Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a "prepaid card" and how is it different than a debit card?

A prepaid card is like a debit card and carries similar consumer protections including funds being FDIC-insured.[1] The main difference is that a prepaid card is not linked to a checking account. A prepaid card does have a routing and account number so you can easily add money through direct deposit and move money with bank or PayPal transfers.[2] You can also withdraw money through an ATM[3] or selecting cash back when making purchases.

Who is a prepaid card for?

Lots of consumers turn to prepaid cards as a bank alternative to control spending. The wide range of features like bill pay[4], Payback Rewards,SM[5]and getting paid up to 2 days faster with direct deposit[6] helps them manage their money the way they need.

Other consumers use prepaid cards to complement their current set of financial tools including their traditional bank account. It gives them security[7] while shopping or traveling, a way to share funds with a secondary cardholder[8], or a way to control spending by setting aside a certain amount a month.

Why do I need this if I already have a bank account?

One main reason consumers are including a prepaid card in their portfolio of financial tools is that it is not connected to other financial accounts. A prepaid card is funded by money that you load to the card. If the card is lost or stolen not only might your money be safe with Visa Zero Liability[7], but your exposure is limited to the funds on the prepaid card. A prepaid card is a great option when making purchases around town, while traveling, or online.

How does it work?

You "load" or deposit money onto your card, then access that money directly by making online or in-person purchases, paying bills[4], or withdrawing cash at an ATM[3]. Loading money is easy and can be done several ways, including direct deposit, transferring money from a bank or PayPal account[2], loading a check using the mobile app[9], or adding cash at one of the more than 130,000 NetSpend Reload Network locations.[10]

After you add money, then use it everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. It's that simple. There's no credit check[11] or minimum balance.

How do you add money?

The easiest way to load money is with Direct Deposit. Have some or all of your payroll or government benefits loaded automatically to your card, and you'll get paid up to 2 days faster.[6] You can also load paper checks with Mobile Check Load[9], transfer money from a bank account[2], or add money at one of the 130,000+ convenient reload locations in the NetSpend Reload Network.[10]

Is my money FDIC-insured?

Yes, upon successful activation and registration of the Card Account, funds are FDIC-insured through the card issuer.[1]

How can I get paid up to 2 days faster?

One of the benefits of enrolling in Direct Deposit is receiving your funds faster, which is based on comparison of the card issuer's immediate availability policy versus the typical banking practice of only posting funds after settlement. Direct Deposit and earlier availability of funds are subject to payor's support of this feature and timing of payor's funding. Check with your payor to find out when the direct deposit of funds will start.

How can I transfer money? What are the fees?
  • Bank Transfers[2]- Add money from virtually any US-issued bank account, including a checking or savings account or a bank debit card.
  • PayPal® - Use PayPal to add money to your card at no cost.
  • Between Accounts - Transfer money easily between other NRA prepaid or NetSpend Card Accounts.

We do not charge for online transfers, but there is a $4.95 fee for transfers conducted through a live Customer Service Agent. See Cardholder Agreement for details.

Will ordering a card affect my credit?

No, there's no credit check because the NRA Visa® prepaid card isn't a credit card.

Is there a minimum balance?


Are there fees?

Like most financial products, prepaid cards do include fees. We want to make sure that you aren't caught off guard when it comes to fees so we list all potential fees for your awareness.

How can I avoid some of these fees?

Some examples of how to avoid fees:

  1. 1. Avoid Domestic ATM Cash Withdrawal fees by requesting cash back during PIN purchases where available.
  2. 2. Avoid ATM or telephone balance inquiry fees by:
    • Signing up for Anytime Alerts and receiving an email or text after each transaction with your new balance.
    • Texting "BAL" to 22622 to receive your balance through a text.
    • Using the mobile app or Online Account Center to check your balance.

NetSpend does not charge for these services, but your wireless carrier may charge for messages or data.

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Upon successful activation and registration of the Card Account, funds on deposit at Republic Bank & Trust, Member FDIC, are insured up to the standard maximum deposit insurance limit. Coverage limit is subject to aggregation of all of Cardholder's funds held on deposit at Republic Bank & Trust. Fees for bank transfers are determined by the transferor's bank and may be charged to the transferor's bank account by the service provider or originating bank. No cost for online or mobile Account-to-Account transfers between NetSpend Cardholders; a $4.95 fee applies to each such transfer conducted through a NetSpend Customer Service agent. ATM owner fees may also apply. Cash withdrawals made at ATMs outside the U.S. are subject to foreign currency conversion and payment of a Foreign Transaction fee. See the Cardholder Agreement for details. Some bill payment services are subject to fees. See the Account Center for details about the range of methods offered through third-party service providers. Payback Rewards is an optional program. You may opt-out at any time by visiting your Payback Rewards Summary Page at your Online Account Center. The reward offers we choose and send to you are based on your shopping habits. NetSpend will not share any personal information about you with the merchants who sponsor offers. When you activate an offer and make a purchase with the card, the merchant will not know you are a NetSpend Payback Rewards customer, but you will become their customer. For more details about how and when you get rewarded, see the program FAQs, terms and conditions in your Online Account Center. Cash back rewards are  credited to your Card Account and are not available in the form of a check or other direct payment method. Program sponsor: NetSpend Corporation. Republic Bank & Trust Company is not affiliated in any way with the program and neither endorses nor sponsors it. Faster access to funds is based on comparison of NetSpend's immediate availability policy versus the typical banking practice of only posting funds after settlement. Direct Deposit and earlier availability of funds are subject to payor's support of this feature and timing of payor's funding. Check with your payor to find out when the direct deposit of funds will start. The Visa Zero Liability policy covers U.S.-issued cards only and does not apply to certain commercial card transactions, or any transactions not processed by Visa. Cardholder must notify issuer immediately of any unauthorized use. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please consult your issuer. Secondary cardholders have access to all funds in the Card Account but cannot make changes to certain account settings. Secondary cardholders must have their identity verified. Mobile Check Load is a service provided by First Century Bank, N.A. and Ingo Money, Inc., subject to the First Century Bank and Ingo Money Terms and Conditions, and Privacy Policy. Approval review usually takes 3 to 5 minutes but can take up to one hour. All checks are subject to approval for funding in Ingo Money's sole discretion. Fees apply for approved Money in Minutes transactions funded to your card. Unapproved checks will not be funded to your card. Ingo Money reserves the right to recover losses resulting from illegal or fraudulent use of the Ingo Money Service. Your wireless carrier may charge a fee for message and data usage. Additional transaction fees, costs, terms and conditions may be associated with the funding and use of your card. See your Cardholder Agreement for details. Fee may be assessed by reload location and may vary from location to location. IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR OPENING A CARD ACCOUNT: To help the federal government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, the USA PATRIOT Act requires all financial institutions and their third parties to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens a Card Account. What this means for you: When you open a Card Account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents. In accordance with federal regulations, until it is activated and registered, a prepaid card is subject to initial load limitations, may not be used for ATM use, international transactions, account-to-account transfers, or be reloaded. Residents of the State of Vermont are ineligible to open a Card Account.