icount Prepaid Mastercard

By: Kate Anderson | Updated: 8th August, 2019.

The icount prepaid card has everything you would expect from a prepaid card: guaranteed approval, additional cardholders, a currency card, a credit rebuilder option and even an overdraft facility. With a two tier payment option, the card gives you the flexibility to choose which features are best for you. If you are looking to improve your credit score and are struggling with the high street bank options, the icount card monthly fee option with its Creditbuilder feature could be your way forward.

Great for: Building or rebuilding credit
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This card sells itself on its availability to all. It offers guaranteed approval for verified applicants and a credit rebuilder programme (only under the monthly fee option) which could improve your credit score and open up other financial opportunities. There are two payment tiers: a monthly fee of £9.95 or a pay as you go option of 2.5% per transaction. With easy account management and a mobile app, it all adds up to a fully supportive package.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Available regardless of your credit rating
  • Creditbuilder option could help you improve your credit score
  • Multiple fee-free options to top up the card

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is not a credit product.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

**Refers to the £9.95 monthly payment option.

what we like

  • Available regardless of your credit rating
  • Creditbuilder option could help you improve your credit score
  • Multiple fee-free options to top up the card, including bank transfer, salary/wages transfer, UK Post Office (up to £1,000/mo)
  • Purchase protection for purchases made with the card
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £119.40**
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    N/A
  • INTRO OFFER:

KEY SCORES:

  • 5/5 Perks
  • 2.5/5Fees
  • N/AAPR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Available regardless of your credit rating
  • Creditbuilder option could help you improve your credit score
  • Multiple fee-free options to top up the card

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is not a credit product.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

**Refers to the £9.95 monthly payment option.

Bottom line

This card sells itself on its availability to all. It offers guaranteed approval for verified applicants and a credit rebuilder programme (only under the monthly fee option) which could improve your credit score and open up other financial opportunities. There are two payment tiers: a monthly fee of £9.95 or a pay as you go option of 2.5% per transaction. With easy account management and a mobile app, it all adds up to a fully supportive package.

Credit Rating Requirement: Poor/No Credit

What I like

The icount card fulfils its brief as a prepaid card. While offering the basics, it also includes several perks that aim to help those looking to improve their financial situation.

  • Guaranteed approval – One of the major benefits of a prepaid card like this is the simple application process and guaranteed approval. As you are not accessing credit, but are instead loading your money onto the card, you can apply for it even if you have had financial difficulties in the past.
  • Credit rebuilder – A key element of this card is its Creditbuilder feature, which aims to help users improve their credit scores. It’s only available under the monthly payment option for reasons which will become clear. It works by Advanced Payment Solutions (the issuer) ‘lending’ you a full year’s worth of monthly fees in advance, interest free. However, no money changes hands; instead, it is a virtual loan which you will pay back in the form of the £9.95 monthly fee. After three successful months of keeping up to date with your card payments, the provider will then pass on your payment history to the credit rating agencies, demonstrating that you can responsibly manage credit. Though do keep in mind that they report all payment information, so if you don’t keep up on payments, there’s the potential to further harm your credit.
  • Additional cardholders – You can have up to four additional cardholders, aged 13 or above, free of charge if you are on the monthly fee option. The card could be a way to give your child spending money on a regular basis. You can view all additional cardholder transactions through the mobile app.
  • Overdraft – The icount card offers an overdraft facility in the form of iDraft. Hence if you do need a little extra help now and then, you could take advantage of the option to spend up to £250 more than your existing balance. Prepaid cards typically do not offer to lend you funds, so this is a standout feature of the card.
  • Currency cards – As part of the monthly fee package, you have the option to apply for a currency card. The card comes in the form of either a euro or a dollar card which you can load with funds before you travel. The currency cards have no commission or euro/dollar transaction fees (depending on which card you have) and offer competitive exchange rates.
  • Other benefits – icount offers account management features such as mobile app and text alerts, helping cardholders to stay in control of their funds.

What could be improved?

The icount prepaid card has lots to offer, but it does come with a price tag attached.

  • Card fees – The provider charges a fee for the card. This comes in the form of the monthly option of £9.95 a month, or a pay-as-you-go option of 2.5% per transaction. Under the pay-as-you-go option, you are not able to take advantage of features such as Creditbuilder, plus your UK ATM fee would be 75p (versus 50p on the monthly fee option). The provider also charges a card issue fee of £4.95 for both options. There are a lot of nice benefits that come with this card, especially with the monthly option, but you do pay a hefty price for it.

How does it stack up?

The icount prepaid card offers a lot in terms of features and opportunities to improve your credit score, but it does charge a fee for doing so. With the monthly fee option, you have the opportunity to demonstrate you can handle credit, but don’t forget there is also a card issuance fee of £4.95. There are other cards available that do not charge a monthly fee but then have a higher ATM withdrawal fee and fewer additional features.

Credit score

The card doesn’t conduct a credit check as part of the application as it is not a form of credit. Therefore you are eligible to apply even if you have no credit history or a poor credit score.

How do you apply?

To apply for the card, you must be a UK resident and aged 18 or over. Any additional cardholders must be aged 13 or over. Accounts are only available to customers whose identification has been verified. PO boxes, mailbox addresses and virtual addresses will not be accepted.

Applications can be made through icount’s website and should take around three minutes to complete. You will need to provide some personal information including your address, phone number and email address. If successful, you will immediately be provided with an account number and sort code.

Is the icount Prepaid Mastercard card right for you?

If you are looking for a prepaid card that could help you improve your credit score while also offering options such as currency cards and an overdraft facility, then the icount card could be one to consider.

The main drawback of this card is the cost of taking it out: a £4.95 issue fee and then the £9.95 monthly fee. However, for those struggling with low or no credit, the fees may be worth it as a way to help rebuild your credit rating and demonstrate to the credit rating agencies that you can handle credit responsibly.

With guaranteed approval for verified applicants and support in the form of text alerts and a mobile app, this card could put you on the first step to a more responsible financial future.

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