On the ever expanding prepaid card market, the new American Express® Prepaid Card just may be the best of the bunch. The American Express Prepaid Card cuts away most of the fees and comes with many of the features associated with the respected American Express name. As with most prepaid cards, there are no credit requirements for applying for this card.
After reviewing this card, I had to wonder if the marketing experts at AMEX all have kids and realize that there are some unique scenarios that parents face. You certainly don’t have to have kids to use this card but I immediately realized this card could offer some great opportunities to teach responsibility and for parents to be able to rest easy anticipating the inevitable times when kids don’t think ahead.
So how can this card help with the needs of your young family? You may have students away at college or high school kids living at home. Giving them a card to use in case of emergency will benefit you as much as them; mostly because you won’t have to worry about the “what ifs.” The card purchaser can get up to three cards. All three cards can be in the names of other people or one for the purchaser plus two other users. The minimum age of a card user is 13.
What This Card DOESN’T Have
- NO overdraft fees
- NO credit check
- NO debt
- NO purchase fees
- NO annual fee
- NO monthly fee
What This Card DOES Have
- Roadside Assistance (jump starts, gas, locksmith, flat tires, tows)
- Fraud protection (not responsible for charges resulting from a lost or stolen card)
- 24 hour customer service
- Discounts and special offers
- First ATM transaction each month is free – after that it’s $2 per transaction
Loading the Card
To load the card you have options. You can transfer from your bank account (for which there is NO charge) or you can load cash. You can load cash by purchasing a MoneyPak for $4.95 at one of 50,000 retail outlets, including the biggies — Walmart, Kmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and 7-Eleven. With MoneyPak you can load as little as $25 or as much as $500 per transaction. Your first MoneyPak purchase is “on the house” and will be refunded by AMEX, but this offer is only good through the end of May.
The American Express Prepaid Card requires no minimum balance and no initial load requirement. Minimum reload is $25. Maximum card balance is $2,500 and you can’t load more than that amount at one time.
What sets this card apart from the other cards on the market are the controls that are in place for parents. If you are thinking this might be great for your family members, especially your children, you might find these monitoring features appealing, if not critical.
- ATM access can be turned on and off
- Cards can be limited to a maximum of $200 (or certainly less) per week
- Cards can be suspended and reactivated
- Email notifications can be turned on and off
- Transactions can be viewed
While great for meeting the supervisory needs of parents, you certainly don’t need to have kids to benefit from the features of this card. You don’t even have to take advantage of multiple cards to benefit. In the rapidly expanding world of prepaid cards, the American Express Prepaid Card is an impressive product.
How to Apply for the American Express® Prepaid Card
Applying for this credit card is quick and easy. The application takes just a few minutes to complete, and Amex will even notify you about the outcome of your application.