Review of Upside Visa® Card

Picture of Item Reviewed
Editor's Rating: 3.7/5.0
A prepaid card that actually has pretty low fees and also pays you cash back. The cash back that you earn is from their online shopping mall. As good as this card is, it is still bested by the American Express Prepaid Card.
Intro Purchase APR Regular APR Annual Fee Issuer Credit Needed
N.A. $0.99 or $4.99 Monthly Fee MetaBank No Credit
Feature Summary
  • Earn cash back from their shopping mall
  • Ability to reduce monthly fee based on how much you load your card

The Upside Visa® Prepaid Card is one of the unique prepaid cards which has a cash back program. In addition to that, it has one of the lowest monthly fees among other similar cards. These two features make them attractive and many will find this card appealing.

Low Monthly Fees - Most prepaid cards charge a monthly fee. The question is how much? And what is considered low and high? This card charges a $4.95 monthly fee, which is about slightly below it's peer average. But if you load $500 or more into your card a month, then your monthly fee for the month is only $0.99, which is pretty good.

About Loading Your Card - There are various ways to load this card. Firstly, you can load via direct deposit. Loading via direct deposit is free. Secondly, you can also load via GreenDot MoneyPak. You can load up to $10,000 a month.

You can also load your card from other bank account with a service called eBillMe. This service is available to those aged 18 and above, an account in good standing and have loaded $1,000 into their card. The advantage of this account is that many banks do not transfer funds online to an individual account. By using eBillMe, it is now possible to get funds from family members or friends into your prepaid card.

Check Writing Facilities - Upside allows you to write checks online. The way it works is that you log into your account and click on the "write a check button". You then enter the payees name, address and the amount and a check (much like a cashier's order) will be sent to the payee. It cost $2 per check.

Earn Cash Back From Shopping Mall - Another really unique feature about this card is that they have a cash back program where you can earn points when shopping through their online shopping mall. It is much like shopdiscover.com or Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping mall. They have partnered up with online merchants and when you log into your account and go to these online stores through your account, you can earn extra cash rebates. (see end of review for the full list of merchant partners).

There are also other ways to earn cash back points. For example, when you activate your card, you will earn 500 points when you activate your card online. You can earn 1,000 points when you sign up for direct deposit. Once you have earn 2000 points, you will get $20 debited into your card account.

Premium Service - Being Reward For Being a Loyal Customer - Perhaps the greatest feature of this card is that after using your card for a while, you may be awarded premium service (points upgrade) and receive more perks. To achieve this status, you will have to get 15,000 upgrade points in a calendar year. There are various ways to earn "upgrade points". For example, for any direct deposit you make over $200, you get 2,000 points plus one point for every dollar that you direct deposit. If you load your card with MoneyPak, you get one upgrade point for every dollar you load. You also get one upgrade point for every dollar that you spend on the card. Once you have achieved 15,000 points in a year, you will receive receive premium service for the remaining part of year plus the following year.

There are several perks to being in the premium service. The most important one is that the monthly fee of $4.95 will be waived. Secondly, you get a free check every month and your calls to customer service reps will be free. You will also earn one cash back point for every dollar that you spend on signature based transactions.

How Does The Upside Visa Stack Up

Verdict - I could do a whole write up on peer comparisons for this card. But I've decided to skip it because there are so many unique features in this card that others do not have. Firstly, they have a cash back program and an online shopping mall (which other prepaid cards do not have). Secondly, you can write checks, which may come in handy (though there is a $2 fee per check written) for those with no bank accounts and need to write an occasional check. This card also allows your friends or families to transfer funds from their bank account directly into your card. Finally, if you use the card often and direct deposit a certain amount every year, you might just earn enough points to get "premium service" status which will get your monthly fee waived. And if you do load at least $500 a month, the monthly fee gets reduced to $0.99 anyway.

If you have poor credit, do not have a bank account, and are looking for a prepaid card, the Upside Visa® Prepaid Card is a card I could recommend. Be sure to check out other cards. But once you have made a comparison, you will find this card among the top of your list.

Despite all the good things we have to say about this card, this card could have finally met its match in the American Express Prepaid Card. The reason is that the Amex Prepaid does not charge any monthly fee at all. And they also have a shopping mall called American Express Selects where you can get discounts with their partners. So I think before you pull the trigger, it pays to check the Amex card as well.

Upside Mall Online Merchant Partners

Below are screenshots of Upside Online Mall Merchant Partners.

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