Well, that just came right the flip out of nowhere. Google just sent out an email informing Google Wallet users that, as of September 17th, you will no longer be able to add funds to your Google Prepaid Card. After that, you have one month to spend any remaining balance, before it's no longer available. You can still receive a refund for the balance here, though, so Google's not just stealing your money. You will have to wait about 8 weeks to receive a refund, though. Also, refunds won't actually start until October 17th.


The search giant explains that this move is happening because you can now add any debit or credit card to Google Wallet. As such, it's no longer necessary to have a prepaid card attached to your account. It makes a certain amount of sense. Still, it's a bit of a bold move when not every credit and debit card issuer has explicitly signed off the service. It also means that Google won't be able to do any more promotions like the $10 free credit that early Wallet users have received. Sad times.

Well, I guess it's time to hurry on over to Rite-Aid and buy a thing of some kind.

Source: Google, Prepaid Refund FAQ

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • mrsbelpit

    I got this email seconds ago. I'd still rather use a prepaid card, you bastards!

    • RedPandaAlex

      Get a prepaid credit card and add it to your Google Wallet. Problem solved.

      • mrsbelpit

        That would be too logical, I just want to complain.

  • Aaron Berlin

    I suppose there isn't really any reason for Google to make the pre-paid card available in a world where Wallet supports all cards and the only way to get money onto your prepaid card is by adding a credit card, which you could be using anyway. Why be a middle-man?

  • http://twitter.com/sam1am John Samuel αΩ

    I put $20 on my prepaid card and then got a new phone that doesn't support Google Wallet anymore. So I guess I'm just out $20.

    • Mike

      They said in the email there will be an option to issue a refund.

    • sam

      Freak read the article you idiot.


    Well I would love to use my $10 before but my LTEVO is still locked out cause I refuse to update until I can find a easy way to root the thing. Literally driving me crazy. So I really hope that by Oct. 17th someone will find a way to root the newest 1.22.651.1 withouth having to wipe the entire phone.

  • Joe Anderson

    I am happy about this I do not want them collecting the interest on my money they are holding. I would much rather pay by normal card hooked to my Gwallet. I almost spent the $10 they gave me at Radio Shack yesterday. Only $2+ to go!!!

    • jammer

      Hmmmm. I was under the impression that you had a choice to use the prepaid card.

  • fixxmyhead

    well it looks like ima be heading to 7 11 with my N7 but im gonna do it at night when theres less people cuz im gonna look stupid paying with a tablet

    • Outrager

      This is also why I never used my credit. I don't want to walk into a store holding my N7 to pay.

    • crankyd00d

      Now you will only look stupid with the attendant haha, I don't see how that is better :-)

      • fixxmyhead

        yea but its cool cuz he knows me. hes cool with me

  • Keith Thibodeaux

    I have a reward credit card (Amazon). Does anyone know, if I add it to Google Wallet, will I still earn my awards points correctly? For example, I earn 2 points per dollar spent on gas, drug stores and other things and 1 point for everything else. If I use the card with Wallet, will I get my 2 points for gas or will it only be 1 point using wallet?

    • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

      No, only the Citi cards report the data. The other cards, since they dont support those types of transactions, just show everything as from Google.

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    Just call and cash it out with Money Network. I did that back when the damned thing wouldn't work on my Sprint Nexus. It would never register my Citi card. I called Money Network and closed the account and they sent me a check for the balance minus any remaining of the original $10 Google gave me, which was nothing. I did get to keep the $40 from Sprint though.

  • jimsis

    Would be great if this was a move in preparation for Wallet2 which solved all the problems of Wallet1 - or am I the only one with the stuck secure element on an unlocked, unrooted yakju Galaxy Nexus?

  • Willnard

    The $10 already on the card... if I were to use that in the app store would I have to pay for it or is it a gift from Google?

    • abqnm

      You can't use the prepaid card in the Play Store. It is only for purchases with NFC.

      • jacob

        i don't understand why you were downvoted - what you said is exactly true. you could buy a google play gift card or a pre-paid debit card with the NFC though and use it that way.

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    There are vending machines that MasterCard PayPass. You can do it while no one is looking at you :-)

  • http://twitter.com/BottleRocket_ BottleRocket

    The prepaid card was the only way I used Wallet. I don't like having my debit or credit card numbers on there. I'll just delete the app after I spend my remaining balance.

  • John O’Connor

    I don't know what I can use the leftover $1.80. The email was a little vague as to the $2 monthly "service" fee. considering that they are doing away with it completely; will they just 1. clear out the $1.80 or are they 2. going to charge the extra 20 cents elsewhere and then 3. bill me indefinitely at a paltry $2/month for a prepaid card that cannot be used?

    Sure it's only two dollars (so long as I don't see a recurring charge on a defunct account) and I have plenty of "real" cards loaded into google wallet (bank cards, credit cards, work credit/debit etc)

  • Jan Mikolajczak

    Sadly, they don't send cvc codes with every transaction, so there's no way I could use it at my bank :-

  • ChristianAhlin

    I am rather guessing that this is a "we/Google are not going into banking"-move, which is probably a demand from some card actors.
    Will probably propel wallet...

  • Kurt Wurmser

    Ugh -- personally I think this is a big mistake. I would much rather have the option of a prepaid card and transfer $10 or $20 to my Google Wallet than put the whole thing on there. (Yes, I know, I could get a prepaid credit card and add that, but why add complication when the Google prepaid card was already there?)

    Besides, I've felt for a while that Google ought to compete aggressively in prepaid phones -- after all, take a look -- in the US, you have only ONE choice for a prepaid iPhone (Virgin Mobile), but you have a feast of options for prepaid Android. Prepaid is popular worldwide, and even here in the US that's where the growth is. The Google Prepaid card should be in the forefront of that strategy. I'm glad Play Store gift cards are out, but I wish they'd been out a few years ago. (Apple's were.) I think Play Store and Google Wallet balances ought to be merged, too. Make it easy and make it one account.

  • http://www.firstpremierprepaid.co.uk/Home.aspx prepaid mastercard uk

    Though, so Google's not just stealing your money. You will have to wait
    about 8 weeks to receive a refund, though. Also, refunds won't actually