Mango Money MasterCard Prepaid Card Review

by Millie Kay G. on 2012-04-1718

This prepaid debit card is one option for people who have no or limited credit.

Mango MasterCard Prepaid Card

For some of us, dealing with a checking account and its hidden fees can be a hassle. But rather than deal with overdraft fees and waiting for checks to clear, you might want to consider using a debit card to facilitate your transactions. One such card that’s really picked up in popularity is the Mango Prepaid Debit Card (also called the Mango Money MasterCard Prepaid card).

Mango Money MasterCard Prepaid Card Review

So what’s so great about a prepaid debit card? You can load up this type of card with money, then use it at the cash register or in lieu of cash. With this card, you can make purchases at the grocery store, dine at your favorite restaurant, or order online, just like with a credit card. A Mango card can be used in a variety of places like you would your checkbook, but you aren’t required to have a bank account to use it (which is a plus for some folks). And since the Mango card is a MasterCard brand debit card, it will be accepted wherever you see the MasterCard logo.

While you can use it like a credit card, it isn’t one. Because it’s a debit card and the money for your purchases is deducted at the time of sale, you don’t have to stew over high interest rates or worry about late payments to the bank.

Here’s where these debit cards have helped out: for those people who’ve had issues with their credit, these cards have made their lives easier. Have you had bad credit in the past? If that’s the case, or if you don’t really have a credit history, you might find it hard to open a free checking account. Since the Mango card doesn’t require a credit check, it can be a helpful way to establish good money management skills.

Loading Your Mango MasterCard Prepaid Card

There’s a $5 monthly fee with the card, but you can skip the fee if you load your card with $500 each month. You have the option of signing up for free Direct Deposit with this card, so if you have your paychecks deposited in your card account, then you’ll have a chance at bypassing that monthly fee.

Besides the Direct Deposit method, you can refill your Mango card by purchasing a Green Dot MoneyPak. A MoneyPak is just another safe and convenient way to send money where it’s needed and is a way to reload your cards, add money to accounts or send money electronically. MoneyPaks are available from retailers nationwide such as Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and others and cost $4.95 or less (charges are pegged according to the amount you transport). By the same token, you can load via Western Union agents and the charge would be the same: $4.95 per transaction.

Another way to refill your Mango card is to arrange for a transfer from a linked bank account. For instance, if you have an PerkStreet Financial checking account or some other checking or savings account, it might be convenient to send money from here to your Mango card. There is no transfer fee through Mango, although your bank may charge a fee (so check this matter with them).

For those interested, here’s where to apply for the Mango Prepaid Debit Card.
Sign Up For The Mango Prepaid Debit Card

Using the Mango Card With Friends & Family

In addition, other Mango customers can send you money without paying a fee for it. This can be great for relatives who live out of state. If an aunt wanted to send you some money to treat you to dinner out on your birthday, she wouldn’t have to worry about her check getting lost in the mail. Or if you have a college student who needs extra money for textbooks, you can just load up his Mango card instead of trying to dig up his bank information.

One more way to fill up your card is by mobile phone. Using the associated YAP service, you or your friends can send each other money to your Mango accounts via text message. It’s free to receive money, to check your balance or to see transactions on your mobile. However, each time you send money via SMS, you’ll pay a $.50 fee. And here’s a good application for this tool: if you split monthly bills with family or roommates, then using a service like this can be less trouble than long check-writing sessions each month.

Sorting Out The Charges & Fees

There are some other fees involved. You’ll pay $2 each time you withdraw money from your card at an ATM. Also, expect to pay $.50 each time you check your balance at an ATM. If you need to convert currency for international transactions, you’ll pay 2%.

On the other hand, the card itself is free, there’s no activation fee, online account statements are free, and you can manage your account online at no cost, anytime you want. There’s only one fee that stands out as somewhat unnecessary — the account closure fee, which amounts to $10. Mango will cut you a check for your redeemed funds in the account, but will charge you $10 for the privilege.

How Does The Mango Prepaid Card Stand Out From The Rest?

So why has the Mango card been consistently popular as a prepaid card? Besides the card benefits we’ve described above, there are additional ways they distinguish themselves as a frontrunner in the prepaid card industry:

  • Great Customer Focus. It looks like Mango is focusing on supporting their customers and their savings habits as a priority, so they are relying on more word of mouth marketing rather than deploying their budget towards advertising. Instead, that budget is being used to develop features that can help out customers directly. These features have therefore become even more competitive and rewarding.
  • Direct Deposit Bonus. If you sign up for free direct deposit, you’ll receive a $20 bonus into your account within 90 days and after at least 2 direct deposit transactions have been performed. Note as well that your monthly transactions need to be at least $50 so that you may be eligible for the bonus.
  • Mango Virtual Card. There’s a non-physical version of the Mango card that you can use for online transactions or for any other payment process. Instead of a card, you can use a secure card account number, a security code and an expiration date to get started.
  • Savings Account. This is one benefit that is extremely attractive, as you won’t find this available with too many cards. If you’re an active Mango customer, you can open a savings account that will return you 2% APY right off the bat (touted as 15 times the industry average at this time). But even better — if you set up direct deposit, you’ll be eligible to open a savings account that can provide you up to 6% APY. This return is 45 times the current industry average. The minimum balance is only $1 and you ‘re given a maximum of 6 monthly transfers.
  • Mobile Support. If you’re one who appreciates convenience and improved security through better connectivity and mobile support provided by your financial providers, then you’ll like Mango’s mobile solutions. They’ve got a free iPhone App that you can use to view and do transactions against your account. Every transaction will also yield a text alert. Earlier in this article, we also mentioned that you can make YAP Mobile Payments through your Smartphone.
  • Investing Through GoalMine. Mango is offering its customers additional measures for growing their money. Your Mango account can be linked with the investment site called GoalMine, through which you can take advantage of financial products such as an FDIC insured savings account and bond and stock mutual funds for the small investor. You can actually transfer funds between GoalMine and Mango very easily, if you so choose.
  • Renter’s Insurance. RentSafe is another one of Mango’s affiliates. They provide renter’s insurance at affordable premiums.

The Verdict

This card is a fantastic way to get started with financial management. Whether you’ve had bad credit in the past or have no credit history at the moment or just enjoy the convenience of money management with a prepaid debit card, the Mango Money MasterCard can be a viable tool for your finances. What’s great about it is that it has payment management PLUS savings and investment features tied to the card to really emphasize the importance of good financial habits to their customer base. Compared to other cards in the debit card universe, Mango stands out by going the extra mile.

To compare Mango MasterCard to other card products, check out our Debit Cards Page.
Prepaid Debit Cards

Created April 19, 2010. Updated April 17, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Nutrition Degree April 20, 2010 at 2:32 pm

I’ve had a lot of trouble with prepaid credit cards I received as gifts. Some businesses don’t know how to process them. This card seems to be a bit different since it is more like a credit card than the Visa version which just acts like cash and has no name attached.

basicmoneytips April 21, 2010 at 3:51 am

Most of the target market for prepaid cards is the unbanked. Prepaid cards with a VISA and MasterCard logo allow the person have access to the benefits of a debit/credit card without having a checking account or credit account. The big drawback of these cards is the fees such as the monthly fees, reload fees, ATM fees, statement fees, etc.

This card does not seem to be particularly bad in the way of fees, esp if you load the $500 per month. Prepaid cards are becoming more popular to give as a gift and also to load up before you go on a trip – esp outside the USA.

ConsumerMiser April 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Thanks for the information on the Mango Card. I discourage the use of credit cards, although they are a necessary evil for building good credit. Debit cards are better, but you can still spend more than you should from your account. You may be wondering, what the heck I recommend??!? I recommend cash. Give yourself an allowance and when you are done, you are done. Its seems like the Mango Card could be used much the same way since its a prepaid card. The fees you highlight concern me a bit, so I would probably stick with cash over the Mango Card as my number strategy to control spending.

Banking Record April 23, 2010 at 6:46 am

These cards are indeed a good thing. By effectively just spending what you have you are maintaining a budget and not risking your credit rating; however, at the same time you are able to get the convenience and safety of using a credit card. I think we will continue to see reasonable growth in this area of credit cards within the banking community.

Fatima June 8, 2010 at 7:57 am

This company is a rip off! I would not suggest that you use this card. I got the card in March … that’s when all hell broken loose! I would go to the atms, twice no money has come out. Then when I called them to tell them the problem, I was told that it would take 30 days to clear up. I called on the 35th day, the freaking Supervisor had deleted my claim. She ended up having to do it all over again! Then the customer service rep, Jose. He’s is just a lazy ass. He does not do anything and chooses to tell me anything like I can’t read. I had a problem with a deposit, he told me my terms, and how my account can be closed for taking out a payday loan. My smart self went and looked up the info myself and found out he was lying. I called him back to call him on his b.s. He ended up hanging up. I recorded every phone call with them. This company is falling apart before they even really get started. I would never use this sorry card.

Send Money June 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm

The problem I’ve experienced with a prepaid credit card is when stores ask for ID when making a purchase. Obviously, there’s no name on a visa gift card, but some people don’t quite get that…

Elizabeth Ko September 20, 2010 at 9:03 am

Customer service is no good. They never call you back and are incapable of handling disputes properly!

hey October 28, 2010 at 10:44 am

Do NOT use Mango. You’ll be stuck with (not a large staff, maybe 3 or 4) people who do not understand English usually and do not have the skills to handle money professionally. It makes me wonder how this operation is approved or got started at all, frankly.

Jason Witt December 13, 2010 at 8:34 pm

That fee structure looks great – especially compared to other prepaid cards!

Grace C.D. October 4, 2011 at 8:51 am

FIND a better card — there are plenty of debit cards out there and I would suggest any other one. This company has no understanding of Fraud. Someone opened “I think” 5 cards under my name. After receiving 3 within 3-4 days of account opening I called the company. I was advised that they DO NOT have to do a Credit Check — therefore they DO NOT Check for Fraud Alerts — they just let anyone open an account. I was told they would ensure that no new accounts were opened under my name. Over a month later I received 2 new cards. Jessica & Melody in either the Customer Service or Fraud department tried to tell me that the accounts were opened over a month ago and the post office took 5 weeks to deliver the cards. They also said their systems can take 1-3 weeks — YES WEEKS to acknowledge a fraud alert to stop new accounts from being opened. How sad that with today’s technology, a company would take that long to keep FRAUD out.

Silicon Valley Blogger October 4, 2011 at 10:36 am

I notice a lot of issues brought up by customers with regards to banks and issuers and how they handle certain cases in customer service. But my experience and understanding is that this occurs in any institution or company. There are unhappy customers due to some kind of misunderstanding or some unusual case that the company’s Customer Service group is slow to resolve — perhaps because some level of investigation is needed prior to complete resolution.

But having worked at a bank’s customer service IT department in the past, I do see the hard work that these representatives do to try to address customer problems. Yes, once in a while, there may be snags, but many well-known companies (especially those with name recognition) are very particular about customer satisfaction and aim to keep that high. If you do have questions about the Mango card, I would encourage you to call them up and ask about how they handle the matters you are most concerned with (say, prior to signing up with them).

cindy March 3, 2012 at 7:37 am

Mango Money prepaid mastercard is a RIP-OFF!!! they stole 1000 dollars from me. closed my account and tell me your account is closed and therefore i have no services coming from them. I had an account with them for 2 years I referred them to all my friends (I never got the referral kick back.) they say its so easy / convenient to send money to other mango customers. they also advertise how fast you will get your tax refund check if you have it direct deposited into your mango account. so I referred all my friends, we all electronically filed our taxes and had our refunds direct deposited and because we sent money back and forth to each other Mango money decided when we had enough and closed all of our accounts and took what ever we had left in our accounts and said they sent our money back to the IRS.

The IRS has no knowledge of these funds being returned to them. The IRS also told me that if my return amount was an error they would of mailed me a letter never just removed the money from my account.

Carynne April 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm

$5 is too much for me plus I don’t have $500 a month to load, I can’t get a checking account and this seems like a okay deal. But with all debit cards it is always lots of fees and those fees are worst than having a credit card. I will just wait until my credit gets better and then get a checking account.

sara May 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

The thing about mango is that it is not a debit or a credit card. It is a prepaid money card. They do sometimes allow to go over maybe a few dollars but they also don’t charge you any fees like banks do when you overdraft. You can gain extra money too. You can’t do that if you’re just carrying cash around. I haven’t receive much interest, but hey, money is money right?

I have been using this card almost a year and let me tell you, it has been the best card that I have used. I can pay all my bills with it. The only thing is I wish they had checks. But of course then they might have more fees. More chances to overdraft. I have direct deposit and it always goes through. I have a 5 dollar fee but its always reimbursed if I make at least 500 a month. Not too hard. However I have been able to put all my money in savings the day before I’m supposed to get charged and I don’t have anything taken out. Mango is a good business. I know most people would probably not like it but it is good for younger workers, low class households, people that want to learn how to use a debit card without worrying about outrageous fees…

I’ve been around when it comes to banks and cards and I was not very responsible with my money. Or lack of money. When the money is gone on your Mango card, just like if you had cash, its gone. Except in my case I don’t have to worry about kids and my in-laws stealing my cash. Every payment is posted to the website fairly quickly. That’s why I got a card, I was sick of people stealing my cash and them saying I was crazy, that I must’ve spent it. Yea, I have nothing new… where’d you get that new outfit? Well hasn’t happened anymore. If you want to get a debit card but are scared, this is a good one.

Kevin Jones June 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

Mango money cards are terrible! The company is a scam. When you use the card it’s ok but if there is a transaction that does not belong there you have to dispute it which is ok but they never call you to follow up on the matter and when you call them they know nothing. If you email them they never respond. Terrible company to deal with. Do yourself a favor and do not sign up for a card from them!

Karen June 6, 2012 at 11:18 am

A lot of people are motivated to complain about something on a website but that doesn’t mean that their complaint is entirely valid. There are two sides to every situation so do your full research before you make a decision. If you are not sure about something, call the issuer and find out about their customer service before you sign up. Remember that only those with an axe to grind will feel motivated enough to cite their complaints. Those who are happy customers don’t normally feel as motivated to make their feelings known.

jjt034 June 19, 2012 at 6:31 am

I recently signed up for the Mango 6% direct deposit savings account but I guess the fine print did not tell you about first that you had to go thru their “Prepaid” account which hits you with a $5 monthly fee. To get the 6%, the money MUST be in the Savings account (not the prepaid) so that means I had to also create a Mango Savings Account.

I called customer service and they were nice and told me that if I direct deposit over $500 per month that the $5 fee would be waived but I would still have to log in every week and transfer the money from the Prepaid account to the Savings account to get the 6% interest because the direct deposit always goes to the prepaid account only and you do not get any interest in that account.

She also told me for people who deposit less that $500 monthly (that would be me), to avoid the fee keep your prepaid account at $0 but again, that means I must log in every week and transfer the money.

I will be trying this for the next couple of months to see if it actually works and if it does, I guess a little extra work to earn a few extra dollars a month is worth it.


David September 7, 2012 at 10:22 am

This card has worked well for me. Easy access and so far have not had to utilize the customer service number. I’ve checked a lot of other prepaid cards, and this one seems to be the easiest. Even at $5 per month service charge, is not a lot of money compared to some of the other ones… plus.. they reimburse your $5 if you deposit 500 or more a month. As for savings… yes, you need to log in and transfer the money from “checking” to “savings”. They truly give you 6 percent. Check them out. I think you’ll be glad you did.

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