As we ring in the New Year and make our own resolutions, it appears that the folks at RushCard have been doing the same. Last year brought the country not only another significant increase in prepaid debit card use, but some provocative headlines in the prepaid card space. Apparently, some leaders in the prepaid industry have listened to customer feedback and seized the opportunity to offer cards with better features and pricing. The Prepaid Visa RushCard recently announced giving its members better flexibility in card plans that are more in line with their needs at even lower prices.
The 2010 economy realized an improvement as compared to the two previous years and key components like the Savings Rate have increased as well. One perspective we like to take here at GetDebit.com is that people today are more money management conscious than they were in the early part of the decade. Traditional banking, not to mention alternative lending services (such as payday loan retailers) can be very expensive for many Americans with high balance requirement, check cashing and transaction fees.
As more people continue to defect from traditional banks and payday lenders, the industry is rising to the call for a better prepaid debit card product. On the Prepaid Visa RushCard website there is now a fee calculator for new and existing members that can run different card use scenarios and then offer a recommendation of which plan is best for them based on information submitted. GetDebit.com visited the website and ran several scenarios on the calculator. Once you are at the “home” page, you can easily find the calculator by first clicking the “Why RushCard” link on the top left of the page, then click on “Pick Your Plan” located on the middle left side of the new page. You will be asked four simple questions about your planned card usage and the calculator will make a suggestion for you as to which plan to choose.
RushCard claims that the new feature allows members to pay only for services they use and also gives them the choice to switch plans should their needs change. According to Visa RushCard, some members have already reported they will save up to $600 a year by using the card. Along with potential cost savings, another intrinsic value offered by RushCard is the ability to choose between four different card designs; Original Black, Baby Phat, Black Diamond and Purple Diamond.
According to Russell Simmons, RushCard founder:
“This new pick your card, pick your plan feature is further evidence that we are prepared to meet the demands of people who are being left behind by old-style bank networks, however, I am even more excited about all of the new services we’re offering, such as card-to-card transfers for a fraction of the cost of wiring money, which ultimately help our customers continue to save money. According to JP Morgan Chase, cards like the RushCard are becoming the main card for 160 million U.S. adults because of services like those RushCard has offered for years. Our members want to spend as little as possible when it comes to managing their money, and we’re committed to bringing them the least expensive solutions.”
RushCard states that, as the prepaid debit card pioneer, they are committed to providing a better banking alternative for middle-class Americans who are affected by exorbitant, non-transparent bank fees. The RushCard and Baby Phat cards previously had a $19.95 purchase fee that was restricted to the pay-as-you-go plan, which included a $1.00 fee for each transaction capped at $10 a month and $1.95 for each ATM withdrawal fee. The recently launched Diamond cards had a $3.00 purchase fee that was restricted to the flat monthly fee plan, which includes a monthly flat fee of $9.95, free transactions on signature purchases and two free ATM withdrawals per month. With the new fee plans, RushCard members can pay card fees ranging from $3.95 – $14.95 for either the RushCard or Baby Phat cards or the recently designed Diamond card. All other fees in the pay-as-you-go plan and in the monthly plan remain unchanged and services including calls to customer service are always free.
Other key RushCard features include free card-to-card fund transfers, free text alerts, as well as unique budget management and credit reporting tools. There is also a free prescription discount card opportunity offering up to an 85 percent discount on regular prescription drugs. Additionally, RushCard offers a free prescription discount card entitling cardholders, and non-members, to discounts of up to 85 percent on regular prescription drugs.