Most inquiries about the Approved Card are common questions, so if you have questions about your Approved Card or associated services, please review the list of frequently-asked questions below for an answer.
The Approved Card is a cost-effective and safer alternative to carrying cash. Once you add money to your Card account, you can use your Approved Card to make purchases at millions of merchants worldwide, everywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted – in stores, online, by phone and at ATMs. The Approved Card is convenient, safer than cash and your key to gaining financial freedom. Because it is a Prepaid Card, only spend the money you add to it.1 That means no overdraft fees, no late fees, no interest. It is not a Credit Card. Also important to know is this Card is safer than cash because if it is lost or stolen you are protected by the MasterCard Zero Liability policy2, as long as you notify us promptly.
1 It is possible that a merchant may rarely “force post” transactions that exceed the amount loaded on the card, resulting in a negative balance on the card. The amount of the negative balance will be deducted from your net deposit. However, if the available balance on the card is exceeded, any further transactions will be declined.
2 Conditions and exceptions apply- see the Cardholder Agreement
Anyone can enroll, as long as you are a U.S. resident age 18 and over, have a verifiable physical U.S. Street Address (No PO Boxes) and a valid Social Security number. You need to be a U.S. resident age 13 and over, have a verifiable physical U.S. Street Address (No PO Boxes) and a valid Social Security number to get a secondary card.
Enrolling for The Approved Card is easy and takes only minutes! Go to http://www.theapprovedcard.com/ to fill out our online Enrollment Form.
Yes, as long as you are a permanent resident age 18 and over with a verifiable physical U.S. Street Address (No PO Boxes) and a valid Social Security number.
Yes. A benefit of carrying The Approved Card is that a credit check is not needed to process your enrollment. Please note that approval depends on the verification of your personal information. You are required to provide your first name and last name, verifiable U.S. Street Address (No PO Boxes), date of birth, home phone number, email address and a valid Social Security number.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PROCEDURES FOR OPENING A NEW CARD ACCOUNT: To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens a Card Account. What this means for you: When you open a Card Account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.
Yes, you can add up to 3 additional Cards to your Approved Card account and give the other Cards to family members. Additional Cardholders must be age 13 or older. The Primary Cardholder controls how much to share with the secondary Cardholder. And it’s completely free!
The name of your family member(s) or friend(s) will be embossed on the additional The Approved Card(s), and each Card will have its own unique Card account number. Note: The Primary Cardholder is responsible for all transactions and fees incurred by themselves; any authorized person; and any additional Cardholder(s) on the account according to the terms of the Cardholder Agreement. The Primary Cardholder is required to notify Approved Card Services to revoke permission for any person previously authorized to use their Card.
No. The information required to get The Approved Card needs to be verifiable information including name, physical U.S. address, date of birth, home phone number, and identifying documents. At this time, Cards may only be issued to valid U.S. addresses, even if the person overseas has a Social Security number or other valid identifying documents.
To order an additional Approved Card for a friend or family member, login at http://www.theapprovedcard.com/ and enroll for a Card for a friend or family member.
The best way to do this is to destroy the other Card.
Alternatively, you could simply spend all funds on the account you have with the secondary Cardholder and then purchase a new Approved Card just for yourself.
Note: If the Primary Cardholder requests us to revoke another person’s use of their Card account, we may revoke the Primary Cardholder’s Card account and issue a new Card account with a different number. The Primary Cardholder is wholly responsible for the use of each Card on the account according to the terms of the Cardholder Agreement.
The BEST way to have money added to your Approved Card is through our free Direct Deposit service. With Direct Deposit, you can have your pay, disability, and government checks (i.e. Social Security, Tax Refund, Medicare, Welfare, etc.) sent directly to your Approved Card account at no cost.
Direct Deposit allows you to have all or part of your paycheck, government check or other benefits checks automatically added to your Approved Card account. It is safe, secure, fast and more convenient than receiving a paper check. You also save on the hassle and expense associated with getting your check cashed, or handling large amounts of cash.
Yes. Most employers and benefits providers offer Direct Deposit as an option to get your money. You can decide to load all or some of your pay to your Approved Card account. You can even use Direct Deposit to load money from more than one employer at the same time.
When you receive your Card in the mail, simply complete the direct deposit form attached to your welcome letter and give it to your payroll department. Choose how much money you’d like to add to your Approved Card account – you can choose all of your pay (100%), part of it (1% to 100%), or a fixed dollar amount to be added each pay period. The choice is yours.
You can also download a Direct Deposit Form here: http://www.theapprovedcard.com/. Sign the Form and bring it to your employer’s payroll department or your benefits provider.
There is no cost to you for Direct Deposit. It’s the best, fastest and most convenient way to load money onto your Approved Card account.
If you are loading funds via Direct Deposit, you can load up to eight (8) times per month, up to a total of $9,000. Please note that these load limits apply to all Cardholders on your Card account combined.
Money will be available on payday or on the date of your benefits payment by 9:00 am ET.
Yes. You can load your tax refund or other one-time payments from institutions that offer Direct Deposit. Use the Routing Number and Direct Deposit Account (DDA) Number (NOT your 16 digit Card account number) provided on your Direct Deposit form. There is a daily limit of three direct deposits.
Yes. Have your tax refund loaded directly to your Card account by including The Approved Card account routing number and Direct Deposit Account (DDA) number (NOT your 16-digit Card account number) provided on your Direct Deposit form. You can use this information whether you are filing online, by mail, or through your local tax preparer.
* Refund Direct Deposits MUST be in the name of the Cardholder (or the Cardholder’s spouse) to be accepted and posted by Approved Card.
The payments from your previous job will stop automatically when your employer stops paying you. To re-start Direct Deposit with your new job, simply fill out another Direct Deposit form, select how much of your pay you’d like deposited each pay period, sign the form and hand it to your new employer. Remember, you can even have Direct Deposit from more than one employer at the same time.
Yes. You can contact your employer to notify them of changes to your Direct Deposit requests.
Yes! Simply log in to the secure section of http://www.theapprovedcard.com/ and go to the add money section. You will find instructions on how to set up your bank account, and add money to your Card. Follow the onscreen instructions.
We are sorry. For security purposes, you can only add money from an account that has the same name as you registered when you obtained your Card.
You can add cash at thousands of retail stores nationwide using the MoneyGram® or Western Union® load networks.
You can add cash to your Approved Card at over 35,000 participating MoneyGram agent locations in the US.
MoneyGram collects a service charge of $3.50—a SPECIAL LOW PRICE for The Approved Card.
Add cash at participating Western Union Agent locations. Visit www.WesternUnion.com to find a location near you. Visit a participating Western Union Agent location and complete the gray Western Union Prepaid Services form.
You will need to include the following:
Give the cash ($20 minimum, $950 maximum), your completed form, and the store’s retail load fee (typically $4.95) to the Western Union Agent clerk (no checks or Credit Cards accepted). Keep the receipt for your records. Your money will be posted to your Approved Card account within 30 minutes. For more details, visit http://www.theapprovedcard.com/..
Visit The Approved Card Store Locator at http://www.theapprovedcard.com/ or call 1-800-926-9400 to find a convenient location.
Yes. If you are adding cash at a retail store, you can load up to $950 per day at MoneyGram and Western Union. The maximum combined you can add at a retail store in a 30-day period is $9500. Please note that these load limits apply to all Cardholders on your Card account combined.
The Approved Card does not charge any fees for loading money and we are not responsible for fees charged by retailers or other load partners. MoneyGram® charges a special low fee of $3.50 to load money to The Approved Card; Western Union® typically charges $4.95. Using Direct Deposit is free and absolutely the best and the most cost-effective way to load money to your Card.
When loading cash, the store should provide you with a receipt for each transaction. Please save this receipt.
It depends on which service you use. For Direct Deposit, your money is available on the day it is received. For cash loads at a retail store, your money will be available anywhere from immediately to 30 minutes, depending on which service you use.
No. The Approved Card reloads can only be processed at participating locations in the United States. Please click here for our reload store locator.
With The Approved Card Alerts, you automatically get a text message (standard text messaging rates from your wireless service provider may apply) and/or email when specified Card account activity occurs. You can get an Available Balance Alert automatically at the same time every day, or every week – and/or get an Alert only when you make a purchase, withdrawal or other transaction. You can choose from any or all of the following Alerts:
If you provide us your email address at enrollment, we will send you an email with your available account balance after each value load, purchase or cash-type transaction.
You can update or change your preferences at any time after receipt of your Card.
There is no cost for Alerts from The Approved Card, however, messaging and data rates apply and your cell phone must be text message enabled. Please check with your cell phone carrier for rates and availability.
You can sign up for The Approved Card Alerts by logging into your Card account online at http://www.theapprovedcard.com/.
The Approved Card Alerts can be sent to cell phones with the following carriers:
The Approved Card Alerts can be sent to cell phones with the following carriers:
You can opt out of the SMS text Alerts service at any time by texting “STOP” to short code APPRVD (277783). This will immediately unsubscribe you from the service and you will no longer receive text messages unless you opt in again via the website at http://www.theapprovedcard.com/.
You can opt out of email and/SMS text Alerts by logging in to http://www.theapprovedcard.com/ and uncheck all the selected Alert preferences.
You can stop individual Alerts by logging in to http://www.theapprovedcard.com/ and uncheck the boxes for the individual Alert preferences you want to cancel.
If you need assistance with SMS Alerts, you can text “HELP” to short code APPRVD (277783) at any time. You will receive the link to The Approved Card website and the Customer Service phone number.
You can un-enroll at any time by logging into http://www.theapprovedcard.com/ and uncheck the boxes for the Alerts you want to cancel. Other than that, your Alerts will cease if your Card Account is inactive for other reasons (Card lost, stolen, etc.).
|TEXT THIS to APPRVD (277783)||GET THIS|
|STOP||Unsubscribe from SMS service|
|HELP||Customer Service and website contact information|
|BAL||Your current balance|
If you are signed up for Daily Balance Alerts they will be sent out every day, 7 days a week, at 8am ET. However, the actual message delivery is subject to carrier delays.
Click here to view our Schedule of Fees.
Once you receive your Card, you will need to activate it before you can add money to it or use it for purchases. To activate, go to http://www.theapprovedcard.com/ or call the 24-hour automated phone system at the toll free number on the back of your Approved Card and follow the prompts. You will also select a four digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) so you can use your Card at an ATM and/or get cash back at the point of sale (if you use the “debit” option).
The best way to always know your balance is to sign up for The Approved Card Alert Service. We can send you your current balance every time it changes, or if you prefer, once a day, or once a week. (Please note that Alerts are available at no cost from us, but your cell phone carrier may charge for SMS messages, and your phone must be enabled to receive SMS text messages—please check with your carrier.)
Your Approved Card can be used until the expiration date printed on the front of your Card. If your Approved Card has a balance when the Card account expires, you will be mailed a new Card and the remaining funds will be added to your new Card. We encourage you to verify that your contact information—name, address, and phone numbers are correct so that we are able to deliver your new Card to the correct address. If your Approved Card account has a zero balance at expiration it cannot be renewed or reloaded.
Yes. Your Approved Card account is safer than cash. If your Card is ever lost or stolen, we’ll send you a new Card. Just remember to report your Card lost or stolen to The Approved Card Services at 1-888-259-0113 (or 1-510-964-3897 if calling from outside the U.S.) immediately! Your Card is protected from unauthorized purchases with the MasterCard Zero Liability policy. Conditions and exceptions apply—see your Cardholder Agreement for details.
Yes, your deposits are FDIC insured to at least $250,000 through The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.
The PIN is a four-digit security feature that is used to get cash at ATMs (select “checking”). You also use your PIN when making purchases (if you select “debit“) so you can get cash back. Please remember to keep this PIN safe and do not share it with anyone. Do not keep it in your wallet, or write it on The Approved Card. You can select your PIN when you activate your Card by contacting the 24 hour automated phone system toll-free at the number on the back of your Approved Card. When you select your PIN, choose a number that you are familiar with so you don’t easily forget it.
Contact the 24-hour automated phone system toll-free at the number on the back of your Approved Card to choose a new PIN.
You can use The Approved Card to obtain cash from any Automated Teller Machine (ATM) with the MasterCard®, Maestro®, Cirrus®, STAR® or Allpoint® Acceptance Mark. All ATM transactions are treated as cash withdrawal transactions. You will need to enter your PIN when prompted, and select “checking” to access money. Fees may apply to each ATM transaction, in addition to any fees the ATM terminal owner may impose.
No. If you want to use your Approved Card to buy gas, you should go inside and present your Card to the cashier before pumping.
Absolutely! You may use your Approved Card wherever Debit MasterCard is accepted. Most websites also ask for your security code (3 digit code on back of Card near signature panel). See the example below:
It depends on the rental car company. The Approved Card can be used to rent a car, but because a rental car is an “open end” transaction your Approved Card account may be “authorized” (have money held) for more money than the actual cost of the rental car. The reason for this is that the rental car company won’t know if they need to charge you for things like gas, car damage, and extra days until you return the vehicle. The rental car company can place a hold on these funds for as long as 60 days. For this reason, some car rental companies do not accept Prepaid Cards.
It depends on the hotel. When you make a reservation at a hotel it is called an “open end” transaction. That means the total amount due is unknown. The hotel has the right to authorize more than the initial payment to cover additional expenses or damages that could occur during your stay. The hotel can place a hold on these funds for 30 days. For this reason, some hotels do not accept Prepaid Cards.
If you try to purchase an item of greater value than your available Card balance, the Card will be declined. Some merchants are able to handle this with a “split tender” transaction. To make a purchase greater than the balance on your Card, you will need to provide the merchant with a second payment method – cash, check, or a Credit Card – to cover the difference. When making your purchase, you must first tell the cashier in advance how much to deduct from your Approved Card, and how much you will use from the second payment method. Please be advised not all merchants can handle these “split tender” transactions.
If a transaction is declined, the merchant will let you know. To help prevent this, keep track of your balance by visiting The Approved Card web site http://www.theapprovedcard.com/ or check your balance from the phone number on the back of your Approved Card.
Keeping you up to date on your available balance is important to us. You can check up to the minute balance and transaction information at http://www.theapprovedcard.com/. The Account History Page shows transaction history, spending summary and available balance. Also, you can sign up for free Approved Card Alerts via SMS text message (Standard text messaging rates may apply) or email. These convenient services alert you of your balance when any Card activity occurs. You can sign up for these services when you login to your account, and click “Alerts”. You can also contact customer support at the number on the back of your Approved Card.
Monthly statements are not issued for The Approved Card. For your convenience, you can always access your statement online at no cost at http://www.theapprovedcard.com/. You also have the right to obtain a 60 day written history of card account transactions by calling the number on the back of your Approved Card. There is a fee of $2.00 each time you request a paper statement.
CALL US IMMEDIATELY AT 1-888-259-0113 (or 1-510-964-3897 if calling from outside the U.S.). Calling us right away is the best way to limit your possible losses. A replacement Approved Card will be issued and any available balance (less the Card Replacement Fee—see the Schedule of Fees) will be added to the new Approved Card, subject to a review of your Card account. As long as the lost or stolen Approved Card is reported immediately, you will not be responsible for any unauthorized merchant charges (Note: full reimbursement of any fraudulent charge is provided through the MasterCard Zero Liability policy. Please be aware that conditions and exceptions apply—see The Approved Cardholder Agreement for details. We reserve the right to review any disputed charges based on our risk policy.)
If you suspect an error, have questions about a transaction, or wish to dispute a transaction that has posted to your Card account, go to http://www.theapprovedcard.com/ to download a dispute form. You will be asked to provide the following information:
Send the above information to:
Fax: +1 650.242.4112
We’re sorry, but we cannot accept telephone correspondence for disputed transactions.
If your Approved Card is lost or stolen, or you notice any unauthorized or fraudulent transactions on your Card, you need to report it immediately by calling our Cardholder Services at 1-888-259-0113 (or 1-510-964-3897 if calling from outside the U.S.), and we will investigate any questionable transactions.
The easiest way to close your Card account is to withdraw your funds at an ATM (fees included) or spend any remaining funds at a retail store. If you would like a refund of your remaining balance by check, contact Customer Service at the number on the back of your Approved Card. You will need to send us your Approved Card or destroy it. Send your Approved Card to:
The Approved Card Services
1300 Island Drive, Suite 105
Redwood City, CA 94065-5170
In order to change your address for your Approved Card account, you can go to our website at http://www.theapprovedcard.com/. to update your information. You can also call our Customer Service center at the number on the back of your Approved Card.
With The Approved Card Bill Payment, you can send a payment to almost anyone. Never order another money order or incur a bounced check fee again.
The fastest way is to pay by phone with your 16 digit card number if your biller accepts it.
You can also pay online by following these directions:
A company, organization or person that sends you a bill, invoice, or statement. This is usually a request for payment for a product or service.
Due to legal requirements, we currently can only schedule payments to Payees within the United States of America in U.S. currency. In addition, the following payments are discouraged, but may be scheduled at your own risk:
We will not notify you if you attempt to make any of these payments.
There is no fee to make an electronic bill payment, and a $1.00 fee to send a paper check payment. The payment service will determine if your payment is eligible to be sent electronically if they find a match of payees in the database that have registered to accept electronic payments. You will be informed when you set up your payee. All fees are deducted from your Card account and you will need to have enough money in your Card account to cover the payment plus the fee.
We send your payment to the address you provided to us for each of your Payees. Please note that there is a Bill Payment Fee – Postal Reject of $25 if the bill payment is returned by the post office, so please make sure you enter the Payee’s address accurately.
The Bill Due date is the date that each bill is due at the Payee’s location. You should schedule payment five to seven business days before the due date. If a bill arrives as Due Upon Receipt, the date that the bill arrived is listed as the due date.
The Send-On date is the date that you schedule your payment. It is always the current date. This is also the date on the check.
We issue payments automatically on the exact date that you specify. Please remember that it is your responsibility to schedule a payment to allow enough time for the payment to be received by your Payee. If you do not, you could incur a late payment fee or other penalty from your Payee. The Approved Card is not responsible for your failure to make any scheduled payments on time.
Remember: If you are paying a manual payee and we issue a paper check, you should send the payment on a date that is at least 5 business days before a bill due date. This will allow a paper check issued on your behalf to arrive at your Payee on time. The screen will always tell you when your Payee is expected to receive payment.
The bill payment cannot be scheduled if you do not have enough money in your Card account to cover the requested payment plus the fee.
Many Payees accept electronic payments, but not all. When you set up a Payee for payment, we will search for your Payees on our list of Payees who accept electronic payments. The process is the same for you; however, you will notice that the time to deliver the payment may vary based on whether the Payee will be paid electronically or by paper check. It will also take 5 days to deliver a paper check, whereas electronic payments are typically made sooner. The $1.00 cost per bill is only applied if an electronic payee cannot be found. You can always know when your payment is expected to be received by your Payee by looking at the “Received By” date when you schedule the payment.
For payees that can accept electronic payments, we recommend that you schedule the payment date at least 3 business days in advance of the due date.
Expedited payments are delivered faster than standard payments. These payments are subject to a $9.95 expedited payment fee that is automatically deducted from your Approved Card account.
Expedited payments are ideal if you have either forgotten to pay a bill or you are surprised by a payment that you need to make fast. Expedited payments provide way to make that happen without incurring a sizeable late fee or damaging your credit rating.
Expedited payments are sent immediately. In some cases, the payee will receive your payment the same business day, but typically receipt occurs within one business day.
These payments are subject to a $9.95 expedited payment fee that is automatically deducted from your Approved Card account.
The ability to make an expedited payment depends on the Payee and the time of day.
Payments are processed immediately and cannot be cancelled once requested. Please carefully enter your payment instructions.
The account number that you need to enter is your account number with the Payee as listed on your bill. If you can’t locate it on your bill, just call the Payee and they’ll provide you with this number. You must enter this account number when you’re setting up an electronic bill payment. In some cases, such as for a rent check, you may not have a Payee account number. In this case, enter your apartment number or other comment so your payee will know how to apply the payment.
A nickname is an informal name to help you remember to whom you want to make payment. If you have multiple accounts with a single Payee, or have a Payee with a long or unusual name, you can enter a name you can relate to, such as Mary’s Credit Card or Bill’s Rent. Having a nickname for a Payee ensures you’re paying the right Payees.
Yes, just click the “This payee does not have an account number” checkbox on the Add a Payee page and click Continue. We will then ask you for the payee’s remittance address.
For your convenience, we have published answers to the questions we are most frequently asked in this FAQ section. In addition, you can contact us at any time.
Emergency Funds are a great way to put money aside. Visit http://www.theapprovedcard.com/ for more details.
You may open up to 6 Emergency and Goal Funds.
Emergency and Goal Fund Balances are added to your Card Balances and the total may not exceed $9,999.00.
Emergency and Goal Fund Balances are separate from your Card balance. In order to use Emergency or Goal Funds for purchases you must first transfer the money from your Emergency Fund or Goal Funds to your Card.
The Approved Card website is best viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, Firefox 2.0 or higher or Safari 3.0 or higher.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PROCEDURES FOR OPENING A NEW CARD ACCOUNT: To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens a Card Account. What this means for you: When you open a Card Account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see a copy of your driver’s license or other identifying documents.
The Approved Prepaid MasterCard is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to license from MasterCard International Incorporated. This Card can be used everywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted. The Bancorp Bank. Member FDIC.
MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated.
The name “The Approved Card” and the card design are trademarks of APPROVED LLC. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.
**It is possible that a merchant may rarely “force post” transactions that exceed the amount loaded on the card, resulting in a negative balance on the card. The amount of the negative balance will be deducted from your net deposit. However, if the available balance on the card is exceeded, any further transactions will be declined.
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