The Pros And Cons Of Getting Your Tax Refund On A Prepaid Debit Card

February 25, 2020

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Tax preparation service are working a lot of overtime these days.  While filing your tax return can take two to four weeks, many tax-prep companies, including H&R Block, TaxAct, and TurboTax, give you the option of putting your tax refund on a prepaid debit card. Is that a good idea?  It does have a few advantages, such as immediate access to your refund as soon as the IRS approves it. Some tax preparers offer bonuses if people elect to put their refunds on debit cards—so if every dollar counts, you might be able to get a few extra ones by agreeing to put your refund on debit. It also is a great option for those without a checking or savings account. However the downside of a tax refund prepaid debit card are fees. Most of these cards come with ATM fees to withdraw money, to re-load cash onto the card and even to make payments using your card.  For example, the H&R Block Emerald Card, for example, charges $0.95 per transaction if you use your Emerald Card to pay bills through H&R Block’s bill pay service, and the fees go up if you need expedited bill payment. If you want to reload cash onto your Emerald Card, “fees of up to $4.95 may apply.” The American Express Serve Free Reloads card, which TaxAct offers, lets you make as many free reloads as you want but charges a $6.95 monthly fee. So if you have a savings or checking account and can wait a few days for your refund, it is probably a smart move to say no to a tax refund pre-loaded debit card.

SOURCE: Two Cents

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