Are you looking for a financial solution that can simplify your own spending and give your kids and teens the ability to spend money without needing to carry cash? The Akimbo
“ultimate card platform” strives to provide just that.
The Akimbo Prepaid Debit Card, issued by Sunrise Banks N.A., is a general purpose reloadable card and organization platform that could be useful for families, business owners, and individuals. This is a Mastercard that is easy to fund and can be used almost anywhere, and every Akimbo account can support up to six cards. Find out who we recommend this product for—and who we don’t.
[Related: See where the Akimbo Card ranks in our rundown of the best debit cards for kids and teens in 2021!]
Who’s It For
💁🏽♀️ Good candidate: Users with money management experience who are ready for financial independence.
Akimbo account holders can add kids to their account by creating sub cards for them.
Users must be 13 years old or older to be eligible to become sub card holders and are not eligible to be primary cardholders.
Features and Benefits
Many Akimbo users are business owners that use their account to manage business expenses (not including payroll) for themselves and their employees.
But for the purposes of this article, we’ll talk about this card in the context of personal use only. This debit card is great for families or individuals because it allows for so many cards per account. Here is what using this account might look like in a situation where parents give their kids sub cards.
Akimbo users can use sub cards to make purchases in person or online as well as make cash withdrawals at ATMs. Teens can spend only what they have on their card and cannot overdraft their accounts. Their cards must be loaded by the primary cardholder as sub accounts are not eligible to be funded via direct deposit, ACH transfer, etc.
To get more money in their account, sub account users must ask the primary account holder to transfer funds. There is no way for kids and teens to complete and check off chores through the app to earn cash from their parents or send requests for account funding.
This card can be used almost anywhere Mastercard is accepted. The Akimbo card can be added to digital wallets when registered (if authorized by the primary cardholder) or linked with Apple Pay.
All transactions using a card are limited to $2,500 per day and all cash withdrawals are limited to $705 per day.
Akimbo does not offer the ability to create savings goals and does not pay interest. There are also no round-up savings features.
The account holder or primary cardholder can add up to five sub cards to their account for a total of six debit cards per Akimbo account. Many Akimbo users give sub cards to their kids or teens and may keep one or two for their own personal use to keep different spending categories separate.
Akimbo account holders are the account manager for every sub account they have opened. This means they can log in to their account to see all transactions. They can disable ATM access for all or select sub account users to prohibit them from making cash withdrawals.
Parents can schedule automatic recurring transfers or one-time transfers. Many parents choose to set up recurring transfers to pay their kids or teens an allowance.
The primary account can be funded in the following ways:
- ACH bank transfer
- Credit or debit card transaction
- Direct deposit
- Cash reload
- Mobile check deposit
The maximum balance for this account may not exceed $9,999. Cash reloads are limited to $1,000 per day, ACH transfers and card transactions (in-person with a physical card, online, or in-person with a digital card) are limited to $1,000 per day, direct deposit funding is limited to $9,999 per day, and money transferred from one account to another may not exceed $1,000 daily.
ATM withdrawals for all users are limited to $1,025 per day and $555 per transaction. Cash reloads are permitted at participating GreenDot and Mastercard rePower locations, but these do incur a fee (see “How Much Does the Akimbo Card Cost?”). Please note that these limits are applied to all accounts, including the primary account. So technically, if split evenly across six accounts, each account would be limited to a total balance of $1,666.50.
No limits are noted on the amount of transactions that can be made in a day or the number of times an account can be funded, so long as these are within the above limits.
Parents can enable text alerts to be notified any time a card is used. These push notifications show which sub account user is using a card and where. They may also choose to restrict certain merchant categories. The primary cardholder is permitted to issue virtual accounts and allow the use of digital Akimbo debit cards across their sub accounts as well.
Cards can be enabled and disabled as needed from a parent’s account dashboard.
Parents can manage some granular details, but not quite to the same extent that they would with a debit card specifically made for kids. If a parent is ready to give their teen financial independence but wants to monitor how they do, they may appreciate what Akimbo has to offer.
An account balance may become negative if an account has a $0 balance and transaction fees are charged for declined transactions.
How Much Does the Akimbo Card Cost
💸 Fees: $5.95 cash reload fee, $5.95 inactivity fee, $4.95 fee per sub account card after the first one, $0.33 per ATM balance inquiry, $1.98 per domestic or international ATM withdrawal (+ 3% for international), $1.98 per over-the-counter withdrawal (cash withdrawals made at participating retail locations), $0.99 per POS PIN transaction (limited to five transactions for a total of $4.95 per month), up to 5% per mobile check deposit, $4.95 card replacement fee, $40 expedited card delivery fee, no fee for overdraft, no fee for low balance.
It doesn’t cost anything to open an Akimbo account and there is no subscription fee for using Akimbo services, but this account is far from free when you break down all the charges you may incur.
For one, adding sub cards isn’t free. The first one is complimentary, but every card after that costs a one-time fee of $4.95 to add. Fortunately, there are no per-child recurring fees.
The inactivity fee is assessed after twelve months of account dormancy, meaning nothing is going into an account and nothing is coming out of it.
Benefits of Akimbo Over Competitors
One of the main benefits of Akimbo is that it allows the primary cardholder to fund their account in several ways, including cash reloads and mobile check deposits. It’s unfortunate that both of these incur fees, but nice to see that they’re permitted. Account holders can also add money to their account via direct deposit, bank transfer, or card.
We also like that Akimbo allows for up to five sub cards per account. This is great for big families or just people looking to compartmentalize their spending. And although a fee is assessed for the third, fourth, and fifth cards, there is no monthly charge for additional cards like you sometimes see with subscription-based accounts for kids.
If you’re looking for a product that’s virtually free, the Akimbo debit card is not it. This account comes with a lot of fees, some pretty steep and many of them hidden (some are charged by third parties, so we can’t exactly fault Akimbo for this). $5.95 for every cash reload, $1.98 for every ATM withdrawal, and $4.95 per sub card creation are a few fees to be aware of if you’re considering this account.
Akimbo doesn’t offer quite as many kid-friendly management options as other prepaid debit cards. For example, Akimbo does not allow sub account users to set up savings goals for themselves, donate money, or invest, and it doesn’t allow account holders, parents, to award bonuses for good habits or positive behavior. Because it lacks these features and doesn’t have resources to teach kids about money management, this platform isn’t as educationally rich as others specifically made for kids.
This product is also limited in terms of what sub account users can do. For example, they can’t earn money by completing chores, create budgets or savings goals for themselves, or choose to invest and/or donate their money. Also, teens earning an income will not be able to link their direct deposit to fund their own card and must still rely on their parents to fund their account. If Akimbo added some of these features, it would be more competitive as a debit card for kids and teens, but right now, it’s closer to a traditional prepaid debit card.
Finally, Akimbo sets strict spending and transaction limits on its accounts, and these are enforced for the account as a whole rather than individual sub accounts. This may prove to be quite restrictive to families with more than one sub account.
Consumers give mixed reviews of this product (2.5 stars overall). Some give the company five stars and others say they wish they could give it none. Positive reviews are centered primarily around Akimbo’s flexibility and ease of use. Negative reviews typically flag problems with rude or unhelpful customer service and complain about account glitches, being overcharged for purchases, and fees.
The company is responsive on Trustpilot but it seems like they might not have enough customer service representatives.
To get in touch with customer support, you can call 1-855-449-2273 any time between 7 AM and 7 PM CT Monday through Friday. Alternatively, you can securely email email@example.com with questions or concerns regarding your account.
The Akimbo app has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars in the App Store and 4.4 out of 5 stars on Google Play. It has a dull but functional design and is prone to bug issues and crashes, according to users.
Is It Safe
All Akimbo accounts are federally insured by the FDIC up to the limit of $250,000.
Akimbo does not restrict sub account users from using their cards at certain merchant types, but individual merchants may decide not to permit use of an Akimbo prepaid card if they cannot legally sell their products to those under the age of 18. Also, their parents may decide to disallow them from making purchases at certain merchants.
Akimbo users are also protected by Mastercard’s Zero Liability Policy. This releases cardholders from liability for unauthorized transactions provided that their account is in good standing and they have not reported more than two incidents in a year. This keeps Akimbo card holders safe when their card is lost or stolen.
How to Sign Up
To sign up for an Akimbo account, an adult will need to schedule a consultation with the company. From there, they can make decisions about what card they’d like and how many sub cards to add.
Primary cardholders can add sub cards to their account at any time. Physical cards will be sent in the mail each time a new sub account is opened. The PIN is the same across all sub accounts. Sub card holders can activate their card by calling 1-855-925-4626 or by logging into Akimbo.
Please see “Features and Benefits” for information about how to fund an account and limits to be aware of.
The Akimbo prepaid debit card is ideal for spending flexibly and organizing money across different accounts, but it has several limitations that make it an underwhelming debit card for kids. This account comes with a lot of fees and doesn’t offer the microscopic management capabilities parents may be looking for.
We recommend the Akimbo card to business owners and individuals looking to manage their spending and easily keep it in check. It may also be a good fit for families with older kids who are ready to manage their money independently.
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