Frequently Asked Questions
We try to explain our services as clearly and simply as possible, but we know that financial terms can sometimes be confusing. We’ve created a list of frequently asked questions to help explain things.
Of course, if you still have a question, please contact us.
When your card arrives, simply activate it. Follow the printed activation instructions that arrive with your card.
You should receive your card approximately 7 to 10 business days after you place your order. If you do not receive your card within 10 business days, call Customer Service at 1-866-387-7363.
Fill out a quick online order form and we’ll ship you a personalized card! There’s no credit check and no upfront fees. To activate the Card Account, you will be required to provide your name, street address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to identify you. We must collect this information in accordance with The USA PATRIOT Act, a Federal law that requires all financial institutions and their third-party service providers to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens a Card Account. Residents of the State of Vermont are ineligible to open a Card Account.
Some locations may not charge a fee, but others may. Load fees vary from zero to $3.95. Find the lowest-cost NetSpend Reload Network location nearest to you.
When you have your tax refund directly deposited to your card account, you don’t have to wait for a paper check. That means you’ll get your refund faster. Bring your Routing Number and Account Number to your tax preparer, or if you’re filling out your own taxes, indicate them in the designated sections.
NetSpend gives you access to your money as soon as the funds are electronically deposited to your card account – that’s up to 2 days faster than you’d expect. Please note, your card account must be active (that is, a purchase, load, or cash withdrawal has occurred, or a balance inquiry fee was incurred over a 90-day period) and in good standing in order for electronic direct deposits to be credited to your card account. Processing of a direct deposit requires that the name associated with the direct deposit be the same as the name associated with the card account. Card load limits apply. Faster access to funds is based on comparison of traditional banking policies versus electronic direct deposit.
Any of the following:
- Social Security payments
- Pension and other regular payments
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Veterans Administration Compensation and Pension
- Railroad Retirement Benefits (RRB)
- Defense Finance and Accounting Service Payments (DFAS)
- State unemployment benefits (varies by state)
Find your routing number and account number in a number of ways.
- Log in to the Online Account Center. From the main menu, select ‘Add/Manage Money’ and then ‘Direct Deposit.’ The account information required to sign up for Direct Deposit will appear in the grey box on the right side of the screen.
- If you enrolled in Anytime AlertsTM, text DIRECT to 22622. NetSpend will text you the routing number and account number.
- Call 1-866-387-7363 and select the option for Other Services to get your Direct Deposit information.
If you don’t have a NetSpend card and would like to sign up for free Direct Deposit, your first step is to order a NetSpend card. When you receive the card in the mail, it comes with Direct Deposit sign-up instructions, including how to get the routing and account numbers.
Enrolling in Direct Deposit is easy, no matter where the deposit is coming from.
- Paychecks. All or part of your paycheck can be directly deposited to your card account. You will need to provide your employer a bank routing number (sometimes referred to as the ‘ABA Routing Number’) and your card account number. Learn how to get your bank routing number and card account number here.
- Government Benefits Checks. The NetSpend BenefitsExpress feature makes it easy to set up Direct Deposit of government benefits like Social Security, SSI, SSDI or VA compensation. Existing cardholders can log in to the Online Account Center to enroll.
- Tax Refunds. Get your Federal and State tax refunds faster than you would by mail. Just have them electronically deposited directly into your NetSpend card account.
Choose from several ways to add money to your NetSpend card:
- Direct Deposit. Direct Deposit is the easy and free way to add your paycheck or government benefits check to a NetSpend Prepaid Debit Card. Learn more
- NetSpend Reload Network Locations. There are more than 130,000 convenient locations in the U.S. where you can add money to your card account. Our Reload Center locator helps you find the lowest-cost locations nearest to you. Learn more.
- Bank Transfers. Add money from virtually any U.S.-issued bank account. If you have a checking or savings account or a bank debit card, use it to add money to your NetSpend card account. Log in to learn more.
- PayPal®. Use PayPal to add money to your card for FREE. Transferring funds to a NetSpend Prepaid Card is easy and FREE when you use PayPal. Log in to learn more.
- Transfer Money Between NetSpend Card Accounts. It’s simple to transfer money from one NetSpend card account to another. Log in to learn more.
- Tax Refunds. Tell the IRS to electronically deposit your refund directly to your NetSpend card account. Learn more.
Using Your Card Account
The easiest way to do this is to withdraw your money at an ATM. You can also request the funds be sent to you via check (mailed within 3 or 4 weeks). There is a $5.95 fee for receiving a check. To do this, call us at 1-866-930-9924, or log in to the Online Account Center to close your account.
Contact Customer Service via our toll-free number 1-866-387-7363 or quickly and easily file an online dispute.
- Log in to the Online Account Center to get started.
- From the main menu, select ‘Help’ and then ‘File a Dispute’ to start the dispute process.
- You will need your PIN to access this online service.
No. Loans or payday advance loans are not available from NetSpend. However, you can deposit loan proceeds from other companies into your NetSpend account, just like with a bank account.
Log in to the Online Account Center to transfer money between your NetSpend card account and your NetSpend National Savings account.
Transfer money from your card to family members or friends who also have NetSpend cards. The two most popular ways to do this are in the Online Account Center or by text message. Log in to the Online Account Center to learn more.
The easiest way to pay a bill immediately is to call your biller and pay over the phone using your NetSpend card number if that option is available. NetSpend also offers the MoneyGram®ExpressPayment® Service for a fee. Log in to the Account Center for more details.
You should immediately contact Customer Service via our toll-free number, 1-866-387-7363. Or, you can log in to the Online Account Center to report your card lost or stolen. From the main menu, select ‘My Account’, ‘My Prepaid Cards’ and then ‘Report Card Lost/Stolen’. You will also be able to order a new card.
Gas stations, hotels and car rental agencies frequently preauthorize a transaction, which means they place a hold on your card until they know the final amount owed. Here are some common situations when an authorization hold will apply if you use your NetSpend card.
- Using a NetSpend card to pay for gas at the pump. You choose to pay for gas at the pump using your NetSpend card. Let’s say you fill your gas tank with $35.00 worth of gas. However, a temporary authorization hold of up to $100 or more may be placed on your Card Account. Within three days, the transaction will settle for only the actual amount of the gas purchased. That means the additional funds that were being held will be released back to the card, thus making those funds ($65.00 or more, depending on the amount of the hold) available to you.
Note: you can avoid the authorization hold by paying with a NetSpend card at the cashier inside the gas station instead of paying at the pump.
- Using a NetSpend card to pay for a car rental. You can use a NetSpend card at car rental agencies that accept prepaid cards. However, they usually require a deposit of 15 percent more than the cost of renting the car. The rental agency will put an extra hold on the account for that amount of money and the hold could last for a couple of weeks. We suggest that you call the car rental agency to inquire about how much they require for a standard deposit if paying with a prepaid card and how long a typical authorization hold on a prepaid card will last.
- Using a NetSpend card to pay for a hotel room You can use a NetSpend card at select hotels that accept prepaid cards to make a room reservation. However, you should expect the hotel to place a hold on your card. The hold will cover the hotel room rate plus an additional 15 percent, and the funds will be held until the hotel settles the transaction. A typical hotel authorization hold could be released the day of checkout, or the hold could take up to several weeks to be settled and released. We suggest that you call the hotel to inquire how much a typical authorization hold is for hotel rooms if paying with a prepaid card, and how long a typical authorization hold on a prepaid card will last.
Yes, your NetSpend Card can be used anywhere Debit MasterCard or Visa debit cards are accepted – online, in stores, and over the phone.
To comply with federal regulations, there are limits affecting how much money can be loaded, withdrawn and spent by each cardholder.
The maximum amount you can spend or withdraw at a time varies by type of transaction. Use this chart to determine the limits.
|Purchase Transactions||$4,999.99 every 24 hours|
|Over-the-counter Cash Withdrawals||$4,999.99 every 24 hours|
|ATM Cash Withdrawals||$325.00 per withdrawal, $940.00 per day, up to 6 per 24 hours|
With a NetSpend Prepaid Debit Card, you can make purchases at stores, over the phone and online. Use it anywhere Debit MasterCard and Visa debit cards are accepted. Withdraw cash at ATMs worldwide. Pay bills, rent and other necessities. (Fees may apply.) Learn more.
To check your balance for free, log in to your Online Account Center, where you can see your balance, your deposits and transaction history. Or, sign up for Anytime AlertsTM to receive a text message including your card account balance, after every transaction. After you’ve signed up for Anytime Alerts, text the letters ‘BAL’ to 22622 anytime, and your account balance will be sent to your mobile phone. You can also check your balance for a $0.50 fee by calling our toll-free number 1-866-387-7363 or when making the inquiry at a participating ATM located in the U.S.