American Express Prepaid Card Review

American Express Prepaid Card Review August 10, 2012

American Express has been around forever when it comes to credit cards.  While they’re known for their credit business, they’re actually one of the best prepaid card providers as well.

If you’re not familiar with the American Express Prepaid card, read our review below.  Keep in mind that American express is giving away a $25 gift card when you load $200 on a prepaid card.  There are no fees, no tricks, no gimmicks, just a cool $25 gift card. But the offer ends August 31…so you’ll need to get on it quick.) Here’s our take on the American Express Prepaid card.

What are the Benefits of the American Express Prepaid Card

The American Express Prepaid card is the best prepaid card out there.  Here’s why: They’re currently offering a $25 gift card when you fill a card with $200.  That’s a 12.5% return on your investment!  Besides that, it’s just a smart way to buy things when you’re on a vacation, short trip, employee gift cards, or if you want your kids to have enough money for a trip.

  • No overdraft fees – American Express makes it impossible to overdraft the card.
  • Funds are replaceable if Card is lost or stolen.
  • Online account management and alerts.
  • One free ATM withdrawal per month. (After your first free ATM withdrawal, there is a $2 fee for subsequent ATM withdrawals that month.)
  • You can use it anywhere American Express is accepted.

Is a Prepaid Card Safer than Cash?

Let’s say you’re on a trip and budgeted for $400 to spend on meals.  If you do not want to use a credit card, what are your option?  Cash, debit card, and a prepaid card.  So what happens if you lose your wallet carrying your cash, debit card or prepaid card.  Here’s what could happen:

Cash: Say adios. If you drop your crisp $100 bills on the ground, there’s no way to get it back.  It’s gone.

Debit Card: Lose your debit card and you’ll have a big hassle on your hands.  You’ll need to contact your bank, cancel the card, and get a new card reissued.  Of course, you’ll have to contact every service that auto debits your card as well.  Very annoying!

PrePaid Card: If your American Express Prepaid card is lost or stolen, your funds are replaced.  You won’t be held liable for fraudulent charges either.  Simply contact American Express and they’ll reissue a card immediately.

Open An American Express Prepaid Card: Get a free $25 gift card!

How does a Prepaid Card Work?

The American Express Prepaid card is simple. All you do is load, spend, repeat.

Load your card by adding money online, by the phone, direct deposit, from a bank account or with cash. (Maximum monthly load amount: $2,500).

Spend your money at millions of places worldwide: stores, online, and ATMs.

american express prepaid

Repeat the simple process and access your account balance and transaction history online.

What About the Fees?

It’s stupid to have fees on Prepaid cards – if you see one that has a fee RUN!

The American Express Prepaid Card has:

  • NO ANNUAL FEES
  • NO MONTHLY FEES
  • NO CUSTOMER SERVICE FEES
  • NO CREDIT CHECKS OR OVERDRAFT FEES
  • NO TRANSACTION FEE

Again, the only time you’ll see a fee is if you make a second ATM withdrawal.  That fee is $2 – but you get one free ATM withdrawal per month.

Other Perks to the AMEX Prepaid Card

Purchase Protection: If you buy something with the card and it is accidentally damaged within 90 days, Purchase Protection will reimburse you for the purchase!

Fraud Protection: You won’t be liable for any fraudulent charges if your card is lost or stolen.  Many debt cards will protect you up to $50…American Express protects you 100%.

Roadside Assistance: Just like American Express credit card holders, you’ll get roadside assistance.  A nice perk for having the prepaid card.

Is there a Catch to the American Express Prepaid Card?  There’s always a catch, right?

If you’re not familiar with how credit card merchants like American Express make their money, you should know that they are making a small percentage from the transaction you make at every retail store you shop at. You don’t see it, but the retail store (like Walmart, Target, etc) pays American Express a small fee for using their service.

So, there’s no ‘catch’ – American Express is still making a small amount of money from each transaction just like they would for credit cards.  You and I don’t see it – only the retailers who pay a merchant fee to accept credit cards.  Make sense?

Do I Really Need a Prepaid Card?

Are you going on a vacation soon?  Do you want your kid walking around with crisp $20 bills in their pockets on their band trip?  Are you trying to find a safe way to give your employees a Christmas bonus?  Then a prepaid card makes sense.

No fees, no maintenance, no overdraft fees, great customer service and a $25 gift card.  American Express allows each family to get up to 3 gift cards so you could open a prepaid card for you, your spouse and the kids and clear a cool $75.


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  • Melody

    Great post, i’ll consider using this card when traveling over seas. My bank currently charges a fee and this sounds like a good option.