Firstly, I’m annoyed that I can’t use Google Wallet like you can Paypal for online stores. Like, as in using it instead of Paypal to sell stuff on my own website. Used to be able to do that, but they stopped offering that feature and shut down that arm of GW. As far as prepaid cards go though, it’s soooooooo much better than most of the others out on the market. That’s why it’s in my top spot for prepaid cards. The only catch is you can only really receive money. As in, someone has to get a Google Wallet (which is free, btw, with EVERY Gmail account) in order to send money to your Google Wallet. OR you have to link a bank account/debit card (like with Paypal) and transfer money from your own account into it. So, that sucks.
However, it’s a handy little thing to have if you’ve got a kid and you want to give them money, but don’t want to give them cold hard cash. Like, if your kid’s away at college and needs money, it’s a quick and easy transfer, plus they can use the card like a regular debit card. Can even get cash back when they need it, too. Yeah, people give Wallet Card users funny looks because it doesn’t look like a standard debit or credit card. The number’s on the back of the card, as well as the MasterCard logo. And there’s no fees. AND if you try to buy an item for $1.01 but all you have on the card is $1, the transaction will not process because the funds just aren’t there.
Now, I say Google Wallet is my top fave. My second is the Bluebird from Wall-Mart and American Express. And I like it for all of the same reasons as I like the Google Wallet. Unlike the Google Wallet, however, you can receive direct deposit of paychecks and government checks (SSI, SSDI, tax refund), and it basically serves as a bank account with an actual routing and account number. All checks have to be pre-approved before you use them, so that sucks. Then again, nobody really uses checks these days. The plus side to this card is the Bluebird App, which keeps track of your balance, and can locate nearby ATMs that you can use for free (if you have direct deposit) or for a small fee (if it’s out of the assigned region and company, etc.). The major downside to this card is that in order to add funds you must have either another Bluebird user send them to you from THEIR account OR link your personal checking to the card and reload it from there. The terminals at Wall-Mart where you can get cash free or reload your card is almost ALWAYS out of order (this is not just at one location, but FIVE locations that I’ve visited!) Another pro for this card is that you can have a sub-account. When I got my card (for work) you could have up to 4 sub-accounts. Now I think it’s like 1 or 2. But the purpose of the sub-accounts is that you can give it to your kids or other family members (so long as they are 13 or over). Again, you can load the card from the main Bluebird account and the funds are there for the sub-account holder to use. The downside to the sub-accounts are that you can’t use it as a debit unless you are at an ATM, and you can’t add funds yourself. You must send an alert to the main account holder that you need more money, and then they send you more money. The BIGGEST downside to this card is that it’s an AMEX…… and hardly anyone takes AMEX. Especially small businesses. VISA and MasterCard are industry standard, and once in a while you’ll find someone who takes Discover.
Now, why am I saying all of this about 2 prepaid cards as if I’m trying to convince you to get one (which I’m not, btw. I’m just trying to sort out my feelings on these products myself, as well as Paypal)? Because Paypal is a bitch, and they’re holding about $80 that I got off selling stuff on eBay until November 10th, and I’m gonna have to pay what I’ve spent in shipping back to my mom, bringing my profit down to about $60. But in the meantime, I’ve still gotta send out the stuff I’ve sold. Now, Paypal wouldn’t hold my money as long if I had, you guessed it, the Paypal Prepaid Card!
Now, I am a fan of prepaid cards, because I don’t like tapping my banking. Things are tight year round, and every penny counts. So the bank bank is for bills and household stuff. Whereas prepaids are the fun money. But there is no way in hell I’m going to try and get the Paypal card again. The last time I tried, I ended up fighting Paypal for nearly 2 years over the proof of my identity, despite sending them ample evidence that yes I am who I am. Yes, my name was legally changed. And yes, that really is my driver’s license and SSN. And no, I wasn’t going to send sensitive and personal information to an unsecured e-mail address. And this was after having a Paypal for over 8 years, and never EVER having an issue. So I ended up having to close out that Paypal entirely. Which sucked. Now I have a new Paypal, because it was the only way to get my Fiverr money and it’s how TextBroker pays writers. So, since I have it, I figured why the hell not sell on eBay. I mean, I’ve got all this stuff lying around and no pawn shop will take any of it. Might could get some extra holiday cash. So that’s what I’ve done.
But I will be damned if I get desperate enough for the money to finish pending and become available that I stoop down to getting the PayPal Prepaid Card again. Plus, it has fees. And as I stated above in my diatribe about 2 other prepaid cards, I prefer cards with no fees at all. So…. there’s that.