More people are using prepaid debit cards than ever before.
There are a number of benefits to use these; not only can you qualify for one even if you have poor credit, but prepaid cards aren't linked to a bank account.
In a world with an increasing amount of cybercrime, the ability to shop online without worrying about losing access to your own bank account cannot be overstated.
Cybercrime is estimated to result in more than $2 trillion in losses by 2019
If you cannot qualify for a credit card, are worried about having your identity stolen online, or simply want a card with a set amount of cash to spend to keep yourself in check, the Rush Prepaid Debit Card might be the right choice for you.
Here's our review.
RushCard was founded in 2003 as a way to help consumers.
Many people lack checking accounts, but RushCard gives them a way, to receive direct deposits and to make payments.
Rush offers multiple account management tools that allow you to budget your money, track your spending and a number of other features.
What is a prepaid debit card?
A prepaid debit card is a card that functions exactly like a normal debit card.
The major difference is that you pre-load it with cash; once that amount runs out, you'll need to reload it before you can continue using the card.
Prepaid debit cards are not linked to bank accounts, which make them safer to use when shopping online because no one can gain access to your account via the card.
Although prepaid cards once lacked many consumer protections, they are now subject to the same protections as normal debit cards.
Cards and Plans
RushCard offers several different cards to choose from, but the only difference is their designs and the initial fee you pay.
- Carbon RushCard – fee of $3.95
- Gloss RushCard – fee of $3.95
- Gold RushCard – fee of $3.95
- Midnight RushCard – fee of $3.95
- Sequin KLS RushCard – fee of $9.95
There are also two different usage plans you can choose from.
Neither require a minimum balance to use, and there is no cost to change your plan.
The Unlimited Plan provides unlimited signature and PIN purchases, but carries a $5.95 monthly fee if enrolled and using direct deposit or a $7.95 monthly fee without direct deposit.
The Pay as You Go Plan charges a $1.00 fee per purchase, up to $10 per calendar month, but carries no monthly fee.
RushCard was founded in 2003 by Russell Simmons, but was sold in 2017 to Green Dot.
Green Dot is one of the largest issuers of prepaid Visa and MasterCards in the United States.
The company was founded in 1999 and carries a Better Business Bureau rating of A, as well as 3.5 out of 5 stars from consumers.
Many RushCard customers have checking accounts and standard debit cards, but use RushCard as a complement to their existing accounts.
The additional card allows them to set aside a specific amount of money each month for specific purposes, such as paying bills or buying groceries.
RushCard allows cardholders to budget their money be physically separating it, which in turn helps avoid overspending.
Rates and Fees
One of the complaints customers have about RushCard is the number of fees associated with using the card.
Here is a full breakdown of the charges you might face as a cardholder:
Unlike many prepaid cards, the RushCard does not charge a fee for direct deposit or to add cash to the card under either of its plans.
The RushCard charges no interest, as it doesn't generate any income for cardholders.
There are no annual fees to use this card.
However, there is a one-time card fee of anywhere from $3.95 to $9.95 when you first fund the card.
Foreign Transaction Fees
The foreign transaction fees are one of the weak points of using the RushCard.
If you have the unlimited plan, there is no fee for purchasing outside the United States; however, the Pay As You Go Plan charges you $2 per purchase.
You'll also be charged a $1 fee each time you check your balance at an international ATM, and another $2.50 should you withdraw money from an international ATM.
There is also a 3% currency conversion fee and a $2.50 fee for over-the-counter cash withdrawals.
Here's where it gets tricky. The RushCard has a number of fees that don't fall into any of these other categories but need to be defined nonetheless.
Your first replacement card is free, but if you request a second card within a 12-month period, you're charged $4.95 per card.
If you request an expedited replacement card, there is an additional $30 fee tacked on top.
If you request expedited cash, there is also a $30 fee.
The Unlimited Plan has no maintenance fee, but the Pay As You Go Plan charges $1.95 per month after 90 consecutive days of no transactions.
There is also a $1 fee for each paper statement you request.
You'll be charged $0.50 each time you see an out of network ATM for a balance inquiry.
You're also charged $2.50 for out-of-network or over-the-counter withdrawals.
If you transfer funds from one card to another, you'll pay $0.99 per transfer.
Terms and Conditions
Using the RushCard as a payment method is relatively straightforward.
There are, however, a few terms and conditions that must be obeyed.
As a cardholder, you agree to liability for any payments not made on time or in the correct amount.
You also agree to accept liability if you do not have enough funds available to complete a transaction, if a merchant refuses to accept the card, if an ATM does not have enough cash to complete a withdrawal, etc.
Although customers tend to be satisfied overall with RushCard, you should be aware that the terms and conditions may change at any time.
If a change does occur that requires the company notify you, you'll receive notification of the change ahead of the effective date.
The RushCard is not a credit card, so it does not have a ‘credit limit.'
However, there are limits to how much money you can load onto the card:
- $1,000 cash load per 24-hour period
- $2,000 total in transfers per 24-hour period to your own personal cards
- $5,000 total in transfers per month to your own personal cards
- $2,000 total per month for card-to-card transfers to any one RushCard holder
- $5,000 per transaction for ACH/direct deposit via employer-issued payroll
- $2,000 per transaction for ACH via paypal, government benefits, or child support
- $9,999 per ACH tax refund
The maximum combined amount of money you can load onto your RushCard is $9,999.
This limit cannot be increased; if you require more storage space, you will need to purchase another card.
The RushCard does not have a reward program in the same sense that a credit card does, but it does have a referral program that allows you to earn up to $600 per year.
If you refer someone to RushCard and they sign up, both you and your referred will receive $30 after they set their PIN and fund their account.
You can refer up to 20 friends per calendar year.
In addition to the referral program, RushCard qualifies for Visa savings at more than 90 retailers.
One of the standout aspects of RushCard is the application process.
Not only is there no credit check or minimum balance, but applying is easy.
All you need to do is enter your first and last name, address, social security number, email address, date of birth, and mobile phone number.
You will be prompted to choose a card style that suits you, as well as the plan you're most interested in.
Once you've done this, agree and submit to the terms and your card will be on its way.
There is no pre-approval.
The RushCard is available to everyone.
Managing Your Online Account
Once you've received your card, you can go to the RushCard website to activate it.
Once you've registered for access, you can go to your online account and enter all the relevant information related to your money management, direct deposits, account security, and more.
Once you apply for your RushCard, you can expect it to arrive within five to seven business days.
If you're curious about the status of your application, you can check it here.
Though there are multiple fees on the RushCard, they are easy to pay.
In fact, they come out automatically when you fund your card the first time and every subsequent time via direct deposit.
If you lack the funds to make your monthly payment, they will stack up until you fund the card again and clear the balance.
Pros and Cons
The RushCard is one of the most sought after prepaid cards on the market, but that doesn't mean it's perfect – there are a few areas where the card can be improved.
Check out the pros and cons:
- You can qualify for a RushCard despite poor bank or credit history.
- You're able to transfer money between RushCards for free.
- Once deposited, money can be accessed two days earlier than other institutions.
- The RushCard carries a lot of fees.
- Loading the card via a third party carries even more fees.
- If you don't use your card for 90 consecutive days, you'll face maintenance fees.
- Your fees may be higher depending on the plan you use, which railroads customers into choosing a specific plan in order to save money.
Check out what other users had to say about the RushCard:
"I've been a Rushcard holder since 2012 and I've had good experience with it. I am able to pay a day before everyone else. Paying bills with it is a simple process. I also use my card for direct deposits. The team at Rushcard were able to help me replace cards and stop overpayments. I like to have it. It's convenient and it helps in purchasing."
– Nikki (Consumer Affairs)
"I have been with RushCard for nearly almost 10 years now. The time has come where RushCard is very slack in their security process. RushCard allow someone to call in and pretend to be myself and change all of my passwords, my email address, my telephone number then once that was done, I was totally locked out of my own account and the person had total control of my account. Once the person had control of my account the person was able to do multiple card transactions for close to $1,200."
– Lawrence (Consumer Affairs)
RushCard had overwhelmingly positive customer reviews. The vast majority of customers were satisfied with the card; many had been cardholders for many years.
The main complaints that arose dealt with holds being placed on funds.
More than one reviewer complained that their money had been locked for weeks while an issue (usually unnamed) was sorted out.
Another common complaint was card security.
Many customers complained that RushCard's security processes were lax compared to what they once were.
You should also be aware that a class action lawsuit was levelled against RushCard on October 23, 2015 due to a service disruption that cost customers hundreds of dollars.
However, the situation has since been resolved.
The owner of the company, Russell Simmons, reportedly used part of his own fortune to compensate cardholders for their troubles.
These are the most commonly asked questions about RushCard:
- What is RushGoals?
Taken from RushCard.com: "RushGoals is a program that lets you set savings goals for special purchases and put money in a dedicated goals account."
- Is RushCard is a safe place to store my money?
Although no banking service is totally without risk, RushCard has a long history of ensuring its customers' money is safe.
- Is there any reward program?
While RushCard does not have a reward program, it does have a referral program that allows cardholders to earn up to $600 per year for referring friends.
- Do I need to have a bank account to get the credit card?
RushCard is not a credit card, and you do not need a bank account in order to qualify.
- How can I cancel my card?
In order to cancel your agreement with RushCard, all you need to do is return the card to the company.
- What can I use my RushCard credit card for?
RushCard is not a credit card. RushCard is a prepaid debit card that can be used for all purposes you might use a standard debit card for.
- Where can I load my card?
You can load your card via PayPal, by balance transfer from another RushCard, with direct deposit, or you can also find a WesternUnion or MoneyGram near you—although additional fees apply when loading your card through a third party service.
- Can someone else add money onto my card?
Although someone else may transfer funds to you through RushCard's card-to-card transfer service, they cannot load funds directly onto the card.
- Where and what stores can I use my RushCard credit card?
RushCard is not a credit card. However, it may be used like a debit card at any stores that accept Visa.
- Can I get a refund on the credit card?
Merchants are able to issue refunds for goods and services directly to your RushCard.
- How can I check my RushCard credit card balance?
RushCard is not a credit card. You may check your balance at any ATM, although fees may apply if it is outside of the network. You can also check your balance online or on the mobile app.
- Can I, if so, how do I withdraw money from RushCard credit card?
RushCard is not a credit card. It is a pre-paid debit card. You can withdraw funds from it at any ATM, although fees apply if funds are withdrawn outside of the network.
- Can I get cash advance and are there any related fees?
RushCard is a prepaid debit card. Withdrawing funds happens like it would from a bank-issued debit card.
- Can I pay for my RushCard credit card with a gift, a different credit card? Or PayPal?
RushCard is not a credit card. All payments for fees are deducted from the loads placed onto the card.
- Can I use my RushCard credit card without the card?
RushCard is not a credit card. You will need the card with you in order to use it. It does not work with services like Apple Pay.
- Can I add an authorized user to RushCard credit card?
RushCard is not a credit card, nor can you add an authorized user. However, friends and family can apply for their own RushCard.
- Are there any upgrades on RushCard credit card?
RushCard is not a credit card. As a prepaid debit card, it cannot be upgraded, although you can easily obtain a new card.
- How soon can I use my RushCard credit card once I receive it?
RushCard is not a credit card. You can begin using the card right away once it has been activated.
- How to contact RushCard credit card services?
RushCard is not a credit card. If you have any difficulties with your card, contact 866-787-4227 to reach the toll-free member services number.
- How to report stolen RushCard credit card?
RushCard is not a credit card. If your card is stolen, contact 866-787-4227 to reach the toll-free member services number.
- Can I use my card online?
Yes, RushCard can be used online.
- What credit score do I need to get approval?
No credit check is performed, so no credit score is needed.
- What credit score do I have to maintain so my account is not closed?
There is no credit score requirement to maintain an open account.
- Will my credit score drop when my account gets closed?
No. RushCard is a prepaid debit card.
- Does RushCard credit card report to credit bureaus?
No. RushCard does not report to any credit bureaus.
- Can I build my credit with the RushCard credit card?
No. RushCard does not report to any credit bureaus.
- Is there an expiry date on the card?
Yes, but you will automatically receive a new RushCard in the mail two to three weeks before your current card expires.
- Is there a credit insurance program and how will it cover me if I lose my job?
RushCard is not a credit card and does not have a credit insurance program.
- How long does it take to receive the card once I have been approved for it?
Once you have been approved, your RushCard will arrive within five to seven business days.
RushCard is a valid choice for anyone that wants to budget their money in an easy way.
It's also great for someone with damaged credit.
If your credit is low enough that you're unable to open a bank account (or unable to open one without crippling interest rates), RushCard provides a way to deposit your paychecks and tax refunds that is safer than carrying around large quantities of cash.
It can be a great tool for teaching a teenager the value of a debit card without endangering a bank account.
It's also a good option for parents to give to a teenager working at a summer job to save money for a car or other major purchase; the budgeting tools will allow your child to learn how to set aside money and make it easy for you to manage.
As far as prepaid cards go, the RushCard is a solid option, though cardholders should beware of the associated fees — particularly if traveling abroad.