Bank of America Consumer Payments Prepaid Card review: Not a credit card, but a cashless option nonetheless

This prepaid card gets the job done when you need a card, but aren’t eligible or don’t want to delve into credit just yet.

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Snapshot

2.5

Bankrate rating
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Bottom line

This prepaid card is different from a traditional credit card because you don’t get access to a line of credit and you won’t have to fret over added interest costs. Your sponsor, however, will set the limit you get to spend and those funds may be allocated for personal use or business expenses. Remember: just because you skip interest, doesn’t mean you and your sponsor are off the hook for other costs like transaction fees.

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Bank of America® Consumer Payments Prepaid Card

Rewards rate

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Intro offer

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Recommended Credit Score

See Terms 

The Consumer Payments Prepaid Card from Bank of America Overview

The Consumer Payments Prepaid Card from Bank of America is a prepaid card instead of a credit card, meaning it does not offer a line of credit you can borrow against. Instead, this particular type of prepaid card is loaded ahead of time with cash by a “sponsor” who may be your employer.

With the Consumer Payments Prepaid Card from Bank of America, you may be given a card for personal use, in which case you can spend money in your account however you want. In certain situations, however, you may be awarded a prepaid card for business that is only to be used to purchase goods or services specified by your sponsor.

Either way, you can use the Consumer Payments Prepaid Card to make purchases in-person or online and potentially even to access cash using an ATM. Your spending limit is also set by your sponsor, so you can use your prepaid card until the funds are depleted.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • Use the Consumer Payments Prepaid Card for purchases in-person or online
  • Access cash at Visa and Cirrus ATMs if your sponsor selects this option
  • No need to carry cash

Cons

  • You won’t earn rewards on your purchases
  • Fees can vary and are only disclosed to the sponsor ahead of time

A deeper look at the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: None
  • Welcome offer: None
  • Annual fee: None
  • Purchase intro APR: None
  • Balance transfer intro APR: None
  • Regular APR: None

Key cardholder perks

Since it’s not a credit card, the Bank of America Consumer Payments Prepaid Card doesn’t have many consumer protections or perks. However, there are plenty of benefits to be aware of, including the following:

Worldwide ATM access

If your sponsor selects this option, the Bank of America Consumer Payments Prepaid Card is preloaded with cash you can access at ATMs around the globe. According to Bank of America, you can use your card to get cash at ATMs with the Visa or Cirrus logo. Also be aware that, when you use your card for purchases at merchants with a Maestro logo, you can request to receive cash back at the point of sale.

Extensive Visa cards acceptance

In addition to getting cash back, you can use your card for purchases in-person or online. Your prepaid debit card can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted (which is virtually everywhere).

Email and text alerts

You can sign up for email or text notifications that can alert you when a deposit is made to your account or your account balance is running low. These alerts can help you stay informed in terms of how much money you have left in your prepaid account.

Rates and fees

While the Consumer Payments Prepaid Card from Bank of America doesn’t charge an interest rate since it’s not a credit card, your account may be subject to an annual fee or transaction fees. The fine print also suggests that an account closure fee could apply when an account is shut down.

How the Consumer Payments Prepaid Card compares to other prepaid debit cards

The Bank of America Consumer Payments Prepaid Card is unique because this card is given to you by a sponsor, whereas you can sign up for other types of prepaid debit cards yourself. If you decide to select your own prepaid card, you should compare the best prepaid cards on the market today before you do. Prepaid cards vary widely in terms of their benefits as well as the costs you’ll pay each month or for each transaction.

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Bank of America® Consumer Payments Prepaid Card

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2.5

Annual fee

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Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

N/A

Recommended credit

See Terms
Netspend Image

Brink's Money Prepaid Mastercard®

Apply now

on Netspend's secure site

Annual fee

Variable Monthly Fees

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

N/A

Recommended credit

See Terms
Netspend Image

Pink Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card

Apply now

on Netspend's secure site

Annual fee

Variable Monthly Fee

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

N/A

Recommended credit

See Terms

Consumer Payments Prepaid card vs. Brink’s Money prepaid Mastercard®

The Brinks Money Prepaid Mastercard is a slightly more complex product due to its fee structure and the benefits it offers. First off, this card lets you earn cash back when you use your card to pay for purchases with select merchants, and you’ll get $10 in cushion if you accidentally spend more than the amount in your account.

Other benefits of the Brinks Money Prepaid Mastercard include access to a related savings account that pays up to 5 percent APY, smart budgeting tools, a mobile app and more. You can even get $20 for each friend you refer. However, it’s worth noting that the Brink’s Money prepaid card is riddled with fees, from a 90-day inactivity fee to a fee for reloading money onto your card. The Consumer Payments Prepaid takes a step back from most of these nickel-and-dime tactics, but you’re at the will of your sponsor for what extra perks and benefits are available on your card.

For a more low-maintenance and cost effective prepaid card option, you may consider the Consumer Payments Prepaid card over the Brinks Money Prepaid card, as long as you have a sponsor (like an employer). If you can afford to have a bit more autonomy over what starter card you use (or you’re interested in the opportunity to earn modest cash back rewards) you can give the Brink’s Prepaid another look, though you might be better off checking out some of the best secured credits cards if you’re ready to get started credit-building. Just note you’ll have a slightly higher upfront investment with your security deposit, but you can still bypass annual fees and excess maintenance fees (depending on the card) that often come with prepaid cards. When in doubt, a traditional checking account with a debit card is there for you to consider, too.

Consumer Payments Prepaid card vs. Pink Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card

Similar to the Brink’s Money prepaid card, you can also earn cash back on qualifying purchases and skip any kind of credit check when applying for the Pink Netspend ® Visa® Prepaid Card. As with all prepaid cards (since they aren’t credit cards) you won’t have to worry about accruing interest.

Again, the primary differences between the Pink Netspend and the Consumer Payments prepaid come to fees and the need for a sponsor. As is customary with prepaid cards, you’ll have to watch for transaction fees or monthly fees depending on your card plan with the Pink Netspend, whereas you have a bit more room to avoid these fees on the Consumer Payments Prepaid card and the backing of your sponsor to lean on in terms of plan options. If you’re after a card that’s more cost effective, the Consumer Payments Prepaid may win out here.

Your sponsor will also be able to place limits on your spending with the Consumer Payments Prepaid card, so if you want to be able to set your own spending limits, the Pink Netspend or some of the other best prepaid cards could be a better fit.

Best cards to pair with the Consumer Payments Prepaid card

Since the Consumer Payments Prepaid card depends on a sponsor to fund and set spending limits on your account, you may want to consider pairing this card with a product that gives you a bit more say on your own spending abilities or that sets you on a positive trajectory in your financial future. The Self — Credit Builder Account is an interesting pairing that lets you build credit without the need to open a credit card. Instead, a credit-builder loan is deposited into a locked savings account, and as you make payments toward that loan, you’ll improve your credit score and have full access to the account and the money you paid into it once the loan is paid off. You’ll get full say and control over this account and how it’s managed, which could be good practice to go alongside the discipline of spending within the rules of your sponsor with the Consumer Payments Prepaid card.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Consumer Payments Prepaid Card worth it?

If an employer or another sponsor gives you a Bank of America Consumer Payments Prepaid Card for your personal or business expenses, you might as well use it. After all, these prepaid cards are loaded with cash by your sponsor, and you can use them for approved purchases and expenses online, in a store or even to get cash at an ATM if that option is selected.

If you have the chance to pick any prepaid card you want, on the other hand, you should compare all the best prepaid cards on the market before you decide. You may find that one prepaid card has a better fee structure or more ATM access points close to where you live, but you’ll never know unless you check.

Frequently Asked Questions