You may get NetSpend prepaid debit cards via participating retailers or on the company's website. Many people like prepaid debit cards as a convenient alternative to conventional debit cards and credit cards.

Purchase a NetSpend Card at a Participating Retailer

If you are looking for retailers who sell NetSpend cards, the company's website (NetSpend.com) has a list of them. In addition, the site features a handy tool that lets you search for participating retailers by entering a five-digit zip code or the city and state. Once you've entered that information, the tool zooms into a map of your chosen area with red circular indicators at each participating retail location. Clicking on a red circle reveals more data about that location's retailer, including the name, address and telephone number of the vendor, along with whether it charges a fee and if so the exact fee amount. You also have the option of sending the location data to a mobile phone or an email address. And if you click on "get directions," the page will open to a larger map with detailed travel instructions to your chosen location.

The types of retailers that sell NetSpend cards varies widely — from drug and grocery stores to office suppliers and travel agencies. Although the card's purchase fee may range between $2.95 and $4.95, the average cost is $3.95, as is the reload fee. Prior to purchase, the vendor is required to record your name, address, and date of birth, and to see your driver license or another piece of official identification in order to comply with the USA Patriot Act.

Get a NetSpend Card Online

Perhaps the most common way to get a NetSpend prepaid debit card is by opening an account on the company's website. The site describes everything you need to know about using the card, its features, benefits and fee structure. The NetSpend card allows for debit and automated teller machine (ATM) withdrawals (fees may apply), online account access and payback rewards. It also offers an optional overdraft protection service for a fee.

To begin the process, click the "sign up now" button. From there, you input your name, address, and email address. You may select a "direct deposit" option or choose "none" (which you may change later). The next step requires you to create a user name, password and a security question. Once you have completed these steps, you may log in to your account online. You will receive your new NetSpend card via U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail in 7-to-10 business days. When your card arrives you'll need to follow the printed activation and identity-verification steps to get started.