Repeat Problem using Meta Bank Visa Travel Card Purchased through AAA – When will this end for the American consumers?

Network Branded Prepaid Card Association (NBPCA)

Meta Bank or Meta Payment Systems is a member of this organization

This reads like an advertisement for prepaid cards. However, I only encountered problems with the card; it is nothing to promote to anyone else. On a Cruise in Europe last October 2009, I met another traveler who was also unable to get the Meta Bank AAA travel card to work either. In this article they say they have targeted immigrants and college students. This is a shame since they cannot build up a credit history by using this card. The immigrants also may not know where to go to complain and in another language. I didnʼt know where to go, and I kept getting double talk. Meta Bank representatives kept pushing the blame back on me as the customer, but it was their fault.

I canʼt get their internal links to open

Meta Bank posts this link in a very obvious place on their website. In the meantime, I received such shabby treatment from them while using their prepaid card. I would have been far better off using a local bank.

I was not able to reach Meta Bank by the online access information for my account. Their 1-800 number does not work from Europe. I still think that college students would be better off dealing with their local banks and by getting to know their local bankers.

This will be held in Las Vegas in February to promote the use of prepaid debit cards to the underserved. Please protect the underserved from banks like Meta Bank!

This is the agenda for what they will discuss in Las Vegas. I hope that the governments regulatory officers will be able to attend and to listen so that you will be able to be ready for what these people might have in mind. Since I had such a horrible experience with Meta Bank and I am such “small potatoes” to them what about all of the immigrants and the college students to whom they plan to promote this prepaid reloadable card? It just didnʼt work for me and they gave me the runaround and double talk, no real service.

This link only brings you to biased publicity for the prepaid debit card. An employer should simply pay their employees. The employees should be able to then bank wherever they choose. A reloadable bank card is not an acceptable way for a company to pay their customers. The customers should be made aware of all the pitfalls of the prepaid debit card so that they can withdraw all of their money and get the interest from it for themselves. If someone really needs a job they may agree to this, but an employee should be paid in cash out right.

This statement says that the prepaid bank card can be replaced if lost but that a lost check cannot be replaced. I believe that is incorrect and misleading information only to get people to ask for the prepaid debit card. Instead of cashing the check and putting the money in a savings account, the money would sit in the stateʼs bank account. This would benefit the state, but not the person who is on unemployment. They encourage the customers to spend more with this card while they are unemployed. This is awful.

This document says that the laws have not kept up with the prepaid bank cards so that it is difficult to assess as to whether property is truly abandoned or not. This is an area to be studied further. I suspect that these banks are up to something no good here.

What is it?

Branded gift cards were highlighted for the economic downturn just before Christmas


“I am waiting to use the card later” figure 6 – This means that the banks get free use of the money while it is sitting there. If cash was given then the money would be more likely to be spent and enjoyed or put into the customerʼs own bank account. Figure 8 – appreciate that they have received the gift because of the relationship with the giver.

Figure 12 – The gift cards are preferred over traditional gifts. The stigma that the gift cards are a “cop-out or a last resort is refuted by recipients” according to this report.  34.3%  of the 7.8% who had problems with the gift card were not able to resolve their problem with the gift card. That is really bad!

Anticipated growth in the use of gift cards is anticipated at 137% for National Brands. The card is now used by families. 90% of NBGCs are used within the first 1-2 months of receipt. This is well before any maintenance fees kick in. Does the card say that a maintenance fee will be charged after that time????? I ask because I got one and did not see that on it and I have not used it yet since it was given jointly to me and my husband so I could not just pick it up and go out to use it any time I chose to use it,  I felt.

“• Use your card, donʼt save it. When you use your card promptly, you avoid monthly fees and issues relating to the cardʼs expiration date. So, check your cardʼs terms and conditions for details and go shopping!

• Know your balance. Check how much money you have on the card before going shopping (most cards offer telephone and online services to do this) and if you’re making a purchase that is larger than the amount available on your card, be sure to tell the cashier in advance.”

This information should be right on the card. I got a card some time ago as a gift, but I didnʼt know any of this information!!! I would not normally be searching on line for this information.

Oh No, it is banks like Meta Bank that is out of step with reality! I wrote to Consumer Reports to complain to them about the treatment that I got at Meta Bank. What happened to me should never happen to another person. I did not know how to prevent that since my complaints to Meta Bank had fallen on deaf ears. Consumer Reports is responding to input from readers and from the general public. We should listen!

I was satisfied with the prepaid travel card until I went to reload it and then it was not reloaded by Meta Bank so I flew to Paris thinking that I would have access to my own money for one month of independent travel. I had no access to any of my $5,000.00 in cash. I was living more like a homeless person in a foreign country where English was not spoken. Meta Bankʼs response to me as a customer has not been satisfactory. The general public needs to be protected from this kind of banking service or lack of banking service as it was in my case since I got the runaround.

Encourage your college student to use a local bank. Do not use Meta Bank prepaid cards. Get your children in the habit of saving. Teach them to avoid getting into debt.

Interest in card acquisition is high, particularly among cash-based consumers who experience a particular set of pain points when it comes to making payments and managing finances. Comprehensive survey results are available through an NBPCA authored white paper entitled “Consumer Attitudes Towards Payroll and General Purpose Reloadable Cards.”  Meta Bank gets a third party to promote their card to you as the customer, and then the third party can earn interest from your use of the card. It is in this way that Meta Bank promotes the prepaid debit card to these agencies. These may have been companies you have dealt with for some time although perhaps in a slightly different capacity so you may have some level of trust with that outside company, and you buy into the sales pitch where as you would not have bought into a heavy sales pitch from an unknown bank, and this out of town bank, like Meta Bank. Since you already know this outside company in another capacity, you may not even be aware at first that you have even entered into a business agreement with Meta Bank. You may even have felt a sense of security since you have known this outside company for so long. All of that prior relationship becomes negated the minute you accept a prepaid debit card with Meta Bank. Meta Bank has no scruples when it comes to dealing with real people. To them, dealing with you is the same as if they were dealing with an animated figure in a computer game; you are nothing but a game piece, and they are out to win for themselves.

-Once you sign up for this prepaid debit card you have become the very people who need to be protected the most from banks like Meta Bank and you may have thought it could never happen to you.

Year one summary report – These cards are new then, but they really arenʼt a good idea although the public is buying them up; they have so many pitfalls that we just donʼt know about since they are being promoted by unscrupulous banks like Meta Bank. Perhaps if other banks were promoting them it might work by way of competition.  Now I have observed that Meta Bank has actually created a third party site where it appears that someone else is promoting their service, but it is really Meta Bank promoting their own services.   We need the rules fully explained to us ahead of time. Meta Bank changes their rules during your use use of their service time without notifying the customers.

own money at all, and that bank representative wants to tell you that

you did not use the bank card properly? You have several advanced

college degrees though so you think that perhaps if the bank had

properly explained their card to you that you could have made it work

so you begin to question this bank. You also remember that someone

else had mentioned having trouble with this same bank on an earlier

trip that same year, 2009. You may have asked yourself then why you

were still be sold a card that is so problematic.

You may talk to some other travelers and they mention that they

bought the travel card only because it was being so heavily promoted

by AAA, but otherwise they had never heard of Meta Bank. They

would have gone to their local bank for all of their banking needs, but

AAA had urged them to try this card. The card just doesn’t work. Why

does AAA keep urging their customers to buy a Meta Bank Visa Debit

Travel Card even after one or two complaints?

Please write to the proper authorities to get Bank Reforms in place

as soon as possible if you have had any kinds of unresolved

problems with out of town banks and debit cards. Proper bank

regulations are needed over debit cards in the United States to

protect the general public from people who would like to take

advantage of us in whatever way they can just so they can get rich.


Other reported problems with Debit Cards in general to be on the

alert for:

Problems with Debit Cards

• Confusion:  It may be difficult for you to figure out

exactly how much is in your checking account at the time you are

paying for a transaction with a debit card, especially since banks do

not always post transactions in the order they occurred.  The funds in

many checking accounts are withdrawn when consumers write

checks, use ATM cards, and authorize recurring bills like rent,

utilities, or mortgage payments to be withdrawn automatically each

month.  Also, the bank may subtract fees for various reasons from

the consumer’s balance.

• Unauthorized Overdraft Loans:  If you do not

have enough money in your account to cover the amount of the

purchase you are making with your debit card, the bank may refuse

to honor the transaction, and you will have to pay some other way.

However, the bank may honor the card even though you do not have

enough money in your account.  When the bank does that, the bank

treats the transaction as if you have taken out an “overdraft loan” –

which is a very expensive type of short-term loan.

• Unauthorized use:  Persons may use your card

without your authorization or permission.  For example, someone

may steal your card or you may lose it and the finder may use it.  A

thief may use your card to pay for purchases even if the card never

leaves your possession; thieves have ways to discover enough

information about your card so they can buy products online or by

phone.  The first you may learn about the unauthorized use of your

card may be when the bills your bank pays automatically do not get

paid, checks start bouncing, the bank charges you fees for each

bounced check or the people you tried to pay by check are still

demanding your money.  In these cases, a thief used your debit card

to take money out of your account, so not enough was left to pay

your checks and other obligations.  Unlike credit cards, there is not

very good protection if someone fraudulently uses your debit card.

Unless you know the bank and the banker very well, you are best off

not getting a debit card. They are far too risky to use at this time

since they are under-regulated and the banks, some banks anyway,

from our personal and recent experience have taken full advantage

of this situation while it is as it is.

America desperately needs bank reforms that protect the consumer.

At this time, the bank representatives are spouting jargon to

customers that is nothing more than a bunch of empty words, but

they do not have our best interests in mind. It may not be fair to

speak in such broad terms when it may only be a few banks, like Meta

Bank of Iowa, that has run wild and free taking advantage of every

gap in the system that they could find and use to their financial

advantage without any concern for the average person.

After working long hard hours, the average person does not like to be

tricked out of their money by rules that charge without notice mid

contract. The long list starts there.

If you are not able to resolve any problem that you may have had with

Meta Bank or any other bank with them directly, and if you feel like

you have been “mistreated” in any way by Meta Bank, please send in

a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office in the state where you

live. Please do this as soon as possible.

If you have been “taken advantage” of by improper or shady banking

practices at Meta Bank, or any other bank in the USA,  please write

to let the

Office of Thrift Supervision,

Department of the Treasury,

Consumer Affairs Division,

1700 G Street, NW;

Washington, DC 20552

know about all the details of what happened to you. Please include

copies of all your written communications with that banking


Please do this so that what happened to you and to me will never

happen to another person again.

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