There are a lot of prepaid debit cards out there, so JPMorgan's Liquid card is just one in a steadily growing number. To that end, JPMorgan unveiled some new features to the card on Monday in a bid to help distinguish it from other prepaid cards.
The biggest new addition is a collection of mobile banking features. Users of the Liquid card can download the Chase Mobile app and, with it, view the balance currently loaded on the Liquid card, as well as transfer money from checking or savings accounts to the Liquid card and receiving alerts when account balances run low. Remote deposit capture systems even allow users to add funds that way.
JPMorgan launched its Liquid card back in June, and requires a monthly fee of $4.95 to operate. Promoting it as "an alternative to a traditional checking account," the Liquid card actually shares several features with checking accounts, and considering some of the terms, makes it more of a complement to a traditional checking account rather than an alternative to one.
Of course, many banks currently offer not only mobile banking, but debit cards tied to checking accounts at no additional charge, so JPMorgan's Liquid card may not be able to stand up against a little research. Still, additional services at no extra charge are always worthwhile, and make those institutions that offer them better equipped to take on the hordes of competitors currently in the market. Since offerings change depending on the market in question, it's a fair bet that JPMorgan's Liquid card may be one of the better offerings in its particular market space. Additionally, pre-loadable debit cards like Liquid have an extra advantage in the form of security--not being specifically tied to a checking account means the stakes are much lower in the event of hacking--and gives them an advantage for things like online shopping.
Those interested in the JPMorgan Liquid card should do their homework before signing up, but should find a reasonably worthwhile offering in it.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey