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American Express for AAA Prepaid Card Review

Amex’s new prepaid card doubles as your AAA membership card

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You can earn a $25 bonus if you load $200 or more to the card the first time, plus 1% back on purchases the first year.

Who the American Express for AAA Prepaid Card Is For

  • AAA members who want a payment card without a credit check.

Credit Rating Required

  • No credit check required

About the American Express for AAA Prepaid Card

Pros

  • Added utility to your AAA membership card.
  • No reload fees.
  • No monthly fee.
  • $25 cash bonus if initial load is $200 or more.
  • 1% rebate on spending for first year.
  • Activation fee waived during introductory period.
  • Easy reloads from bank account or an American Express card.
  • Merchandise purchased with card is covered by Amex Purchase Protection.

Cons

  • Reload limits may be too small for some people.
  • No direct deposit of pay check.
  • No online bill payment.
  • Only available to AAA members.
  • Three to five day wait if you load funds from a bank account.

Reload Limits

  • Maximum balance at any time: $2,500.
  • Maximum load in any 28-day period: $2,500.
  • Maximum load per day: $500.
  • Minimum load: $25.

Fees

  • Activation fee: $15, waived through March 31, 2012.
  • Monthly fee: None.
  • Reload fee: None.
  • ATM fee: $2 each, first one each month is free (ATM operator may charge a fee).
  • Customer service: Free.

American Express for AAA Prepaid Card Review

If you're a member of AAA Southern New England, your new membership card will now have optional additional functionality as a prepaid American Express card usable wherever Amex cards are honored.

The card is similar to the American Express Prepaid Card but with some added bonuses.

For example, you get a $25 bonus if you load $200 or more to the card the first time you load it. You also earn 1% cash back on all your purchases for the first year. The $15 activation fee is waived until March 31, 2012.

Otherwise, this card has many of the same features as the American Express Prepaid Card, which is one of the lowest priced prepaid cards on the market. There are no monthly or reload fees, and the first ATM transaction each month is free ($2 for each transaction after that). If you use the card outside the U.S., there are no foreign transaction fees.

The card can easily be reloaded online through an American Express credit card or a bank account. However, if you load the card with a bank account, you'll have to wait three to five business days for the money to hit the card.

You can only load $2,500 to the card each month, which is also the maximum you can have on the card at any given time. Those limits may be too low for some people. You also can't direct deposit your pay check, as many people do, and there's no online bill payment.

Nevertheless, there are other benefits that you don't get with other prepaid cards, besides the low price. Anything you buy with the card is covered by Amex's Purchase Protection plan. If your card is lost or stolen, Amex will replace it at no charge.

Recommendation

In addition to its many credit and charge cards, American Express has built a small family of prepaid cards to meet a variety of customer needs. In addition to the American Express Prepaid Card, it also offers the American Express PASS Prepaid Card, which is designed for parents of teenagers and costs $3.95 a month. All of Amex's prepaid cards have some of the lowest prices in the industry.

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