At A Glance:
- No annual fees
- No activation fees
- No reload fees
- No transaction fees
- Protection for lost or stolen cards
- Online account management
- Own up to three cards on one account
- Access to American Express benefits
Consumers should welcome the newest addition to the prepaid debit card market — a familiar name, American Express.
In addition to attractive features like no recurring fees and one free ATM withdrawal a month, cardholders have access to many of the benefits of AmEx credit and charge card users, but minus the risk and extra fees. Those benefits include:
- Purchase Protection in the event a recent purchase is accidentally damaged or stolen.
- Discounts and Exclusive Special Offers from hundreds of retailers — including a pretty innovative Twitter hashtag savings program you can read about here.
- Entertainment Access ® for exclusive savings and advance tickets to popular concerts, movies and sporting events.
- Roadside Assistance for when your vehicle is on the outs.
- Global Assist ® Services for when your international travel plans go awry.
Basically, AmEx wants to be there for its cardholders in good times (those concerts) and bad (those flat tires). But, of all its benefits, its Make Your Move ℠ program might be the most useful to the cardholder who’s serious about establishing a strong financial record. As you manage your everyday finances with your card, AmEx will start building a profile of your financial habits. Those with a good track record may be invited to apply for a charge card, a signal that AmEx likes your business and wants to keep you.
Make Your Move ℠ combined with the ability to own up to three cards on one account makes this card a great choice for those hoping to get college kids or other family members off on the right financial foot.
Some limits to be aware of include the minimum $25 monthly deposit, maximum $2,500 card balance and the lack of an online bill pay option. Plus, there is the frustration all AmEx cardholders feel at one time or another when they shop with a retailer that does not accept American Express. Oh, and if you’re a resident of Arkansas or Vermont, you’re out of luck as this card will not be available to you — in which case you might want to check out some other Top Cards.
Overall, the AmericanExpress Prepaid Card, although brand-new to the market, already appears to be among the industry leaders in terms of features and benefits.