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5%/6% Interest Savings Accounts at 5K (or less): NetSpend, Mango, Union Plus, Control Card, Others?

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rated:
Along with utilizing other methods to save/invest money (Cash Back credit cards, Employer 401K, etc.), I've been looking for savings account investment options.  Currently I have the family savings account in our local credit union and the interest rate is way below 1%.  I ran across many posts on these prepaid debit card company savings accounts at 5%/6% (up to 5K) and seems like a no brainer.  I've also begun selling on eBay, so I have a PayPal account that I need to setup bank accounts to ACH to.  I was thinking I could simply ACH 5K to each of these savings accounts, and then do monthly $5 ACH transfers from PayPal to each of these accounts and reap the 5%/6% interest rate on each.  I'd also do the referral link signup bonuses for extra $20, etc. 

I just wanted to verify that this is a sound savings account investment option. 

List of companies: NetSpend, Mango, Union Plus, Control Card, Any Others? 

Thanks everyone!

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Card Name Rate Monthly Fee Max DD? Inactivity fee Backing Bank Provider Sign up link Notes FW Link
Ace Elite 5 0* 1000† $500 once to activate savings 90 days, $5.95 MetaBank NetSpend link   Interest posts quarterly ?
Brinks 5 0* 1000† $500 once to activate savings 90 days, $5.95 BofI Federal Bank Netspend link   Interest posts quarterly link  
H-E-B 5 0* 1000† $500 once to activate savings 90 days, $5.95 BofI  NetSpend link   Interest posts quarterly
Cost to Open an Account: $2.95
?
Netspend 5 0* 1000† $500 once to activate savings 90 days, $5.95 MetaBank Netspend link   Interest posts quarterly link  
Paypal 5 4.95 1000† No none Bancorp Bank Netspend link   Interest posts quarterly link  (archived)
Purpose Card 5 0* 1000† $500 once to activate savings 90 day, 5.95 MetaBank NetSpend link   Must purchase card in store ?
Western Union 5 0* 1000† $500 once to activate savings 90 days, $5.95 MetaBank Netspend link   Interest posts quarterly ?
                     
Vision 5.65 0 1000 No N/A Bancorp Bank Vision link   No longer available for new cards. ?
Control Card 5 $7.95 or $5 1000 $500 once to activate savings none MetaBank Control/Total System Services link   Interest posts quarterly ?
Momentum 6 0 5000 No N/A Bancorp Bank Momentum/Dollar Financial Group link   Must purchase card in store. Savings account no longer available for new cards. link  (archived)
                     
Mango 6 3 5000 Yes - $500 monthly N/A? Sunrise Bank REV Worldwide link   Issuing new VISA card accounts  with Sunrise Bank.  DD again required.
Interest posts monthly
link  
Union Plus 5.10 3 5000 Yes N/A? First Bank & Trust REV Worldwide link   No longer issuing new cards, service discontinued as of 9/15/2015. ?
                     
Insight Card 5 0 5000 No 90 day, 3.95 Republic Bank of Chicago
Axiom Bank
Insight Visa link   Interest posts quarterly  

Applying for multiple cards
Current information would indicate that you can generally have up to 3 cards from each backing bank for the Netspend cards. Thus, e.g. you could have a standard Netspend, ACE, and Purpose, but NOT a Western Union since that would make 4 cards backed by Metabank. You could however add to those original 3 the Brinks and HEB cards since those are different backing banks. Some people have reported holding the same 3 cards (i.e. 3 standard NetSpends) instead of diversifying issuers, but this is not standard.

The T&C document for the Mango card has recently changed.  Effective 9/1/16, you are allowed one Mango Savings Account per person.

The T&C document for the Insight card neither prohibits nor allows multiple cards.  Nobody has posted about trying to obtain multiple Insight cards.

Read  about how to waive monthly fees for Netspend & clones.

† NOTE - As of 7/1/16 all the NetSpend derivative cards have limited their 5% interest to only the first $1000 of savings (down from $5000)
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rated:
paypal has a prepaid card with similar characteristics.
not a bad way to earn 5%-ish interest (monthly fees will detract from the posted rate).

rated:
GrimeyOne said:   

List of companies: NetSpend, Mango, Union Plus, Control Card, Any Others? 


 

Here are two more:

http://www.visionprepaid.com/free_savings_account.html
http://www.momentumcard.com/savings-account/

rated:
Wow...so if I have 5K in six of these prepaid card savings accounts for a total of 30K, after a year I would earn approximately $1,500 in interest?

rated:
GrimeyOne said:   Wow...so if I have 5K in six of these prepaid card savings accounts for a total of 30K, after a year I would earn approximately $1,500 in interest?
  Some of these cards have monthly fees that knock the effective rate down to 3.X - 4.X%.

rated:
Even at 3.x to 4.x%, that's better than the 1.x-2.x% in other savings-type accounts (high yield, etc.), right?

Am I missing anything?

Thanks again

rated:
I think these prepaid cards are 1 per social security number

But I am just guessing

Otherwise the whole world would buy these. There will be riots  Even a third world war can start

rated:
I looked at Netspend

https://www.netspend.com/how_it_works/what_it_costs.shtml 

It seems like there is no fee whatsoever, as long as you do not call CSR or withdraw cash from ATM machine

Just spend the money buy purchasing stuff and make sure you have activity on your card at least once a month otherwise there is a charge.

I can not believe I missed this opportunity for this long. Shame on me!!!!

or is there a catch that I do not see?

rated:
"I think these prepaid cards are 1 per social security number

But I am just guessing"

not necessarily..for example, mango and union plus are run by the same people, but they limit you to 3 per...something.  Haven't tried all combinations of name/address/ss#/phone number yet, but I got 3 and then they stopped.

But these are a hassle to set up and maintain for many people, so that limits their demand.

rated:
GrimeyOne said:   Even at 3.x to 4.x%, that's better than the 1.x-2.x% in other savings-type accounts (high yield, etc.), right?

Am I missing anything?

Thanks again

  Nope, if you can set things up  correctly and meet the requirements and avoid the fees you can average about 4% interest on them.  It takes some effort (and of course spare $ hanging around)...but yes, they work for now (interest could be changed at any time of course).

rated:
fleetwoodmac said:   I looked at Netspend

https://www.netspend.com/how_it_works/what_it_costs.shtml 

It seems like there is no fee whatsoever, as long as you do not call CSR or withdraw cash from ATM machine

Just spend the money buy purchasing stuff and make sure you have activity on your card at least once a month otherwise there is a charge.

I can not believe I missed this opportunity for this long. Shame on me!!!!

or is there a catch that I do not see?

  There was mention of an inactivity fee (per 90 day period) with NetSpend, although I do not see it in that link.
What I've been doing regardless, is checking my balance each quarter at a free ATM.  NetSpend charges .50 for that.
It's been great so far.  The only thing that bugs me is having interest posted quarterly.  I'd prefer monthly, but w/e.

rated:
GrimeyOne said:   Even at 3.x to 4.x%, that's better than the 1.x-2.x% in other savings-type accounts (high yield, etc.), right?

Am I missing anything?

Thanks again

  Mango is 5.28% after fees.  Union Plus is 4.8% (if I recall)  These two accounts are good to have for anyone that also wants to make purchases with the card.
Some of the others charge a lot for doing that.

 

rated:
I studied these cards. It is true that you can get 5-6% interest, but in order to get that you typically have to have direct deposit of a paycheck. Savings funds can only be transferred to/from the prepaid card account. Also, if you want to withdraw funds from the prepaid card, there are fees for that, so when you want to tap into your savings money, you'll have a problem, since there are no checks, and they don't let you make transfers (ACH) to outside banks.

Actually, there is a cumbersome way to withdraw cash from these cards with few fees. You need to go to WalMart and ask for a money order. The fee for that is 68c and you need to use the card as a debit card with PIN.

rated:
I have Mango. I transfer $3 in a month from my Sallie Mae account to satisfy the direct deposit requirement. Its not hard to set up, the biggest challenge is having the right bank that they recognize as satisfying direct deposit. With mango there is the beginnings of a list. Search the mango thread.

rated:
Good to know these type of account exist. I am tired with ING 0.75% rate. Also any info on places to earn good interest rate if you have 100,000 to invest for 4-5 years??

rated:
This would be purely a family emergency fund so I wouldn't (hopefully) need to make withdrawals. I would only make the initial deposit of 5K, and then whatever other (hopefully really small) monthly deposits to meet the requirements for the interest rate and reduced (or no) fees. Since I'm selling on eBay and have money in PayPal, I'm hoping ACH transfers from PayPal will qualify as the required deposits for these prepaid card savings accounts. From reading other threads, it appears that might work. Thanks again everyone for the responses...any other guidance is greatly appreciated.

rated:
guycohn947 said:   I studied these cards. It is true that you can get 5-6% interest, but in order to get that you typically have to have direct deposit of a paycheck. Savings funds can only be transferred to/from the prepaid card account. Also, if you want to withdraw funds from the prepaid card, there are fees for that, so when you want to tap into your savings money, you'll have a problem, since there are no checks, and they don't let you make transfers (ACH) to outside banks.

Actually, there is a cumbersome way to withdraw cash from these cards with few fees. You need to go to WalMart and ask for a money order. The fee for that is 68c and you need to use the card as a debit card with PIN.
 

  With Mango, UnionPlus, and NetSpend you can ACH in from numerous banks to meet the requirements.  A paycheck deposit is not needed.  You can also pull funds from your bank w/o fees.
There are also ATM withdrawals, for a small fee.  I haven't used the other PP/Savings accounts, and can't comment on those.

rated:
You guys know all these for all this time and you are just sharing now?


rated:
Here is the thread about netSpend savings account. It has all the information you want.

rated:
GrimeyOne said:   Along with utilizing other methods to save/invest money (Cash Back credit cards, Employer 401K, etc.), I've been looking for savings account investment options.  Currently I have the family savings account in our local credit union and the interest rate is way below 1%.  I ran across many posts on these prepaid debit card company savings accounts at 5%/6% (up to 5K) and seems like a no brainer.  I've also begun selling on eBay, so I have a PayPal account that I need to setup bank accounts to ACH to.  I was thinking I could simply ACH 5K to each of these savings accounts, and then do monthly $5 ACH transfers from PayPal to each of these accounts and reap the 5%/6% interest rate on each.  I'd also do the referral link signup bonuses for extra $20, etc. 

I just wanted to verify that this is a sound savings account investment option. 

List of companies: NetSpend, Mango, Union Plus, Control Card, Any Others? 

Thanks everyone!

  Here is the thread about netSpend savings account. It has all the information you want: https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1432026/

rated:
FrozenBiker said:   guycohn947 said:   I studied these cards. It is true that you can get 5-6% interest, but in order to get that you typically have to have direct deposit of a paycheck. Savings funds can only be transferred to/from the prepaid card account. Also, if you want to withdraw funds from the prepaid card, there are fees for that, so when you want to tap into your savings money, you'll have a problem, since there are no checks, and they don't let you make transfers (ACH) to outside banks.

Actually, there is a cumbersome way to withdraw cash from these cards with few fees. You need to go to WalMart and ask for a money order. The fee for that is 68c and you need to use the card as a debit card with PIN.
 

  With Mango, UnionPlus, and NetSpend you can ACH in from numerous banks to meet the requirements.  A paycheck deposit is not needed.  You can also pull funds from your bank w/o fees.
There are also ATM withdrawals, for a small fee.  I haven't used the other PP/Savings accounts, and can't comment on those.


Can you actually pull from a Mango account initiated from another bank? I didn't think that was possible.

rated:
fleetwoodmac said:   You guys know all these for all this time and you are just sharing now?


  Hehe..  They've been talked about here for a few years...., sure wish I knew about them long ago
 

rated:
cbodendein said:   
FrozenBiker said:   
guycohn947 said:   I studied these cards. It is true that you can get 5-6% interest, but in order to get that you typically have to have direct deposit of a paycheck. Savings funds can only be transferred to/from the prepaid card account. Also, if you want to withdraw funds from the prepaid card, there are fees for that, so when you want to tap into your savings money, you'll have a problem, since there are no checks, and they don't let you make transfers (ACH) to outside banks.

Actually, there is a cumbersome way to withdraw cash from these cards with few fees. You need to go to WalMart and ask for a money order. The fee for that is 68c and you need to use the card as a debit card with PIN.

  With Mango, UnionPlus, and NetSpend you can ACH in from numerous banks to meet the requirements.  A paycheck deposit is not needed.  You can also pull funds from your bank w/o fees.
There are also ATM withdrawals, for a small fee.  I haven't used the other PP/Savings accounts, and can't comment on those.


Can you actually pull from a Mango account initiated from another bank? I didn't think that was possible.

  Absolutely.  I do not do it every month to avoid being on their #@!$ list for any reason

rated:
Interested in this as well. Biggest in finding a way to track requirements to avoid fees.

rated:
Dumb question. Now that bank transfers count as "P2P" payments, how are you getting around the ACH requirement?

https://www.nacha.org/rules/person-person-payments-ach

rated:
FrozenBiker said:   
GrimeyOne said:   

List of companies: NetSpend, Mango, Union Plus, Control Card, Any Others? 
 

Here are two more:

http://www.visionprepaid.com/free_savings_account.html
http://www.momentumcard.com/savings-account/

  Vision Prepaid is currently $1K max + monthly fees which is not a good deal.  The others are $5K max.

rated:
raiser14 said:   Dumb question. Now that bank transfers count as "P2P" payments, how are you getting around the ACH requirement?

https://www.nacha.org/rules/person-person-payments-ach

I typically use brokerage ACH for DD.  Inactivity fees are waived through P2P or bank ACH.

rated:
Has anyone successfully applied for the Momentum card savings account in the past year? Last I checked they had changed it, and you can't actually get the savings account (even though it is still offered online). It may also have to do with which color card you get. I ended up with a Blue card; I'm not sure if there is any way to get a black card.

rated:
fleetwoodmac said:   I looked at Netspend

https://www.netspend.com/how_it_works/what_it_costs.shtml 

It seems like there is no fee whatsoever, as long as you do not call CSR or withdraw cash from ATM machine

Just spend the money buy purchasing stuff and make sure you have activity on your card at least once a month otherwise there is a charge.

I can not believe I missed this opportunity for this long. Shame on me!!!!

or is there a catch that I do not see?
 

I bolded the statement that is not quite right. There is a per transaction fee if you use it as a debit card unless you pay a monthly subscription fee. For activity, just make sure you ACH in some funds (into the debit card account) at least once every 90 days. Apparently you can also ACH out, but I have not tried that yet. Previously I was getting money out by doing billpays (which also probably makes it less likely for them to shut you down).

rated:
frankot said:   
fleetwoodmac said:   I looked at Netspend

https://www.netspend.com/how_it_works/what_it_costs.shtml 

It seems like there is no fee whatsoever, as long as you do not call CSR or withdraw cash from ATM machine

Just spend the money buy purchasing stuff and make sure you have activity on your card at least once a month otherwise there is a charge.

I can not believe I missed this opportunity for this long. Shame on me!!!!

or is there a catch that I do not see?

I bolded the statement that is not quite right. There is a per transaction fee if you use it as a debit card unless you pay a monthly subscription fee. For activity, just make sure you ACH in some funds (into the debit card account) at least once every 90 days. Apparently you can also ACH out, but I have not tried that yet. Previously I was getting money out by doing billpays (which also probably makes it less likely for them to shut you down).

  
So how do we earn 5% interest with no fees at all?

rated:
For the plan with no monthly fee, it states the following transaction fees:

Signature Purchase Transaction Fee*
$1.00 each

PIN Purchase Transaction Fee*
$2.00 each

rated:
fleetwoodmac said:   
frankot said:   
fleetwoodmac said:   I looked at Netspend

https://www.netspend.com/how_it_works/what_it_costs.shtml 

It seems like there is no fee whatsoever, as long as you do not call CSR or withdraw cash from ATM machine

Just spend the money buy purchasing stuff and make sure you have activity on your card at least once a month otherwise there is a charge.

I can not believe I missed this opportunity for this long. Shame on me!!!!

or is there a catch that I do not see?

I bolded the statement that is not quite right. There is a per transaction fee if you use it as a debit card unless you pay a monthly subscription fee. For activity, just make sure you ACH in some funds (into the debit card account) at least once every 90 days. Apparently you can also ACH out, but I have not tried that yet. Previously I was getting money out by doing billpays (which also probably makes it less likely for them to shut you down).

  
So how do we earn 5% interest with no fees at all?

  For no fees at all, just don't use the debit card.. I use it one time per quarter to check the account balance at a free ATM.
NetSpend will charge .50 for that transaction, so .17 / month for 5% interest. A few others have said that an ACH transaction
will satisfy the inactivity requirement also.  Perhaps, but the ATM balance check is a guarantee.

rated:
I am confused

I understand that it will earn interest with no fee if I check my balance once a month or so

but eventually I need to spend this money with purchase or ATM cash withdrawal

But on these 2 occasions there is a fee

So how do you make this no fee while earning 5% interest? This is where I am not understanding

rated:
fleetwoodmac said:   I am confused

I understand that it will earn interest with no fee if I check my balance once a month or so

but eventually I need to spend this money with purchase or ATM cash withdrawal

But on these 2 occasions there is a fee

So how do you make this no fee while earning 5% interest? This is where I am not understanding

I don't need access to the money.  If I needed instant access (purchases, ATMs) on a regular basis, then the fees would knock down the rate.

rated:
lokimoki said:   
fleetwoodmac said:   I am confused

I understand that it will earn interest with no fee if I check my balance once a month or so

but eventually I need to spend this money with purchase or ATM cash withdrawal

But on these 2 occasions there is a fee

So how do you make this no fee while earning 5% interest? This is where I am not understanding

I don't need access to the money.  If I needed instant access (purchases, ATMs) on a regular basis, then the fees would knock down the rate.

  What do you mean you don't need access to the money?

eventually you want to withdraw the money right?

Isit possible to withdraw all with one transaction?

rated:
fleetwoodmac said:   lokimoki said:   
fleetwoodmac said:   I am confused

I understand that it will earn interest with no fee if I check my balance once a month or so

but eventually I need to spend this money with purchase or ATM cash withdrawal

But on these 2 occasions there is a fee

So how do you make this no fee while earning 5% interest? This is where I am not understanding

I don't need access to the money.  If I needed instant access (purchases, ATMs) on a regular basis, then the fees would knock down the rate.

  What do you mean you don't need access to the money?

eventually you want to withdraw the money right?

Isit possible to withdraw all with one transaction?

Like the previous poster I don't need immediate access to most of the money in my emergency fund -- with credit cards to smooth out cash flows, I probably wouldn't need to even begin to touch anything beyond the first $1k or so for a month+.

rated:
fleetwoodmac said:   
lokimoki said:   
fleetwoodmac said:   I am confused

I understand that it will earn interest with no fee if I check my balance once a month or so

but eventually I need to spend this money with purchase or ATM cash withdrawal

But on these 2 occasions there is a fee

So how do you make this no fee while earning 5% interest? This is where I am not understanding

I don't need access to the money.  If I needed instant access (purchases, ATMs) on a regular basis, then the fees would knock down the rate.

  What do you mean you don't need access to the money?

eventually you want to withdraw the money right?

Isit possible to withdraw all with one transaction?

Calculate the amount of money you plan to invest in one of these cards, and estimate the amount of monthly fees you'll be paying through purchases and ATMs.  If I paid considerable "money access" fees every month I probably wouldn't get these cards.  When I eventually want to withdraw all the money I'll ACH pull from another bank or close my account and get a check.

rated:
lokimoki said:   
fleetwoodmac said:   
lokimoki said:   
fleetwoodmac said:   I am confused

I understand that it will earn interest with no fee if I check my balance once a month or so

but eventually I need to spend this money with purchase or ATM cash withdrawal

But on these 2 occasions there is a fee

So how do you make this no fee while earning 5% interest? This is where I am not understanding

I don't need access to the money.  If I needed instant access (purchases, ATMs) on a regular basis, then the fees would knock down the rate.

  What do you mean you don't need access to the money?

eventually you want to withdraw the money right?

Isit possible to withdraw all with one transaction?

Calculate the amount of money you plan to invest in one of these cards, and estimate the amount of monthly fees you'll be paying through purchases and ATMs.  If I paid considerable "money access" fees every month I probably wouldn't get these cards.  When I eventually want to withdraw all the money I'll ACH pull from another bank or close my account and get a check.

  You can not ACH out money from these cards

Either you go to ATM or spend it using it as debit card either way you have to pay a fee

There is no such thing as ACH out there is only ACH in

rated:
fleetwoodmac said:     You can not ACH out money from these cards

Either you go to ATM or spend it using it as debit card either way you have to pay a fee

There is no such thing as ACH out there is only ACH in

I can't speak for any of the others, but at least for Mango that's not true.  I have personally ACH'ed out money before as recently as 4 or 5 weeks ago, and I haven't seen any adverse action or any notification that this ability has been stopped.  Mango isn't like Serve where the ACH can only go in one direction.

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rated:
Thanks. I'll go check.

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