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Control™ Prepaid Mastercard®

Control™ Prepaid Mastercard<sup>®</sup>

Control™ Prepaid Mastercard®

Faster Payments
With Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
No Interest Charges
No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
Widely Accepted
Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted. Click "Apply Now" for full details.
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Who is the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® best for?

If you’re looking for a prepaid debit card as a way to manage your money while having access to a Mastercard instead of a credit card, the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® is one option.

It works like a regular debit card where you’re spending your own money rather than borrowing  the way a credit card lets you do. Unlike a regular debit card, a prepaid card doesn’t pull money directly from your checking account, but rather lets you load money onto the card via direct deposit, checks or cash. The Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® is an OK option — neither remarkably good nor remarkably bad.

However, consumers looking for a prepaid card with no monthly fee will be disappointed with the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard®, and may want to consider a card such as the Bluebird by American Express instead. And if you want to build a great credit score, which can help you qualify for better rates on products such as auto loans and mortgages, know that prepaid cards don’t report account activity to the credit bureaus — a credit card would be a better choice for building your credit score.

Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® overview

    • Power. Confidence. Control. It’s more than just a prepaid card. It can be the difference between getting by and getting ahead!
    • With Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
    • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
    • Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted. Click "Apply Now" for full details.
  • Credit needed:
    300 599
    Poor/Limited
  • Manage your account with the mobile app.
  • Customize your card with a photo (terms and costs apply)

Intro Purchase APR

N/A

Regular Purchase APR

N/A

Intro BT APR

N/A

Regular BT APR

N/A

Annual Fee

See website for Details*

Cash Advance Fee

N/A

Foreign Transaction Fee

N/A

Balance Transfer Fee

N/A

Pros and cons of the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard®

Pros

  • Chance for a discounted monthly fee
  • Get cash for no fee at some retailers
  • Special offers at some merchants
  • Option to open a savings account

Cons

  • Monthly fee
  • ATM withdrawal fee
  • Reload fee
  • Won’t build credit

What we like about the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard®

  • Get a discount on your monthly fee

    This card’s monthly fee is $7.95, but if you load $500 or more of your paycheck or government benefits onto the card per calendar month, the monthly fee decreases to $5.

    Also, cardholders who qualify for the discount may also get the benefit of a purchase cushion. If you’re short on funds when you try to use the card, the issuer may cover up to $10 and will recoup this amount next time you load money onto the card. This isn’t guaranteed — it’s at the issuer’s discretion.

  • Withdraw cash without a fee

    When making purchases at many retailers, such as grocery stores, you’ll have the option to select “debit” when paying with your card and enter your PIN. You can get cash back out at this point and avoid having to pay the ATM withdrawal fee.

  • Earn rewards on some purchases

    You’ll be able to select special offers for certain merchants in the Online Account Center for your Control™ Prepaid Mastercard®. Terms apply.

  • Optional savings account

    Cardholders have the option of opening up a savings account with MetaBank and earning interest on money stored in the savings account. The card’s website explains as follows:

    • If the average daily balance is $1,000 or less, the interest rate paid on the entire balance will be 4.91% with an annual percentage yield (APY) of 5.00%.
    • If the average daily balance is more than $1,000, the interest rate paid on the portion of the average daily balance which exceeds $1,000 will be 0.49% with an APY of 0.50%, and the interest paid on the portion of the average daily balance which is $1,000 or less will be 4.91%. The APY for this tier will range from 5.00% to 0.54%, depending on the balance in the account.

    Note that MetaBank can change these terms. What’s listed is accurate as of publication.

What to watch out for with the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard®

  • You'll pay a monthly fee

    There’s a monthly fee of $7.95 to carry this card (or $5 if you load enough via direct deposit each month to qualify for the discount). While that’s not unusual for prepaid cards, it is possible to find a prepaid card with no monthly fee — such as the Bluebird by American Express.

  • ATM withdrawals will cost you

    There’s a $2.95 fee per withdrawal at domestic ATMs. The ATM owner may also charge a fee. To avoid this, rather than getting your cash out at an ATM, know that many retailers allow you to get cash back by selecting “debit” and entering your PIN when making a purchase.

  • Beware the reload fee

    If you perform a cash reload at a Netspend Reload Network Location, you can be charged up to $3.95 per load. To avoid this, you can have your paycheck or government benefits loaded onto the card via direct deposit, for which there is no fee. Additional ways to load funds include:

    • Transferring money from a U.S. bank account
    • Using your PayPal account to transfer funds
    • Having your tax refund direct deposited to this card
    • Using Mobile Check Load
    • Receiving transfers from other cardholders with cards in the Netspend family
  • Prepaid cards don't build credit

    The Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® is a prepaid debit card. Prepaid cards do not build credit history. If you want to build credit, consider a starter credit card such as the Capital One Platinum Credit Card.

    If you have bad credit and you’re looking to repair it, you could consider a secured card, which is a credit card requiring you to submit a security deposit (in the amount of your credit limit) to the issuer. The security deposit protects the issuer in case you don’t pay back what you charge to the card. One of the best secured cards around is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, which charges a $0 annual fee and requires a security deposit between $200 and $2,500.

    With either of the two credit cards mentioned above, spending and payment will be reported to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).

Alternate prepaid card to the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard®

Compare it to the Bluebird by American Express

Those looking for a prepaid debit card with which to manage their finances will find a lot to like about the Bluebird by American Express. For one thing, it charges a $0 monthly fee. And for another, there’s no ATM withdrawal fee when taking cash out at any of the more than 30,000 MoneyPass ATM locations throughout the country. Finally, you can load cash onto the card for no fee when you’re at the Walmart checkout register or Walmart Money Center. For all these reasons, you’ll likely find it a more affordable option than the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard®.

Compare the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® to similar cards

Comparison of four different credit cards
Control™ Prepaid Mastercard<sup>®</sup> Bluebird by American Express Capital One Platinum Credit Card Discover it<sup>®</sup> Secured Credit Card
Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® Bluebird by American Express Capital One Platinum Credit Card Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Apply Now
on MetaBank's secure site
Review Coming Soon Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Welcome Offer
None No bonus No bonus Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
Rewards Rate
Non-rewards card No rewards Non-rewards Card 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically
Annual Fee
See website for Details* $0 $0 $0
Regular APR
N/A N/A 26.99% (Variable) 24.49% Variable APR
Recommended Credit
Poor/Limited N/A Fair/Limited Poor/Limited
Card Details
Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® Additional card details unavailable Capital One Platinum Credit Card Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Is the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® right for you?

The Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® is an OK prepaid debit card if you want to manage your money with something other than a credit card or a regular debit card. However, consumers looking to avoid an a monthly fee might prefer the Bluebird by American Express. And anyone who wants to build credit history should apply for a credit card, such as the Capital One Platinum Credit Card or the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, since prepaid cards do not build credit history and will not help you improve your credit score.

Apply Now
on MetaBank's secure site