Review: American Express Prepaid Card

BY: - 30 Sep '11 | Reviews

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been conducting a real life review of the American Express prepaid card. I wrote an introduction post about how I planned to use it and also wrote about my first-hand experience using it at an Earth, Wind & Fire concert as well.

First things first, I think this is an excellent way to manage your budget and put spending limits in place because unlike a credit card you can’t spend what you don’t have. I also mentioned in my first post that this was be spectacular for you to use with your kids in college or even high school. You can just transfer any funds that you want them to have directly to the card. All of this can be done via the web so if you’re someone like me who never carries cash around you can skip a trip to the local ATM.

I also like using the card online and knowing that if I were to fall victim to identity theft the thieves won’t have access to my entire line of credit.   I could really see myself using this card almost exclusively for my online purchases and also when we go out of town on trips.

There are a few other really nice features as well. If your card gets lost or stolen you have purchase protection and your money will be reimbursed for up to 90 days. With the card also comes roadside assistance and best of all there are no monthly or annual fees!

My only warning is that the entire process of ordering the card, linking it to an account and transferring funds over can take between 1-2 business weeks so if you know that you’ll need the card for something like an upcoming trip or event don’t wait until the last minute.   Start the process as soon as possible by going to www.americanexpress.com/prepaid.

Below are some of the benefits of using the American Express Prepaid card from their website.

No overspending, no overdraft fees

It’s prepaid, so you can only spend what’s preloaded on the Card. That means there’s no risk of overdraft fees or impacting your credit history.

Protection if the Card is lost or stolen

Feel safe knowing that if the Card is lost or stolen you won’t be responsible for fraudulent charges and American Express will replace the funds.

It’s easy to manage the Card online

With an online account, you can check your balance, view transaction history, add funds to the Card, set up automatic reloads and sign up for alerts.

Get up to three Cards

Because you can order up to three Cards, you have the choice of giving them to the people you choose or keeping one for yourself. So you have the freedom to manage your own spending or use it to provide money to the other people in your life.

World-class 24-hour Customer Service

The American Express Prepaid Card comes with world-class Customer Service. Simply call us anytime, 24 hours a day at 1-866-207-7970.

Purchase Protection 4

If an eligible item purchased with the Card is accidentally damaged, or is stolen, Purchase Protection can reimburse you””up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

American Express Selects ®

As an American Express Prepaid Cardmember, you have access to hundreds of discounts and special offers. Just log into your account to access American Express Selects.

Roadside Assistance

In the event of car trouble, you have access to Roadside Assistance 5 . Just call us and we’ll send help.

Global Assist ®Services

If you’re traveling more than 100 miles from home and need emergency assistance, you are backed by Global Assist 6 . We can direct you to English-speaking medical and legal professionals, help with lost passports, and much more.

Bank Account

Simply enter your account information online to reload whenever you choose, but note, for your protection, it will take 3-5 business days to verify and load the funds.

Cash

Just purchase a MoneyPak ® at a local retailer for up to $500″”they’re available at over 50,000 locations“”and then you can add the funds online or by phone.

Limited time offer: add cash to the American Express Prepaid Card with a MoneyPak and American Express will refund the purchase price of the first MoneyPak you use to load the American Express Prepaid Card. 7

The American Express Prepaid Card has no recurring fees. Unlike many other prepaid cards, you keep more of your money in your wallet””where it belongs.

NO ANNUAL FEES
NO MONTHLY FEES
NO CUSTOMER SERVICE FEES
NO CREDIT CHECKS OR OVERDRAFT FEES
NO TRANSACTION FEES
ONE FREE ATM WITHDRAWAL MONTHLY
Thereafter, a fee of $2.00 per withdrawal is assessed against the Card balance. Please note: ATM owners/operators may also charge their own fees for each withdrawal.

 Dsiclaimer:I was provided tickets to the concert and money to load onto the prepaid card for the purpose of using the card in a real life scenario.

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2197 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

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7 WordPress comments on “Review: American Express Prepaid Card

  1. PatriciaW

    The only thing you don’t mention is that if one is planning to use this for travel, they should be aware of the max load amounts allowed.   This may not be the right card to use if planning a vacation wherein you need more than the max on your card at one time.   Not sure but I think the max is $2k or maybe $2500.

    Reply
  2. Caressa

    The customer service is horrible. I have a story for u about this card. I ordered one on September 13th. As u can guess the anticipation was eating me alive. It finally arrived within 8 days. It was a gorgeous shade of blue. My aunt used her account to transfer 530 bucks to me as a present. Now for some reason on October 18th the card was suspended. I panicked for good reason…and called almost right away. Now here is where it gets sad. I talked to one guy who took 10 minutes to confirm my account was suspended. He wasnt too bad. Even transfered me to the chick responsible. Daphne lives up to her persona from scooby doo. She claims my ain’t bank called and said the card was fraudulent. Really? My bank called? Okay Daphne I will indulge u. I conferenced her with a representative, the owner of the bank account and myself. The bank confirmed they didn’t call her, that is a breach of privacy and would have called my aunt to inquire. Then she said I called and said the card wasn’t ordered by me. I almost cried at that part. U r telling me someone got ahold of my aunts bank account, my social security number, address, date of birth, cell number and id card. Yes Daphne the odds of that r astounding. I ask can I reactivate the card. She said no that is not possible. My aunt asked about her money…hell 530 I would ask 2. Great Daphne said sorry no record. She failed to mention it takes a while to show up. No biggie. I called back because I wanted to see if I can order a new card and they can transfer the funds. She said yes. Really that’s SUPER. The funds show up today and I asked to transfer the funds. Can u imagine the surprise when they said no? Trust me its like hearing Bush was elected again. Without the dirty words. But I explained that ghats agar I was told and I destroyed the old card. They transfered me to Louie…guess they hate when a customer is actually right. Now I told him what Daphne did and he promised me a call back within 30 minutes. One hour later surprise! No call back. I called and a agent said Louie was reviewing my account. I called in ask other 2 hours as the call back I was promised failed to come. Turns out he never got to reviewing my account. In a fit of anger I hung up. Bulls@@t makes my head hurt. Allergies. I go online to complain and I come access the faq and guess what? I as the card purchaser could have reactivated the card. Right there…i snapped. I called with a few choice words and confronted them with the lies I was told. For once they admitted I was correct. Think that helps my mood? No…it just further infuriated me. Guess dear old norman sensed it and promised a call back. Now I am here, 3 hours later and no call back. Thank u AMEX. U proved to me today that u r (can’t enter these words. May lose my job)

    Reply
  3. Sherri

    I too am very displeased! I started using it a month a few weeks ago and I have had a problem with it EVERY SINGLE week since. I initially ordered to take care of small purchases for my business and to pay my gym membership dues online. I’ve had a horrible experience with the Greendot prepaid card in the past and although the Walmart Money Card was okay, it charges a $3 monthly fee. I liked the notion of using the card with the AMEX logo, as I thought it would be more reliable and there was no monthly fee.

    I first tried to load my card using the “Vanilla” card and spent about 45 minutes in the retailer trying to get the money to load on the actual card. The store clerk and I had to get on the phone with the “Vanilla” customer service, as well as AMEX and even after almost an hour, we were unsuccessful. They recommended that I try using the “MoneyPak” card instead. After finally finding another retailer that sold “MoneyPak”, I was able to get the money on my card. However I was less than thrilled about spending $4.95 on the “MoneyPak” each time I needed to reload, so I decided to link my AMEX to my bank account so that I could transfer the money directly from my account. There is no fee to reload that way but it does take 5 business days.

    Last week I initiated a reload from my bank account to my AMEX Prepaid Card to pay for my monthly gym dues, which I have set up to charge my AMEX card automatically. I waited the 5 business days and as of the 6th day (today) the money is still not on my account! I called customer service and basically he told me that there is a a technical issue and I just have to wait it out. Excuse my French but… WTF? Wait it out??? I have to wait to have my money loaded on the card while they fix some technical glitch?! That’s like an employer saying they can’t give you your paycheck for the week. In the meantime, I am being charged declined card fees each time my gym tries to take out my dues and the card declines. This is absolutely ridiculous! This brings back memories of my horrible experience with Greendot. I could have just left my money in my bank account if I would have known this was going to happen.

    The customer service number designated for this card is to a call center in overseas and let’s just say the representatives are less than competent. They read of this script and provide no REAL support at all! This 1-866 number is the only way to contact customer service (AMEX doesn’t even have an email support form or address for this card). I tell you what, when my money finally does hit… I’m pulling it off and that will be the last time I use this card!

    Bottom line… this card is just like all the others prepaid cards… UNRELIABLE and with AWFUL CUSTOMER SERVICE! AMEX wants you to believe that this card is better because it’s from American Express but it’s not. They have put no real effort put into making this card effecient, no real effort put into offering solid support and this little “technical glitch” should not be happening when it comes to people’s money. Event the prepaid website is lame (i.e. not easily navigated, you can’t download or print transaction history, etc)! They threw this card together like a bologna sandwich and slapped their logo on it. Stay away from the AMEX Prepaid Card… and all prepaid cards for that matter. From now on, I’ll just stick with my debit card from my bank!

    P.S. And as for you AMEX, my money better be on my card within the next 5 days… or there is going to be a serious problem! I am NOT the type of consumer you want to mess with.

    Reply
  4. Nader

    Mr. Tyler’s review of the AMEX prepaid card is FAR FROM THE TRUTH. I wouldnt be surprised if he works for amex or is given some kind of incentive to write such a false review. The CUSTOMER SERVICE is EXTREMELY POOR. Unlike normal amex credit card where you actually get someone in the US who speaks English, in the prepaid card department you always get someone from INDIA who you can barely understand, they DONT provide world class customer service, there so called “perks” are phony, if there are ever any fraudulent charges on your acocunt, they will NEVER reimburse you, they send you a fake affidavit after nearly a month, they claim to give u provisional credit, and they dont, the cardmember terms of agreement are a complete bunch of lies and CEO Kenneth Chenault should get off his fucking behind and quit ripping people off for his million dollar salary!

    Reply
  5. Becky

    I too have been ripped off by the card. Guess what people, they are not FDIC insured either, so your money is screwed because no one will help. They have my tax return and are holding it hostage. The IRS is used to dealing with rejections and has assured me if one was issued they would have it. I will never NEVER use american Express for anything!!!! Free is not always free.

    Reply
  6. Darlene

    I just received a card this week had my direct deposit applied. not a problem. the only thing everywhere i go or went didn’t except American express. second you cannot get cash back. not cool. I had it for one week 3 places turned me down for purchases. NO CASH BACK SUCKS BIG BIG TIME

    Reply
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