|by Mr Credit Card|
Summary – The READYdebit™ Platinum Visa Prepaid Card is issued by BankCorp and has actually three versions of their card, the “control”, “select” and “platinum” version. Each has slightly different fee structure and features and is meant to segment their customer base according to their needs. As we will will find out in this review, there are some neat features that this card offers, but is it worth the price? Let’s continue….
Classic Version – The first thing to point out is that for all versions of this card, you have to pay a $9.95 activation fee. The classic version has the lowest monthly fee among the three versions at $3.95. Furthermore, if you load at least $1,500 a month via direct deposit, the monthly fee is waived. However, the low monthly fee comes with some caveats. For example, there is a fee for both PIN and signature based transactions (which amounts to $0.95). Live customer service calls are $2 per call and you will be charged a fee for an ATM balance inquiry.
Select Version – The “select” version has a slightly higher monthly fee at $9.95 a month. However, there are no fees for transactions (both PIN and signature based). With the “select” version, you can get an additional card for $10 (which is not available to “classic” holders). This version also allows for one free call to a live customer service representative a month. Thereafter, the charge will be $2 for any additional calls.
Platinum Version – The Platinum version has the highest monthly fee at $14.95. Like the Select version, there are no transaction fees. You will also get a free additional card. Live customer service calls are free.
Loading Your Card – With all prepaid cards, you have to load the card before you can use it. For the Ready Debit Card, Direct Deposit, and Bank ACH Transfer is free. You can also load your card at places where MoneyPak, and Visa ReadyLink are available. SSI and Social Security checks are be directed deposited into this card (though there is a $10,000 a month cap).
Table Showing Costs and Fees
Ready Debit Peer Comparision
Compare this card with it’s peers is a little tricky because there are three versions of this card. But let us start with the classic version. The positive thing about the classic version is its low fee of $3.95 a month. Furthermore, if you direct deposit at least $1,500 a month, the monthly fee is waived. However, there are cards like the Walmart Money Card, that has not only a lower monthly fee ($3), but also does not charge any transaction fees at all. Furthermore, the Walmart Money Card will waive your $3 monthly fee if you direct deposit at least $1,000 (which is lower than the $1,500 threshold for the classic version of this card).
The “platinum” version has perhaps the highest monthly fee of all at $14.95. And I cannot find any features that justify this high fee. The key feature of this version is that you get free live customer service calls. But the Walmart Money Card also gives you free live customer service rep calls with a $3 monthly fee!
Verdict – When the READYdebit™ Platinum Visa Prepaid Card first came out, it’s fees and features were pretty competitive. However, times have changed and market place has become more competitive. With regards to fees versus features, this card (regardless of the version) does not really stack up well against the better cards in the market. For example, cards like the Walmart Money Card, GreenDot, Upside Visa all have low fees with better features.
Also bear in mind that having a prepaid card does not help you rebuild your credit. If you need to rebuild your credit, then I suggest you get a secured credit card instead.
Snapshot of the Ready Debit Application Page