This prepaid debit card is one option for people who have no or limited credit.
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).
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.
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.
Created April 19, 2010. Updated April 17, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.