How to Add Money to Venmo With A Prepaid Card

You are not alone if you prefer online person-to-person payments and avoid waiting in line at the bank, fees associated with a bank account, and interest on a credit card. 

The U.S. Government Accountability Office analyzed data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and found that between 2009 and 2019, 5.4% of houses surveyed (approximately 7.1 million people) chose not to use a bank. Another 17.9% used alternate financial services like prepaid cards.

Venmo is one of the most widely used and trusted money transfer apps for iOS and Android. This app makes it easy to send money to friends and receive payments from your phone.

If you have a prepaid card and a Venmo account, you can easily send and receive money without opening a bank account. Read on to learn how to add money to your Venmo with a prepaid card.

A photo of a tablet, sitting on a shelf surrounded by plants. On the screen is the word Venmo

Connect a Prepaid Card to Venmo

  1. If you haven’t already done so, download the Venmo app onto your phone.
  2. Open the Venmo app.
  3. Log in or sign up using your mobile phone number or email address.
  4. Tap on the three lines at the top left to open the menu.
  5. Find Settings near the bottom of the menu.
  6. Tap on Preferences in the Settings Menu.
  7. Tap on Payment Methods with the bank icon next to it.
  8. Under Payment Methods, tap Add bank or card…
  9. A new menu pops up; click on Card.
  10. Either type your prepaid card number in or tap on the camera icon to take a picture of the front of your card. The information on your card will auto-populate in the boxes.
  11. Type in your zip code. It won’t ask for your specific address, but it’s important to type in your real zip code as some vendors may request it for payment.
  12. Tap Add to connect your prepaid card to your Venmo account.

Your prepaid bank card is now attached to your Venmo account. It takes three to five business days for the money to transfer from your prepaid bank card to your Venmo.

Related: How to Transfer Money from Venmo to Debit Card

Which Cards Work with Venmo?

Connect up to 4 cards to Venmo in six months, including a debit card, credit card, or prepaid card. Venmo links with any network branded prepaid card such as Mastercard, Visa, American Express, or Discover registered under your name. Venmo also accepts prepaid gift cards like Vanilla gift cards.

However, there are instances where cards may be declined. Either Venmo or the card issuer could resort to this measure to prevent fraud or the lack of funds in the account. You may want to check as well if your payment card needs a zip code to complete the account linking.

Gift cards are usually prepaid cards, so you can add those to your Venmo as a payment option. Be aware that some gift cards only work with specific merchants, so check the terms of the card before linking it to your Venmo account and attempting to make purchases.

A photo of a laptop, with the word venmo on the screen

Verification and Fees

When adding money to Venmo using a prepaid card, you may wonder if this is a completely free way to manage your money. Venmo strives to minimize or eliminate fees, but there may be some instances where charges are unavoidable.

Verification

When you check your Venmo account, you may see a $0 or $1 transaction that you didn’t make yourself. Through this transaction, Venmo verifies that your card is set up correctly on the app. Once verified, Venmo will reverse the transaction, and you won’t be charged anything for this step.

Fees

Venmo offers free account setup, monthly maintenance, and online purchases. Live customer service, real-time notifications, account statements, and transaction rejections due to insufficient funds are also free.

Every transaction using a credit card linked to your Venmo account incurs a 3 percent fee. Adding money to Venmo using a prepaid card will eliminate this fee. Unless you opt to perform an instant transfer, money transfers are usually free. There will be a 0.5 percent charge (minimum $0.25, maximum $15) if you use their Instant Transfer option.

Shop owners and cryptocurrency traders will incur fees with transactions as well.

A zoomed in photo of a cell screen, showing the Venmo app icon

Conclusion

Millions of people already use Venmo as their contactless way to pay for services and transfer money to friends. If you’re concerned about reducing or eliminating fees on your own money, linking a prepaid card to your Venmo account may be your solution. 

Setting up Venmo with a prepaid card is simple and easy as long as the card is branded by one of the four major payment networks.

Related: How to Get Money from Venmo Without A Bank Account

Related: How to Transfer Money from Venmo To Apple Pay