"Better Than A Bank Account"

READYdebit® Card Review
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Written by: coolrider on 2009-11-14

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coolrider's review: I have used this card for a little over two years now, and I believe them to be a great deal.  They have changed their price structure and raised the fees, however they grandfathered my account so I didn't even notice. The primary customer service number that is given goes to a company that appears to have no information other than what you can access online, but they will gladly give you the number to ReadyDebit. Once you get that number, the call is generally answered on the first ring by someone that not only can do anything you need done with the account, but WILL do it and follow up to make sure you are satisfied.

There are NO fees to overdraw the account, I have done this two or three times with gas purchases and tipping at restaurants. Also, if you have a third party attempt a transaction and it is declined, there are no fees. You don't even see the attempt in the history. If you use the online bill pay and it doesn't go through for NSF, then they simply won't pay it, and there are no fees.

As far as loading the account, they accept direct deposit plus you can make deposits with Green Dot MoneyPaks as well as Visa Link. I have direct deposit, and have never had a problem. Because I travel for a living, I love the fact I can go to almost any major store in the country and make a deposit in my account. Yes, there is a fee for it, but the funds are available in their entirety in less than two hours. That brings up another point. With tradtional banks, I have had many instances of transactions posting multiple times. This has not happened with ReadyDebit. They authorize a transaction, the funds stay pending until it clears or they give it a week or so to make sure it isn't going to clear. Also, while I haven't been low enough to notice if it is a fluke or how they do business, it appears they process transactions lowest amount first to allow the most things to go through.

On the negative side now. I have had three occasions where they are updating their system late at night and I could not access my account. This was embarressing because the card will be declined and you call in and they have no access to your account. One of these occasions I was trying to get gas on a cross country trip and couldn't get gas or a hotel for the night. This was my single worst experience with the card. 

Also, I have had ONE business in the country that declines the card due to it being prepaid. Other than that, it is accepted anywhere that takes Visa or ACH routing and account information.

When I first got the card it was for the convenience of making deposits anywhere I go, and I felt a stigma with it being a prepaid card. Now, if anyone asks I am almost bragging about it. How many people have been hit with hundreds of dollars in NSF fees because of a small error? Or a direct deposit come in an hour after scheduled bills and rack up fees on both ends? I'll take my expected $5 a month, $2.25 for ATM withdraws and ACH debits over whatever amount or reasoning a "traditional bank" decides to hit me with.

2 Comments

Comment 1 by meya
Re: Better Than A Bank Account on 2009-11-15

Very nice information! Glad you like the card, and appreciate such good information about it. I was just wondering if this card reports to all 3 CB's by it being a loadable debit card. Also, have you ever tried to use it while renting a car? If so, did the company accept the card?

When you get a chance, could you please provide your overall credit background such as scores or baddies (if any)? It would really help those who read your reviews. Thanks so much!
Comment 2 by felina
Re: Better Than A Bank Account on 2012-06-08

I had to get a pre-paid card after some problems with my bank a few years back and decided on the this Ready Debit Card after a few misses (like Gold Dot). Overall I've been a happy Ready Debit Card customer but recently some things happened that made me switch back to a bank for good.

1) I was a victim of identity theft and my ready debit account was compromised. Metabank was quick to act when I requested cancellation of the card and they sent me a new one. Although the fraudulent charges (approximately $250) were still pending... Ready Debit never stopped the payment and eventhough I submitted all the evidence they needed to show these were fraudulent charges, they gave me the run around and never returned my money.

2) The card often doesn't work late at night! I've had many experiences when I've been out at concerts or other late-night events and my card has been declined eventhough there are hundreds of dollars there to cover the costs. One time I was declined for a $6 purchase eventhough I had $800+ on the card. This has happened so often that I was forced to get another card just as a backup in the event my card was "declined". When these incidents have happened my account is completely unavailable online or via customer service.

3) You still need to have a back up card for car rentals and sometimes for hotel reservations. Because this is a debit card it often won't allow a "hold" to be placed on it which means you can only use it for hotels when you have pre-paid the full amount.

Overall I would recommend the Ready Debit Card as a backup debit card, but be aware of these shortfalls.
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