The world of prepaid cards is varied and often a little complicated. One of the prepaid cards that MetaBank offer is the Emerald Card. 

But is the Emerald Card all it’s cracked up to be? What benefits can you expect? Applying for a new card, even a prepaid one, is something a user should take seriously. 

In this article, we’ll briefly review MetaBank’s Emerald Card. What does it offer? What are the pros and cons? Who is the Emerald Card designed for? 

Let’s find out.

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What Is MetaBank – A Brief Overview

MetaBank is an alternative financial service, designed for users with poor or no credit who don’t wish to be tied to traditional banking systems. MetaBank is one of the leading providers of prepaid cards in the US. They specialize in prepaid cards for all occasions – travel cards, gift cards, automobile payments, cards for agricultural or business purposes, borrowing, and much more. 

Since MetaBank doesn’t require credit checks, just about everyone is eligible for a MetaBank account. However, this also means that your MetaBank account and any subsequent transactions don’t impact your credit score in any way – for bad or for good. 

Prepaid cards allow for an extra feeling of security, as you can rest assured that you won’t accidentally spend more than you intended. This no-credit scheme is what makes MetaBank accounts suitable for people with no credit or bad credit. 

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MetaBank’s optional direct deposit system, which you can sign up for when you open an ACE Flare account, allows users to receive deposits up to two days early, and also eliminates the need for handling paper checks. 

What Is An Emerald Card? 

An Emerald Card is a prepaid card provided by MetaBank. Like most other prepaid cards, you can use an Emerald Card to pay bills, receive payments, and make purchases. Additional saving accounts may also be available. 

Emerald Cards can also be used to file taxes, especially filing electronic tax returns online. 

Emerald Card Info 

So, what basic info can you expect from your Emerald Card? While you’ll get a full list of functions, restrictions, and benefits when you sign up for an Emerald Card, here is an abridged list of Emerald Card info:

  • Withdrawal limit

You can withdraw up to $3000 per day from your Emerald Card, assuming you have enough funds in your account. However, individual ATMs may have lower limits. For example, some ATMs only allow you to withdraw a maximum of $500, or $1000, or some other limit. You’ll need to follow the restrictions of individual ATMs when withdrawing money from your Emerald Card.

  • Cashing out

There are several ways to withdraw cash from your Emerald Card. The simplest way is to go to an ATM and withdraw cash there. Alternatively, you can request cash back at a store, transfer funds into a bank account, or request a check. 

  • Activating your card

First-time users will need to activate their Emerald Card before they can use it. Call the Emerald Card helpline at 1-866-353-1266. You’ll then be given prompts to activate your card. Managing your Emerald Card is much easier if you also create an online Emerald Card account. 

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How to Check Your Emerald Card Balance

The easiest way to check your Emerald Card Balance is by logging into your online Emerald Card account. Logging in is simple, just enter your username and password, then you’ll be able to view your balance. If you haven’t yet created an account, click the “create account” option and follow the onscreen prompts.

Alternatively, you can download the Emerald Card company’s mobile app, or simply go to an ATM and follow the prompts to check your balance that way. You can also hear your balance by calling 800-472-5625 and following the automated responses. 

Pros and Cons of Using an Emerald Card

So, what are the pros and cons of using an Emerald Card? Let’s find out. 

Pros of Using an Emerald Card

  • A good option for users with little or no credit.

Like other MetaBank features, Emerald Cards don’t require credit checks. Since they’re prepaid cards, you can rest assured that you’ll be eligible for one, but won’t run the risk of overspending. 

  • Bill pay features.

You can set up regular bill payments, and manage these from the mobile app.

  • A downloadable mobile app.

The mobile app allows you to manage your money, keep an eye on your balance, and much more.

  • No overdraft fees. 

Since the Emerald Card is a prepaid card, you can’t overspend. This means no overdraft payments and no overdraft fees.

  • No monthly fees.

Some prepaid cards require a monthly maintenance fee, but not the Emerald Card!

Cons of Using an Emerald Card

  • There may be hidden fees that can eat into your funds. 
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Prepaid cards are sometimes not what they seem. Inactivity fees, transaction fees, and more can all eat up your cash and leave you with seriously depleted funds. 

  • ATM withdrawal charges and balance inquiry charges apply.

For an ATM cash withdrawal, you’ll pay a fee of $3. For an ATM balance inquiry, you’ll pay $1.50. These charges can quickly add up if you regularly use ATMs, or if you prefer cash to electronic transactions. Be aware of these extra small fees.

The Bottom Line

So, if you’re looking for a prepaid card account with a little extra flexibility, the Emerald Card might suit you. This isn’t a disposable prepaid card – you can reload the card and use it again. The Emerald Card is also good for receiving your tax refunds. 

However, don’t forget to read the small print. At first glance, the Emerald Card seems to have hardly any extra fees, but be sure to read all the information you’re given very thoroughly when you first open your Emerald Card account.