We’re sorry, there is a problem with your account


I was wrong.  I thought that using the NetSpend card for normal everyday purchases would be safe (see “NetSpend challenges the throne”).  However, I tried to log into my account Tuesday evening and found “We’re sorry, there is a problem with your account”:


Uh oh.  I knew from readers that this meant my account had been closed.  I thought back to things I’ve done with the card in the past week.  It was all miscellaneous small purchases.  I bought pet food.  I paid for movie tickets. I bought a few groceries.  What could they have objected to?  I didn’t take money out via an ATM.  I didn’t pay any bills.  I didn’t make any large purchases.  I didn’t buy money orders or gift cards. 

Was it my blog post?  In that post, I recommended that people use the card as it is intended to be used.  Did they read the post and see something they didn’t like?

I called the number on the screen and had an entertaining conversation.  It went like this:

NetSpend: Mr Miler your account is already closed. You are no longer eligible for NetSpend services.

Me: Why?

NetSpend: Due to a bank request.  The only reason we close an account is due to a bank request.

Me: Why did a bank request that my account be closed?

NetSpend:  We don’t have that information.  We are not the ones that closed the account. We have a department that is constantly monitoring accounts. We work hand in hand with with banks in monitoring accounts.

Me: What bank are you talking about?  I didn’t do anything with my NetSpend card that had anything to do with any of my banks.

NetSpend: It was a previous bank, not NetSpend. They requested that the account be closed due to suspicious activity.  We’re not even supposed to tell you that, but you asked.

Me: What activity was suspicious?

NetSpend: We do not have that information.

During this conversation, I racked my brain trying to think of what bank could have even known I had a NetSpend card.  Finally, the fog lifted in my brain.  I remembered that NetSpend cards are issued by a bank called Metabank…

Me: Is the bank you’re talking about, Metabank?

NetSpend: [long pause] Yes

I tried mightily to get more information, but to no avail.  I spoke to a supervisor who gave me the same non-answers.  I asked who else I could speak with that could give me more information.  “No one.”  Could I speak with the risk management team?  “No.  You can call back during business hours and ask for a supervisor and ask the supervisor to speak with the risk management team.”  Great.  Can I speak with the marketing department?  “We don’t have one.”  Can I speak with the sales department?  “We don’t have one… I mean we do have a marketing and sales department, but we don’t have a number for customers to call.”  And on and on it went.

While I couldn’t get any information about why I was shut down, I did get some information about what happens next.  I was told that I would be sent a check in 20 business days.  When I asked about a fee, the supervisor confirmed that there would be a $5.95 fee.  I asked that it be waived, but he said that all he could do is make a note in my account to ask.  I also asked about the $20 referrals.  He said that once they’re paid they would go into my account and then I can request a check again.  I’ll believe that when I see it.

Reader experiences

Hopefully others will have better luck than I had.  If not, maybe this will work out as a nice, one time only, cash-out of Vanilla Reload cards.  We could do worse.

Next steps

I’ll run out soon to get a Mio card if I can find one.  Unfortunately, you can’t order them online without first buying one in-store.  Also, of course, I’ll watch eagerly for the new OneVanilla card, coming soon.

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Gary r henry

Disable veteran direct deposit to net they take my va account but. Wont let me take me money out what they asked if done no results. Can anyone help I guess I will have to take them to court

Teresa Larsen

How long does it take for netspend, to send your check. Same thing happened to us. Waiting on a check. Does anyone know how long it takes, to get a check, from them?

Michael Machado

Wow, there still at it. They just closed my account with $22 left in it.

Krista Mroz

Same nonsense has just happened to me plus i was told that I only $7.00 in my account and I lost it. Netspend was sued by the federal trade commission and had to refund millions of dollars in may of 2020, before this was done to me funny thing i had not used my card since February 26th 2021 i only used 10.80 now i have no money they have it plus i only have $7.00 in my account before all this happened they were not allowing me to log in my account refused to send the proper link to reset my password etc before i didn’t have any issues login in something is wrong with the this company, I am surprised that this allowed to continue i am going to the better business bureau and the federal trade commission with all of this.

Michael Machado

There still at it. They just closed my account with $22 dollars left. What. Do I do?

Nancy Williams

My friend ..her husband passed away he was 1st on avct she was 2nd both of their ss checks are direct deposited and they told her she cannot even get access to her money tilshe gets death certificate,marriage license to them she was counting on at least her $$ to live on. Any suggestions

Beth S.

The exact same thing just happened to me. I was told that MetaBank wanted my account closed for fraudulent activity and or the fact that they cannot get my initial information About me, the person who open the account with their Bank. After a lot of digging on Google I found out that whenever you open a NetSpend card and then they give you the option to get the NetSpend access card through MetaBank MetaBank does not ask you those information questions about yourself. It’s literally a setup. they know that they’re not asking you these personal questions to prove your identity when you open this accounts Yes that is the reason or one of the reasons why they decide to just closed my account for no reason at all. I as well know that I did not have any fraudulent activity. Everything that I purchase is always in the same area. I go to the same three gas stations always. at first I thought maybe they thought there was fraudulent activity because I took $300 out of the ATM the day that my account was closed to buy a money order to pay a bill. Also, I only have this NetSpend account because whenever I got my tax return I went to a cash checking place and they did not have enough cash in their safe so they had no choice but to put the rest of my money on a NetSpend card they said. Once I was offered the access NetSpend card which gave me the ability to take pictures of checks and upload them through the app and the perk of getting $5 every single time I uploaded a check through a third party app called Ingo which MetaBank uses 2 Upload checks so you can do it through the NetSpend app or you can choose to make it Ingo account and upload your checks that way.

I have had this NetSpend account for at least four months and while having the NetSpend account the pandemic hit us and I ended up losing my job. Since I have worked my entire life I was able to receive unemployment and my unemployment was being directly deposited into my NetSpend account. So after desperately trying to find another way for them to transfer my money since it is everything to my name and I have absolutely no cash on me now, they said that there was nothing they could do because the account was already closed. So every dollar that is in my account now is going to be sent back to the government from my unemployment and like you mentioned they told me it would take 20 business days. that’s just 20 business days for the money to get back to the government. That’s not including the hell I’m going to have to go through trying to get somebody on the phone through Unemployment so they can send me all my money back. My biggest fear is that that money will never reach the government. Or somehow it will get lost or mixed up with all the other crazy things that are going on because millions of millions of Americans are already having tons of issues getting approved for unemployment, trying to receive their unemployment, figuring out how to extend your unemployment, etc. before I even started getting my unemployment every single time I tried to call the unemployment phone number I was never even allowed to stay on hold. There are so many people are ready waiting to talk to a representative that told me to just call back at another time.

So here I am, a single mother of three children that has a $10 Target gift card and about $14 in my wallet. I have not been approved for food stamps yet so I don’t even have a way now to feed my children. I only found out my account being closed when I was at Walmart with $300 worth of groceries already backed up and my card is being declined. that is when I realized I had received an email the night before stating that there was an emergency with my account and I needed to call customer service. So I immediately tried to log into the NetSpend app and like you, I was unable to and it also said to contact customer service. I spent three hours and seven different phone calls trying to get somebody “high enough up the chain” on the phone that could do something for me on transferring my money a different way.

I have no idea where to go from here now because they can’t tell me if the money has even started the process of being sent back to the government unemployment office. I don’t even know how to get ahold of anybody through unemployment about this. All I know is I’m terrified and within the next week I’m going to not have food in my home, have my phone disconnected, be unable to pay my $125 psychiatrist appointment to get my medicine and eventually my bills.

I feel like there should be some way to sue Metabank for this. But even if I could, I have no money for a lawyer.


The exact same thing happened to me today with Netspend. I ask to speak to a supervisor, but didn’t get to talk to one. Did you receive your money? I been a customer since 2002 and this is the thanks I get.

Ramona Carrothers

I had my stimulus money sent to an old Brinks prepaid card I no longer have is it possible please to have it transfer to my new NetSpend card

George Horn

2 weeks i had the same experience with NetSpend. I went to place that deals with them and since I could not log into my account, this place was able to. They saw no fraudulent activity and even called NetSpend up to see why this happened. They got the same response, that due to security reasons, no information can be given. The young lady that tried to help saw that this is occurring to many people and told get boss that they should stop doing business with NetSpend. After her boss saw all this, he contacted the corporate office and filed a complaint. I don`t know what will become of this, but NetSpend has some serious issues in how they run their business (or scam).

George Horn

The same thing happened to me today. They told me because of security concerns, they had to shut down my account and the other operator told me there were fraudulent activity that took place. I checked everything and I did nothing wrong. They would not tell me anything more and will not allow me to open another account.

Rachel lewis

I can’t leave my husband money over the online tigers contrary to Madison county Jail.. I want to know why


Okay so I had no choice but to use this as direct deposit for my job….And my accounts locked now? I made a purchase of about $30, and I had about 200 on it…And I called for balance which is now -3.56. And mind you my direct deposit from work should go into my account tonight. So what do I do if they closed my account


Since they’re all the same I strongly recommend against using the paypal prepaid version of netspend. I transferred 260 dollars out of my bank account onto circle then from circle onto my paypal prepaid card then paypal locked my prepaid account because my funds were issued as a refund now they refuse to unlock my account or my funds until they get proof from circle that it wasn’t a refund at all and even then they’re releasing my money back to circle, who doesn’t support prepaid cards (which is why it was issued as a refund instead of transfer) and I no longer have a normal bank account so even when/if the money is released to them I won’t have a way of getting it back to me and the only way to unlock my paypal prepaid account is to have them reverse the transaction. So I either have $260 in a locked account or have my account unlocked but my money in an account I can’t cash out or even really use. So I guess I’m just all around screwed I don’t know what to do anymore. I needed this money days ago and even if everything goes faster than the 20 days paypal told me it would take it will be too late and I still won’t have access to my money. I would strongly recommend no one ever use paypal or netspend (where their prepaid cards come from) I hear their business card is better but honestly doubt it. I’ve also got a friend who’s bank account keeps being overdrafted because paypal keeps trying to send the same check through over and over again even after calling them repeatedly he’s having the same problem today, 3 months after the check was cancelled. So I’d say it’s all a scam. Honestly the first 3 or 4 years of having netspend I loved it and recommended them to everyone, but over the past year or 2 I’d advise against it.


Same thing has happened to me. After being a Netspend user for 3 years I decided to transfer funds out. I did one round of transfers and both my accounts were locked. I’m currently out of the country and their toll-free numbers don’t work on Skype. I’ve also been unable to get a response from their Email accounts. I had over $6,000 with Netspend / Brinks and I’m worried because I no longer live at the address that I signed up for them at. I’m hoping they don’t send a check to some random person at my former residence.

Avoid these scammers !!!


Actually, I was able to get a hold of support and had my account unlocked. All good.


I tried logging into my online netspend account, password wouldn’t work. I called them and they said I needed to speak with Risk Dept. There was a block on my account, they told me to send my I.D. and Social as verification, to remove the block, so I did. Then they emailed me saying the account had been closed and that they could not proceed or reopen a closed account. I emailed them again saying why was the account closed if there was money on it. Then I was sent an email telling me to verify my address in order that they could send a check, so I did. They sent me another email telling my account had been closed and they could not proceed or reopen a closed account. I’m currently waiting for them to reply this is frustrating to say the least.

Lauren Davis

how long did it take you to get your refund check? Your situation is the EXACT thing to happen to me. My account was closed yesterday and they said I should get it 10 days from tomorrow. Did you get it in the time they quoted you?


I entered all my information and did even have time to make a purchase before I got the message that there was a problem with my account, I can’t log in, deposit, or make a purchase. I’ve had the card for less than 24 hours. Ridiculous

Sadly me too

I just bought one today, Visa and it wanted all my info. Then said afterwards it needed validation so call for customer support. They asked for my name, date of birth, gov id, social security, etc. Then told me they wanted me to send a picture of each to their email. I’m sure that’s not how cards work… I mean, I have never been told to add send pictures of my information via email. I want my money back asap, I’m not sending my information like that.

Latera Jones

I received an email about my account being closed, and I hadn’t even activated my replacement card yet.I decided to call net spend to see shy,and they told me it was closed by direct management due to suspicious activity,I was like WTF? How is that possible? They said they couldn’t give me any additional info,but a check would be mailed to me in 20 days..I can no longer use net spend.

Lauren Davis

Hey Latera.. how long did it take you to get your refund check? My account was closed yesterday exactly how you descrived. Did you get it in the time they quoted you?


received e mail from net spend saying their maybe a problem with my account don’t use card till you call us my card was blocked I had to send in documents . Sent documents block removed used card one time then tried to logon to my account couldn’t ,next I get another e mail saying once again my account blocked..When I called again I was told they closed my account holding my funds till they get intouch with irs to see whst they wanted to do about my funds now new email saying your card was reported stolen how could that be I have my card.I think this is a big scam on net spends part how do I get my money


Have you received your funds? this just happened to me today

Lauren Davis

Mayra when it happened to you.. do you remember how long it took you to get your money back?

Unhappy Customer

THIS CARD IS HORRIBLE……I purchased a netspend debit visa yesterday from local Fred’s I wanted to pay a bill online without using my own debit or credit card. This had to be my worse mistake which made me feel horrible all day. First I called to activate and the gentlemen which not one I spoke with which I spoke with three spoke any English which made it ten times difficult to understand. He asked for my date of birth, address, social security, and name. I IMMEDIATELY said NO! I don’t give this information out like that which is why their is so much Identity Theft anyways he said well if you don’t give information then I will have to set you as limitless which I couldn’t do anything BUT go inside the store….and I told him You guys are scam artists, rip offs…..I need to pay an important bill and you tell me unless I provide my most prised, personal information then I can’t do what I want with the money I loaded onto the card…..NO! SO, he set st limitless I called back and and I was going to bite the bullet and trust the people then the gentlemen I spoke to this time tell me NO YOU CANT CHANGE YOIR MIND IN OTHER WORDS…its set at limitless and I can’t change…I said sir I have an important bill to pay I need this money….Well we can’t change it so I asked to speak to a supervisor floor manager what ever on hold a long period of time got hung up on…..call back spoke with a lady she said the same thing the second person said these people are coached and train on what they need to tell people….finally spoke to someone that was suppose to handle my problem and THEY DIDNT……LISTEN DO NOT GET THIS CARD….. FREDS, VISA, WALMART whoever carry this name NETSPEND card needs to pull away from them I will contact every chain that sells this card….and if you’ve been got by NETSPEND contact everyone you can so it doesn’t happen to anyone else…..Netspend left a bad taste I’m my mouth and this taste I want out…….HORRIBLE BUSINESS and I don’t see why VISA or someone else isn’t looking into their practice….

Sankofa Neal

Account was closed and I keep getting different time frames on will my money will be in my mailbox first it was 3-5 days then 10 and now 20 can someone give me an actual time frame please


How many referrals did you have that each got you the $20 referral credit? How much in total of $20 referral credit did you have?

[…] “not as intended.” I first experienced this in 2012 when my NetSpend card was shut down (details here) and, since then, I’ve had similar experiences with GoBank, Mio / My Vanilla, and PayPal (and […]


I believe that my account was closed because I owe money to paypal credit. paypal credit is handled by Bancorp bank, which is the same bank that handles netspend prepaid.

imani mebane

there’s a problem with my netspend prepaid card i called the company about 4 or 5 times to unlock it. they said they was going to call me back..they never did.

Sankofa Neal

How long did it take to receive your funds?


how long did it take you to receive your funds?


Good news!

Everything is good, and they are sending me a new card. They just needed to talk to me about the charges. So relieved!


Earlier today saw three unauthorized charges on my card. I called, had the card cancelled and a replacement sent.

Then I got a text with “We’re sorry, there is a problem with your account,” and the same on the website, which led me to here.

I hope they didn’t cancel my account because someone placed fraudulent charges on the card from India.

Not getting my money for 20 days wouldn’t be good with Christmas coming up.

I’ll update once I get a hold of them. Their lines are currently all busy.

tabitha lopez

I too experienced the \suspicious activity\ bullshit but I am fully prepared to take this company to the front lines and expose them for the thieves they are. The next step for all of us is to contact the better business Beureau (sp) and File formal Complaints because until formal complaints are made all this is a a blog from justified angry customers whose money was stolen but too lazy to do something. Im taking.action, hope yall will too


I am new to the Netspend craze. I am simply planning on stacking up referrals on it and only using it once every 90 days to avoid any maintenance fees. I don’t see anywhere in the terms and conditions that your account will be canceled for this? But should I worry?


Unfortunately, they can close your account for any reason at all. Yes, they will probably shut you down if you do too many referrals.


Had the same notice on the website, but they said it’s just a hold on the account till I get my permanent card. It happened because I added $500 on the temporary card which flags the account. Do not add funds till your permanent card comes or that will flag your account.


Jaybeezy: No, I never learned the official reason for the shut down. It has happened to countless others too.


Omg i had the same experience did u ever find out the problem why they closed your account ??


These idiot con artists did the same thing to me. All because they tried to scam me and my gf out of our referral. I simply called to clarify that I WILL get them to honor their offer that they marketed (add 40 get 20 on your card and your buddies card). They played games, lied, all said different things, then finally gave us the money and closed our accounts! It’s ridiculous. They honestly don’t give a crap about customers and only do the minimum when you raise hell. The BBB is a bunch of crooks too as they gave them a A rating! Who the hell gives this crooked disorganized crime syndicate an A rating? They are worse than a joke they are a lying criminal organization. I am pretty sure there is something conspiratorial behind why they close accounts without users permission. I mean honestly HOW DO YOU CLOSE A PREEEEEE PAID ACCOUNT? It’s NOT credit! It’s not a REAL BANK! IT IS YOUR MONEY!!!!! MY MONEYYYY YOU CANT TAKE IT FROM ME AND TELL ME HOW TO SPEND IT YOU MF. whewww I am so pissed at them. Please tell me victims of netscam are willing to unite against them and cause a media stink who is down?


I know I will because I am going to do something about it if it means getting a lawyer.


I got the same crap about “suspicious activity” after loading the account then made one payment. When I asked them about what exactly is “suspicious activity”, I get the same “We don’t have any additional information.” It took them more than a month and several phone calls to finally get all my money back. Initially they were going to charge me for sending me a check after they closed my account (and not able to give me an answer). After the 20 days, I called again and they told me that there’ll be no fee since there was an error. Another 2 weeks went by before I finally for a check from these crooks!


What do you think about accountnow?

[…] While that doesn’t sound too bad, some users’ accounts have been on hold for a few weeks even when the MVD representatives told them it would only be a few days or one week. If this situation becomes similar to the Netspend prepaid card shutdowns, you’ll be in for a bit of a fight. You’ll get your money back, of course, but it might not be as quick as you hoped for (read about how Frequent Miler’s Netspend account was shut down). […]


shoegal: Most people do get the checks. cathy’s comment (above) is the first I’ve heard where the check never appeared.


2/28/13 NP card declined @ walmart. called cs was told card cancelled by the bank and refund would be issued in 20 days. done some research and found your site and call cs back, this time i was told card cancelled for some suspicious activity or some transfers. question will i really get my balanced refunded to me?


At least from what I’m reading, everyones money was returned to them in a check. It has been 10 months and I still am trying to find the $17,256 that was taken from my several different accounts associated with Metabank (which they had no problem issuing to me at the time).

[…] to rule them all,’€ ‘€œNetSpend challenges the throne,’€ and ‘€œWe’€™re sorry, there is a problem with your account‘€ for […]


@ Nate – I just set up my NS for Direct Deposit recently. Had my employer do a small dd (less than 500) and funds loaded within 24 hours. However on payday (Friday) my DD (over 1500) still hasn’t hit my NS account (Sunday). Guessing it takes a full business day, but we’ll see.



Netspend has a bill pay function. Theoretically, that means you can buy vanilla reload cards at office depot at 5x points. Then load those onto netspend. Then use the bill pay function on netspend to pay the credit card bill.

Is this viable? Any risks associated? Just a late night thought….I don’t really have the guts to try it…It just seems too easy.


mp: It will work once or twice, but then NetSpend will close your account.


Just as a data-point…wanted to chime in if anyone else ever reads this blog.

Got my NS card about a month ago. Loaded it up with $2,000 using Vanilla since I had a few large purchases to make and they didn’t take Amex.

Tried to avoid putting any charges < $150 on it since there was a $1 fee for any purchase. Made a purchase at a restaurant, a hotel, car repair merchant. But no small purchases.

Spent down to about $1750 before I got the same warning on the website and when I called the CSR (clearly outsourced) was informed my account was shutdown. Didn't feel like arguing or complaining since I knew it would get me nowhere. Will pay the processing fee and get my balance back but it's annoying as I was about to pay my estimated taxes of around $7,000 on the card. Glad it was cancelled before I loaded it with $7,000.

Have a second NS card with a slightly different name that I never activated…am half tempted to try it to pay my $7,000 in taxes and then let it get shut down.

I think what these companies really want is for you to setup direct deposit with them and make lots of small purchases. There must be some processing fees they get charged with (so they need to recoup some with that $1 fee per transaction) OR perhaps they lose money on the actual card itself but use the direct deposits of people to maintain a somewhat large cash balance that they can use to invest before people do actually spend to eek out some sort of profit.

Has anybody actually set up direct deposit? If so, were you shutdown as well?

Also, has anybody opted to pay for their FeeAdvantage Plan? If so, were you shutdown as well?


@ Nate- if you are successful in activating a second card please share- I’m not sure it will work since you need a social or EIN to activate but if it does that sure would be some useful info.

[…] money through the card.  I wrote about my own experience with getting shut down in the post “We’re sorry, there is a problem with your account.”  I think that one could use the NetSpend card to make one or two tax payments before […]

Been with AceElite(Netspend(MetaBank) for 5 yrs now. did the OD thing then blocked from it. my direct deposits hit everymonth i like the few days early. Lately i have been using vanilla reload cards on it to reload. i Reloaded made a payment then about an hr later couldnt make a payment. then get a txt saying call 188 i was closed. WTF!
they said suspicious activity. and i will get my 80.89 refund in 20 days. has anyone have a timeline of how long it actually takes to get the check ?

Lauren Davis

Hey how long did it take you to get your refund check? My account was closed yesterday and they said I should get it 10 days from tomorrow. Did you get it in the time they quoted you?

frequent churner

Yes, different card, like the one FM got and some others , but none that are run by NS. This time I’ll try to feed the goose that lays the golden eggs by doing some regular CC transactions and mix in debit transactions to clear out extra “spending”. I’m thinking that if they’re making decent money from my CC spending they’ll look the other way on the withdrawals.
Good thing there’s so many of them and they all work the same, and I have a local grocery store that sells all kinds of non-vanilla reloads too.

frequent churner

Stevedealin: My paypal account is fine. It turns out the debit card had PayPal name on it just as a front, for marketing purposes. Both cards got shutdown the same day and the “compliance department” person for both was at NS.
It doesn’t matter now, I got my refund within a week and now have two replacement cards with which I’ll take a better approach that’ll hopefully be sustainable.


Thanks for the info frequent churner. I take it that “replacement”= different card or spouse?


For clarification purposes, did paypal shut down their prepaid card at the time of the netspend card or did your actual paypal account get shut down?

frequent churner

Can’t say exactly what’s going on behind the scenes, but after speaking with someone at Bancorp, things make more sense. The csr at the bank said they get a lot of complaints about random account closures like these (and not just from NS), and even set up a dedicated phone line just for that. I told him how NS was blaming “the bank” for the closure and he assured me it’s nothing of the sort.
When I was on the phone with the card CSR, first the lower level foreign grunts tried to lie to me and avoid the question of what’s wrong with the account, pretending like they didn’t hear me, and insisted on just sending me a check. After pressing the issue, they first lied that it was due to “out of state loads” that they think was fraudulent.
Finally, when I insisted to find out the real deal, I got transferred to a CSR at NS who was here in the US, and she straight up asked me why I have all these debits to various banks and only one or two purchases. Eventually she “politely” said that what I was doing wasn’t something they liked, even though it didn’t violate any of the terms.
I’m going to try out the other cards and see how they work, but without large load+debit use, they’re pretty useless to me. Maybe if I put more than one or two credit purchases on there it’ll go undetected or they’ll let it go. The good news is there’s so many of them you can keep signing up for more.

frequent churner

Here’s the final update, I called PP and turns out they’re indeed run by NS. I escalated all the way to the compliance department and got it out of them that they simply didn’t like the large debit and bill payment transactions I’ve been making so they closed it.
The good news is it has nothing to do with the issuing bank. I called both banks and they said you can still open other cards that have them as the issuing bank.
A mix of regular spending and large debits is probably the best way to do this going forward.


frequent churner: thanks for the info. I’m amazed at the idea that NetSpend runs the PayPal prepaid card, but is backed by a different bank. Weird! Question: why do you think large debits would be successful at all? I’m assuming that the best someone can do is a mix of regular spending and small bill payments.

frequent churner

…and there’s more, just got off the phone with the “helpful” CSR and they said it’s detected as “fraud” because the reload packs are marked as coming from a company in GA or CA, so they think someone in a different state is abusing my card.

frequent churner

Well, I had “problems” with my NS and Paypal account on the same day! What are the odds, I milked one of them for 3 months and over 12k, and now that I have both they get shut down on the same day. Paypal customer service told me friday the two companies aren’t related but looks like they might be.
Next up is to try and replicate this with Mio or similar cards.

frequent churner

No problem! I’m going to test it out and let you know if there’s any issues. I have a 5-card churn coming up with $17k minimum spend. These two cards should work nicely to help clear that.

frequent churner

@Frequent Miler — got my PayPal card today and it looks very interesting.

Online interface is very similar to NS and when I searched for load locations, it shows the grocery chain where I was previously able to buy Reload-it cards, as well as OD stores, so I think it should accept Vanilla reloads as well.

It has a $4.95 monthly fee but all purchases are free, but otherwise it might work just as well as NS but with backing from Bancorp.


frequent churner: Thanks for the info! Others, here is the page to find the reload locations for the PayPal card: https://www.paypal-prepaid.com/account/distributors.m

Frequent Miler

It looks like the Paypal card is backed by Bancorp (which backs the Mio) whereas Netspend is backed by Metabank

frequent churner

@Consumerist — stop spreading misinformation. PayPal card comes from a different bank than NS. The only affiliation they have is they accept reloads through the NS or Reload-it network.

If you’re smart about how you use them and don’t rush out to buy money orders, there won’t be any problems.


The law firm of M&S is investigating the prepaid debit card industry for unfair and deceptive acts and practices in the marketing and administration of their prepaid card products.

Everything you are doing is legal and is in compliance with the terms of the NS agreement. If your account has been locked or terminated, I encourge you to contact them at the following link:



Netspend also runs the PayPay prepaid card. Once you are shutdown on the NS card, you are also unable to open a PayPal account.


SHUT DOWN! NetSpend just shut my account down. A little warning would have been nice. Oh well, it was good while it lasted….

I called customer service and they said the shutdown request was from MetaBank for “unintended usage” or something like that (forgot the exact wording).

Frequent Miler

Rick: yes, but I haven’t had a chance to yet.


Are you going to try again with one of the other similar cards?

Frequent Miler

I received the payout check today from NetSpend. It took less than 2 weeks. Not bad!

[…] We’re sorry, there is a problem with your account […]


i just used my amex hhilton card today to buy onevanilla prepaid visa card’s at cvs. trying to hit the 40K bonus but wondering if the 6x bonus points will be added as well. has anyone had any luck with using amex to buy prepaid visa cards for 6x points? thanks.


beware of these kind of cards. the sponsor banks are all full of it and will cancel them quickly


It’s $10k/day that gets reported to the IRS. That’s it. You do not get shut down, The Gov’t doesn’t come looking for you, your bank won’t cause you any problems, and the claims of $2,500 day are a load of crap.

Anyone who played the US Mint game heavily should know this.


USGovtSecretAgentMan. Love to see a link. I’ve done 1,000’s of transaction above $2,500 without any outside interest in me at all.

Andy F.

I would guess it was due to $20 referrals and the referring chain.. If A refers B, B refers C, C refers D… till Z, anyone in the referring chain got a problem, all other persons in the chain would be involved in.


Looks like to stay under the radar, don’t load more than $1000/day and no more than maybe every 5-7 days. I’m going to attempt to pay my mortgage, condo association fees and utility bills with this. That alone, if it works, will add over $1k/mo in spending.

Btw, FM, if you look on the Reloadit page, there’s several other card partners they have who are not affiliated with Metabank. maybe you can try your luck again with less slower spending.

netspend card

Try buying beer, cigarettes, and scratch off cards at 7-11. Your account probably won’t get shut down.


WakeUp: Apparently more than 1

rick: Could be. That seems plausible.

Mark: True, that’s why these cards are so profitable.

harvson3: Thanks for the MIO info. I might hold off on that for now.

Mark: About $1500 balance remaining.

HockeyCoachBen: I didn’t load more than $2K. Can you point me to the regulation you’re talking about?

HikerT: Yeah, I feel bad about the possibility of them shutting down people I referred. Let’s hope not!

USGovtAgent: Can you point me to this law with the $2500 limit? I’d like to read up…

vr: Yep, cards like this are definitely designed to take advantage of people who don’t know better.

netspend card: LOL


@USGovtAgent- could you expand on what these new rules eff 7/1 will be ?


Awww.. FM, sorry to hear that.

To me it is clear, ALL these preload cards are designed/targeted towards poor, ignorant b&s&&rds (no offense) and NOT for smart cookies like FM and others on this board. As soon as “metabanks” (name itself sounds shady) realize the customer might be smarter than their targeted IQ, they like to shut down the account it seems. Seriously, at some point these banks need to get whacked by somebody. As consumers we should not only boycott but also try to educate poor guys.


@BE.RGHT.BACK – The $2500/day is no mythical idea, I can assure you. It is in fact federal law enacted under The Patriot Act’s provisions for money laundering and suspicious banking activity monitoring. It may not be the reason your account was closed, but it is the reason many pre-paid accounts are closed every single day in this country. And under new rules, starting July 1, doing business using pre-paid cards, money orders, etc is going to much more strict! Expect more accounts to be closed much faster and more people to start getting phone calls and interview requests from DHS & OIG.

[…] you were thinking of using the netSpend Mastercard prepaid card, you might want to read this post of the Frequent Miler’s about account closures. Tread carefully with this […]


@BE.RGHT.BACK, can you expand on what it is?



Looked at Mango, and did not see either of the two things I want to see:

1. A way to load from office supply stores.
2. A debit card capability. (At least not mentioned on the site)

so if you are going to only get 1x, I would not get unless you know something I don’t. I am on flytertalk if you want to sent a PM.


I wonder what you folks think about Mango card. Is it a good alternative?


I was doing this method month before FM was and was shut down in a similar fashion. It has nothing to do with the referral link or someones mythical idea of 2,500 in one day or 10k in a month.


Ah, sorry, missed the last sentence. I wonder if they track who you referred…


Bummer, so did you lose all your referrals?


If you loaded more than $2500 in one day or (I think) $10,000 in one week, you have violated the Patriot Act and the bank is required by law to shut you down and report you to the Department of Treasury & Secret Service. Under the Act, it is also a violation of the Act to tell you why you were shut down or that you have been reported to those agencies. So that could all explain NetrSpend’s secrecy. Them saying that your activity is suspicious leads me to believe this is what happened.


Sorry to hear that. FM
A lot of balance remaining?


I read over the Mio card’s T&Cs and was not impressed. Let us know if you find different results.


It is well documented credit cards are heavily regulated. These prepaid cards, none. They can do as they please unfortunately. At least for now. Let’s see how long things stay that way.


I guarantee you it was the referral link. You’re probably one of the few customers who made that much in referrals and they traced it to the blog.


What did you expect? How many of your accounts need to be shut down before you learn to keep your mouth shut?


FF, thank you so much always for your important and extraordinary posts. Your site is the best of all points and miles..


MKHFNR: I agree. NetSpend is a shady business.

jcmitchell21: You might want to wait and see if we really get those checks that were promised.

namtuge: Good point

chuck: Thanks!

THEsocalledfan: Yep

Smitty06: I think I loaded $500 initially and then $1500 more a day or two later. That was over a week ago. I’m not sure why they would have waited so long to flag me for that. Referrals, yes, that’s possible.

Steven C: Yes, it could be the referrals. I don’t know how many I have, nor can I check since I can’t log on. I don’t plan to try again with NetSpend. Prepaid cards are thriving and I expect to see more and more options soon.

BE.RIGHT.BACK: I agree, they are crooked. Thanks for the MIO warning. Maybe I’ll give that a pass after all…

emily: Wow, thanks!


I’ve already told you they are crooked. DO NOT load 7,500 on you card unless you are interested in having it frozen. It had nothing to do with his referral links and everything to do with a crooked company.

FM- Dont bother with the MIO card. Same routine shut down with in 2 weeks. Checks take 4-6 weeks to send out minus a processing fee.

Steven C

Since none of your spend was out of the ordinary, I would suspect it was your referral link (and their generous $40 payout)that got you flagged, even if only 50 people signed up via your link. That $2K in under 24 hours. You actual # was probably substantially more. Would be interesting to see how other readers fare since most would have limited referral credits. Though question is can you open another account and try again after you get all your money back?


How much did you load on the card? I think these cards are not marketed to high spenders so loading several thousand dollars may make the bank nervous. It’s also possible they didn’t like all the referral credits you were generating.


@namtuge, not so fast. I think mitchell’s idea has merit. The keys to diversify you spend to a bunch of cards including 1X cards. I was thinking about hammering my Amex Delta, Amex gold, Sapphire, and SPG and spread the love around! Biggest danger is they shut you down before you use the Vanilla card, but the good news is you have Amex as a backup.


Netspend shut our account down with my husbands whole paycheck and want unlock it so we can get our money any way I can get something done about this


I have had two Netspend cards suspended for ‘suspicious activity’ One in Oct 2018 and today March 2019? I am so confused? All I do is use it for groceries and miscellaneous items. I buy nothing ‘suspicious’ and I load cash onto it. So, I called, them gave me the same run around as this blog. Now if I want my money back(which is mine), I have to send a copy of my Drivers License and proof of employment. F*** Them! Netspend sucks. I will never give them my business again!


It happened to be almost exactly like that. I am a widow and have 3 direct deposits each month and don’t know where to turn now! Have over 1000 in the account

Michael Machado

All these years and there still at it. How are they getting away with this?


I am sorry that this happened but I am also glad that you made the attempt and let us know how it went in the process. I really appreciate the transparency and candid way you are willing to take the plunge into a new idea that might benefit many of us out here. You provide a service that most of us I am sure appreciate. Thanks.


@jcmitchell21: This tactics may get you in trouble with Chase which is much worse.


If it is this likely to get shutdown, I would take it for all it’s worth. Load up 15k over two days. On the 3rd day, cash out 2 $7500 money orders, and load up 7500 again immediately, then cash out to a 3rd money order. Could get this done within a 15 minutes on the 3rd day. Repeat until account closure. If they close your account before you can get it out, you will still get the money back in 20 days.


sorry but what? that makes NO sense to load and get a money order, do it again until account closes. what is the point of that? what are you gaining by that? I don’t get it sorry.


How can something this even exist with a Mastercard logo on it? You follow their rules and they shut you down and hold your money for 20 days? I’d make my call to, if it matters, Mastercard – they allowed their logo on the damn thing. Forget abuse, this is just short of criminal.