Such reports help to build the cardholder’s credit. Parents also find another benefit in the card as they teach their teenagers financial responsibility. Able to load weekly allowances onto the card, parents allow their children to practice financial management at an early age.
Despite the apparent benefits, some of the harshest criticism comes directly from Rush Card customers. While it saves cardholders from overdraft and other bank fees, it maintains a fee structure of its own. Monthly plans begin with a $19.95 activation fee (waived for those enrolled in direct deposit) and charges $9.95 per month plus $1.00-2.50 for PIN and ATM transactions. The Pay-As-You-Go alternative charges the activation fee and plus $1.00-1.95 for PIN and ATM transactions.
Some customers wonder why they should deal with the relatively confusing fee matrix when Walmart and Greendot have similar products, the Moneycard and the MoneyPak respectively, with overall fees as low as $4.95.
In addition to the issue of cost, many customers complain about Rush Card’s customer service.
In instances of identity theft and missing or undelivered cards, many have found that their reports have gone un-investigated and unresolved. Finally, heavily marketed to low-income African-Americans, many are critical of the stigma the card carries.
Nothing’s free and the stigma may always be there — but if Simmons aims to cement Rush Card’s place in the black community as a reliable financial service, attentive care towards customers’ needs will have to become a priority. If not, he’ll see his customers rush right into the hands of companies with a better grip on service.