Cash 4 Card
May 10, 2009 8:33 AM   Subscribe

A company sent me a "debit card" with a Visa logo with a balance of several thousand dollars to use as I please. The text on the front of the card is "usbank managed spend". How can I withdraw the balance while paying the least in fees?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Money orders? Just a guess.
posted by paultopia at 8:35 AM on May 10, 2009

I don't think you can use a debit/credit card to purchase money orders.
posted by The Deej at 8:41 AM on May 10, 2009

Mea Culpa. The US Post Office now accepts debit card as payment for a money order.
posted by The Deej at 8:42 AM on May 10, 2009

This is unlikely to be treated as a "debit card" by merchants, so I don't think that will work. As far as they are concerned it probably looks and acts like a credit card.
posted by grouse at 8:44 AM on May 10, 2009

The best way may be to go to a US Bank ATM, stick the card in the slot and see what happens. It'll surely need a PIN, which you've hopefully been provided.
posted by Rendus at 8:51 AM on May 10, 2009

failing money orders, travelers checks?
posted by paultopia at 9:05 AM on May 10, 2009

It depends on the restrictions placed on it by the manager. From here, "Similar to traditional purchasing or travel card programs, managers can customize controls such as cash guidelines and merchant category code blocking while setting firm credit limits and/or fund expiration dates."

Also note that it comes with "powerful reporting and control functionality".
posted by Houstonian at 9:13 AM on May 10, 2009

Since it's a US Bank card, you should be able to take cash out at a US Bank ATM without fees: call the customer service line on the back of the card to get a PIN if you haven't got one yet. I have a U.S. Bank Visa debit card where my child support gets deposited, and I haven't ever gotten a fee for using it as a Visa, nor taking out cash at a U.S. Bank ATM. I think the only money US Bank has taken out of it was for 'account inactivity' (took the $0.24 that was left because I couldn't get that last little bit out).

Since it has a Visa logo, it should behave like a Visa for all retailers -- but if you select "debit" at the swipe-it-yourself, you could get fees for it, so ignore the debit-card name and use it like a Visa credit card for all cases, without gettinh transaction fees for yourself.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:24 AM on May 10, 2009

Read the fine print. It may be a loan offer. By using it, you agree to the terms of a loan. Generally not at reasonable rates.
posted by theora55 at 10:29 AM on May 10, 2009 [9 favorites]

Yeah, this smells like a scam / usurious loan.
posted by pharm at 10:33 AM on May 10, 2009

I don't think the sender is a scam (although I wonder what the poster is trying to do).

It says on their website that these cards are used by companies to provide money for conference events, promotions, office moves, employee relocation, etc. It's a way for a company to provide money to a person, and track the expenses, outside of their purchasing and travel systems.

For example, if a company offers to relocate an employee, they could give them this card with some money on it, to pay for moving expenses. This is easier than requiring the moving company and other companies related to the move to submit invoices and bills through their system, and allows some speed and latitude for the employee. Later, they can run a report to ensure that the money was spent for moving expenses and other approved purchases.
posted by Houstonian at 10:48 AM on May 10, 2009

Read the fine print. It may be a loan offer. By using it, you agree to the terms of a loan. Generally not at reasonable rates.

This. The OP doesn't really make clear why some company would, out of the blue, send them a loaded Visa card. It doesn't sound like it was something they asked for/expected.

If you didn't specifically request this card, or knew that it was coming, I'd cut the thing up. It definitely sounds like a loan/cash advance of some sort.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:49 PM on May 10, 2009

Definitely a scam.
posted by special-k at 7:18 PM on May 10, 2009

This may not be a scam if you got it for a legitimate reason -- when I interned at Microsoft, I got one of these cards as a subsidy for housing (debit card to pay for housing? Yeah, I had no ...)

Check your Terms & Conditions; if it's anything like mine then cash withdrawals will get smacked with a 3% fee. I just hunkered down and used it instead of my primary credit card until I depleted the balance.

As a side note, I spent part of it during one calendar year, and at the end of the year, got an earnings tax statement that was only for the amount I spent. I then proceeded to finish it off the next year and got a tax statement for that amount. So at least in the case of that card, the amounts were reported once the were spent, not once they were made accessible to me ...
posted by bsdfish at 11:19 PM on May 10, 2009

Perhaps some coins might interest you? (With the length of order fulfillment, this route may take several months.)
posted by Gable Oak at 6:20 AM on May 11, 2009

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