Rush Card | Pros and cons of prepaid cards

Friday, April 30th, 2010 By

Visa card

The Rush card is a pre-paid Visa card that charges customers money to access their accounts. Image from Flickr.

Rush Card is one of the many pre-paid credit card options available. The Rushcard service, like most prepaid cards, has features that can make it very useful, especially for people who cannot get or do not want a regular credit card. However, before you make a decision about getting a Rush Card, it is important to understand both the benefits and high costs of the system.

How Rush Card works

While Rush card markets itself as a “pre-paid credit card,” it works more like any other debit card. A customer can load the card with money, and then use it anywhere a Visa card is accepted. Money is debited from your Rushcard account, and when the balance reaches zero, any other transactions are declined. Some Rush card accounts also allow cardholders to write checks against the account balance. Rushcard charges fees for the use of the Rush card. Rush Card was created in 2003 by Russell Simmons, under the business name UniRush.

Benefits of Rush Card

The Rush Card does provide some benefits to cardholders. A credit card can be very difficult to get for individuals with bad credit. Because Rush Card works on the Visa system and has a full credit card number, it can be used to make online purchases and where a credit card would normally be used. The pre-paid system also means that it is impossible to overdraw your Rush Card account – no overdraft fees and no high interest rate credit.

High costs of the Rush Card

The Rush Card, however, does not work like a standard checking or debit account. Depending on which of the two types of Rush Card a customer gets, the fees can be very high. Activation and monthly fees can run as high as $19.95. There are fees for ATM balance inquiries and withdrawals. There are statement and “maintenance fees.” There is a fee for paying bills with the Rush Card. The highest cost fee, however, can be the “convenience fee.” This convenience fee charges between 50 cents and $1 each time your Rush Card is swiped or used to make a purchase. Long story short, the Rush Card could cost you $100 a month or more — to access your own money.

Alternatives to the Rush Card

The Rush Card does offer some convenience in accessing and using money. However, fees for standard transactions make it incredibly expensive. If you have bad credit or no credit, a checking account is most likely a better solution than the Rush Card. Many credit unions offer “starter” bank accounts designed especially for customers who would have difficulty getting a checking account at a bank. These starter accounts usually do not carry nearly the fees that the Rush Card does, and a debit card offers the same benefits as the Rush card. Even if you have had financial problems in the past, check with multiple banks or credit unions to see if they can offer help – before you sign up for the high fees of the Rushcard.

Sources:

Rushcard schedule of fees
Consumer Affairs . com

  • Cinque

    You people are stupid I have had rush card for 11yrs and
    all they do is help you when you do have a problem with them and you do get
    your money on time I get mine every pay day at 12am so when I wake up at 5am on
    my pay day my check is there and the 15th of every month I get a cash back
    reward which is a refund of your money from using the card, so if I used my
    card 50x a month then I get $40 back the other $10 are fee’s so if all of you
    morons are complaining about $10 a month vs. your bank fee’s which comes about
    to about either $10 or $20 a month and that’s based on rather or not you have
    two accounts with them and not to mention the overdraft fee’s that range anywhere
    from $28 to $38 an item/day in which your account is over drafted and you owe
    more of your money than what you actually have then go right ahead and spend
    the money you do not have and pay the bank your pay check get behind on your
    bills because you think that this card is ripping you off and now your living
    from pay check to pay check is getting harder check your bank. Make the
    comparison and see for yourself who is the rip off.

  • Texasford23

    Get a secured credit card which is a “real” credit card and not a pre paid card or debit card which Rush Card is. Try credit unions first before conventional banks. You open an account for say $300. They will give you a real credit card for the $300 limit. The limit is what your deposit is. Pre paid cards are not good for car rental, making hotel reservations, etc. They along with debit cards are better just for purchases. The interest on secured cards is very low yet your deposit is earning interest. The rush card is not the answer to financial empowerment.

  • KennethJohnson

    RUSSELL SIMMONS ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!WHY ARE YOU RIPPING PEOPLE OFF WITH THIS CARD!!!!!WHAT!!! YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY!!!!! I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO DISSAPPOINT IN MY LIFE!!!! YOU’RE JUST ANOTHER SUCKER THAT TALKS BLACK AND THINKS GREEN. I WILL NEVER TOUCH ANYTHING IN MY LIFE THAT YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH. I WILL TELL EVERYONE HOW F-UP YOU ARE. PLEASE DO NOT GET THIS CARD AND PLEASE DON’T SUPPORT THIS MAN OR ANY OF HIS BUSINESSES.HE EVEN USES OVERSEAS PEOPLES FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE.THIS REALLY PROVES THAT ANYONE WILL SELL US OUT!!!! HE MAKE MILLIONS OFF HIND FEES.KEEP STUFFIN’ YOUR POCKETS ON OTHER PEOPLES BLOOD “BROTHER”!!!!!!

    DO NOT GET THIS CARD YOU WILL BE SORRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ebony

      Yes he does suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All this stupid ass fees and then they hidden at that. Stealing from the poor to make the rich richer. He should really be ashamed of himself. Thanks Russell for f#cking up my money. I say Thanks again for F%CKING up my money.

  • billy sanders

    RS :"make the American dream come true…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..for me :)"

    • CNOHO

      DONT NOT USE THIS CARD ….YOU WILL BE SORRY . THIS IS A SCAM THEY WONT RELEASE YOUR MONEY UNTIL THEY ARE DONE WITH IT. THEY HIDE THAT IN THE FINE PRINT…….WARNING…..WARNING…..WARNING….D E C E P T I V E ….. P R A C T I C E S.

  • Patricia Porter

    is there a restriction on what u can use the card for i had a green dot visa card and tried to use it to buy some coins for a game i was playing on facebookthe informed me that they didn't deal with any kind of gaming is this card the same

  • ELIZABETH

    THEY *&%$* MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE YOU RUSHCARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rolland joyntz

    i just got out of jail i wanted to rebuild my life ,, i heard alotta good news about the rush card ,, after a year i built up my credit to the point where i could buy a car !!! ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,a good way to build up your credit & not get into debit

  • toya

    i have had my rush card for over a year now i have never had any problems, last year my tax refund was dd on my rushcard and it was there the exact day the irs said it would, i even called today to get another card so i can save money on it the card cost me 10.00 a month and my transactions are free, but they allow u to pick your own plan…….i love this card

  • Derek

    Hello Rushcard users? I would like to know how did the rush card help you build your credit score or report ?and if so what bills should i pay with my Rushcard and how often should I use it?

  • dan

    prepaid cards are *not* recommended for hotel reservations, car reservations, gas pumps, or shopping in a vegas casino in less you have thousands of dollars to spend.

    they pad the bill $75-200 and won't return it until long after your trip.

    • Jholl99

      Dan’s right. I had that experience when I made reservations to stay in a hotel. Two weeks after I had checked out, the hotel still had a $100.00 hold on my money. I called and talked to the manager twice and he said he would take care of it, but nothing. Finally I called Rush Card and they lifted the hold. They usually hold money a few days just in case there are any damages, but they dont have to hold the money for over two weeks like they did me. These organizations that do that are making money off the interest of your money. What greedy bastards! Why cant they just be decent about it?

  • Marlene

    I have had 3 Rushcard accounts for a little over 2 years I think now, and have never had issues with them. I even have had my income tax refunds loaded on to them, and they have been deposited even earlier then expected and normally Rushcard tells you it takes a few days for them to approve the tax refund and load to your card, but that wasn't the case with mine, the following day they were in my account. Anytime I have called customer service they have been extremely helpful as well. This has been by far the best pre paid card service for those of us who have had issues with credit and banks in the past.

  • lisalisa

    I've had a rushcard for a few years now, And it does NOT have any hidden fee's and only cost a few dollars a month to use 1$ per trans…PLUS rushcard gives you a refund every month ! There was a very small activation fee, I believe it was 20 $ and Rushcard gave me a refund of 5 $, so 15 $ … Some of the comments on here and other boards are NOT true ! I LOVE MY RUSHCARD it is so easy to use ! LOVE IT !!!

  • David P.

    Good balanced posts on the pros and cons of prepaid cards. Rushcard is indeed one of the more expensive ones. Not everyone however can get a starter bank account, particularly if they have bad credit or messed up a checking account in their past. There are 44 million “unbanked” in America, and many would benefit from prepaid cards vs. cashing pay checks. They should shop around for the best deal.

  • SHERYLANN HOLT

    The Rush Card, however, does not work like a standard checking or debit account. Depending on which of the two types of Rush Card a customer gets, the fees can be very high. Activation and monthly fees can run as high as $19.95. There are fees for ATM balance inquiries and withdrawals. There are statement and “maintenance fees.” There is a fee for paying bills with the Rush Card. The highest cost fee, however, can be the “convenience fee.” This convenience fee charges between 50 cents and $1 each time your Rush Card is swiped or used to make a purchase. Long story short, the Rush Card could cost you $100 a month or more — to access your own money.

  • SHERYLANN HOLT

    DO NOT GET THIS CARD>>>>> THIS MAN IS GETTING RICH OFF OF USING OUR MONEY THAT WE WERE TUPID ENOUGH TO LET HIM..I WILL POST THIS EVERYWHERE I CAN TO WARN OTHERS NOT TO BE TAKEN IN BY THIS SCAM ARTIST…PREPAID YEA RIGHT YOU PREPAY THEN CAN'T USE YOUR OWN MONEY UNTIL HE IS DONE USING IT FIRST …>>>>>>>DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT GET HIS CARD" i HAD A DIRECT DEPOSITE ON IT, ON THE FIRST, THEY TOLD ME I COULD ACCESS IT ON THE 7TH…WHAT THE HECK…YOU LEFT ME STRANDED WITH NO GAS RUSH CARD..I CANCELLED ACCOUNT AND STILL HAVE NOT RECIEVED MY MONEY FROM THEM THAT THEY PROMISED TO SEND ME IN 3 TO 5 DAYS…IT HAS BEEN 13 DAYS AND THEY TOLD ME TODAY THEY STILL HAVE MY CHECK…I WILL LET THE WORLD KNOW WHAT YOU DO TO POEPLE LIKE ME…STUPID TO EVEN TRUST YOU…STUPID I TELL YOU.,.YOU MADE A FOOL OUT OF ME…NOW I WILL RETURN THE FAVOR OKAY? WATCH FOR MY POSTS THEY WILL BE EVERYWHERE, EVEN IF I HAVE TO PAY….

    • Thomas

      You can report your complaint to the Federal Trade Commision and Better Business Bureau!!

      However, you got to understand that a prepaid debit card will cost you. $3 monthly service fee? not bad! A fee to withdraw money or check your balance at any ATM, which cost from $1 to $3? not bad, but I advice to di it once and every blue moon! A fee to reload cash onto the card ranges from $1 to $3. Not bad! You can check your balance online or over the phone for free rather than any ATM. You can cash back at drug or grocery store for free or with little purchase rather then withdrawing cash at any ATM. Fully disclose all thier fees if you read the fine print. But if they are charging you hidden fees and taking all or most of your paycheck other than the fees I mention to you, then you should file a complaint with Federal Trade Commision, Better Business Bureau, or your state attorney.

    • Veedoll

      Thanks you so much. I was vonsidering it so I can get my direct deposit but that was my main concern, not being able to receive my pay check on the correct day.

      Thanks a mill

    • Jenn

      I have a walmart visa and i love it i get charged $3 a month but its also $3 to load it each time but for me it works great i usually spend about $15 a month for this card but since i cant get a bank account its great

    • I HATE RUSHCARD

      I WILL NEVER USE RUSH CARD AGAIN THEY HAVE STOLEN MY MONEY AND I HATE THEM

  • http://www.starveabanker.com Patrice Peyret

    There are indeed many prepaid cards that are a lot cheaper than the RushCard. In fact pretty much ANY other prepaid card costs less than the Rush Card.
    Consumers should shop around and not fall victim to the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by Russell Simmons promoting his card.

  • Lema

    Very informative article, thanks. Definitely agree that starter bank account offers many of the same benefits without the fees, however, for those who are having trouble doing this, a prepaid card can be a great option that still allows for the convenience and flexibility of a credit card. Netspend is a good place to start when it comes to prepaid cards. There are no credit checks or interest charges, so fees are kept at a minimum compared to other prepaid cars.

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