Little-Known Facts About Your PrePaid Kroger 1-2-3 Rewards Card

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Helping Tips from an Insider

I used to work for a third-party card services call center and assisting customers of the Kroger prepaid card was one of my main tasks as a customer service agent. The volume of calls from card users having issues was tremendous. I am amazed that there are so many issues due to a disconnection between the Kroger retail store employees and their customers who purchase these prepaid products. Therefore, it is my hope that putting this guide together can better assist those consumers that have opted to use the Kroger prepaid debit card products.

The Kroger prepaid card program consists of 3 card types, which may sound confusing and overwhelming, but once you understand the types and their respective functions, you will have a painless experience using them. The 3 types are: Temporary (Non-Re-Loadable), Permanent (Personalized/Re-Loadable) and Re-Charge (Re-Load) cards.

Kroger Temporary (Non-Re-Loadable) Card

This is the plain card that can be purchased from the rack. It is also a starter card and one that can be upgraded. The front of the card is embossed with "KPF VALUED CUSTOMER". It costs $3.00 plus a $10.00 minimum to purchase. By dialing the Customer Service number on the back of the card, and entering the 16-digit card number on the front in the automated phone system, the card and its funds are available for immediate use. The prompt will transfer you over to a live representative who will "activate" it for you, but in reality, they come on the line to interest you in personalizing the card into one that will have your named printed on it for a $3.00 monthly maintenance fee. You may choose not to make it permanent. Otherwise, you can call back and order the personalized one at anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or you can log on to and upgrade the card there.

A Social Security number is required for the permament card to be processed as required by federal law after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. There is no credit check associated with the card enrollment, but the Kroger system will look to see that the information submitted matches your identlty by correlating the name, date of birth and address in addition to the Social Security number.

Now, keep in mind that this temporary card is ONLY RELOADABLE WHEN UPGRADED or PERSONALIZED. If not, the temporary card in itself has to be disposed of and another one purchased if you do not, or cannot, upgrade it.

Hints About Its Use

  • This card in its form, will NOT work on the RedBox, or Blockbuster Express, DVD vending machines. The reason behind it is that, if you decide to keep the movie for more than one evening, the billing system has to be able to charge your debit card for the amount according the number of evenings that the disc was kept. The temporary card, not being reloadable, will not allow for the movie kiosk to authorize the initial rental.
  • PayPal is another card processing company that does not always honor the temporary card for some reason. Therefore, try using a different card, or wait for the permanent Kroger card to use for PayPal-managed transactions.
  • If you are trying to purchase something online, make sure that the temporary card is registered with just your name, address and phone number. The KPF website will not allow you to just register the card without prompting you for the other vital information as its intention is to upgrade you to the permanent card. Your best bet is to call the Customer Service number on the back of the card and the live agent will register your card for you. Many merchant websites have a checkout system that will not honor cards that are not tied to a billing name, address, or phone number. Therefore, its like using a nameless debit card account.
  • If you do not intend on personalizing your card, at least register it in case of loss or theft. That way, you can call Customer Service and have the card cancelled and replaced. Also, if any fraudulent charges were made on your temporary card, you can recouperate those lost funds through Kroger's dispute resolution process.
  • Because this is only a temporary card, there is no PIN capability to the card. Therefore, you can only use it for Visa, or credit, purchases.
  • The 1-2-3 Rewards points are not available with this card. If you want to earn points, you must obtain a personalized card instead.
  • The Re-Charge (Re-Load) card is NOT COMPATIBLE with this card, but with the PERMANENT card instead.

Kroger Permanent (Personalized/Re-Loadable) Card

This is the card you are supposed to receive in 7 to 10 business days from the time of upgrade. It will show your name embossed on the front. Once activated, by calling the Customer Service number's automated phone line, the card is ready to be used once a PIN number has been established.

Keep in mind that the $3.00 monthly maintenance fee is charged to your card account on, or around, the same date that the card was activated. Also, the terms and conditions of use will apply right away at activation. If after receiving the card you change your mind and do not wish to use it, then do not activate it so that no charges are accrued. The temporary card that was upgraded, will also become obsolete once the permanent card is in active status. You can always call Customer Service and have the permanent card account closed. There is no binding contract, so you are not obligated to keep using it.

There are 3 ways that this card can be funded, or loaded. Either by paying $3.00 for a minimum of $10.00 re-load amount, by transferring funds from another Kroger permanent card holder, or by signing up for direct deposit with your employer, or a government agency that pays you unemployment, or Social Security payments.

This is the card that earns you the 1-2-3 Rewards for every dollar spent and has a 0.05¢ fuel discount when purchasing gas at any participating Kroger fuel centers.

Hint About Its Use

  • When using this card at the gas station's Pay-at-the-Pump, an amount of $74.00 will be pre-authorized until the fuel purchase amount on your receipt is cleared, or collected, by the gas station. This usually occurs in 24 to 48 business hours. Otherwise, if you go inside and pre-pay for your gas, no other amounts will be held.

Kroger Re-Charge (Re-Load) Card

When re-charging, or re-loading, the permanent card at a Kroger store, the clerk will charge you $3.00 plus the amount over $10.00 you wish to fund your permanent card with. The re-charge card is a paper receit that has a scratch-off section that contains your re-load 16-digit number. Calling the Customer Service line and using their automated menu options, will have your card re-charged in a couple of minutes. If using a phone is not an option available, the re-load can be done on the KPF website as well.

Hints About Its Use

  • The re-load process can be better done using a landline phone instead of a cell phone. If using a cell phone, makes sure that there is no background noise where you are as it throws off the touch tones of the numbers being entered.  Do not do this while on speakephone mode.
  • The re-charge card after being scratched off, will reveal 16 digits plus 3 more at the end. When entering the numbers on the automated phone system, make sure to enter the first 16 digits first, then push the # sign, wait for the system to validate it, and then enter the last 3 digits remaining as the verification code. If you try to enter all 19 digits at once, the system will generate an error stating that not enough numbers are being entered.

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Comments 36 comments

Eykis 5 years ago

How do the Kroger points work with the VISA reward points? I get a lot of discounts from Kroger on food, but the gasoline charges are generally wrong and the employees at every Kroger in Nashville and Clarksville (Nashville is HQ for Kroger) are clueless.

Kristen mattingly 4 years ago

Do direct deposits work any day of the week

jcm_blabs profile image

jcm_blabs 4 years ago from My Bunker in the Midwest Author

Yes they do.

jcm_blabs profile image

jcm_blabs 4 years ago from My Bunker in the Midwest Author

Call Customer Service at 1-800-576-4377 for help.

Gurnis39 4 years ago

Is there a charge for "card to card" transfers? And how do I make a card to card transfer?

Denise 4 years ago

Yes all the employees in Nashville area are clueless, I have 2 $5.00 and 2 $10 credits for store and NOONE can tell me why they cant get it!

Matt 3 years ago

Can i load my tax refund on my temporary card until i get the personalized one?

Misty 3 years ago

Becareful if you get the 123 rewards card from smith's that is by these guys. I bought it and thought that it would be great for paying my bills and getting the amount in savings for smiths. But to my surprise they have certain merchants that your not allowed to use your card at. At the time of buying this card my car payment was do I put the amount on the card to pay the car payment when it was not allowed to go through. I then had to find a way to get the funds off of the card so that I could go make the payment another way. I will not buy or use another one of these cards ever!!! Why buy one of these cards if they get to decide what companies that they are willing to accept YOU to buy from!

georgia 3 years ago

i bought this card and had my tax check direc deposited to this card while telling customer service rep what i was doing and her reassuring me I would have no problems.Well the day for irs to deposit my check!!There is a $1000 limit daily $3000 in a month My tax check 3 times that.So the card company sent my tax check back to I.R.S. and know I have to wait for the check in the mail and pay to get it cashed.Never will i use this card again.

angryingeorgia 3 years ago

Georgia we know what you mean. We were not made aware of the $3000 limit either and IRS deposited our check on 2/1/13, it rejected that same day and we are still waiting on the paper check. Plus, we also had our state directed deposited to which was transmitted on 2/6/13 and still to this day it has not shown up on our card and it is well below the the daily limit and when you call to the customer service number on the card, they give you the run around. I bet we have spoken to at least 10 different people since last week and everyone gives a different answer. Like yourself, once we can get that money on there, we are taking it off and cancelling the card, it is worthless.

m-maxwell 3 years ago

georgia and angryingeorgia, feeling your pain now. i called them to get my account info so i could have an insurance claim check ach deposited onto my card. they said no prob and that it worked liked a direct deposit. the amount was for $2,500 which i now know is above the $1500 daily dd limit. i got a confirmation of deposit from the insurance co on 8/22 confirming the deposit was completed, but the kroger card people have no record of it posting, it doesn't show on my online account, and cust service can't view pending deposits. the fine print on the dd form says all amounts above the daily $1500 limit will be returned to the payor within 2 biz days, so best case scenario is $1500 will post in the next few days and the extra $1,000 goes back to the ins co. what a mess. this kroger 1-2-3 rewards card and the support is useless.

needmymoney 3 years ago

Does anyone know what time a direct deposit will post to my account? I just signed up and normally I get paid on's Tuesday night and I'm really hoping it will post at midnight...fingers crossed...I have a couple more hours then I'll know for sure :)

ThatGirl 2 years ago

Direct deposits usually post between midnight and 5 am

an101011 2 years ago

I just got my personalized card and so far I love it. I do have a couple of questions though. What is the card to card option. Is it only between 2 kroger cards or can it be used with different typs of cards also. Also, does it cost anything do do this?

money 2 years ago

Did you guys ever receive your refunds in the mail.. After it was rejected from the prepaid visa card?? How do you go about getting it? Having the same problem my refund was rejected because it was over the limit 3,000.. This is crazy and I'm beyond pissed...

georgia 2 years ago

they have a block on my card, it has my money on it but im not allowed to use it.. can you help?

Alex 2 years ago

georgia, Yes you have to call them, and either get the block removed or ask them to send you a check. This usually involves answering their questions. Do the best you can with that, they're just asking what you use it for and address etc. If they say they can't release or send a check, then insist 'it's your money, and that's the law'. They can't steal your money, otherwise you can call the police or financial regulations. Doing this the nice way before it gets to that point, usually works better. I'd try it the nice way with 1-2 people first, and maybe a supervisor. Then use the legal info way, as a backup. It is true though. But, that's what works. I've experienced this a couple times.

Jen r 24 months ago

Do not use this card for direct deposit. I always get my drift deposit on Thursday into my bank I switched to this card because of the rewards points I have tried calling customer service several times and they have no answers as to what is going on it is now Saturday my check is still not deposited my bills are now late and customer service says it could take 3 to 5 days for a normal direct deposit to go through. Who is going to wait almost an additional week for their paycheck? If it is not here on Monday I am reporting this to the Better Business Bureau and the FDIC.

joe 21 months ago

does any one know if the limit is 5000 and my deposit is 7500 will the 500 go on the card and the other 2500 be rejected any info would be great thanks I called customer service and was told two different answer one person said the 5000 it would take and reject the rest and I would have to wait 10-30 business days for it to post I was just curious to see if any one has had this happen to and the card except the limit and return the rest

Angelina 20 months ago

@joe did u ever get your refund or did the bank reject it? I'm worried about mine getting rejected because it's over 5000..please any info would help!!!

pat 20 months ago

Do any of you read terms of service or the FAQ about the card before using it? It simply states via direct deposit you can load $10-$1,500. The card can only hold $3,000. If you try to load anything higher it will be rejected

kiki 20 months ago

Pat, because of the tax season it has been stated that $5,000 is the max.

TM 19 months ago

Can u withdraw from an ATM with this card?

JW 19 months ago

I have trouble using this thing more often than I have smooth transactions. Yesterday I tried to make an online purchase from Europe (I'm in the US). The card was declined and now the account is blocked for 72 hours. Customer service says they can't remove the block, I have to wait for it to expire on its own. They also tell me that any international transactions will result in a block being placed on the account. "Accepted worldwide anywhere VISA is accepted" Yeah, right. I'll find one of their competitors who will honor their end of the deal just as soon as I can get my funds away from these pirates.

Strawberries404 19 months ago

I just signed up for the 1-2-3 Rewards Kroger Prepaid debit card. I am expecting my direct deposit today. It is already 8:37 AM EST and I still have not yet received it but their reps said it could show up at any time. Does anyone know the time that the direct deposit usually shows up? The funds were submitted from my job to the bank on Tuesday this week.

Jay 17 months ago

The same just happened to me. Got my education benefits deposited and it caused my card to be closed and can't access my funds. No one has called or emailed me. When can I expect my money?

Lynn Varela 13 months ago

Has anyone used this card to rent a car. Just wondered if you en vCard encountered any problee

BJ in GA 12 months ago

I have had a block on my card since 2011. I can not get the block off of my card. I was told that I needed proof of funds (not proof of income), Identification and a utility bill. I do not have a utility bill and no one can tell me what proof of funds are. I bought another temp card but can not get it in my name because of the block on the personalized card. Not sure I even want to deal with Kroger anymore after all of this. I have had a Bluebird card from Walmart for many years and not a bit of problems with that card. This Kroger 1-2-3 Rewards debit card is the worst thing I have ever seen. This is my own money I am trying to put on the card and I keep getting told that I have to jump through hoops.

lorraine 8 months ago

Hi i had my small refund direct deposited and the IRS told me its already in my acct but I call Kroeger and they say in a few days ill get it. Anyway I checked it on my phone and it says 0 amount. I am confused, upset and broke please help me

Toni 7 months ago

IS there a maintenance charge if there is no money on the card...Anyone know?????

Ga Girl 7 months ago

My employer entered the wrong account number therefore I did not receive my direct deposit. I was told by customer service it would take 24 hours to trace the money. Now they're saying 7-10 business days. Whomever received my money probably have spent it by now. I will never use this card ever again.

Joe 6 months ago

Ok people iv had this card for a bit now and with no problems at all. Want to know why?...... Because when i went to get a card to use for direct deposits i read all the fine print and info on the back and ask the counter person about it before i got it. So yea if you dont read all the info the card comes with and yea its alot you might not be havein any problems......ever think of that insted of just going online to complain and blame the card company when you have a problem. Its your own dam fault.

Rikki Frieszell 5 months ago

I just went the other day to deposit $440 on my card, I always check the balance before I dispose of my receipt, to my surprise my balance was $440, so I checked my transaction and there had been a card to card transfer the day before of $661 that I did not do, I called and they canceled the card and turned it over to the fraud dept, what are my chances of getting this money back? You would think they would have just took it back off immediately from the card it WS transfered to but no, now if there was any of my money left on the fraudulent cars it's already spent by now I'm sure.

gab 3 months ago

i hate this card i cant even buy stuff and krogers is not issuing me a refund

3 months ago

Is there any way at all you can take money off of the temporary card?? Maybe transferring the money to another card or something??

2 months ago

they put a 72 hour lock on my card i work for fred meyer and had my check direct deposit on card now I can get my paycheck i have no liens they said there was a charge that they wont pay so now they are holding me hostage. how was I to know they wouldnt pay that online company! I have no food no money for gas to get to work and my little dog is hungry

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