is NetSpend a better option for 5X everywhere? 

Update: Shortly after writing this post, NetSpend cancelled my account without warning or explanation.  For details, see “We’re sorry, there is a problem with your account.”

Seven weeks ago I declared the American Express Prepaid card to be the “One card to rule them all.”  In that post, I described how one could earn 5X everywhere by using a Chase Ink card to buy Vanilla Reload cards at Office Depot.  Those Vanilla Reload cards could then be used to load up money on the American Express Prepaid card.  The points come from having used your Chase Ink card at Office Depot: the Chase Ink cards automatically earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores.

American Express Prepaid Card Recap

In addition to the huge benefit of being able to load from Vanilla Reload cards, the American Express Prepaid card has some great features:

  • Order online for free.  There is no cost to obtaining the card and no credit check is performed.
  • ATM withdrawals are allowed.  The first ATM withdrawal each month is free, then it is $2 per withdrawal after that.
  • No fees (other than ATM withdrawals, as described above)
  • Purchase protection
  • Roadside assistance

Overall, it’s almost too good to be true.  However, there are some annoying limitations:

  • No more than $1000 can be loaded to the card per day.
  • No more than $2500 can be loaded to the card in any 28 day period.
  • The card cannot be used as a debit card.
  • It is an American Express card, so it is not accepted everywhere.
  • It can be difficult to use at Walmart (see “How to shut down Walmart with one swipe”)

 

Enter Netspend

imageLike the American Express prepaid card, NetSpend prepaid cards can be ordered for free and can be loaded with Vanilla reload cards.  That’s where the similarities end.  Let’s look at the pros and cons:


Pros:

  • Free money!  If you use this referral link to order a card (www.mynetspendcard.com/?uref=3796101305), you and the referrer (not me) will earn $20 when you load at least $40 to the card.  Once you have a card, you can get your own referral link to give to family and friends so that you and they can make even more money.
  • Mastercard.  Unlike American Express, Mastercard is accepted almost everywhere.
  • Debit card.  Some transactions require debit cards, and the NetSpend card can be used in those circumstances.  Also, in some cases, using a debit card can save you money.  For example, if you were to use a debit card to pay taxes, you would be charged a very low fixed fee (less than $4) whereas you would be charged 1.89% (or higher) if you were to use a credit card.  Unless you were to make a very small tax payment, the % fee would be much higher than the debit fee.
  • Fewer restrictions.  You can load up to $7,500.00 over any 24‐hour period and up to $15,000 total.  You can make up to $940 in ATM withdrawals per 24-hour period.  More information can be found in their Terms & Conditions here.
  • Payback rewards.  There is a possibility to earn cash back for some transactions.  NetSpend supposedly monitors your spending patterns and offers deals accordingly.  I’ve only been using my card for about a week so I haven’t been offered any deals yet, but I’ll watch this one closely to see what happens.

Cons:
If you thought the above pros were too good to be true, you’re right.  There are a couple of serious drawbacks:

  • High fees.  $1 per credit transaction, $2 per debit transaction, $2.50 per ATM withdrawal, $1 per bill pay, 3.5% foreign transaction fee.  Credit and debit transaction fees will be waved if you signup for their monthly FeeAdvantage plan ($10 per month, or $5 per month with direct deposit).
  • Account closings.  Quite a few people have reported using the NetSpend card’s debit feature to quickly cash out after loading up the card.  Everyone I’ve heard from who has done this has had their account closed.

 

Analysis

The NetSpend card has a few great advantages over the American Express prepaid card, but it’s fees are pretty steep.  The question to consider is whether the advantages of this card outweigh the fees.

It’s theoretically possible to minimize NetSpend fees by making few, very large transactions.  That way, the fees would be a small percentage of each transaction and may be worth the expense.  Unfortunately, evidence suggests that people who do this get their accounts shut down pretty quickly. I don’t recommend this approach.

For those with light spending patterns, this card is unlikely to be a good fit due to it’s high fees.  If this is you, stick with the American Express prepaid cards.

My working hypothesis is that the NetSpend card will be best for those that pay the monthly fee (to avoid per-use fees) and use the card heavily for regular transactions.  At $10 per month, you would have to run at least $1000 per month through the card to keep the fees down to 1% or less.  My guess is that if you establish a pattern of using the card for regular purposes, you will then be less likely to get shut down when you use the card to pay large bills, pay taxes, or do other things that may be construed as “cashing out”.  This is the path I’ve started down, and I’ll do my best to keep you informed as this experiment progresses.  I’m looking forward to using the card to pay estimated taxes, so I’m hoping this works!  Keep in mind, that the above is just my current best guess.  Your mileage may vary.

Recommendations

If you haven’t already read my post “One card to rule them all,” I recommend doing so to get a general understanding of the approach to earning 5X everywhere.  To make the most of this approach, here are some specific steps to consider:

  • Ink Bold: Consider signing up for the Ink Bold, Ink Classic, or Ink Cash.  Each of these cards offer 5X for office supply purchases and thus are really key to getting the most out of this overall approach.  See “How to sign up for the Ink Bold” for details of how to apply and whether you are likely to qualify.  Other cards that might make sense include the American Express Simply Cash Business card (5% cash-back for office supply purchases) or the CitiBusiness AAdvantage World Mastercard (2X for office supply purchases).
  • Vanilla Reload:  Another key to success here is the ability to buy Vanilla Reload cards at Office Depot using your credit card.  Some Office Depot stores have stopped selling the cards and some others have posted signs saying “cash or debit only” for buying prepaid cards.  Fortunately, most stores still allow these purchases.  Many readers have reported ongoing success in the comments of the post “When thieves steal our points”.
  • Reloadable Prepaid card: You will need one or more prepaid cards that can be loaded using Vanilla Reload cards:
    • American Express Prepaid:  Consider signing up for the American Express prepaid card.  Since it has no fees except for ATM withdrawals, it’s a great option for most people.  This will be my go-to card overseas (for any place that accepts Amex) since it has no foreign transaction fees.  See “American Express loves to give us money, part 2” for an opportunity to get $25 free from American Express.
    • NetSpend:  With its high fees, this card is definitely not for everyone, but with the $20 sign-up bonus, there is little risk in giving this card a shot.  Worst case, you can get your $20 bonus and then cash out entirely at an ATM to make a small profit after the fees.  In my case, I decided to pay the $10 monthly fee (for a month or two) to see how well this card works as my primary card.  I won’t use it overseas (due to the 3.5% foreign transaction fees), but I will use it for all of my day to day spend within the U.S.

 

Experiments

In the next month or so, I hope to test out all of the following:

  • Paying Taxes: The possibility of earning 5X while paying taxes is too good to pass up.
  • Paying Bills / Mortgage: NetSpend has a bill pay feature in which it appears that they’ll charge a fee of just $1 to send a check.  I’m looking forward to trying this for bills in which I can’t currently use a credit card.  I’ll stick to payments of $100 or more so as to keep my costs down to 1% or less.
  • Direct Deposit via PayPal: I’d like to get the $10 monthly fee lowered to $5.  This supposedly happens when you make a direct deposit of more than $500.  I’m curious to see whether a Paypal transfer will qualify.
  • Other Cards: In addition to the Amex Prepaid and NetSpend cards, there is a Mio card and a soon to be released Vanilla card that can be loaded via Vanilla Reload cards.  I hope to test out these options to see if they offer any advantages over the two I already have.  I also hope to take a look at a competing reload card called Reloadit, but I have yet to find one in a local store.

 

Reader experiences

Have you already tried the NetSpend or Mio cards?  Have you tried Reloadit cards, or any similar product?  Please let us know about your experiences.  What has worked, and what hasn’t?  Comment below.

Last updated on September 25th, 2012

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.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

256
Leave a Reply

avatar
203 Comment threads
53 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
71 Comment authors
Lisa SFrequentMilerrogerToni PerkinsFrequentMiler Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
FrequentMiler
Guest

KCal: Rats! Thanks for testing this out. Are you going to try any others? Chase?

KCal
Guest
KCal

I will try Chase. I might wait a bit until I have to meet a Chase minimum spend, though. They don’t accept Amex payments, or I would certainly try that.

KCal
Guest
KCal

Just received an interesting email from Venmo. They are now offering free transfer with debit cards. Any idea if the Amex reloadable card functions as a debit card?

Also could be useful for anyone with debit cards that earn rewards per use.

Dear Kevin,

We recently launched free bank payments, but a lot of users found setting this up a little difficult. So we just added a new way to pay on Venmo for free:

Just add your debit card to make free payments on Venmo!

How do I add a debit card?
If you’re on the web, simply go here and click “Cards and Banks”. Add your debit card and make it your Funding Source. If you’re on the mobile app, just go to “My Profile” and click “Banks and Cards”. Add your debit card and make it your Funding Source.

See all the ways you can use Venmo with friends: “The Payment Anthem”.

Have any questions? Check out our Help Center or hit us up at support@venmo.com.
Love,
Team Venmo

atxtravel
Guest
atxtravel

KCal: AMEX has no debit feature, just credit and ATM withdrawal. Also, on a side note, in all these schemes, someone is getting the bill for the miles we’re earning, and it happens in the store where you buy the reload. A credit card incurs an interchange fee and that how they can afford to pay us all bonuses and rewards.
….
I’ve been testing out Netspend some more and can now report that I’ve had 4 successful bill payments of my Chase credit card balances, one mortgage payment and some other small bills. Usually the amount shows up in my Netspend account the next business day after requesting the payment.
….
Those of you who had reversed payments might just be putting in the routing and acct # incorrectly into the billing website. I had that happen when I manually tried to pay a Citi card balance and the guy on the phone screwed up. I’ll try paying off a Citi card soon using the automate payment feature and entering all the info myself. Needless to say, if I can pull this off to the tune of 3-4k a month and do this with one of the other non Metabank cards, it’s a goldmine of free points.

KCal
Guest
KCal

Checked out the local Office Depot (Ellisiville, Missouri), and they had Vanilla Reload cards. There was a sign that said photo identification required for purchase of pre-paid cards with credit card and check. I asked the person at the register and they said it was to protect against people stealing the gift cards.

-KCal

FrequentMiler
Guest
mulbry
Guest
mulbry

In all the posts on the Netspend card I’ve noticed that no one has brought up direct deposits. My reading of all the different prepaid CC’s is that they really really want you to load the card with direct deposit (its free!!!). i have slowly loaded my Netspend card with Vanilla’s but am thinking i will use a small percentage of my paycheck for direct deposit on the Netspend. maybe that will keep the dogs at bay…

FrequentMiler
Guest

mulbry: it’s worth a shot!

KCal
Guest
KCal

just tried to buy a reload it card for other visa prepaids at the local grocery store (i don’t want to keep putting spend at office depot). denied by manager as a cash only card. no sign that says no credit cards. asked for a manager override, but he said it wasn’t allowed. *shrug*

rick
Guest
rick

It seems some stores have them hard-coded in their register to only accept cash. Others don’t care, even when it says “cash only” on it. You’re probably better off looking for a non-discount grocery chain that doesn’t pinch pennies. You can also reload some of these cards with MoneyPack if you can’t find Reloadit cards.

Stevedealin
Guest
Stevedealin

Anyone know where to find the Mio cards?

rick
Guest
rick

Mio has a store locator feature on their site.

Stevedealin
Guest
Stevedealin

@Rick- I don’t think it works since it doesn’t pull up any locations in my entire state.

rick
Guest
rick

You can probably order Mio card directly from their website.

Also I noticed Walmart has their own version of these debit cards that can be reloaded with Money Packs. As long as you can find any store in your area that sells some kind of reload pack using CC, you can then find the right reloadable debit card to use it with.

FrequentMiler
Guest

rick: I called Mio a few months ago and they told me that you can’t get a card unless you first buy one in-store

rick
Guest
rick

Well that sucks, I wonder when the Vanilla debit card is coming out.

It looks like in several states I tried to look in, Dollar General, Cash America and ALCO are the main places to sell them

rick
Guest
rick

…btw, anyone care to try a lab experiment to see which store chains allow buying of Green-dot money packs with CC? That could be the next alternative to netspend for those who got shut down, and those who want to double the churning without risking a shutdown.

Mick
Guest
Mick

Green Dots are the grand daddy of the prepaid reload world and any store chain i have tried (i have tried all listed on there site in my travels) know they are cash only or the registers only allow cash. I am assuming they have been around far to long and know the tricks. The reviews of them on the net also show they are bull dogs when it comes to getting your money back in the event of a closure.

rick
Guest
rick

Mick: thanks for the info, good to know. I’ll still drop by several local walmarts and see what I can get away with. Maybe they sell Reload-it packs too.

KCal
Guest
KCal

I tried to buy a Green Dot money pack at the local Walmart. It hard coded against the credit card, and also it had to be run up as a separate purchase (so you cannot make it look like you are buying other stuff if you fear an FR). With that said, even though it clearly says cash only on the card, the cashier and the manager tried to override it, the system just wouldn’t let them. Good luck on your test!

rick
Guest
rick

Kcal: Had a similar experience…I was buying a reload-it pack from a safeway store where the cashier pointed to the fee on the card (right above “cash only” line”) and asked me if I’m ok to buy it. She then rang it up onto my amex hilton card that gets me 6x points at grocery stores. I don’t mind using just reload-it and vanilla as long as I can find enough stores to source them from.

KCal
Guest
KCal

Target is now offering American Express reloadable debit cards. At the one Target I checked out, they did not have any reload cards, just the initial debit card that you can load with a credit card. Might be an interesting way to meet minimum spending or spread out your reload card purchases. I imagine at some point they would start offering reload packs.

FrequentMiler
Guest

KCal: I bought the temporary version of the Target Amex card weeks ago, but I’ve been waiting since them for them to verify my identity. Apparently some info about me was initially entered wrong so they wouldn’t send me the permanent card. If I ever get it, I agree, there are some great opportunities for that card!

Milezjunkie
Guest
Milezjunkie

That might work well with my Amex Cash with a 6% cash back for groceries.

Stevedealin
Guest
Stevedealin

@Milezjunkie- How so? I thought that Target is not coded as a grocery store for bluecash.

Stevedealin
Guest
Stevedealin

Which card are you using to get 6% back at target?

Milezjunkie
Guest
Milezjunkie

I have the Amex Cash Preferred. It gives 6% cash back at grocery store purchases but I have not tested it at Target yet. Maybe this weekend I will make it over there.

Max
Guest
Max

Hello All

As indicated here and well known that the only Office Depot in manhattan, NYC does not sell the reload packs

Anybody have found any other place in Manhattan or boroughs of NYC where amex reload packs are sold with CC
(gas station, grocery stores, other shops etc).

Also the Reload-IT grey packs for Paypower cards , can they be used to load Netspend ?

rick
Guest
rick

@Max — answer to your last question: yes they can! That’s how I’ve been doing it with CCards that don’t give any office store bonuses…I buy these instead at a grocery store. Works great to mint Hilton points through the AMEX card.

sassy
Guest
sassy

@Kcal any updates on the Wells Fargo prepaid Card – loading with Chase cc or other? Has anyone found a credit card that doesn’t categorize it as a cash advance?

sassy
Guest
sassy

@Kcal It seems the buxx cards also treat cc load as a cash advance. Can you load a buxx card with another prepaid card (vanilla, mio, paypower)?

kcal
Guest
kcal

my chase statement shows it as a purchase.

i have no clue about buxx cards.

Phil
Guest

citi treated my buxx purchase as a cash advance. reports are that chase cards treat it as a purchase.

what of the various reports that netspend has a total cap of 15k? i.e. once you’ve loaded 15k, that’s it, you are done, no more

Phil
Guest

I was able to buy one of these in a grocery store here in NC that may sound like Harry Twitter: http://i1264.photobucket.com/albums/jj488/MilesAbound/2edd0d4b.jpg. If you look it says cash only but I was able to pay with Amex Hilton Surpass. I am going to try and buy the reload cards same method. They also say cash only I will let you know how it goes. I see these can be used to reload NetSpend cards too, though right now I have more questions than answers on NetSpend. This alternative card could be interesting too.

rick
Guest
rick

@Phil — find these in $950 denominations and you got yourself Hilton points at 0.4 cents per $ spent. I’ve been racking them up for the past 2 months, plus using it for minimum spend on other cards.

Phil
Guest

@Rick – indeed, though I am not sure I’d pay that for Hilton points given you can rack up so many churning cards but it is GREAT for meeting the min spend on those cards. Still need to get my head completely around liquidation strategies though

Phil
Guest

Confirmed I was able to buy them with CC at Harry Twitter. Max denomination was $500. However Hilton Amex is 6x so cost of base points just 0.13 cent per HH. However more importantly I get to help min spend. Trying to unload by paying genuine contractor bills through the “money order” option which appears to be a normal check as reported above. Cost is $1 each. I’m going to use to pay real bills rather than risk faking it by sending one big check to myself. Thanks to THESoCalledFan for the NS referal that $20 covers the first few reloads. I’m hoping the PayPower card has similar capabilities

rick
Guest
rick

@Phil — Forget money orders, look into direct debit bill payments. Free and under the radar.

Consumerist
Guest
Consumerist

Hilton Points are barely worth $0.04 so you’re not getting much. Depending on how you use them, you may get twice that, but not much more.

Stevedealin
Guest
Stevedealin

Can you do recurring billpay (with an account # and routing #) like the netspend card with the Paypower card?

Jim
Guest
Jim

I didn’t get far with paypower before my account was frozen without warning, and still haven’t got my money 3 weeks later. Do a google search on paypower complaint and you will see some real horror stories.

Stevedealin
Guest
Stevedealin

Curious about updates on Wells Fargo card as well. Anyone try loading with a prepaid card?

kcal
Guest
kcal

Despite previous reports, I (in my own personal experience) can confirm that Chase lists Wells Fargo loads as purchases, not as cash advances.

With that said, I have had an overall experience with Wells Fargo. I attempted to make a large load with a NetSpend prepaid. My account was immediately frozen for security review on July 27. They said I should hear from them in 3-5 business days. I call back on August 6, and they say another 3-5 business days. Still nothing from them.

I only have $15 loaded on the card, but their customer service is terrible, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they charge fees for customer service.

NJ
Guest
NJ

Has anyone tried the Chase Liquid prepaid card? Can it be reloaded with Vanilla cards?

FrequentMiler
Guest

NJ: I haven’t tried it, but I’m pretty sure you can not load with Vanilla cards

trackback

[…] places that don’t take American Express.  Well, back with a new installment and a new card, The Frequent Miler brings us the Netspend Debit […]

stevedealin
Guest
stevedealin

Bah! Finally got shut down by Netspend- was good while it lasted…

xp0
Guest
xp0

stevedealin @ Just wondering how much you loaded/withdrew on your card before you got shut down – thx

trackback

[…] NetSpend challenges the throne […]

JohnTuttle
Guest
JohnTuttle

Hi FrequentMiler – GREAT site, thanks for posting all this help, much appreciated.

I got a Chase Ink Bold card a month ago. I need to spend another $2000 in the next 2 months to hit the $10k minimum spend for the $250 bonus.

I have a $1200 federal quarterly estimated tax payment due on September 15. I’d like to use my Bold card to buy 1-3 $500 Visa debit card(s) at Office Depot and then pay taxes through PayUSATax or similar service.

At $500 per debit card, I’d need 3 cards to pay $1200. Will these services take 3 cards? If not, can I add value beyond $500 to one or more cards? If not, is my best bet to use a debit card for $500 and my Bold for the remaining $700? Would you recommend AmEx or Visa Vanilla?

Thanks!

FrequentMiler
Guest

John Tuttle: I think your best bet is to order the free NetSpend card, buy 4 $500 prepaid Vanilla reload cards (not Visa cards) and use them to load up the Netspend card. Then use the Netspend card to pay your taxes with the debit option in one shot. You will most likely have your NetSpend card shut down and they’ll mail to you the balance as a check, but it will have served its purpose. It will not affect your credit report and you’ll have met your $10K spend and paid your taxes.

JohnTuttle
Guest
JohnTuttle

Thank you for the quick response FrequentMiler.

To clarify, why is getting the Netspend card necessary? Are you recommending it just so I can pay the $1200 tax bill using one Netspend card instead of 2-3 Vanilla cards?

Unfortunately the Netspend website says it takes 10 business days to arrive, which means I won’t have it in time for my September 15th tax payment.

Given that, can I just buy 3 Vanilla cards for $500 and use them as debit cards to pay taxes? Costs a bit more in fees but eliminates the Netspend step.

By the way, the Office Depot store in Framigham, Mass. says it has no restrictions on how many Vanilla cards you can buy or how you pay, BUT they’re out of stock and won’t be refilled for days, maybe a few weeks. This is the only Office Depot I could find in Massachusetts.

FrequentMiler
Guest

John Tuttle: Yes, I was suggesting NetSpend as a way to pay the whole bill at once. I’m going to research other options, but currently payUSAtax.com only allows 2 estimated payments per quarter so you can do at most $1000 per quarter this way if you use Vanilla Visa cards. Are Vanilla Visa cards available at your Office Depot?

JohnTuttle
Guest
JohnTuttle

Thanks again FrequentMiler!
payUSAtax.com says on their website FAQ “taxpayers can make partial payments using more than one card” but doesn’t specify how many cards they allow, or if “payments” refers to one distinct tax bill (regardless of how many cards you use to pay it) or one source of payment, like a credit card.
I visited Office Depot yesterday. They had tons of AmEx and Visa $20-$500 gift cards but were sold out of Vanilla cards. I bought a Visa gift card and loaded $500.
Given all the circumstances I’m going to use the Visa gift card and Bold card for this tax payment, take a breath and figure out the next one later.
Fascinating stuff on this board, I’m enjoying reading everyone’s stories!

al
Guest
al

I got the netspend account last month and have been loading it slowly. I have signed up for direct deposit and recently became upgraded to netspend premier. i plan to continue to use the card for a few weeks before I make my first “cash out” via paying my Oct rent for around $3k. does the fact that i do direct deposit and am netspend premier lower the chances that they will shut me down? either way, i am going to try and keep the account “topped off” near $10k so that when they do shut me down I would have maximum cash out.

FrequentMiler
Guest

al: I don’t think that direct deposit & premier will change whether or not you get shut down. I like your plan of keeping the account topped off to get maximum benefit when they do shut you down!

Stevedealin
Guest
Stevedealin

Has anyone successfully activated a new netspend card after having another card previously shut down? I plan on doing a quick load and withdraw.

Stevedealin
Guest
Stevedealin

No luck loading Wells Fargo prepaid with Vanilla Visa- a shame as that could have presented some interesting possibilities. Anyone have luck with any other prepaid loads to Wells?

Stevedealin
Guest
Stevedealin

By the way, I did register my zip on the Vanilla Visa before trying to load.

ORD-TGU
Guest
ORD-TGU

What is the safe $ range for bill payments?

I want to know a good comfort zone and based on other people’s transactions, learn what $$ Spend will trigger a shutdown.

I just paid an AMEX CC Bill for $550 and went under the radar.

FrequentMiler
Guest

ORD-TGU: I’m not sure there is any safe range. Just because you haven’t been shut down yet for the $550 payment doesn’t mean that it won’t happen soon.

Scuta
Guest
Scuta

What is the quickest way to get shut down by NS?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Scuta: simply cancel your account and they’ll send the balance as a check

stuckinthemiddle
Guest
stuckinthemiddle

Is there a difference between the Visa and MC variant of the card? I need Visa for specific reasons, but I also want to provide a referral to you. However, the referral link is only for MC.

FrequentMiler
Guest

stuckinthemiddle: I don’t have any experience with the Visa version of the card. I expect that they’re the same. Don’t worry about the referral, do what works for you.

frequent travel gal
Guest
frequent travel gal

Strange question I am sure BUT can I load 10K on this card and then have them send an e check for tuition to my son’s school? 27 pages of T & C was a bit much to read

Stevedealin
Guest
Stevedealin

Does anyone know the monthly limit on the Paypower card? I know it’s $15k on netspend but not couldn’t find anything on Paypower anywhere.

Stoughton
Guest
Stoughton

FYI to all playing with Netspend – if (when?) they cancel your account, it can take weeks to get your funds back. Mine took 5 weeks and that was after threats of legal action.

Your experience may differ but be fiscally prepared for a wait.

robert smith
Guest

have you updated the article about netspend since june 18,2012?

FrequentMiler
Guest

robert smith: I haven’t changed the content, but I really should update this with new info. Thanks for the reminder.

Robert smith
Guest

Are there ways to use direct deposit other than payroll as my wife is not employed

Goosfish
Guest

I’m new at this.i understand buying the Gift cards at Office Depot but what do you mean by loading the gift card and how is that done.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Goosfish: These aren’t gift cards, but they are on the gift card rack. You need to buy things called “Vanilla Reload” cards. Instructions for how to load them money from them to the Netspend card or to others (such as the Amex prepaid) are on the Vanilla Reload card package. Please see my post “One card to rule them all” for more information.

trackback

[…] Bill Pay options ($3.99 per $500). A la Frequent Miler,this method involves several […]

mp
Guest
mp

Just an FYI:

I tried purchasing family travel on netspend today

(purchased $5k in vanilla reload from office depot using chase ink to earn 25k points )

The cost of the trip was around $5500. I found out that Netspend does not allow you to charge more than $4999 in any 24 hour period.

I have sent them a secure message asking if they can release the hold temporarily…hopefully they agree to let me pay for my vacation with the netspend card!

FrequentMiler
Guest

mp: Let us know how it goes. Will your travel provider allow you to split the purchase between two cards? Also note that NetSpend often shuts down big spenders so while you can probably use the card for this one big purchase (at least $4999 of it), you may have your account shut down after that.

ORD-TGU
Guest
ORD-TGU

My strategy was to go slow and steady with NETSPEND.
Space out $500 loads and ACH to pay my AMEX or utilities every 7 days. I started late August, and just last week I got axed.
I was able to cycle $3k in three billing cycles (AUG, SPET, OCT. Minimal! I was hoping to at least do 10k.
I refuse to use the card for high fees.
At least I got the $20 referral bonus.
I think that what triggered the AX was the referral conga on FT.
I think the best strategy is to load it with a lot of cash, almost to the limit and then close it or get closed and get a check. This is if you can afford to have a large sum of $ in limbo for “up to 20 days”
Anyways, move on to next idea.
PS- Great to hear you and meet you yesterday!

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

Netspend is the best!!! I was able to unload a total of 7k in a week span, and it only cost me $7.50. Actually I am ahead by $12.50 because of the $20 referal bonus!!!
Thanks guys for all the great info on this blog.

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

35K UR points for a total investment of $42.8…Awesome deal…I am in love with vanillas!!!

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

Bluebird can’t compete with Netspend to convert credit to UR points with my “Special, Secret Method”. I love vanillas!!!

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

Netspend is not as bad as everyone says it is.One has to know how to correctly use Netspend to maximize its potential.One has to know the “Special, Secret Method” to unlock Netspend full potential.I will see how much I can get away with my method before Netspend shuts me down:(

Mp
Guest
Mp

Just an update on my post on purchasing travel using netspend. Netspend did not release the hold. You can only spend $4999 per day on netspend. However, I was able to use the netspend card for 4999 and anther card for the rest. A couple of weeks before that I used netspend to make a $2500 tax payment . Needless to say, I or shut down. However I spent almost $7500 using netspend only twice plus there was an additional $1000 on the card that I should be getting back in a couple of weeks. I got $8500 in “spend” out of it. I think with netspend we are going to get shut down anyway, so why not jump in with huge immediate spends, let them return the rest and walk out knowing you got the maximum bang for your buck. It seems slow spending costs more and still yields cancellation- for some, before they even hit a $5k spend.

leslie
Guest
leslie

can I buy netspend reload packs with credit card to earn miles then load it onto the netspend prepaid debit card and use bill pay to pay mortgage?

FrequentMiler
Guest

leslie: it depends on the store. Some stores will let you buy Vanilla Reload cards (Netspend reload packs) with a credit card. Some Walgreens stores allow it and most Office Depot stores do.

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

I just want to add one last thing…when I unloaded the 7K from Netspend, I did not buy a single thing!!! I Love Vanillas 🙂

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

And finally, I have two Netspend cards with the same name, and I just received an additional one with my wife’s name. So that’s $60 profit already in referals. Then I will the three cards to refer each other to earn additional referals. Go to love Vanillas 🙂

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

Netspend is the best…I have converted 10K of vanillas to cash in 1 week span!!! And it did not cost me anything, rather I am still ahead $10 from the referral fee($20-$10 total Netspend fees=$10)!!! I am so in love with Vanillas:)

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

Yes FM, I am having so much fun with Netspend!!! It is not as bad as everybody says it is. All you have to do is use it correctly to tap into its potential…Forget about paying bills with this, it is too long. Like Mp says, go in big and see how much you can get away with.For the short run, Netspend is the king of all pp!!! Kicks Bluebird ass in the short run.

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

However, unlike Mp, I do not leave a balance on Netspend. I very quickly convert the Vanillas to cash (about 15M time span). If I get shut down, I do not have to wait at least 20 days to get my money back. I Love Vanillas 🙂

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

…and if Netspend shuts you down, all you have to do is order another card(with another $20 referal bonus, thanks to HikerT’s discovery). I Love Vanillas 🙂

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

…and just make sure you never leave a balance on Netspend for any considerable time…

leslie
Guest
leslie

Can someone help me understand. So I was able to by greendot prepaid card and green dot reload with credit card from chase(airtran) Got 5 hundred loaded on prepaid and 500 on reload. I have mortgage of 986 to pay. What should I do now? Also I bought vanilla reload with amex business gold. Does anyone know if it will be coded as purchase or not? I will wait for my blue bird card so I can load online. Cuz I got almost 3000 in prop tax to pay.thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

leslie: I’m encouraged to hear that you found a place that allowed you to buy greendot with a credit card (that’s rare), but I don’t have enough experience with those products to advise you on how to use them. One possible option: I think you may be able to load the greendot money to a PayPal account and then you could transfer that money to your bank or to BlueBird to help with paying your property tax. Yes, I believe that your vanilla reload purchase will be coded as a purchase.

Cam
Guest
Cam

I picked up a Netspend Visa today and I noticed it is issued by Bancorp, not MetaBank. I’m not sure it matters in terms of shutdown triggers but thought it was interesting.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Cam: that is interesting.

Stevedealin
Guest
Stevedealin

@melovesvanillas- Have you had a success activating a second card after you got shut down? If so, please share. I tried and it wouldn’t let me activate the second card I ordered (shipped to a different address)

leslie
Guest
leslie

Yes my very first stop, I was able to purchase it and got the prepaid card and the reload at no cost. But I just found out that it is admin. by synova bank something like that , it has no bill pay feature. However, by Nov 2nd, it will be admin. by greendot. Then it will have bill pay feature. They are willing to transfer my money over to the new card so I can use bill pay feature.But they say my new card won’t come till nov 9. And my bill is due Nov 15. I have 6 days. that is too close to send payment.

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

Stevedealin, my second card is still with my parent’s house…I have not actually activated the second card yet.

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

and I have not been shut down yet with my first card…I used it to convert 10K of vanillas into cash in 1 week.

Cam
Guest
Cam

MeLovesVanilla so the strategy is:

1) Check that card isn’t shutdown yet
2) Load big and spend immediately (even within minutes)

Wait and then repeat steps 1 and 2?

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

you go it, Cam. As of now, my Netspend is still open, even after converting 10K of vanillas to cash.

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

If I get shut down, I will either activate my wife’s card or get my second card from my parents. And to add about getting multiple cards with the same name, my secong WF PP was shipped today. I love this PP industry!!!

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

All, Netspend finally closed my account after turning 40K of vanillas into cash 🙁

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

They also shut down my second card and my wife’s card…I am so bum 🙁 Now I have to depend on my other PPs to covert the vanillas to cash.

FrequentMiler
Guest

MeLovesVanilla: Welcome to the club.

Mick
Guest
Mick

MeLovesVanilla- i dont know if you are trolling this discussion or what but in the off chance you are legit in what you have been doing…what did you expect would happen? Look at the volume you were pumping through it versus everyone else who was shut down for much less. It seems no one has any discretion here to make things last.

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

Thanks FM

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

Mick, I knew I was going to be shut down…it was only a matter of when. However, some small part of me thought I would get away with what I was doing.

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

I just ordered another card in my wife name’s which I sent to be shipped to my parents house…so far so good…I was able to set up her account online…I am going to try to activate it when I get it. Wish me luck all 🙂

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

Mick, if you want something to last, stick with Bluebird, not Netspend. Bluebird is way better than Netspend in the long run: no high fees to use the card, unlike Netspend, which charges poor souls outrages fees. I went in with Netspend with the goal of abusing it instead of Netspend abusing me. I hope that explains what I did with Netspend.

MeLovesVanilla
Guest
MeLovesVanilla

with the 40K, I was able to meet a couple of minumum spend on some cards, which helped me earned some big sign on bunus…and I did not give any money to Netspend because of the $20 referral bonus they gave to me. So they paid me to abuse their card, which I used to my advantage 🙂

cyclotron
Guest
cyclotron

Is it possible to load up Netspend and then have them send a check to someone for the amount? Will this get shut down quickly?

FrequentMiler
Guest

cyclotron: yes & yes

Janice
Guest
Janice

Hi, Ive had a netspend account for over 4 years now. Ive recently been employed and they required direct deposit which i provided my employer with the netspend direct deposit info. I came home to read about horrible reviews on payroll direct deposits.

Please can anyone give me some insight on the pros and cons of direct deposit through netspend is.

Thank you so much.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Janice: The advantage of doing direct deposit with NetSpend is that they then charge lower monthly fees. I don’t think there is any particular downside other than NetSpend is a difficult company to work with and there are other, better products with lower or no fees. In particular, I’d recommend that you take a look at bluebird (bluebird.com)

Toni Perkins
Guest
Toni Perkins

I’m wondering what amounts are considered “large”and might get a person shut down with Netspend. Is a $2000/mortgage too much? It’s the only thing i want to use the netspend for? Thanks!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Toni Perkins: I don’t know what the cutoff is, but I know many people who have had their accounts shut down for considerably less than $2K per month. Have you tried bluebird?

Toni Perkins
Guest
Toni Perkins

The problem with Blue Bird is that it’s an AMEX and the only store I can buy vanilla reloads at doesn’t take AMEX. It’s dollar general and the vanilla reloads are a little different there. You load your prepaid card at the checkout counter as you purchase. I tried it with my bb, but no luck. We figured it was because they don’t take amex. So, any idea what prepaid card would be second best. I’m just looking to meet minimum spends right now, and not so much maximizing points! Thanks so much! 🙂

FrequentMiler
Guest

Toni Perkins:
That’s correct that Dollar General stores (and Family Dollar) have different Vanilla Reload cards in which you have to load at the register. I’d recommend trying either the MyVanilla or Mio cards since those are less likely to get shut down. Unfortunately, your Dollar General store might not allow credit cards for buying Vanilla Reloads. I haven’t had any success at Dollar General or Family Dollar.