Have you ever considered or are you thinking about getting loaded Visa card? This question will apply to you probably if you are still young, plan to travel or have issues with your credit rating. Prepaid Visa cards combine convenience of credit card with an easy and hassle free process of getting one without lengthy applications and approvals.

These cards in New Zealand are offered by Kiwibank via their Post Office branches. There are basically 3 types of prepaid Visa cards they offer:

  1. Loaded
  2. Loaded Everyday
  3. Loaded for Travel

All of these cards share the same properties of being prepaid cards. However they greatly differ in fees depending on their intended use. So, before you get one of these cards, think about the most usual way you plan to use it, check thoroughly what the fees are and choose wisely. Wrong selection can mean significant amount of fees paid!

I must say that Kiwibank did not make it easy to compare these cards. They created 3 different websites for each card. They also published all fees; however, each table has a different format, the fees are scattered on different places, sometimes even called slightly different. You can check these 3 websites for yourself:

Loaded card – www.loadedcard.co.nz/fees/

Loaded Everyday card – www.loadedeveryday.co.nz/fees/

Loaded for Travel card – www.loadedfortravel.co.nz/fees/

As you can see, it makes the comparison a bit hard and time consuming. I don’t know if it’s just negligence on Kiwibank’s side or if it’s intended purpose to make the comparison hard. Anyway, we have done the hard work for you and consolidated all 3 cards into one, easy to read table, showing all 3 cards and their fees side by side.

Plus, we have added to the mix the ASB standard Visa Debit for comparison, because in our opinion ASB bank recently offers better deal for everyday banking. They are imposing no limits on your balance and still offering all electronic transactions free. Kiwibank won’t charge you any fees only if you maintain $4,000 balance in your current account.

You can get ASB Visa Debit card attached to your everyday cheque account (in this case Streamline) and use it the same way as credit card or prepaid Visa card. It is accepted in the same places and literally works just like any other prepaid Visa card.

We also believe that this simple Debit Card attached to your current bank account when used wisely can be much better option or alternative to any loaded Visa card.

And here is the comparison:

Fee Description / Card Name
Kiwibank - Loaded
Kiwibank - Loaded everyday
Kiwibank - Loaded for Travel
Streamline ASB Visa Debit
Establishment fee16.5018.5012.000.00
Yearly account fee10.0018.000.0010.00
Months until inactivity fee kicks in6 monthsnone1 monthnone
Monthly inactivity fee5.000.001.000.00
Phone enquiry automated1.500.500.000.00
Phone enquiry live3.501.500.003.00
ATM Balance inquiry domestic0.601.001.000.00
ATM Balance inquiry international0.601.001.00unknown
Alert via Emailunaviable0.050.050.00
Alert via TXTunaviableunaviable0.500.20
Reload fee1.000.001% (max $10)0.00
Min reload ammount5.005.000.000.00
Max reload amount5,000.005,000.009,500.00no limit
Number of currencies1151
ATM withdrawal domestic0.601.006.000.00
ATM withdrawal international7.506.006.007.50
Foreign currency conversion fee3.50%3.50%0%2.10%
Withdrawal limit1,000.001,000.001,000.001,000.00
Withdrawal limit per day2,500.002,500.002,500.00unknown
Purchase limit par day5,000.005,000.005,000.00unknown
Max card balance10,000.0010,000.0020,000.00unlimited

We would like to present few reasons why we think that simple ASB Visa Debit card is a better deal than any currently offered prepaid or loaded Visa card:

  1. There is no establishment fee
  2. Yearly card fee is just $10
  3. There is no inactivity period nor inactivity fees
  4. No fees for automated phone enquiry
  5. No domestic balance inquiry. If you are overseas, you simply can check your balance for free using internet banking
  6. No fees for alerts via email
  7. Cheaper TXT alerts
  8. You pay no reload fees. Simply transfer money from your saving account (your parents account or any other bank account)
  9. No minimum or maximum limits for “reload” amounts. In this case it’s just simple transfer between different bank accounts
  10. Cheaper foreign currency conversion fee (2.1% instead of 3.5%)
  11. No maximum balance on your account

We were trying to find any disadvantages, but could not find any worth mentioning. This article is no advertising for ASB. You can get similar deals with other banks too, for example Westpac also offers fee free current bank account if all transactions are done electronically.

We published this post simply because we believe that loaded prepaid Visa cards as they are offered by Kiwibank today are not a good deal. However, we leave this for your consideration.

Do you have any experience with loaded Visa cards? If so and would like to share your opinion or thoughts, please leave us your comments.

Posted on: September 13, 2013
Categories: Articles

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