Little-Known Facts About Your PrePaid Kroger 1-2-3 Rewards Card
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 www.kpfprepaid.com 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.