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Maximizing RushCard and RushCard Live Prepaid Debit Cards

by on July 31, 2013 · 20 comments

in Prepaid/ Reloads, TPG Contributors

TPG contributor Jason Steele takes us on a tour of the benefits and limitations of two more prepaid debit card products today – the RushCard and RushCard Live – and how you can use them to maximize your points earning using them in combination with Green Dot MoneyPaks.

Green Dot MoneyPaks appear to be the most widely available funding source for checking and debit card alternatives these days.  MoneyPaks can be purchased at thousands of retail locations, and used to fund about 200 different prepaid cards. (Note: Green Dot has their own prepaid cards, but MoneyPaks are an entirely separate product).  In the past, we have introduced this topic, and covered Green Dot MoneyPaks vs. Vanilla Reloads, The Best Green Dot Compatible Reloadable Prepaid Cards, and Strategies For Maximizing Green Dot MoneyPaks.

You might recognize RushCard and RushCard Live from spokesman Russell Simmons.

You might recognize RushCard and RushCard Live from spokesman Russell Simmons.

For those who are lucky enough to find a retailer who will sell you MoneyPaks with a credit card (Thank you, Rite-Aid!), your first priority is to find a compatible prepaid card that offers bill payment services, few fees, and doesn’t shut you down. The idea is that you cash out your MoneyPaks by paying your credit card bill, or any other you choose. Until recently, Account Now met those qualifications, but then they just shut down the accounts of many customers who were doing so. In addition, the 247 Card recently announced that they will stop accepting MoneyPaks after September 3, 2013. These developments are of little concern when there are nearly 200 other cards to choose from, and the H & R Block card is one nice alternative, although there are also now some other choices.

Enter the RushCards

Another good way to pay bills using MoneyPaks appears to be the RushCard and RushCard Live products. You might recognize these cards since they’re endorsed by hip-hop business magnate Russell Simmons, and according to their terms and conditions, these products are perfect for this particular use. Nevertheless, my experiences with these cards were decidedly mixed.

There are a few different Rushcard plans - but opt for the free one.

There are a few different Rushcard plans – but opt for the fee-free pay-as-you-go one.

First, I tried the standard Rushcard. This card can be ordered online, with the most basic version incurring a one-time fee of $3.95. Choose the “Pay As You Go Plan”, and there are no monthly fees. The card’s bill pay feature is free, and there is a $1,000 load limit per 24-hour period. So if you load two $500 MoneyPaks at noon, you will have to wait until after noon the next day to load two more.

Unlike some other prepaid cards within the MoneyPak network, loads to this product take about five minutes to appear on your account, and you will get an email confirming the load. There does not appear to be any limit to how much money can be issued when paying a bill. ATMs can be accessed in-network for free, or out of network for a $2.50 fee. That said, there is little reason to use an ATM when you can use the bill pay system to issue a check to any person or business.

RushCard's Bill Pay feature is easy to use and versatile.

RushCard’s Bill Pay feature is easy to use and versatile.

Since the cardholder agreement makes no mention of any weekly or monthly load limits, you would be forgiven for thinking that there are none. However, I have learned through trial and error that there is a $3,500 weekly load limit, although there do not appear to be corresponding monthly limit or total limits.

The bill pay interface is easy to use, and I have paid my credit card account and even had checks issued to individuals at their home address. I have been using this card only for bill pay for several months, with no problems whatsoever. Finally, cardholders can receive a referral bonus of $5 when new cardholders use their referral code. If you would like to use my referral code, it is JASONSTEELE6.

You can pay pretty much anyone using RushCard's Bill Pay.

You can pay pretty much anyone using RushCard’s Bill Pay.

RushCard Live

Russell Simmons has also lent his endorsement to a similar product called RushCard Live. While the standard RushCard is issued by Bankcorp Bank, RushCard Live is offered by Green Dot Bank. So this is analogous to both Citi and American Express offering reward credit cards co-branded with Hilton hotels; same brand, entirely separate card issuers.

At first, things looked good. Like the H & R Block card, cardholders can receive a temporary card immediately at a retail location. I purchased my RushCard Live at Rite-Aid, but these are also available at CVS and 7/11 stores. In addition, purchasers can load up to $500 on their temporary card at the register, and add another $2,000 worth of MoneyPaks that day, in accordance to its stated $2,500 daily load limit. I was able to quickly set up bill pay and issue payment to my credit card issuer.

The fee chart for different RushCard Live features.

The fee chart for different RushCard Live features.

The next day, I was unable to load my card using MoneyPaks. Then, my permanent card arrived in the mail a few days later, but it could not be activated online. When I called to activate my card, I was connected straight to a supervisor who informed me that my account had been closed to due to my “pattern of activity.” I lost no money since I had immediately used my initial deposits to pay bills, but it was clear that this company did not want any of my business.

Like Green Dot Prepaid cards (an entirely separate product than MoneyPaks), the RushCard Live issued by Green Dot Bank is nearly a total waste of time. I say nearly because I was still able to quickly load and unload $2,500 worth of spending, and I didn’t have to waste any time dealing with the problem of getting back any frozen funds. In contrast, when Account Now closed accounts, it still accepted funding through MoneyPaks, and then cardholders had to request a check for the balance and wait for it to arrive. According to this thread on FlyerTalk, many are still waiting. So if you do decide to try to use RushCard Live, use up your entire balance immediately using their bill pay service just in case you do get shut down.

Load limits with the RushCard Live - be careful of your usage or you could get shut down.

Load limits with the RushCard Live – be careful of your usage or you could get shut down.

So if you are interested in maximizing the MoneyPaks using one of the RushCard products, get the standard RushCard version and skip the RushCard Live. If you are looking for a quick way to load and unload a few MoneyPaks, your RushCard Live account is unlikely to remain open for long.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • John Graziano

    I have yet to try buying an MP with a CC @ Rite-aid? Is it a big “YMMV” situation or do most accept CC’s?

  • Jason Steele

    I have never had a problem here in Denver, although others report mixed
    results. As with just about all manufactured spending, the results can
    vary based on region, store, and even the individual cashier.

  • dginchelsea

    Can you load a moneypak using the iphone app?

  • JosephB

    Rush Card is an awful card to use. It might be amazing for manufacturing spend but I refuse to use them because of how bad of a regular card it is.

  • Jason Steele

    I haven’t tried, but I can’t imagine it would be easier than using a computer with a full size keyboard.

  • dcp

    the last time jason Steele discussed this on this forum (about June, for the Account Now card), many accounts were frozen (AccountNow still has $500 of mine)… BEWARE

  • Dave L

    $5000 monthly limit Rushcard… And don’t try to do too much action at once…or you will get asked for a bunch of information to verify your identity. But I seem to have passed the hurdles and can continue…at 5k a month.

  • Matt B

    Any advice on how to fly under the radar on this one to avoid being shut down like Account Now? What has been your pattern of loading and payments (frequency, $ magnitude per transaction, etc)?

  • Peter

    I think the benefit here is to be able to verify funds immediately after purchase and be able to quickly go back to the cashier if something goes wrong.

  • al zhou

    Those products are designed for low income people who can’t get or afford a checking account. They typically get paid a few hundred dollars a week and spend most of it on necessities. If you guys want to use those products to manufacture tens of thousand of dollars of spending, you can’t possibly fly under the radar. Surely weekly load limit is $3500, how many of their genuine customers have that kind of money?

  • MrWho

    Except BlueBird, no shutdown reports no matter how crazy people get.

  • disqust101

    Who would be so stupid to use something like the Rush card for anything BUT manufactured spend? Oh. Sorry.

  • marathon man

    I have bought many MPs with my Citi TYP (which has yet to be shut down) but you should never get more than say $1500 in MPs in any single transaction. I do not trust ANY bancorp prepaid product and everyone should be wary of them too since the Account Now shut down and their holding of funds on MVD and MI) (both also parented by Bancorp). That’s my tip for the day. Now, in return for my seasoned advice, my question to Jason is: Is Thepointsguy your “editor” and will you ever make good on that citi TY thing you said you would see to it that it gets published? If not why make those people think they were led on?

  • Kyoshiro

    Thank you for the info. Used your referral code.

  • chris

    i could be wrong but CeVeS also sell money pak. Cant you buy them there too?

  • ge gi

    sign up with referral code: get5free to get 5 free dollars!

  • Scarlett Pimpernel

    This is THE BEST explanation and breakdown on the internet regarding MoneyPak and Green Dot products! Read this BEFORE you be these cards and/or share it wit others!

  • Scarlett Pimpernel

    Sorry for the spelling errors….read this before you buy these cards….share with others!

  • marathon man

    there are many things to note about moneypaks that have not been discussed. They can be useful for MS but I personally have decided they are almost not worth it. For one, let’s say you buy one or two and the store clerk makes a mistake. They then try to back out the transaction and re charge it. BIG NO NO! Do not do this with the SAME Mp! They have to know and you have to know that this is a dead solider now and you have to get new ones off the rack. If you do not, then what will happen is that your MP may have been sold to you but the money gets lost in GD cyberspace. And guess what: GD is gonna tell you to pound sand. I know of one unlucky gal who had this happen with $4k worth and GD says they think someone must have used a random generator to steal her numbers. Plausible and perhaps possible, but in my opinion, highly unlikely! I told her to sue GD because they have the money and have either knowingly or unknowingly found a way to hold it from her until SHE proves this! She happens to shop at the same store I do and I have bought over $50k of these things there without ever having a problem once with stolen numbers. I have, however, run into a few cases where, if you try to buy too many at the same time, GD will freak out and lock up the MPs til you call into the back office number and get it sorted (in 8 hrs or a day or two) and it stinks because they are worse than calling into the paypal mastercard!

    .

    Well, not that bad lol.

    .

    So my new plan is to just try to avoid MPs because most of anything coming out of GD is a sham. Run badly, paying out slowly, and full of glitches and errors.

    .

    Bancorp is bad too so be careful unless you buy GCs and VRs.

    .

    That’s just my Two cents worth. Happy T day.

    MM

  • ge gi

    Rush Card referral code: get5free. Get $5 instantly when u activate

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