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AmEx Prepaid Card Now Even Better

We praised the American Express Prepaid Card when it debuted last year, giving it high marks mostly because it doesn’t clobber users with fees.

In fact, it has no monthly fees and charges only to reload it at a store and if you make more than one ATM withdrawal per month.

The simplified fee structure should make debit card fans happy.

But now there’s further reason to smile.

American Express recently announced some new features that make depositing and getting your money easier. These features include:

  • Direct deposit of up to $5,000 monthly from your paycheck to the prepaid card at no charge.
  • Increased limits on ATM withdrawals, from $200 per week to $400 per day.
  • Another cash loading option via the Vanilla Reload Network at Office Depot stores, which charges $3.95 per load to Green Dot’s $4.95.

The American Express prepaid card also includes a lot of other good features. Three of the best are:

  • 24-hour customer service: While some prepaid cards charge a fee if you call customer service, American Express offers free 24-hour assistance.
  • Purchase protection: If an eligible item purchased with the card is accidentally damaged or stolen, purchase protection can reimburse you — up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
  • Roadside assistance: This is perfect with teenagers on the road.

We think these changes — particularly the addition of direct deposit — make this card a better deal than Walmart’s MoneyCard, which has long been our favorite.

While the MoneyCard is cheap, you will be charged a $3 monthly fee if you deposit less than $1,000 a month on your card, something AmEx won’t do.

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