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American Express Prepaid Debit Card Now Allows Direct Deposit

The American Express Prepaid Card hit the market in 2011 and garnered a great deal of attention since it had a very low fee structure compared to competing prepaid debit cards. Unfortunately, the card offer was quickly criticized by a lot of consumers as well because it lacked a key component— the ability to direct deposit paychecks onto the card. For consumers without bank accounts who might have been interested in the American Express Prepaid Card because of its low fee structure, the inability to set up direct deposit from their employers was often a total deal killer. Amex's $200 limit on ATM cash withdrawals wan't that appealing to potential cardholders either.

However, American Express listened closely to consumer demand over the past year and recently announced the following changes, which really bring the American Express Prepaid Card to the top of its class.

New Features for the Amex Prepaid Debit Card

  • Direct deposit: You can now load up to $5,000 each month from your paycheck via direct deposit.
  • Higher ATM Withdrawal Limits: Cardholders can now withdraw up to $400 cash per day, and there is no fee from American Express for the first monthly ATM cash withdrawal.

Problem solved. These changes now make this the best prepaid debit card out there for those that want to use direct deposit to load their paychecks onto the card. Most competing prepaid debit cards have a long list of fees that cardholders need to know and understand before applying. There are usually setup fees, annual or monthly fees, foreign transaction fees, and even purchase fees. Navigating all the fees and simply trying to figure out how much it will cost you each month to use the card can be quite confusing. On the other hand, the American Express Prepaid Card has just one fee you need to be concerned about. After your first ATM cash withdrawal, which is free, Amex will then charge you $2 per ATM cash withdrawal. That's in addition to whatever surcharge the ATM owner levies. Of course, savvy cardholders can easily avoid the $2 ATM fees by simply using their debit card to get cash back at a drugstore or a grocery store. That means you can load the card for free via direct deposit, withdrawal cash for free, and make purchases for free too. What a great deal for a prepaid debit card! So if you're searching for a new prepaid card that won't break the bank with hidden fees, check out our full review of the American Express Prepaid Card and consider applying today.

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Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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