If anyone still uses Russell Simmons’ Rush Card, they’re in for sort of good news: Simmons will be lowering the exorbitant fees that make the card not worth having in the first place. But not by that much.

The RushCard was pilloried when it was first released for boasting some of the steepest fees of any prepaid debit card, ever. It offered two pricing plans, both of which were ludicrous. In one, users paid $9.95 a month for the card and an additional $1 every time they typed in their PIN on a transaction. The other plan, ‘Pay As You Go’, had no monthly fee, but it cost $1 every time customers swiped their card and $1.95 every time they used an ATM. The swipe fees were capped at $10 per month, but users were reimbursed for overages the following month.

The card had such a bad reputations that Simmons was heckled by Occupy Wall Street protesters about the card when he visited Zuccotti Park last fall.

Now, RushCard has announced that they will be streamlining fees, and lowering them. The fee to enroll in bill payment ($2), the fee for paying bills ($1), the plan change fee ($1.99, for switching between ‘pay as you go’ and the monthly fee plan), and replacement card fee ($3.95) will all be eliminated. This is a nice gesture, considering one of the reasons prepaid cards exist is to provide the unbanked a convenient way to pay bills — now they won’t be gouged for that.

The RushCard will also be lowing the RushCard-to-RushCard fund transfer fee from $2.95 to $0.99.

For customers who use direct deposit to put funds on their RushCard, their monthly fee will be lowered to $5.95; for those who do not, their fee will be $7.95. Additionally, customers who keep an average daily balance of $500 and above will get $2 in fee rebates a month. So should you meet this requirement, and use direct deposit, you will still pay $3.95 a month to use your RushCard, in addition to any other fees you might encounter — you only get two free ATM withdrawals each month, for example, after which point they cost $2.50.

The RushCard is still quite expensive. And again, we must point out — as we did with Suze Orman’s card — that if you’re getting a fee break on your prepaid card by using direct deposit, don’t you have a regular and substantial enough income to warrant getting a checking account? A checking account that would likely not be stacked with hidden fees?

Prepaid cards, by trying to mainstream themselves and offering discounts to those who use direct deposit, are undermining the most compelling argument for why they should exist — that they provide a necessary service to those without access to traditional banking services. But those with biweekly paychecks can easily find a checking account to meet their needs.

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  • Deshawna Johnson

    I have had so many issue s with this card. I absolutely hate them… I being block fROM my money as of right now and I’m still having charges and transactions that they put through but I can’t touch my money. Russell Simmons don’t care about us and helping those without a bank account he cares about being rich…don’t endorse a card that sucks and kills My money, you knw the middle class poor. thumbs down.

    • mystori

      I feel your pain. Going through it right now. While rush card holds my tax refund hostage I am forced to sit in the cold with 2week old twins waiting for my refund deposit to post after Submitting all required additional documents and being guaranteed my money would post on payment date given by IRS. Payment date has came and still sitting at park in cold with babies instead of hotel room like I would be if my money wasn’t held hostage for no other reason but rush cards own sickening pleasure

  • mr jones

    Ive been wit rush card for over 5 years.. I love the service! Ive had banks accounts frozen in the past by debt collectors or govt , but wit my rush card I feel safe and secure knowing my money cant b touched!!

    • mystori

      You are absolutely rights your money can’t be touched by YOU OR ANYONE ELSE

  • .Keishawn Armstrong

    I love it i get paid two days early and i haven’t had any issues with the card and i have recommended so many people adj they all love the service as well

  • SammehMarley420

    I’ve noticed that a ton of people have had issues with this card, but it’s been nothing but awesome for me… The fee is only like $5 a month because I have direct deposit, I don’t have to pay to use the atm (unless it’s out of network, in which case, I only have to pay their fee, nothing extra), I get my paycheck early, they text me whenever I make a purchase so I always know how much money I have.
    I mean, I personally love it.

    • Thanks for sharing Sammeh. Sounds like you’ve had a better experience with this card because you know how to do things like avoid paying extra fees and are in tune with how much you spend.

    • It’s true that many prepaid cards get a bad rap because of their fee schedules, which is why I often point out that many of them are best suited for a very specific type of consumer — it seems like you fit the bill for the RushCard.

      However, I’d love to know why you got the card to begin with? Since you have direct deposit, I’d think you wouldn’t have too much of a problem maintaining a regular checking account.

  • kris

    They arent that bad, I used them for a long time never had a problem and the fees are not that bad at all.

    • It’s rare to come across someone who has had good experience with the card. How long have you had it? What do you like most about it? What don’t you like about it?

      Finally, why did you get the card — I’m always interested in why people would choose a prepaid card (or even picking the RushCard as opposed to another prepaid card)?