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The idea of prepaid card being used as financial tools can be a cringe-worthy concept, particularly to savvy financial experts. For most Americans, prepaid cards aren’t really part of the tool set. The benefits of a credit card are much stronger than prepaid cards, and with most people qualifying for credit cards, even through the recession, prepaid cards don’t get a lot of respect. The drawback of prepaid cards are the varieties of fees. For consumers without choices due to bad credit or no credit, prepaid card issuers really have an advantages. These fees can be exorbitant like those for the RushCards.

There are much better deal available. One such card with reasonable fees — keeping in mind it is still more expensive to own a prepaid card than most credit cards – is the Mango™ MasterCard® Prepaid Card. In addition to the low fees, this card provides a 6% APY on money deposit. In today’s interest rate environment, where banks are offering 1% APY or much less on savings, this is a compelling option. The money you deposit with the prepaid card is FDIC insured, too, so your money is never at risk.

Mango<sup/>TM MasterCard® Prepaid Card” width=”240″ height=”159″ border=”0″ /></a>With an interest rate offer this good, as you’d imagine, there is a catch. The six percent interest rate provided to all <a rel=Mango™ MasterCard® Prepaid Card members has the following stipulations:

  • Customers must open a Mango Money bank account, which can easily be done online.
  • Card holders must initiate a direct deposit, also easily completed online. Without direct deposit, the interest rate would be 2%.
  • The 6% only applies to the first $5,000 deposited, with anything above $5,000 receiving a 0.10% APY.

Consumers expecting to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars to their new Mango online savings account will be disappointed to see that only the first $5,000 will qualify for the six percent interest rate, but this prepaid card is designed for people in need of a payment method, struggling to make ends meet. The Mango™ MasterCard® Prepaid Card is able to provide such a high interest rate because it does very little marketing and print advertisements, passing the money on to the consumer with this offer.

While the above deal sounds quite good, particularly for people who don’t have other options available, but there are drawbacks. The Mango™ MasterCard® Prepaid Card charges just a few general fees, the largest of which can be easily avoided. Card holders can expect to pay these fees:

  • $5 monthly fee. This fee can be waived if the card holder loads at least $500 onto the card during the month.
  • $2 ATM withdrawal fee. Keep in mind that this fee would be in addition to any fee the ATM charges.
  • $0.50 ATM balance inquiry fee. There is no fee to check your balance online, however.
  • $4.95 cash load fee using Green Dot. Direct deposit and the first six electronic transfers each month are free of charge.
  • $10 account closing fee.

There are no application fees, sign-up fees, one-time account opening fees, or any other tactics prepaid cards often take advantage of consumers. For a limited time, when a new account holder makes two direct deposits, the issuer will add a $20 credit to the Mango Money savings account.

The Mango™ MasterCard® Prepaid Card does not report to the major credit bureaus and is not designed to be used by anyone who has good to excellent credit. Prepaid credit cards help consumers with poor credit in need of a safe and secure way to pay for everyday purchases as an alternative to using cash. This one just happens to have a head-turning interest rate, and it’s quite possible for card holders to avoid paying fees. Prepaid cards prevent holders from spending money they don’t have, but so does a cash-only approach. If it weren’t for the 6% APY interest rate, I might not even mention this card.

Saving money has become quite depressing these days. Almost every day, I need to update the best online savings account page by reducing the interest rates. After another flurry of rate decreases this week, the best rate available today is a sad 1%. Just three years ago, banks were attracting customers with rates of 3% or 4%. With current Federal Reserve policy, there’s no telling just how low deposit interest rates will go.

If you find yourself in need of a prepaid card or are looking to maximize the return of $5,000 in a safe and secure way, consider applying for the Mango™ MasterCard® Prepaid Card and earn a return of up to $300 a year on your money.

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