1. John says

    Harry, a reader posted on DoC that ACH from Netspend is not allowed. I know you mentioned this as an exit strategy but it might have changed now.

    • Harry Sit says

      I will believe it when I see incoming ACH debits actually blocked versus just what a customer service rep said. The rep may have been referring to that NetSpend itself doesn’t have any way to *initiate* an ACH withdrawal, not that it won’t accept an incoming ACH debit initiated by your bank. There’s no need to exit yet. When that day comes, I will have other ways.

    • TJ says

      People have been ACH pulling out of these NetSpend accounts for years. Why expect that to change now?

  2. Anita says

    Thanks to your great advice, I now have 3 netspend, 1 Brinks and 1 Mango. I did NOT activate any of my 3 netspend premier cards when they arrived. Do I still have to jump thru the housekeeping hoops you mention here? Thanks much, Anita

  3. Khad Young says

    Still slowly working my way through all the NetSpend signups, but this is a great addition. Thanks for posting this, Harry! I wonder how long this gravy train will last. šŸ™‚

  4. kory says

    If I’m reading it correctly, the new rules only make you do the $500 transfer one time as opposed to mango which requires it monthly? Sure it’s one more hoop but a one time $500 from my payroll wouldn’t be that difficult. I would say it’s still well worth it to qualify for the 5%…….

    • Harry Sit says

      Yes, the new rules, if fully enforced, require direct deposit only one time. Whether the rules are just rules on paper or rules in practice remains to be seen.

  5. Sud says


    I referred to your initial article on NetSpend and ordered a card there using your referral link.

    Now I see this article.
    1) Do I have to wait for NetSpend card to arrive? or
    2) Just go ahead with the steps you mention in this second article?

    3) Also when do I create an online account on netspend website? Can I create now? I have to create 5 different accounts right ? (but can have same email address)

    Basically does the order matters here for the 5 cards?


    • TJ says

      You need to wait at least 24 hours between applying for new cards. You can register for online access immediately.

      You have to wait for the cards to arrive before you do anything other than register for additional accounts.

  6. MK says

    I apologize that this is a more emotional than informative comment. However, having joined the netspend-type account game in the past month or so, I was quite unprepared for the DOC comments about problems with ACH withdrawals. Even though I am pretty sure ACH withdrawals are not currently blocked based on my own research/experience, I realized that I had overestimated my risk tolerance.

    I think these accounts are still a great deal. However, for someone using these accounts for an emergency fund who is somewhat risk-averse, I think the following type of strategy may be a good one: keep 2-3 months of salary in a standard high-yield savings account with ~1% interest, and keep whatever is left (should ideally be at least 3 months) in netspend-type accounts. My logic: netspend states on their FAQ that if you call to close an account, they will mail you a check in 3-4 weeks. Assuming the check will take at least 2 weeks to get there, at the very least 2 months should be in a safer place. Just my two cents.

    • Khad Young says

      Anything could change I suppose, but I transfer funds into and *out of* my NetSpend “checking” account all the time. You just have to transfer from the savings to checking before initiating the ACH transfer from your other bank. Just thought I’d mention that in case anyone got too terribly spooked by your comment. šŸ™‚

      Caution and skepticism are healthy habits, though, especially when it comes to financial matters.

    • TJ says

      There are other ways around this if for some reason ACH pulls are blocked. You can use the NetSpend checking account to pay your bills instead of your regular checking account. I’m not considered about having access to this money.

  7. Sud says

    Thanks. I ordered my second card today and created on-line account as well.

    Just for reference for future visitors,

    1) where does it say or why to wait 24hrs before you order your next card?

    2) Also the ‘rinse and repeat’ section in the first article in this series says
    “Remember to go slowly: completely finish all steps for one account before starting another account.'”

    Instead I hope ordering the next card (after 24hrs of ordering previous card) is fine, i.e. one doesn’t have wait to receive the card, activate it, setup ACH and deposit before requesting the next card?


    • KD says

      Sud, it is not a question of where does it say this or that. This space of prepaid debit card world is notorious for bad customer service or at least slow service should anything go wrong. Opening accounts in succession may trigger fraud alerts that may freeze your access to your money. Heed to what is written as a sensible precautionary, safe, conservative way of doing things without any hassle. You can always open accounts however quickly you want, but you will bear the fall out of that greed.

    • Anita says

      Sud… I don’t know where is “says” you have to wait 24 hours but I just had this experience this week. On Wednesday, I applied for Brinks card#2. Success. On Thursday, (22 hours later), my BF (with same address) applied for HIS Brinks card#2. Failure. with message “You’ve already ordered a Brinks card. It will arrive in 7-10 days”. So, it appears that Brinks DOES keep track of all orders from a given address and WILL deny applications within the 24 hour window.

    • TJ says

      It’s not just Brinks that will block an application before the 24 hours is up, it is across all the NetSpend variants.

      The 24 hour rule is known from trial and error mentioned on various blogs/forums. Harry’s original post is obviously staying on the safe side.

      I had issues activating my 2nd Brinks card for some reason. Rather than deal with that, I actually just ordered an H-E-B card and I received the e-mail that the card is in the mail, so we’ll see what happens. I’m a little surprised that application went through….

    • Sud says

      Thanks All. Yes better to be patient than to hurry.

      What is H-E-B card? Is it similar to NetSpend/Brinks card?

  8. Rod says

    I’m doing an ACH push that will settle on Jan 26 so I will report back if it triggers the account status upgrade. Also Schwab did not let me transfer funds to netspend account, using traditional online setup (they asked for paperwork to be sent), but it worked fine with the brinks account.

    Interestingly enough the bank account I used for funding the netspend accounts did not recognized Brinks (BOFI) routing number.

    • Khad Young says

      Rod, that’s interesting. When I connected 4 NetSpend accounts to my Schwab checking account, the only problem I had was having to call to verify that I was the one setting things up on the first one. (Apparently, any sign of MetaBank is suspicious since they are a prepaid account company.) I definitely never had to deal with any dead trees. And I just set this up within the last few weeks.

      Did you perhaps connect it to your brokerage account rather than checking? I’m wondering what the difference would be.

    • Sud says

      Thanks on H-E-B details.
      I opened my 3’rd Netspend account and will open the remaining 2 Brinks as per the schedule they allow.

      Few questions

      1) What is the status upgrade you are referring to in below?
      “…Iā€™m doing an ACH push that will settle on Jan 26 so I will report back if it triggers the account status upgrade… ”

      2) I have bofa checkings, Discover savings, VG brokerage, trying to setup Ally savings (if the website recognizes my first deposit images )
      Does any of them have issues doing a ACH push to NetSpend/Brinks accounts for the first deposit of ($5005)

      Also just to confirm šŸ™‚

      3) All these are FDIC insured I suppose?

      4) H-E-B card-request-page seems same template as Netspend.
      Can one request H-E-B card as well in addition to 3 (Netspend) + 2 (Brinks) or 5 is the limit since NetSpend is the Grand-father of all these (brinks, H-E-B) accounts and 5 is the limit? Just to understand, more than anything here..

      5) I guess there is no fallout anywhere here just in case I receive the cards and just decide to not do anything at all (like do not activate, do not deposit, just throw them away etc)

    • Rod says

      Khad it wasn’t the brokerage account. I did it from my checking, in fact I was even able to confirm the 2 test deposits to link the Netspend account, but after that I got a message saying the account could not be used. When I called it wasn’t about confirming it was me triggering that ACH link, but I had to prove Schwab I owned the account at Netspend and they would required either a VOID check from the Netspend checking account, or a letter from Netspend explicitly stating I’m was the account owner.

      I called Schwab twice just in case the first customer rep had it wrong. In one of those calls they said: we can’t transfer money to that bank, our system doesn’t allow it.

      Not a big deal, but the other bank I was able to use was a pain to work with because of transfer limits, so it took me 2 months to complete 3 accounts.

    • Rod says

      Sud I’m only going to answer your questions 1 and 3 because I don’t have first hand experience with the others.

      1) You need a minimum of a one time $500 direct deposit to upgrade your regular Brinks status to some form of “Brinks preferred” status, which give you access to the Brinks Savings account. If you have an account open with Brinks check this:

      Also that is the whole reason of this blog post šŸ™‚

      3) Netspend and Brinks Savings accounts are FDIC insured. I don’t intend to use H-E-B so can’t answer on that one.

      I suggest you to read the comments to Harry’s Netspend and Mango card posts for some testimony on which accounts work and other useful info.

    • Rod says

      The $505 transfer from Schwab landed yesterday and it was considered a direct deposit, so happy savings šŸ™‚

  9. boris jursa says

    I did not get any 1099-int form from Netspend savings account and I am unable to see it online. Is anyone getting it by mail?

  10. Khad Young says

    Re: “Close Redundant Cards”

    If it helps anyone else, I had way too many NetSpend accounts to want to call in and deactivate each of the Premier cards (second cards) for each account. My wife and I each have several accounts. So when I closed the first one, I saw that I received a text message that said the card was reported stolen. I verified with the agent on the phone that reporting a card stolen is all he had done on his end to deactivate the card.

    I then went online and reported as stolen the next card that I wanted to deactivate. The wording makes it clear that you need to explicitly order a new card if you want a replacement for it. Since I still have one card on the account, that is not necessary, and everything is back to where it would have been if I had just skipped activation of the Premier cards when I received them.

    TL;DR: You can report the secondary cards as stolen online instead of calling in to do it. Much easier and faster.

  11. TJ says

    You can also send a message request online, that’s what I did, but they did make the card ‘stolen’, so it would have saved time to do it myself.

  12. TJ says

    Also, they apparently stopped sending out automatic premier cards a few weeks ago, I only received them for the first two that I set up.