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Kaiku Visa – A Prepaid Debit Card that Doesn’t Suck

No, I haven’t lost my mind.  I’m still a big fan of rewards credit cards for my normal use.  But I was asked if I’d like to review the Kaiku Visa Prepaid Card, and I have been pleasantly surprised. It’s like a prepaid credit card if you think about it. 

Why a Prepaid Debt Card?

I was thinking that for people who have a hard time managing credit cards, but cash also flows out of their wallet like water, a prepaid debit card may be a solid idea.  You can’t spend what isn’t there.

Or if a person has poor credit and can’t get a credit card or even bank account, but they do want a place to have their paychecks directly deposited, a solid prepaid debit card could solve that issue.  This is also good for people who can’t get credit cards but do want to save money by shopping online (within their budget, of course). If you are in need of a bank account then check out the best checking account bonus.

Why Kaiku?

Here are the reasons I will suggest Kaiku specifically to anyone in the future who is looking for a prepaid debit card:

1.  One monthly fee of $3.  No other fees for loading or using your card as usual.
2.  If you don’t have a remaining balance of $3 when that monthly fee is due, they will take your balance in the negative as necessary that month and then pause all fees until you reload your card.  That means at worst, you will owe $2.99 when you decide to reload your card if you can’t pay the monthly fee.  Most prepaid debit cards seem to have a gazillion fees and always seemed off-putting to me.
3.  It was easy to use.  I have been using my Kaiku card for about a month and haven’t had any problems using it for fast food, restaurants, stores like the Dollar Tree, and even online.
4.  I could pick my card color.  I really like the teal one.  🙂

Kaiku Visa Prepaid Debit Card in Teal

The Only Negatives I Noticed

Here are some negatives that I noticed:

1.  Gas stations will put a $100-$150 pending charge on your card for about 2-4 business days until the actual amount you paid is debited.  They do it on my credit cards too, but my credit lines are high enough that it didn’t make me pause paying my bills for 3 days.  Since my remaining balance was just under the gas station hold amount, I wasn’t able to use my Kaiku card while I waited for the actual charge to go through.
2.  If you enter your PIN to use the card, you will only see the address of where you spent the money when you look at your records.  It has to be swiped at somewhere like a restaurant or fast food place, somewhere that they waive using the PIN, to show up by name in the spending records.
3.  No rewards.  If I spent $300 on my CapitalOne Visa, I would have received about $4.50 in cash back.  With Kaiku, there is a $3 monthly charge instead.  That’s still probably better than other prepaid debit cards, but I will still whine about it.

Overall, if I ever was in a position to need to use a prepaid debit card regularly, I would choose Kaiku.

Have you used a prepaid debit card for your daily spending?  What about using shopping app? What did/do you think about them? Share your experiences and I’ll share mine 🙂

6 thoughts on “Kaiku Visa – A Prepaid Debit Card that Doesn’t Suck”

  1. Denise

    $100 to $150 pending charge for gas???? Could that be a typo? I have never had a pending charge like that for anything other than a hotel stay for any of my credit cards – standards or prepaid.

  2. Crystal @ BFS

    @Denise, nope, not a typo. It apparently shows up as a $1 temp charge on credit cards, but it holds a big chunk of change hostage on prepaid debit cards.

  3. Marie

    If you travel overseas, a prepaid debit card is always nice. I didn’t have such a hard time in London, but in Italy my credit card number was stolen twice. Same thing happened to my friends.

  4. jill

    Some credit cards allow you to acquire temporary numbers and expiration dates with low credit limits. You can probably arrange for an unique card for intenational travel, if you call customer service. Italy does not view loss of money or possessions as a important criminal offence and doesn’t prosecute these petty crimes against tourist. Been like that for decades. Especially on their rail system. My parents and brother were robbed and pick poceted there, officials told them it was a petty theft, quit taking up their time. Don’t take anything you will miss while traveling. Pre-paids offer no protection against loss or fraud. Might as well use cash.

  5. Miranda P. at Kaiku

    Hi Jill, the Kaiku Visa Prepaid Card actually does offer protection against fraud/loss because we’re covered by Visa’s Zero Liability policy. For more information, please see the cardholder agreement on https://kaiku.com/legal/cardholder Thanks!

  6. Kaiku

    Hi folks! Team Kaiku here. Thanks for the great review. Just wanted to point out some exciting news: first, our $3 maintenance fee is now waived when you Direct Deposit $750 or more each month! So that makes Kaiku $0/mo as long as you only use one of our 55,000 surcharge-free In Network ATMs.

    Second, thanks to our dedication to simple fees and transparency, the Kaiku Card is now Visa Clear Prepaid certified. Being Visa Clear Prepaid guarantees what you see is what you get with Kaiku — you’ll never be hit with any hidden fees from us! For more information, please visit our website at www.kaiku.com

    Have a wonderful day!

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