Helping Tips from an Insider
I used to work for a third-party card services call center and assisting customers of the Kroger prepaid card was one of my main tasks as a customer service agent. The volume of calls from card users having issues was tremendous. I am amazed that there are so many issues due to a disconnection between the Kroger retail store employees and their customers who purchase these prepaid products. Therefore, it is my hope that putting this guide together can better assist those consumers that have opted to use the Kroger prepaid debit card products.
The Kroger prepaid card program consists of 3 card types, which may sound confusing and overwhelming, but once you understand the types and their respective functions, you will have a painless experience using them. The 3 types are: Temporary (Non-Re-Loadable), Permanent (Personalized/Re-Loadable) and Re-Charge (Re-Load) cards.
Kroger Temporary (Non-Re-Loadable) Card
This is the plain card that can be purchased from the rack. It is also a starter card and one that can be upgraded. The front of the card is embossed with "KPF VALUED CUSTOMER". It costs $3.00 plus a $10.00 minimum to purchase. By dialing the Customer Service number on the back of the card, and entering the 16-digit card number on the front in the automated phone system, the card and its funds are available for immediate use. The prompt will transfer you over to a live representative who will "activate" it for you, but in reality, they come on the line to interest you in personalizing the card into one that will have your named printed on it for a $3.00 monthly maintenance fee. You may choose not to make it permanent. Otherwise, you can call back and order the personalized one at anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or you can log on to www.kpfprepaid.com and upgrade the card there.
A Social Security number is required for the permament card to be processed as required by federal law after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. There is no credit check associated with the card enrollment, but the Kroger system will look to see that the information submitted matches your identlty by correlating the name, date of birth and address in addition to the Social Security number.
Now, keep in mind that this temporary card is ONLY RELOADABLE WHEN UPGRADED or PERSONALIZED. If not, the temporary card in itself has to be disposed of and another one purchased if you do not, or cannot, upgrade it.
Hints About Its Use
- This card in its form, will NOT work on the RedBox, or Blockbuster Express, DVD vending machines. The reason behind it is that, if you decide to keep the movie for more than one evening, the billing system has to be able to charge your debit card for the amount according the number of evenings that the disc was kept. The temporary card, not being reloadable, will not allow for the movie kiosk to authorize the initial rental.
- PayPal is another card processing company that does not always honor the temporary card for some reason. Therefore, try using a different card, or wait for the permanent Kroger card to use for PayPal-managed transactions.
- If you are trying to purchase something online, make sure that the temporary card is registered with just your name, address and phone number. The KPF website will not allow you to just register the card without prompting you for the other vital information as its intention is to upgrade you to the permanent card. Your best bet is to call the Customer Service number on the back of the card and the live agent will register your card for you. Many merchant websites have a checkout system that will not honor cards that are not tied to a billing name, address, or phone number. Therefore, its like using a nameless debit card account.
- If you do not intend on personalizing your card, at least register it in case of loss or theft. That way, you can call Customer Service and have the card cancelled and replaced. Also, if any fraudulent charges were made on your temporary card, you can recouperate those lost funds through Kroger's dispute resolution process.
- Because this is only a temporary card, there is no PIN capability to the card. Therefore, you can only use it for Visa, or credit, purchases.
- The 1-2-3 Rewards points are not available with this card. If you want to earn points, you must obtain a personalized card instead.
- The Re-Charge (Re-Load) card is NOT COMPATIBLE with this card, but with the PERMANENT card instead.
Kroger Permanent (Personalized/Re-Loadable) Card
This is the card you are supposed to receive in 7 to 10 business days from the time of upgrade. It will show your name embossed on the front. Once activated, by calling the Customer Service number's automated phone line, the card is ready to be used once a PIN number has been established.
Keep in mind that the $3.00 monthly maintenance fee is charged to your card account on, or around, the same date that the card was activated. Also, the terms and conditions of use will apply right away at activation. If after receiving the card you change your mind and do not wish to use it, then do not activate it so that no charges are accrued. The temporary card that was upgraded, will also become obsolete once the permanent card is in active status. You can always call Customer Service and have the permanent card account closed. There is no binding contract, so you are not obligated to keep using it.
There are 3 ways that this card can be funded, or loaded. Either by paying $3.00 for a minimum of $10.00 re-load amount, by transferring funds from another Kroger permanent card holder, or by signing up for direct deposit with your employer, or a government agency that pays you unemployment, or Social Security payments.
This is the card that earns you the 1-2-3 Rewards for every dollar spent and has a 0.05¢ fuel discount when purchasing gas at any participating Kroger fuel centers.
Hint About Its Use
- When using this card at the gas station's Pay-at-the-Pump, an amount of $74.00 will be pre-authorized until the fuel purchase amount on your receipt is cleared, or collected, by the gas station. This usually occurs in 24 to 48 business hours. Otherwise, if you go inside and pre-pay for your gas, no other amounts will be held.
Kroger Re-Charge (Re-Load) Card
When re-charging, or re-loading, the permanent card at a Kroger store, the clerk will charge you $3.00 plus the amount over $10.00 you wish to fund your permanent card with. The re-charge card is a paper receit that has a scratch-off section that contains your re-load 16-digit number. Calling the Customer Service line and using their automated menu options, will have your card re-charged in a couple of minutes. If using a phone is not an option available, the re-load can be done on the KPF website as well.
Hints About Its Use
- The re-load process can be better done using a landline phone instead of a cell phone. If using a cell phone, makes sure that there is no background noise where you are as it throws off the touch tones of the numbers being entered. Do not do this while on speakephone mode.
- The re-charge card after being scratched off, will reveal 16 digits plus 3 more at the end. When entering the numbers on the automated phone system, make sure to enter the first 16 digits first, then push the # sign, wait for the system to validate it, and then enter the last 3 digits remaining as the verification code. If you try to enter all 19 digits at once, the system will generate an error stating that not enough numbers are being entered.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Sharon on July 07, 2020:
So far I've had my card for at least 4yrs and hasn't had an issue
Read More From Toughnickel
Misty on April 29, 2020:
I really enjoyed my card until I tried to use it at a drive thru window and my card was declined I was so freaking embarrassed I new there was money on it but three times later I finally call customer service and found out that the card will no go thru if the business is using the debit card reader that’s not on the ordering screen if it’s the square gray ones that is their own machine the card does not work no matter what it says card pin incorrect I had to leave the store drive to an atm and pull the money off an atm which then cost me not only the $3.50 atm fee but the card charges a $5 dollar fee for using out of network atm so my $8 order turned into a twenty dollar withdrawal and n $8.50 fee
Then card was stolen and when I called to have the card cancellex they fell to tell u it completely shuts down the entire account and then u can’t use online purchases or transfer ur balance to another card unless it’s the same kind of card it’s $18 to speed order the next card if I want it in2-3 business days or it’s a $3.49 replacement fee
My rent was due the next day I had $2,200 deposited on it also the next day and the customer service lady was rude and ignorant I told her I just wanted to cancel my card and she laughed so hard at me then told me that she could totally do that for me but then I could t have the money transferred to one of my other cards thru somewhere else they mail u a paper check when u close ur account in going to go buy a card from the store transfer my money then cancel my account their not doing the rewards points on my card any more trial and error definitely shitty hands on learning experience
JD on April 28, 2019:
My advice do not think about it! Had just income tax loaded on to card and was sent a letter stating that it had been compromized ? And to look for a new card in the next few days.... After no a no show of card phone rep. told me for somehow the card was sent back to them and a different was sent back...after this happening two times I had no choice from the neglect of them not being truthful... Account was closed. Had been funds would be sent to the check processing plant? So now I gave been waiting for my funds over 30 days...I feel dumb having to fall for such call center scams. This is a true statement on my trying the 123 Visa debit card it's the worst banking or card service I have had in all of my 60 years of banking..... From , still no check after 30 days?
Danny Thweatt on March 30, 2019:
I have not had any problems with this card other then not understanding how to use my reward points. I use my points I get for buying groceries for gas so that really doesn’t bother me. I have had this card for three years.
Frances Ocegueda on March 24, 2019:
I repeat do not buy these cards they just steal your money or give it to you when they feel like it and the store people do not even have a clue on how to resolve the issue
alex on December 28, 2018:
can i purchase a reload card with a visa gift card. you know, like the kind you cant remove cash outta the atm..
Kennedy Oluoch on September 12, 2018:
This card is either pathetic or I do not know. Just checking my balance is like flying to Mars to see Olympus Mons. Please get real or I will break it and give the worst review to everyone I know.
carrie surrency on March 08, 2018:
please someone tell me if it turns over at 12 am daily the five thousand limit or exactly 24 hrs after last purchase
carrie keyes on September 20, 2017:
how can some one put money on my card? im stranded in mexico.
April on April 19, 2017:
I deposited 200.00 dollars to my 123 rewards card last night to pay a bill got busy making dinner and helping son with homework went to bed with our paying bill for up this morning and was like damn let me make this payment before me and my kids be without gas and water I go to make the payment it's declined I flip out and go into panic mode because I know I just put 200 dollars on my card got a red confirming balance if 200.
Maggie N Robby on March 26, 2017:
Did anyone ever get a direct deposit from income tax over 5k, if so how long before they released your funds to your card?
Michael F Schuster on February 18, 2017:
Your prepaid card system sucks I got one for 99 dollars to pay a bill and it lockout on my because it said that the back three numbers didn't match the front 16 numbers this is BULLSHIT Today a NEW Day I HOPE that I can get MY MONEY off this PREPAID Card
Dazyblue on January 27, 2017:
I have had this problem a few times where I get paid and can't access my money all day. I can't even log into my personal card account. It's like the whole account freezes up for a while then eventually it works. I am cancelling this card as soon as I can change my direct deposit information. I just want to know if anyone else has had this problem. It is very stressful, especially when I am stuck because I can't get gas because my card won't work even though I know the money is there.
Tex on January 20, 2017:
I just called to check my balance I had two debits posted against it for the same exact dollar amount on the same day four hours apart. I have not used my card since first week in Dec these were the middle of this month Jan. There was no option to talk to a service rep. Never again will I use a Kroger prepaid I can't afford them taking this kind of money from me. Way over 200.00 dollars in one day.
s on July 28, 2016:
they put a 72 hour lock on my card i work for fred meyer and had my check direct deposit on card now I can get my paycheck i have no liens they said there was a charge that they wont pay so now they are holding me hostage. how was I to know they wouldnt pay that online company! I have no food no money for gas to get to work and my little dog is hungry
B on July 08, 2016:
Is there any way at all you can take money off of the temporary card?? Maybe transferring the money to another card or something??
gab on July 07, 2016:
i hate this card i cant even buy stuff and krogers is not issuing me a refund
Rikki Frieszell on May 16, 2016:
I just went the other day to deposit $440 on my card, I always check the balance before I dispose of my receipt, to my surprise my balance was $440, so I checked my transaction and there had been a card to card transfer the day before of $661 that I did not do, I called and they canceled the card and turned it over to the fraud dept, what are my chances of getting this money back? You would think they would have just took it back off immediately from the card it WS transfered to but no, now if there was any of my money left on the fraudulent cars it's already spent by now I'm sure.
Joe on April 08, 2016:
Ok people iv had this card for a bit now and with no problems at all. Want to know why?...... Because when i went to get a card to use for direct deposits i read all the fine print and info on the back and ask the counter person about it before i got it. So yea if you dont read all the info the card comes with and yea its alot you might not be havein any problems......ever think of that insted of just going online to complain and blame the card company when you have a problem. Its your own dam fault.
Ga Girl on March 23, 2016:
My employer entered the wrong account number therefore I did not receive my direct deposit. I was told by customer service it would take 24 hours to trace the money. Now they're saying 7-10 business days. Whomever received my money probably have spent it by now. I will never use this card ever again.
Toni on March 15, 2016:
IS there a maintenance charge if there is no money on the card...Anyone know?????
lorraine on February 20, 2016:
Hi i had my small refund direct deposited and the IRS told me its already in my acct but I call Kroeger and they say in a few days ill get it. Anyway I checked it on my phone and it says 0 amount. I am confused, upset and broke please help me
BJ in GA on October 04, 2015:
I have had a block on my card since 2011. I can not get the block off of my card. I was told that I needed proof of funds (not proof of income), Identification and a utility bill. I do not have a utility bill and no one can tell me what proof of funds are. I bought another temp card but can not get it in my name because of the block on the personalized card. Not sure I even want to deal with Kroger anymore after all of this. I have had a Bluebird card from Walmart for many years and not a bit of problems with that card. This Kroger 1-2-3 Rewards debit card is the worst thing I have ever seen. This is my own money I am trying to put on the card and I keep getting told that I have to jump through hoops.
Lynn Varela on August 31, 2015:
Has anyone used this card to rent a car. Just wondered if you en vCard encountered any problee
Jay on May 17, 2015:
The same just happened to me. Got my education benefits deposited and it caused my card to be closed and can't access my funds. No one has called or emailed me. When can I expect my money?
Strawberries404 on April 02, 2015:
I just signed up for the 1-2-3 Rewards Kroger Prepaid debit card. I am expecting my direct deposit today. It is already 8:37 AM EST and I still have not yet received it but their reps said it could show up at any time. Does anyone know the time that the direct deposit usually shows up? The funds were submitted from my job to the bank on Tuesday this week.
JW on March 31, 2015:
I have trouble using this thing more often than I have smooth transactions. Yesterday I tried to make an online purchase from Europe (I'm in the US). The card was declined and now the account is blocked for 72 hours. Customer service says they can't remove the block, I have to wait for it to expire on its own. They also tell me that any international transactions will result in a block being placed on the account. "Accepted worldwide anywhere VISA is accepted" Yeah, right. I'll find one of their competitors who will honor their end of the deal just as soon as I can get my funds away from these pirates.
TM on March 15, 2015:
Can u withdraw from an ATM with this card?
kiki on February 03, 2015:
Pat, because of the tax season it has been stated that $5,000 is the max.
pat on February 03, 2015:
Do any of you read terms of service or the FAQ about the card before using it? It simply states via direct deposit you can load $10-$1,500. The card can only hold $3,000. If you try to load anything higher it will be rejected
Angelina on February 02, 2015:
@joe did u ever get your refund or did the bank reject it? I'm worried about mine getting rejected because it's over 5000..please any info would help!!!
joe on January 31, 2015:
does any one know if the limit is 5000 and my deposit is 7500 will the 500 go on the card and the other 2500 be rejected any info would be great thanks I called customer service and was told two different answer one person said the 5000 it would take and reject the rest and I would have to wait 10-30 business days for it to post I was just curious to see if any one has had this happen to and the card except the limit and return the rest
Jen r on November 01, 2014:
Do not use this card for direct deposit. I always get my drift deposit on Thursday into my bank I switched to this card because of the rewards points I have tried calling customer service several times and they have no answers as to what is going on it is now Saturday my check is still not deposited my bills are now late and customer service says it could take 3 to 5 days for a normal direct deposit to go through. Who is going to wait almost an additional week for their paycheck? If it is not here on Monday I am reporting this to the Better Business Bureau and the FDIC.
Alex on October 22, 2014:
georgia, Yes you have to call them, and either get the block removed or ask them to send you a check. This usually involves answering their questions. Do the best you can with that, they're just asking what you use it for and address etc. If they say they can't release or send a check, then insist 'it's your money, and that's the law'. They can't steal your money, otherwise you can call the police or financial regulations. Doing this the nice way before it gets to that point, usually works better. I'd try it the nice way with 1-2 people first, and maybe a supervisor. Then use the legal info way, as a backup. It is true though. But, that's what works. I've experienced this a couple times.
georgia on September 07, 2014:
they have a block on my card, it has my money on it but im not allowed to use it.. can you help?
money on March 04, 2014:
Did you guys ever receive your refunds in the mail.. After it was rejected from the prepaid visa card?? How do you go about getting it? Having the same problem my refund was rejected because it was over the limit 3,000.. This is crazy and I'm beyond pissed...
an101011 on November 22, 2013:
I just got my personalized card and so far I love it. I do have a couple of questions though. What is the card to card option. Is it only between 2 kroger cards or can it be used with different typs of cards also. Also, does it cost anything do do this?
ThatGirl on October 27, 2013:
Direct deposits usually post between midnight and 5 am
needmymoney on October 22, 2013:
Does anyone know what time a direct deposit will post to my account? I just signed up and normally I get paid on Wed...it's Tuesday night and I'm really hoping it will post at midnight...fingers crossed...I have a couple more hours then I'll know for sure :)
m-maxwell on August 24, 2013:
georgia and angryingeorgia, feeling your pain now. i called them to get my account info so i could have an insurance claim check ach deposited onto my card. they said no prob and that it worked liked a direct deposit. the amount was for $2,500 which i now know is above the $1500 daily dd limit. i got a confirmation of deposit from the insurance co on 8/22 confirming the deposit was completed, but the kroger card people have no record of it posting, it doesn't show on my online account, and cust service can't view pending deposits. the fine print on the dd form says all amounts above the daily $1500 limit will be returned to the payor within 2 biz days, so best case scenario is $1500 will post in the next few days and the extra $1,000 goes back to the ins co. what a mess. this kroger 1-2-3 rewards card and the support is useless.
angryingeorgia on February 11, 2013:
Georgia we know what you mean. We were not made aware of the $3000 limit either and IRS deposited our check on 2/1/13, it rejected that same day and we are still waiting on the paper check. Plus, we also had our state directed deposited to which was transmitted on 2/6/13 and still to this day it has not shown up on our card and it is well below the the daily limit and when you call to the customer service number on the card, they give you the run around. I bet we have spoken to at least 10 different people since last week and everyone gives a different answer. Like yourself, once we can get that money on there, we are taking it off and cancelling the card, it is worthless.
georgia on February 08, 2013:
i bought this card and had my tax check direc deposited to this card while telling customer service rep what i was doing and her reassuring me I would have no problems.Well the day for irs to deposit my check!!There is a $1000 limit daily $3000 in a month My tax check 3 times that.So the card company sent my tax check back to I.R.S. and know I have to wait for the check in the mail and pay to get it cashed.Never will i use this card again.
Misty on December 11, 2012:
Becareful if you get the 123 rewards card from smith's that is by these guys. I bought it and thought that it would be great for paying my bills and getting the amount in savings for smiths. But to my surprise they have certain merchants that your not allowed to use your card at. At the time of buying this card my car payment was do I put the amount on the card to pay the car payment when it was not allowed to go through. I then had to find a way to get the funds off of the card so that I could go make the payment another way. I will not buy or use another one of these cards ever!!! Why buy one of these cards if they get to decide what companies that they are willing to accept YOU to buy from!
Matt on November 24, 2012:
Can i load my tax refund on my temporary card until i get the personalized one?
Denise on July 03, 2012:
Yes all the employees in Nashville area are clueless, I have 2 $5.00 and 2 $10 credits for store and NOONE can tell me why they cant get it!
Gurnis39 on February 23, 2012:
Is there a charge for "card to card" transfers? And how do I make a card to card transfer?
jcm_blabs (author) from My Bunker in the Midwest on January 31, 2012:
Call Customer Service at 1-800-576-4377 for help.
jcm_blabs (author) from My Bunker in the Midwest on January 31, 2012:
Yes they do.
Kristen mattingly on January 29, 2012:
Do direct deposits work any day of the week
Eykis on October 09, 2011:
How do the Kroger points work with the VISA reward points? I get a lot of discounts from Kroger on food, but the gasoline charges are generally wrong and the employees at every Kroger in Nashville and Clarksville (Nashville is HQ for Kroger) are clueless.