New Debit Card You Can Order Free Online and Load With a Credit Card

There’s a discussion on Flyertalk about several prepaid debit products that you can buy online (free, with free shipping) and that you can then load online with a credit card.

They’re branded cards issued by Metabank for Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, Goodwill Delaware, and others. (These groups don’t manage the cards, they just get royalty income for use of their name.)

You can load up to $2500 per day onto the card and store up to $10,000 at a time.

Some key fees:

  • $3.95 monthly service fee, waived when you load $800 or more to the card each month
  • $2.95 for loading the card by credit card
  • $2.50 ATM cash withdrawal fee (in addition to fees charged by an out of network ATM)
  • $0.50 Bill pay fee

The card terms seem to suggest you can load a maximum of $250 at a time with a credit card, making it uneconomic and significant effort for each $2.95 fee. However reports are that in fact $2500 loads are permitted. So $2500 charged to your card for $2.95, once per week per card.

Issues to consider:

  • While they do ask your social security number when you order, they don’t pull your credit.

  • It’s probably the case that Chase, Barclays, and Bank of America will treat these loads as purchases rather than cash advances. I wouldn’t be surprised if Citibank treated them as a cash advance (which means you don’t earn points, but do pay interest). Regardless of the bank it’s always a good idea where possible to ask to have your cash advance limit set to zero — you’d rather have a transaction that’s going to process as a cash advance declined.

  • The cards are issued by Metabank. Expect that after a few loads and unloads they may decide to shut down the account — loading up a lot of money that you use right away is both not the kind of customer they’re looking for and also something that raises flags. You should never use more money than you can ‘float’ on cards like this because if you get shut down it may take some time to receive your money back.

I’ve ordered some cards and will be trying them out. The most common ways to use these among readers will likely be the purchase of money orders, though I’ll be interested to look into the billpay feature once I have a card in hand to register.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Sorry to say, the OP in FT thread shared the deal after he has “killed” it (his words). I can confirm this gig worked up to 2500 per load for 2.95 last year. The 2500 load was still working early January before I went on a trip and when I came back and tried to load on the 22nd, it would only allow 250 per load 🙁 I tried a couple of times, different days to test if it was a glitch but seems like they enforced the T&C so I didn’t call and decided to close the account.

    For those who got excited on this, prepare to be disappointed.

  2. OMG get off his case! The man spelled a word wrong, if it wasn’t for spell check I’d misspell ever 20 words. I’m happy some of you take great pride in spelling correctly. I happen to take great pride in the size of my bank account, the love of my family, the morality I practice on a daily basis and the number of friends I can surround myself with. Gary helps us out on a daily basis and has improved the quality of my life. He has made the time I get to spend with my 7 years old son and wife all that much more fun because it’s at The FRENCH OPEN and not a Denny’s for dinner! FYI you can all spell better than me, and yet none of you would be considered more intelligent or successful than I if we were in a group. Grow up and tell the man thanks!

  3. I will ponder Gary’s heinous posting crimes more seriously in Cathay first class. It’s likely he will be acquitted shortly after the appetizer course.

  4. if you set your cash advance limit on your CC to zero then you are safe. is this correct? does anyone know how these transactions appear?

    thank you!

  5. and this is what differentiates journalists from bloggers. Not spelling or editors, but basic research and accountability.

    1) indisriminately ripped off the flyer talk thread (took the bait) sorry but hat tips are between gentleman, not businesses
    2) didn’t add anything
    3) didn’t confirm whether it was real
    4) mislead the sheep
    5) got the clicks

    All in a day’s work.

  6. I agree…..Must be lonely at the top of the mountain ZEZEPPLIN. My family appreciates what you do Gary.

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