Bluebird, H&R Block, Green Dot, Approved Card Top Consumer Reports List (July 30, 2013)
July 30, 2013
Because of the growing popularity of prepaid cards, Consumer Reports has, for the first time, ranked more than 25 GPR prepaid cards. Consumer Reports based its list on how much the cards cost to use; convenience, which includes availability of in-network ATMs, bill-pay features and how widely the card network brand is accepted; whether funds are protected with FDIC deposit insurance; and fee disclosures.
The highest ranked cards were Bluebird with direct deposit by American Express and Walmart, which also was a Paybefore Award winner for Best Consumer Value; Paybefore Award-winning H&R Block Emerald prepaid MasterCard; the Green Dot Bank-issued prepaid card, which was a Paybefore award winner this year for Best GPR Card Program; and the Approved Card by financial guru Suze Orman.
“Prepaid card fees have come down and a number of cards offer many of the same features you get with a bank account,” said Michelle Jun, senior attorney with Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. Jun added that “not all prepaid cards are created equal.”
Prepaid cards ranked lowest were downgraded by Consumer Reports for having what it determined were high, unavoidable fees and hard-to-find or unclear fee structures.