Fifth Third Bancorp now offers its own prepaid card, called Access 360, which carries a $7 monthly fee and provides free cash withdrawals from Fifth Third Bank ATMs.

Several banks now offer prepaid cards as an alternative or complement to conventional checking accounts. Banks typically play up cardholders’ ability to use the banks’ branch and ATM networks as a means to load and withdraw cash for free.

“Prepaid cards are a fast-growing form of payment and consumers see the value and convenience of using these cards for a variety of financial needs,” said Steven Alonso, executive vice president and head of Fifth Third’s Consumer Bank, in a press release Nov. 14. “Access 360 may be used as a budgeting tool or way to segment spending, to make secure online purchases, or as an alternative to cash for those without a traditional bank account.”

The Access 360 card also provides online and mobile account access, including text-message alerts that can provide users with their account balances at the start of each day.

The $7 monthly fee can be lowered to $4 if users deposit at least $500 a month into the prepaid account or if they have a Fifth Third checking account. Fifth Third checking and savings accounts can also be used as funding sources for the prepaid account.

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