Following in Kim Kardashian and Suze Orman‘s footsteps, comedian and actor George Lopez launched a prepaid card with Mango Financial this week. The Mango MasterCard Prepaid Card offers a lot of pros and a handful cons, which means you’d better know the facts before you sign up.
With the help of Mango’s spokesperson Jason Jepson and CardHub.com‘s CEO Odysseas Papadimitrious, we did the homework for you:
Pros of the Mango Prepaid Card
1. 6 per cent APY. The promotional (key word: promotional) APY lets cardholders with direct deposit sub the Mango Prepaid Card for their savings account at a sweet 6 per cent APY. Other cardholders get a 2 per cent APY, which is pretty competitive by today’s standards.
“I love the Mango Card’s 6% APY, not only because it’s over 33 times the current national average for savings accounts, which is 0.18%, but also because it encourages people to hold onto their money for longer instead of just spending whatever they bring in each month,” Papadimitrious said.
2. Free customer service. Whether by email, chat, phone or snail mail all customer service is FREE. That’s a plus considering other prepaid cards like Orman’s Approved card, for example, only offer one free customer service call each month then charge $2 for every call after that.
3. Direct deposit bonus. Enroll in direct deposit within the first 90 days of opening your account (and throw in at least $50) and Mango will hand you a cool 20 bucks.
4. Comparable fees. Compared with Green Dot, Suze’s Approved Card, Walmart’s Money Card and the RushCard, the Mango Card won’t ding you for cash reloading or replacements.
Cons of the Mango Prepaid Card
1. ATM and balance checking fees. The ATM withdrawal fee is $2, PLUS whatever the ATM charges. There’s also a strange 50 cent fee for balance inquiries made via ATM, automated phone system, or customer service.
“While the Mango Card does not charge a maintenance fee for months that you load at least $500, the fact that you have to pay $2 per ATM withdrawal regardless of the ATM in addition to the average ATM owner surcharge fee of around $2.33 means that it (could be) prohibitively expensive when used as either a replacement checking account or a financial literacy teaching tool,” said Papadimitrious.
That said, Jebson offered a way to circumvent the problem.
“If you go to a store and make a purchase, you can ask for cash back and there’s no fee,” said Jebson, adding that the company is working on ways “to minimize things.”
2. No online bill pay. If you’re looking to replace your checking account, you might look elsewhere. The Mango Card doesn’t offer this service and since not all companies will accept your MasterCard number, you may need to send a check or money order.
Said Jebson: “Financial regulations made this hard, but we are working on a solution to rectify that. We do understand that pain point.”
Other things to consider
Mango is offering free renters insurance and an investment opportunity with Goalmine.com with the card. Whether either offers a great deal is hard to tell, but we do like the fact any customer can start investing with a mere $25.
Finally, if friends and/or family get a Mango Card, you can literally text them money using the Card’s smartphone app, which comes free with enrollment.
See CardHub’s full review of the Mango MasterCard Prepaid Card here.