Prepaid debit cards tend to be fee heavy and are generally best avoided.  So I was surprised when I came across Mango’s offering.

First, the $5 monthly fee gets waived if you add at least $500 each month onto the card. Most actions with the card are free, but using an ATM does cost $2 + the local ATM fee.

The second feature is an associated savings account (limit 6 transactions/month).  If you have the prepaid card and you direct deposit your paycheck, they will pay 5.1% APR on balances up to $5,000 (virtually nothing on money above that amount).

While I would still recommend using a traditional cash back credit card along with a high yield savings account, this is a viable alternative for those with credit problems or spending problems.  It works best for those who typically spend $500 to $2,000/month on their credit card.