The helpful people at CashMoney are offering an innovative new product: pre-paid debit cards. Yes, for just $1.99 to activate the card, $1.99 to reload it, $0.50 per debit transaction, $1.99 per ATM transaction, and $2.50 per month, you can have the convenience of a debit card just like all your friends and “start spending life your way.”
But wait just a minute; “pre-paid debit card?” Isn’t this wonderful and innovative product just like a bank account? When you open a bank account, aren’t you also activating your new debit card? When you withdraw money at an ATM, aren’t you depleting the pre-paid balance on your debit card? When you make a deposit to your new account, aren’t you essentially reloading your debit card?
An average month of 2 deposits, 4 ATM withdrawals, and 4 debits would cost $16.44 with a CashMoney debit card, versus $4 at Royal Bank, $3.90 at CIBC, or $0 at PC Financial. Even if you find yourself in the vicious cycle of payday loans, you’re far better off taking the money and walking across the street to the bank to use their services rather than loading up your CashMoney debit card. Surely it’s not so hard to get a bank account these days that a CashMoney “pre-paid debit card” is filling a legitimate need.
I assume that the “free” offer mentioned on the sign above waives the activation fee, but preserves all of the other fees. MoneyMart also offers a debit card which is just as big a money pit as CashMoney’s.
It’s amazing (not in a good way) that these things are still available in Ontario.