Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC


Chime vs Netspend Prepaid Card

What is the difference between prepaid cards and debit cards? Learn more from this comparison of the features of Chime Debit Card and Netspend Prepaid Card.

Gisele Goes • November 7, 2019

Modern banking and financial management look very different than it did even twenty years ago. Gone are the days of choosing between only a few big traditional banks or local credit unions. Today, there are many other viable options for making purchases, saving money, and paying bills. Two of these options include using online banking in conjunction with a debit card and using prepaid debit cards. 

Difference between debit cards and prepaid cards

What exactly makes a debit card different from a prepaid card? 

A debit card is linked to a checking or savings account while a prepaid card is not. This means that any transactions made with a debit card will be deducted from the linked account balance. With a prepaid card, all transactions are deducted from the available balance on the card itself. In other words, money must be loaded onto the card first before making any purchases or payments. Once the amount goes to zero, it cannot be used for any transactions until it is reloaded. 

Debit cards are usually given to users upon opening a checking account. Prepaid cards must be purchased on their own, which often requires a fee. 

Chime Visa Debit Card vs. Netspend Prepaid Cards

To have a better understanding of the differences between a debit card and a prepaid card, we will compare the features of Chime Debit Card and Netspend Prepaid Card. Chime is an example of a modern online bank account that offers all the functions of a traditional bank, including a free Visa Debit Card. Netspend is a prepaid card service with some online card management features. Users can choose between Visa or Mastercard options.

Let’s take a closer look at how the two compare.



Chime has no banking fees such as monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance fees, or foreign transaction fees. Chime only charges out-of-network ATM fees.

Netspend charges a monthly fee or per-transaction fee depending on the preferred plan. There is also a card purchase fee, ATM fees, and reload fees.


Direct Deposit

Paychecks can be deposited directly into a Chime account up to two days early.

Netspend offers early direct deposit and a potential tax refund.


Savings Account

Chime’s automatic savings feature lets clients save money while spending and after getting paid.

Netspend has a savings account with up to 5.00% Annual Percentage Yield. Funds can be transferred from the card or opt for automatic transfer.


Mobile App

Chime has an award-winning app that lets members check their balance, track spending, transfer money, pay family and friends, pay bills, and send and deposit checks.

Using the Netspend mobile app allows user to see their balance and transactions, send and receive money, load checks, and find reloading locations.



Chime uses security processes in order to keep member’s account safe:

  • Deposits up to $250,000 are insured through its partner, The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC
  • Instant notifications and alerts for every transaction
  • Debit card is protected under Visa Zero Liability Policy
  • Mobile app requires two-factor authentication
  • In case the card gets lost or stolen, easily block any transactions using the mobile app.

Netspend also employs some bank-level security to keep clients’ accounts safe:

  • Money is FDIC-insured through the card’s issuing bank
  • Card is under the Visa Zero Liability Policy or Mastercard Zero Liability Protection
  • Temporary card number to have more control over online transactions

Final Thoughts

Both the debit card and prepaid card seem to have similar features but what makes Chime a better choice is that it has no banking fees that can rack up in the future unlike Netspend. Chime is more affordable and more convenient for those who want to save and grow their money. Being linked to a bank account also helps the debit card to have more benefits and have more security. Chime is the overall better choice when it comes to managing personal finances.

Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. The Chime Visa® Credit Builder Card is issued by Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.

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