Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Bento a Credit Card or Debit Card?

Bento is a Commercial Prepaid Debit MasterCard. You can use your Bento card at any establishment that accepts MasterCard. Bento is a credit card alternative that you can swipe as a credit card. If a merchant asks “credit or debit?” it’s ok to say credit, and because it is a business prepaid debit card there’s no credit risk since the card is funded with cash from your bank account. Bento does not extend credit and is not a credit card.

How does Bento work?

After you sign up, you connect your bank account and safely transfer funds into your Bento account. All of the Bento cards use the same account, so you don’t have to move money between people/card accounts.  The business owner or unlimited number of other admin’s can set spending controls for each card, and can create additional cards at any time by logging into Bento. Cards are mailed to the business owner immediately after they are created in Bento. Your first card is created and mailed to the business owner immediately after signing up, and is in the business owner and company’s name. The business owner must activate all cards before giving them to employees.

Is Bento safe?

Yes. Bento uses 256-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to ensure your personal data is protected. Your personal information is stored in highly secure data centers, which utilize state-of-the art electronic surveillance and multi-factor access control systems. All funds held within Bento are FDIC insured up to a balance of $250,000.

How do I sign up for Bento? How long does it take?

Signing up for Bento is easy and only takes about three minutes.  Currently, you can sign up for Bento only online at https://bentoforbusiness.com/app/signup. Provide some basic business and personal information and you may be instantly approved. Then add your bank account (checking or savings). Here is the timeline for each of these actions:

  • Sign-up approval  – Immediate, once your business is verified
  • Bank Verification – Immediate – 2 business days
  • ACH Fund Transfer – 2-3 business days
  • Card Delivery – 7 – 10 days

Do I need a bank account? 

Yes. Currently, Bento can only transfer funds from an existing, verified checking or savings bank account. Any funds held in your Bento account are FDIC insured up to a balance of $250,000. Bento is not a traditional bank account; there is no Bento account number or Bento routing number.

Can employees get cash back or withdraw from an ATM?

No. Bento is designed to allow business owners to control company expenses and support employee spending, not support disbursements to employees. Additionally, Bento does not support direct deposits. Only the business owner can deposit money into Bento from their external bank account via banking industry standard ACH transfer.

How much does Bento cost?  Are there other fees?

Bento offers four different plans to suit your business: Free, Team, Pro and Enterprise. The Starter plan is free for a single person and is intended to allow a business owner to try out Bento at no cost. We’re convinced that once business owners experience the convenience, savings, and control of Bento that they’ll order more cards for their employees and be automatically upgraded to the Team plan (up to 10 cards/people for $29/month), Pro plan (up to 20 cards/people for $69/month) or Enterprise plan (more than 20 cards/people for $149/month).

  • No setup fees
  • No load fees
  • No withdrawal or debit fees (external ATM fees may apply)
  • No interest charges (this is not a credit card)
  • No card issuance fees
  • No transaction fees
  • No use fees (unlimited transactions)
  • No decline or overdraft fees
  • No cancellation fees

Bento is completely free for any plan for the first two months (60 days) from sign-up and we’ll notify you when the end of your 60-day free trial is approaching.  No surprises.  No risk. No long-term commitment.  That’s the Bento way.

Starter

Up to 2 Cards

Free

★★★★★
Support with a human touch
MOST
POPULAR

Team

Up to 10 Cards

$29/mo

★★★★★
Support with a human touch

Professional

Up to 20 Cards

$69/mo

★★★★★
Support with a human touch

Enterprise

More than 20 Cards

$149/mo

★★★★★
Support with a human touch

Why is a Bento gas card better than other fuel cards?

Using your Bento card as a reloadable gas card or prepaid fuel card has numerous benefits over traditional commercial gas cards:

  • It can be used at any gas station; not limited to “in-network” gas stations
  • The business owner can enable/disable additional spending categories in real-time as needed: vehicle repairs, meals, car rentals, and any other merchant categories the owner defines
  • You can set daily, weekly, or monthly spend limits on each card
  • You can turn cards on or off with a single click (as needed)

Because gas stations can put a “pre-authorization” hold of up to $100 when you first swipe your card (this applies to all credit card and debit card transactions and is not unique to Bento), it is always best to have at least $200 accessible by each card that will be used to purchase gas even if you need to buy less gas than that.

How does Bento billing work?

The total number of People and Cards you have at the end of the free trial will determine what billing plan you start with. You can change your billing plan at any time by contacting customer support. Note that if you want to downgrade to a lower plan, you may need to delete some People or Cards from your account.

After your free trial ends, billing will occur on the same day of the month that you signed up for Bento, for the upcoming 30-day period (Example: if you signed up on the 5th, then your billing day will be the 5th of each month). Its important to note that Bento will charge you from the same cash balance that you use to fund your Bento cards – so, there’s no need to pay with a separate credit card, check, or wire transfer.

Bento will notify you before we bill you each month, and send a confirmation after we successfully bill you. You can always log in to your Bento account to view your billing history, and see your current billing plan.

Bento pre-bills for the complete upcoming month of service. There are no pro-rated billing options and Bento is unable to refund for partial months if you downgrade at any time during the month. Billing is calculated by adding the number of People and Cards in Bento. Here are the different pricing plans:

  • Up to 2 Cards / Users – Free Plan: $0/month
  • Up to 10  Cards / Users – Team Plan: $29/month
  • Up to 20 Cards / Users – Pro Plan: $69/month

How do I use the Bento card to access my Bento funds?

You simply use your Bento card at any location where MasterCard is accepted. Any Bento card can have a PIN created by having the business owner dial the number on the back of the Bento card, but only the business owner can withdraw funds via an ATM.  If the card has a PIN created, it can be used as a debit card, as well as a credit card. There are three ways to use your Bento card:

  • Credit Card  – Signature based transaction, w/ photo ID verification
  • Debit Card – PIN based transaction (owner must set PINs for all cards)
  • Online Purchases –  3-digit security code required (on back of card)

How do your most successful customers use Bento?

Most businesses, on average, order 5 Bento cards to better control spending. More Bento cards = More control over spending. Remember, you can order up to 20 cards during your 60-day trial. Here are a few uses for cards that our most successful customers order:

  • Gas or Fuel Cards – Track & control fuel-only purchases; assign one card per vehicle
  • Employee Cards  – Give each employee a Bento card to track expenses & get alerts
  • Project Cards –  Assign a card for each project, supervisor, or area
  • Expense Cards – Control how much you spend on office supplies, subscriptions, etc.
  • Petty Cash Cards – Stop expense leaks caused by hard to track cash

Can I downgrade before my 60-day trial ends? 

Yes. We want you to fully experience the power and control over spending that Bento offers, so there are no plans during the 60-day trial. Order and use up to 20 cards at no cost during the free trial. We’ll notify you before your 60-day trial ends and at any time you can login to Bento and remove cards. Once you pass the 60-day trial, you’ll simply continue using Bento at your current plan’s rate based upon your number of People and Cards.

I’m a business owner with bad credit, can I apply for Bento?

Yes. Because Bento is a prepaid debit card product, credit is not extended to your company and we do not run a credit check during the application process. If you are a legitimate, verifiable business then you can qualify for Bento. Bento is not yet configured to help you rebuild your credit, but we do hope to offer this service in the future.

Why was my business unable to qualify for a Bento account?

Bento works to qualify every verifiable business owner and business. As required by our banking partners and in support of the US Patriot Act, Bento must verify that every Bento applicant is a qualified individual (not a criminal or on the US government terrorist watch list) and a verifiable business. If you believe that you satisfy both of these requirements, here are some steps that you can take to validate that you are a legitimate business:
1) File your proper business paperwork with your city/county/state for your business entity, and have the following documentation ready:

  • Sole Proprietorship or Partnership: Certificate of Assumed Name, Business License, and/or Registration of Trade Name
  • LLC: Articles of Organization or Certificate of Formation
  • Corporation: Articles of Incorporation

2) Establish a formal business location and provide proof of residence/physical presence at said location (utility bill, executed lease, bank statement, etc.). Once you can document that you are a verifiable business, please apply for Bento again or contact support@bentoforbusiness.com.

Where is Bento currently available?

Bento is currently available only in the United States.

What if I want my funds out of Bento?  Or, how do I cancel my Bento account?

If you need the funds in your Bento account to use elsewhere, then the business owner can withdraw funds at any ATM once they create a PIN. If you need to withdraw more than your daily ATM withdrawal limit ($500/day), or if you decide you need to close your Bento account, simply send an email to support@bentoforbusiness.com and Bento will gladly begin the process to issue and mail you a check for all of the remaining available funds in your Bento account. It’s your money, so there are no penalties, fees or surcharges for closing your account. While we would hate to see you go, we understand that sometimes things happen. The account cancellation process generally takes 8-10 business days.

Have other questions?

We are always here to answer them. Please visit the Help Center.