A 2010 study by the Federal Reserve found that prepaid debit cards were the fastest growing payment type in the United States. Prepaid debit use rose 21.5 percent from 2006 to 2009. Debit cards in general exceeded all other forms of electronic payment. Credit card use declined by 0.1 percent. Prepaid debit cards differ by services offered, load fees, transaction fees and the methods available to load the card.
The Rush Card is a prepaid Visa debit card. It offers a number of ways to load the card, including some methods other issuers don't offer. Rush Card accepts direct deposit of both your payroll check and your income tax check. You can load it using cash at Western Union or Moneygram. You can also purchase Green Dot MoneyPaks at retailers such as Walmart, CVS, Walgreen's, Kroger and others. In addition, you can mail a check or money order to Rush Card. Electronic load methods include transferring money from your bank account using the electronic bill pay service and transferring money from your PayPal account.
The Vision Card is also a Visa prepaid card. It doesn't have as many methods to load the card as the Rush Card, but it does allow card-to-card transfers to or from anyone with a Vision Card. This would be convenient if you had a child away at college. You can also load the card using cash at any Moneygram Express Payment, Western Union, PreCash, Visa ReadyLink or PayXone location. Vision Card also offers the GreenDot MoneyPak available at major retailers such as Walgreens, Walmart and CVS. You can make PayPal transfers or load your paycheck or government benefits directly to the card via direct deposit.
The Reach card is also a Visa prepaid debit card. It allows you to deposit your paycheck on the card and allows for PayPal transfers as a method to load the card. It, too, offers Green Dot MoneyPak at thousands of retailers nationwide including Winn Dixie, Rite Aid, Ralph's, Longs Drugs, Fred Meyer K-Mart and others. You can also wire cash to your card using Western Union, Moneygram ExpressPayment, Visa ReadyLink or Ace Cash Express.
The Achieve Card is a prepaid MasterCard debit card. You can use direct deposit to load your card or you can use the GreenDot MoneyPak available at 50,000 retailers nationwide. Though it doesn't have as many ways to load the card, it does offer a bill payment service that allows you to use your card number to pay your bills over the phone, You can also schedule payments to be sent as a check to vendors that won't accept a debit card as a payment method.