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Are there any fees to use a payroll card?

Most payroll cards charge fees to use certain card features. Read the fee disclosures that come with your card to understand the fees before you agree to receive your wages through a payroll card. You can also choose to get your wages sent directly to a bank or credit union account instead.

Your employer contracts with a financial institution for the terms of the payroll card, including any fees that may be charged to you. Under the law, your employer can’t require you to receive your wages on a payroll card. You can choose to send your pay to your own bank or credit union account or to a different prepaid card. Along with the card, you should also receive certain disclosures that describe the fees for the card, and a cardholder agreement, which sets out the additional terms and conditions of the payroll card program.

Payroll cards do not typically charge you a monthly fee but might charge other fees, such as for ATM withdrawals or if you don’t use the card for a certain period of time. Many state laws require free access to some or all of the money on your payroll card. Check the laws in your state to see if you can access or withdraw your money for free.

The Bureau’s rule requiring these fee disclosures came into effect April 1, 2019, although it may take some time before you start seeing the required disclosures on card packages in retail stores due to phase-in rules. In time, the card packaging will include a chart that contains certain key fees and other information about the prepaid account, to comparison shop between cards at the store. The packaging will also list a website with similar information regarding fees and key information about the card. You may want to go online to review this additional information.