Everybody likes being paid. However, when you are paid through a check, you should find a way of spending the money. For those using prepaid cards, the main issue often becomes how to deposit a personal check to a prepaid card. Loading prepaid cards can be very expensive. However, it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Thankfully, there are several free and low-cost options to load prepaid cards from personal checks. They work for all types of credit cards, including credit cards for students with no credit history. Among them, include;
How to Deposit Personal Check to Prepaid Card
1. Direct Deposit
Direct deposit is a good option for those who want to transfer money from checking account to prepaid card online. It preferable for those with payroll checks, tax refund checks, and users enjoying tax refund checks. This option is free to nearly all the prepaid cards. Users can access their funds two days earlier.
As the name suggests, direct deposit implies that you will receive the money electronically rather than through paper check. To use this option, you are required to provide an employer with:
- Benefit network
- Card routing number
- Personal account number
All these can be accessed from the prepaid card’s app or online.
Some prepaid cards such as BBVA Compass ClearSpend Visa and Walmart MoneyCard allow their clients to use direct deposits without monthly fees. This makes it a relatively free option.
2. Using a Mobile App
Most prepaid cards have mobile apps that allow users to upload their personal checks to their prepaid cards. To do this, you should;
- Endorse the check by signing it at the back and indicating that it should be for a mobile deposit just below the signature.
- Sign in to your prepaid mobile app, enter the amount you want to be checked, take a picture of both sides of the check, and upload it.
Compared to direct deposits, mobile check deposits take more time. For instance, Netspend Visa Prepaid Card takes approximately 10 days to process the transaction. However, if you need the cash urgently, you may have to part with up to 4% processing fees.
Bearing this in mind, if you frequently deposit checks or want to access the money faster, you should opt for sponsored cards such as the Chase Liquid Prepaid Card. Despite being limited to service areas, they process check deposits faster.
3. Deposit Money to Your Bank Account and Transfer to Prepaid Card
Most people using prepaid cards have a checking account. Besides, you may not want to have all the funds from the check transferred to prepaid cards. In such cases, this method is a perfect way to deposit a personal check to a prepaid card. Bank transfer is probably a simple and free option to load cash into your prepaid card. Note that this requires that users to deposit check online prepaid card.
All bank money transfers are not charged for all prepaid cards and can be done online. However, setting up the entire process can be daunting and requires that users follow some steps. Check out the following steps you can use to deposit personal check to prepaid cards through bank transfer:
- Find the Card’s account number and routing number
You should begin by getting the bank account number and routing number attached to the card. Note that all prepaid cards have varying issuing banks and card issuers. For instance, the MetaBank issues Netspend Visa, which is a member of the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).
The account numbers uniquely identify the prepaid card, which varies from the number indicated in the prepaid card’s face. On the other hand, routing numbers helps in identifying the bank that issued the prepaid card. Getting such information about your prepaid card is very simple.
For instance, with Netspend, you simply need to log into your Netspend’s account and click on the “link to add money button.” From this button dropdown menu, you will see the card’s issuing bank, routing number, and account number of your prepaid card all there.
- Add Prepaid Card to Your Bank Account
To transfer money from your bank to another account, you have to set up another external account, which is different from your bank. This process can vary from one bank to another, but the setup steps remain the same. Standard procedures require users to log in to their bank accounts, navigate to the transfer money option, and fill in the “set up external account” option.
Use the bank number, account number, and the prepaid card’s routing number to create the external account. If you find problems setting this up, you can contact your bank to help you with the process.
- Test Deposits
Before transferring money to your prepaid cards, all banks require that users verify their accounts by making small test deposits. This is to ascertain that the external account has been correctly linked, and funds can be received from your bank account to the prepaid account. If the test deposits reflect successfully, you should transfer money without any problem.
- Transfer Money
You should be in a position to send funds from your bank account to prepaid card if you’ve done everything mentioned above correctly. Once set, log in to your account from your service provider’s website, enter the much you want to deposit, account you are transferring money from and your prepaid account. The entire process generally takes one day.
4. Use a Reload Location
Those using prepaid debit cards can walk into any reload location where they can use their prepaid debit cards with a mobile deposit to load funds. Unlike other methods mentioned above, this option has a load fee. However, it is better to pay the fee once than having to pay to check cashing fee plus an additional fee to deposit cash into the prepaid card.
A good example is the Walmart MoneyCard that offers a free cash load for those using Walmart’s check-cashing services. As for the costs, check cashing funds less than $100 coasts $3 and $6 for large amounts. If you are using other prepaid cards such as the Netspend system, which includes the Netspend Visa Prepaid Card, Brink’s Prepaid MasterCard or the PayPal Prepaid MasterCard, there are thousands of reload locations across the country where you can load checks. Reload fees cost between $2 to $5.
5. Ingo Money App
If you are using a prepaid card that doesn’t have the mobile check deposit option in its app, you can use the Ingo Money App to load your personal check into your prepaid card. As you may know, Ingo money app can be used to load most prepaid cards. From the app, you can deposit your personal check for free if you want the funds to be processed within 10 days.
However, if you have urgent pending issues and want to access your money faster, there are convenient options, but with fees involved. For instance, with payroll and government checks, you can get your funds in minutes at a 2% charge rate. Ingo also charges 5% for other accepted checks with a minimum flat rate fee of $5 for every check.
If you prefer Ingo as your full-time check cashing option, you can apply to be a Gold member and enjoy slightly reduced fees. Ingo also provides interesting offers such as a 1% fee for government and payroll checks and 4% for other checks on users who deposit more than six checks on rapid processing mode within 90 days.
Honestly, this app’s rapid processing option is quite pricey, especially for those who check out small amounts or personal checks. Therefore, if you aren’t in a hurry and can wait for 10 days for processing, it can be a low-cost cash-checking option. Note that Ingo money app is available on both Android and iOS smartphones.
6. Cash the Check and Then Load the Cash
Out of all the options on how you can deposit personal checks to prepaid cards, this is probably the most expensive option. The reason being that transaction fees will hit you twice. You will first inquire costs when cashing the check then pay for the loading fees when loading cash in your prepaid card.
Most retail stores, including Walmart, Kmart, and gas stations often cash checks with rates ranging from $1 to $10. This depends on the size of the check and store location. Using check-cashing stores is even worse with their fees being a specific percentage of the check amount, which typically ranges from 5% to 7%.
After cashing out the check, you will need to find cash reload store to load cash into your prepaid card. Fees at several locations range between 3$ to 5$ for every transaction. Most reload centers also take checks. Therefore, you can opt to skip the cashing fee and load the check directly to avoid these double fees. Walmart Money Card is the only exception as it charges $3 to cash a check and waives on prepaid card reload fees.
A Concluding Note
Opting for direct deposits to your prepaid cards is much better and an easier way of accessing your funds compared to taking checks. However, if direct deposit isn’t available and has no time to waste, visit any reload prepaid card locations to load funds from your personal check for some fee. The options outlined above can help you deposit your personal check to your prepaid cards with ease.