Most prepaid cards will provide some services of a traditional checking account -- you can usually set up direct deposits, pay bills or deposit checks on your phone. Prepaid debit cards might have fees or limits on deposits and withdrawals. Be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of any card before purchasing.
Prepaid cards are a relatively simple way for you to pay for purchases without opening a credit card or bank account. They work similar to a debit card in that you can use a prepaid card to pay bills, set up direct deposit and use mobile check deposit. You'll even receive the same $250,000 FDIC insurance that protects your deposits if your bank fails.
One reason to opt for a prepaid card over other forms of plastic is that it's a relatively low-risk way to manage your money. Parents can use prepaid cards as a way to teach their kids about money before making them an authorized user on their credit card. And if you struggle to stick to a budget, you can use a prepaid card to help monitor your spending, with the goal of eventually graduating to a credit or debit card.
If you're interested in opening a prepaid card, there are wide variety to choose from. To help make the process easier, Select rounded up the best prepaid cards, and below we've broken down everything you need to know before you sign up. (See our methodology for more information on how we chose the cards.)
Similar to a gift card, you add value to the prepaid card before you can use it, which is essentially like prepaying for future purchases. But prepaid cards come with a few more bells and whistles, like the ability to set up direct deposit and check your balance on a mobile app. They also require more attention since you can incur fees for simply having a card or reloading it with more cash.
One disadvantage of using a prepaid card is that you can only complete transactions up to the amount you have loaded onto it. If you add $200 to your prepaid card, you can only spend up to $200. Any purchases you attempt to make exceeding $200 will be declined until you load more money onto your card.
Before you open a prepaid card, it's important to understand what fees may be associated with them. Most prepaid cards charge monthly maintenance fees around $10, which is similar to checking account fees that can cost up to $15 a month. But you may also pay a fee to open your prepaid card, typically around $5.
Prepaid cards are a good option for parents who want to give their kids spending money without handing them cash that could potentially get lost. You can request a new prepaid card if it goes missing, and many card issuers allow you to lock your card to prevent unauthorized use.
Choosing a prepaid card could be a good choice for you if you have a history of overspending. A prepaid card might be a better alternative than a debit or credit card, as it can force you to stick to a budget by declining purchases that exceed the balance in your account. But make sure it makes financial sense. Even though you're saving on potential interest charges or overdraft fees, the monthly fees on a prepaid card can get very expensive, too. If you decide that using a prepaid card makes it easier for you to manage your finances, make sure to sign up for a no-fee card.
When you decide that you no longer want your prepaid card, whether that's because you're opting for credit or debit, you'll need to take some action. You can't just forget about the card because you could still incur monthly fees.
In order to cancel a prepaid card, you'll first need to withdraw all of the money currently in your account. You can typically withdraw money at an ATM, through a transfer to another account or by requesting a check. Once your balance reaches $0, you can call your card issuer to cancel your account.
To determine the best prepaid cards on the market, Select analyzed and compared 11 cards that offer benefits to individuals and families who are looking for an alternative to credit cards and debit cards to manage their money.
Keep in mind that while prepaid cards are an alternative to credit and debit, they won't help you build credit. In order to establish a credit history, you need to regularly use a credit card responsibly, paying your bills on time and in full every month. And if you want an easy way to deposit and withdraw money for daily transactions, consider opening a checking account with a linked debit card so you can avoid ATM charges.
If you plan on using prepaid debit cards for direct deposit, NetSpend prepaid debit cards are the way to go. You can get your paycheck up to two days faster when you have your employer deposit your money directly to your NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card.
As technological innovation continues, consumer spending habits are changing. Virtual prepaid debit cards are becoming more and more popular. The Movo Virtual Prepaid Visa is a compelling option if you want to go virtual. With a Movo account, you can create multiple virtual cards. This makes it easy to track transactions and cancel subscriptions after the free trial.
However, unlike a credit card which allows you to spend up to a certain credit limit, a prepaid debit card will only let you spend however much money you have loaded into the account. This makes it impossible to overdraft the account, which would lead to additional fees in a traditional checking, savings, or credit card account.
One way to use these cards to prevent overspending is to only load your prepaid card with the amount of money you intend to spend over a predetermined period. For example, if you want to keep your spending to $150 per week or less, you can just load $150 per week on your card. Once the money runs out, the card declines, preventing you from spending above and beyond your budget.
In some cases, banks that offer prepaid cards will also offer a mobile app that makes it easy to load the card with a check. You can also ask your employer to deposit your paycheck directly into most prepaid accounts.
Most prepaid cards come with money transfer and withdrawal limits and minimum balance requirements. We made sure these limits and requirements were reasonable, considering the audience likely to take advantage of these types of accounts.
A prepaid debit card is a means of payment. As with a traditional debit card, you can use a prepaid card to make purchases online and in-person wherever the card is accepted. Prepaid cards are typically issued on the same payment networks as regular debit and credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.
Many prepaid debit cards allow you to create sub-accounts, so you can provide cards to other members of your family, all of which are tied to the same main account. However, many prepaid cards charge a variety of fees, including monthly fees, transaction fees, reload fees, ATM fees, and others.
You might also consider a prepaid debit card if you need some help with your budgeting. If you want to limit how much you spend for a given period on certain expenses, you can transfer money to your prepaid debit card and only use that payment method for the expense category. Some prepaid cards even allow you to set up multiple cards for different budget categories.
The best prepaid cards are not only great budgeting tools, but they also provide a lot of other features and are relatively affordable. We considered several factors as we compiled our list, including fees, extra benefits, free reload options and ways to get money back.
The all-purpose Visa Prepaid card is a reloadable prepaid card that you can use to withdraw cash, pay bills, or make purchases at participating retailers and service providers, in-person or online. You can fund the reloadable Visa Prepaid card through a variety of ways, such as through direct deposit or with cash at a participating retail location.
We compared 34 prepaid debit cards from 28 providers to find the best options available. Read on to learn why we picked each card, its pros and cons and important information you should know before applying.
With this prepaid debit card, you can earn one reward point for every $2 spent on everyday purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on brands including Netflix, Uber and select Black-owned businesses. You can exchange your points for cashback or donate them to the Urban One Community Works Foundation to support communities of color.
Once you add money to the card, you can use it anywhere a typical debit card is accepted. Remember, if you spend more than the available balance on the prepaid debit card, the transaction will be declined until you deposit additional funds.
Ally is an online bank. While the cards and accounts offered from Ally are not strictly speaking the same as the prepaid travel cards featured elsewhere on this list, you could open and use an Ally account in a similar way.
There are many prepaid card options out there from banks and online providers. Because Visa and MasterCard are among the most commonly accepted card networks outside of the US, many travel cards are issued on these networks to increase coverage.
Know your exchange rates before you go. You want to find the mid-market exchange rate for your currency, which is the best benchmark to use when comparing the rates available from card providers and currency services.
If you can't get a checking account or a credit card, a prepaid debit card might be an option for you. These cards are easy to get because there isn't a credit check. Your credit history doesn't matter with a prepaid debit card because you're not buying items on credit. You're using your own money for purchases.
Here's how it works: You purchase a prepaid debit card online or at a retailer. Then you load cash onto the card and use the balance for purchases. Prepaid debit cards are fine to use as a checking account replacement or as a budgeting tool. But just remember that these cards do not build credit. 781b155fdc