How Do Emerald Prepaid Cards Work?

The Emerald Prepaid MasterCard from H&R Block allows customers to automatically deposit tax refunds processed through the company and to add funds from an external source onto the card for immediate use. The card functions similarly to a traditional debit card but does not carry monthly or annual service fees.

When a customer files her taxes with H&R Block, she has the option to receive her refund, if any, as a direct deposit into an external account or to receive it on an Emerald Prepaid MasterCard. After the customer applies for the card, she may also link it to a checking account and transfer funds onto it for use at participating brick and mortar and online retailers. It provides the customer with a personal and private financial account, managed through H&R Block, for accessing funds rather than directly through a traditional financial institution such as a bank.

The card only allows access to funds the customer specifically allocates to it, regardless of any links to external accounts. Customers can add funds through transfers or by depositing a check using the card's smartphone app. It is also possible for the customer to set up the card to receive direct deposits from a paycheck. Unlike some other debit cards, it does not charge the customer fees for making purchases, contacting customer service or for keeping the card active.