NetSpend bleeds kid's birthday cash card with predatory monthly "inactivity fees"

Originally published at: NetSpend bleeds kid's birthday cash card with predatory monthly "inactivity fees" | Boing Boing


I shudder to think what my life inactivity fees are up to.


Maybe they’re just trying to introduce kids early on to late-stage capitalist America’s tradition of nickel-and-diming those who can least afford it.


Are you british? Because if so, I am sure it’s measured in British pounds.


In a drawer somewhere are a few Netspend cards that were given to us as a Christmas present years ago. To set up a pin for use, you basically have to establish an account and give them access to the same information my bank gets. Oh, hell no.

With this information, I can now confidently throw them away knowing that there are no funds left. Scum bags.


A card like this will just teach a kid to hate capitalism faster than a few rounds of Monopoly will.


Never, ever, ever buy gift cards with the Visa or Mastercard logo on them. As for other types of gift cards, use them as soon as you possibly can. They are not meant to be savings accounts, after all.

Do you need to set up a PIN to use it at all? If not, use it right away on some regular, day-to-day expense, like groceries or at a fillin’ station. Extract the value immediately. But if you are forced to set up a PIN with all that info, I’m with ya, @cannibalpeas . No freakin way.


The ones we got were completely useless and non-transferable without an account. Some of this has to do with fraud and money laundering prevention as they are essentially a debit card (the ones we got, anyway), but my personal info isn’t worth $50.

It’s worth far, far less.


There are plenty of Visa and MC cards that retain their value with no fees once they’ve been paid for. But you’re absolutely correct, they’re for spending, not saving!


Passively generating capital for activities that would not otherwise get funded by the duly diligent.

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“And that, son, is why you never trust a bank, and only accept cash.”

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If I may offer a sober policy proposal.


*Jumps up and down shouting “Deposit! Accounts! At! The Fed! With! Transfers! Where One Side of the transaction! Is a private citizen! As! A Public! Service!”*

We might not even have to ban anything. Offer deposits/withdrawals at the post office and in one swell foop we might

  • Kill off the check cashing store.
  • Take away Visa/Mastercard’s ability to discriminate against queer friendly and kink oriented stuff in the name of family values.
  • NetSpend’s predatory garbage.
  • PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, whatever oligopolists taking a cut…

And we’d open the way to helicopter money so monetary stimulus could appear in the accounts of the poorest Americans instead of the debt portfolios of the richest banks.


Because “the kid has the money and we want the money”


There’s a post on BB that I couldn’t find on my phone, but the USPS has a program for this:


UK approximately has this now, we had it 10 years ago, and in 10 years it’ll probably be gone. National Savings & Investments | 100% Secure Saving | NS&I (

NS&I is moving away from the (privatised) Post Office, which is killing the physical stores even more.

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