American Express announced today that they have launched an exclusive American Express for Target prepaid card. The prepaid cards will be available at Target stores only. The card can not be ordered online, though the account can be managed and reloaded online through American Express.
According to a statement released by American Express, fees on the card will be $3 each time the card is loaded with funds, and $3 per ATM withdrawal (first withdrawal each month is free). There are no fees for usage, balance inquiries, alerts, nor card replacement. They also said the funds on the card do not expire. Target and American Express are pushing the “simple fee structure” is a major benefit of this card.
To put these fees into perspective, one of Target’s main competitors, Walmart, offers a prepaid Visa card with the following fees. $3 for the initial issuance, $3 each time the card is loaded with funds, there’s a $3 monthly maintenance fee, ATM withdrawals are $2 each, ATM balance inquiries are $1 each, card replacement is $3. While funds on the card do not expire, it should be noted that the $3 monthly maintenance fee will eventually whittle a balance down. Walmart does not charge for reloads done online – but as we noted in last year’s review of the Walmart MoneyCard, the online reload system is problematic, and Walmart MoneyCard customer service has still not responded to our requests for assistance. Walmart does waive the maintenance fee if more than $1000 was loaded unto the card in the previous month.
American Express said that their American Express for Target prepaid card includes benefits (subject to terms and conditions) such as roadside assistance, discounts at select merchants, and Global Assist Services with emergency assistance when the card user travels more than 100 miles from home.
Watch for a review of this prepaid card coming to NFS in the near future.