Little-Known Facts About Your PrePaid U.S. Bank ReliaCard
This product from U.S. Bank caters to recipients of government benefits receiving unemployment compensation and/or child support payments. Holders of this card are issued these by their state agency in place of paper checks.
There are many things you can do to get the most out of your benefits while using the card:
Make sure that the Card Services department, reacheable 24/7 at the number on the back of your card, have your most updated information in the form of your address and phone number. It will make it easier and faster for your card replacements to reach you and for your identity verification to go smoothly when talking to one of their call center agents.
Knowing your card's provider terms and conditions will help you in understanding how the transactions are handled. Of course, due to the fine-print nature of the documentation's information, it may be easier to overlook the important items to remember. Reading every disclosed piece of information will make you aware of U. S. Bank's policies.
However, there are some undisclosed aspects of the debit card account that you must understand in order to avoid headaches and the inconvenience of having your issues resolved:
- As of September 1, 2010, the ReliaCard may be pre-authorized for a $74.00 hold when swiped at the pump outside of a gas station. The automated fuel dispenser is an unmanned terminal that doesn't "know" how much fuel you intend to purchase. Therefore, the second the card is swiped, the $74.00 hold is instantly initiated. If you have less than $74.00 in your account balance, then the card will be pre-authorized for the remaining amount on your card. Once the gas station comes and collects the funds for the actual gas purchase per your receipt, the difference of the hold will be available again in your card balance.
Example: If you pump $10.00 worth of gas, $10.00 will be matched against the $74.00 hold, or other if less than $74.00 in your card balance, which results in $64.00 being returned to your available balance.
Tip: If you go inside the gas station and pre-pay for your fuel, no other amounts will be held on the card and that will be the exact authorized funds.
- If you go to a restaurant, or a bar, your card will be pre-authorized for about 15 to 30 percent over your actual bill to accommodate a gratuity amount if you wish. If you don't leave a tip on the card, it will still be over-authorized for that percentage and then settle for the actual amount on your receipt once the establishment submits the invoice for payment.
- Although these cards are pre-paid, some merchants can force transactions to go through and be honored by U. S. Bank. Therefore, knowing exactly what your balance is before you make a purchase, will prevent an over-authorization on your card account which can result in expensive overdraft fees. If you have opted in for the Overdraft feature that allows for the card account to go into the negative, keep in mind that overdraft fees will be assessed for EACH transaction that makes your account negative each time regardless even if it's by one cent.
- Overdraft fees can occur in about 24 to 48 hours after the transaction that caused the negativity has posted.
- As a cardholder, you are entitled to have one fee reversed once per calendar year REGARDLESS of the amount. It's your right and you're entitled to ask for this courtesy when talking to Customer Service.
- If you make a transaction that you no longer wish for it post, by law, you the customer can't cancel it. Unfortunately, the merchant has to provide the Card Services Customer Service agent with an approval code, which is a 6-digit number that starts with a zero, while the charges are in pending status. Otherwise, the transaction has to settle and then you may ask to dispute it with U. S. Bank.
- The ReliaCard comes with a security feature in that if you attempt 3 transactions and those are rejected, the card will automatically block itself to prevent further use until you call Customer Service to have them unblock it. The same is true if your PIN is entered incorrectly 3 times.
- When using the ATM, don't rely on the balance stated on your receipt as the most current information on your available funds. Always check your card through the automated phone line at 866-276-5114, or through access via the card's website at www.reliacard.com.
- If you have yet to receive your card replacement, you can access your funds by asking Customer Service for a funds transfer to a valid checking or savings account at a bank or credit union. Depending on where you live, there may be a $2.00 fee, but it's free otherwise. Make sure to call with the bank's 9-digit routing number and the account number handy. Depending on your financial instiution, the funds may be available in 1 to 3 business days not counting the weekend, or holidays.
- Finally, you're not obligated to continue to keep your ReliaCard account open. You may choose to have your government agency close it and request that your benefit funds be direct-deposited into your bank. credit union, or even another prepaid card program of choice.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.