Employee Benefits
April 12, 2021

Think You Know Paycards? Take Our Quiz to Find Out

Charlie Kleiner
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Think you know paycards? Whether you’re a paycard pro or just interested in learning a bit more, we bring you Branch’s first ever “Paycard Quiz”— it’s like the HQ Trivia craze, except it’s not live. And it’s only about paycards. So maybe it's not like HQ, but a fun quiz no less!

Here’s how it works: we’ll ask you three questions comparing traditional paycards with some other types of pricing. Then we’ll dive into the answers.

All set? Here we go...


Question 1: Which fees would be more expensive?

  1. Incurring the average annual maintenance fees charged by traditional paycards 🏷️
  2. Getting slammed at the gate by the Spirit Airlines checked bag fee 🧳✈️

Question 2: What would take longer?

  1. Getting a replacement paycard in the mail if an employees loses theirs 📮
  2. Walking from downtown San Francisco to the Las Vegas Strip, without breaks 🚶

Question 3:  What would cost you more?

  1. Not making a purchase on a paycard for 90 days 🙅🏽
  2. A Starbucks tall vanilla latte with whole milk ☕ 🥛


Have your final guesses? Here are the answers:


Average Paycard Maintenance Fees vs. Spirit Airlines Checked Bag Fee

Average annual paycard fees are more expensive at a whopping $72 compared to Spirit’s checked bag fee of $65. Still don’t want to get crushed by that bag fee though. 

What do these annual fees consist of? 

They include a whole variety of fees from $2 transaction fees and $2.50 ATM fees to $10 stop ACH payment fees and $5.95 card statement mailing fees.*  After a year, it’s evident that these can add up well past Spirit’s $72 bag fee.

Even if a person never overdrafts their account, they still incur fees just for spending and managing their own money. Which makes us wonder if these paycards are actually helping employees. 


Getting a Replacement Paycard vs. Walking from San Francisco to Las Vegas

This one’s close, but getting a replacement paycard just might edge out that interstate walk. It takes 7-10 business days for a traditional replacement card to arrive in the mail. Meanwhile, it would take roughly 7.5 days to walk from San Francisco, through Yosemite National Park, around Death Valley, and end up at the Las Vegas Strip.

Waiting 7-10 business days for a paycard to arrive is not terribly convenient. 

That is why it is vital for your employees to have access to their earned wages during this waiting period. With Branch, they can activate their virtual Branch Card on their smartphone via Apple Pay or Google Pay to keep up with expenses as they wait for their physical card to arrive.


Paycard Inactivity Fee vs. A Vanilla Latte 

The 90-Day Inactivity Fee is higher! Seriously—not making a purchase can be more expensive than making a purchase on a paycard. That’s crazy, right?

No one should have to pay a fee for not using their money. This inequitable fee pinches people’s wallets for no reason.


How Did You Do?

The goal of this quiz was to shed light on the exorbitant fees that hourly workers are having to pay for traditional paycards, just to receive and spend their money. 

At Branch, your employees get the benefit of a modern, no-fee debit card. This means more money in their pocket and less financial stress in their mind. Plus, your payroll team can save time and administrative work. Be the hero at your company this year and upgrade to the future of employer-to-employee payments delivering savings to your employees who need it most.

Here’s to a future of no bag fees, vanilla lattes, and not walking 550 miles across 2 states. 

Ready to join the future of payments? Learn how.




*Fees aggregated from various paycard provider fee disclosures.


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