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WalMart MoneyCard vs Western Union MoneyWise: Prepaid Debit Card Showdown

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NerdWallet isn’t too keen on prepaid debit cards, but if you’re adamant about getting one, check out the Western Union Moneywise Card. It’s a step up from the ever-popular WalMart MoneyCard, and here’s why.

Fee fi fo fum (and fee again)

Prepaid credit cards are plagued by fees. Any activity on your card is likely to incur the wrath of the fee giant, who has a voracious appetite and will gobble up your money with minimal satisfaction. The WalMart MoneyCard, developed by Green Dot, charges an activation fee, a monthly fee, and a deposit/reload fee that stand at $3 apiece (direct deposit is free). The ATM fee is $2, and it’s another $1 for a simple balance inquiry. Those are some pretty hefty charges, just for the privilege of carrying the card around.

The Western Union Moneywise card does not have an activation or a monthly fee, and its ATM fee is a bit lower at $1.95. The cash deposit/reload fee is a tad steep at $4.95, but you can use direct deposit at no charge. While this is by no means a perfect program, you’ll dump less money into fees with the MoneyWise card than with most prepaid debit cards. And with far more Western Union locations than Wal-Marts in the U.S., taking care of your finances should be a little more convenient.

WalMart MoneyCard customer complaints. A good chunk of these complaints involve the complete loss of deposited money. People usually don’t respond well when their funds go missing. Another big complaint category is refunds gone wrong. With startling frequency, attempts to return merchandise seem to result in no refunds issued.

Source: NerdWallet Credit Card Blog

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