"Don’t load any more money and spend what is left" is probably insufficient advice for those who’ve been using their Approved Cards as bank account substitutes—say, by loading via direct deposit, and using bill pay and other features. If that’s you, you'll now need a new account.
We’ve been tough on the prepaid card industry because many products were fee-heavy and feature-light. But competition has brought fees down and many prepaid cards have features that make the best prepaid cards low-cost, effective and nonpunitive payments tools. We rated prepaid cards last year and found several that scored “very good”—including the Approved Card. While it will no longer be available, other “very good” prepaid cards, such as Green Dot and Bluebird, are still on the market. Since fees and features vary widely, we strongly urge consumers to shop around. Here are tips to help you pick a new prepaid card.
Depending on how and why you’ve used your Approved Card, you may want to consider getting a low-fee, no overdraft bank account instead of a prepaid card. Bank accounts, unlike prepaid cards, come with mandatory federal protections (though prepaid cards often provide them voluntarily). Some to consider are KeyBank’s Hassle-Free Account, and Bank of America’s SafeBalance Banking account. Your local credit union may have a similar account. As with prepaid cards, be sure to shop around.
Once your new account is set up, contact your employer or benefits provider and ask that your paycheck or benefits be routed to your new account.