Best Prepaid Debit Card

by FinancialTips4U

If you do not have a bank account or credit card, you use cash for your purchases. This works when paying for an item at a store counter; however, can be problematic otherwise.

Many Americans who do not have a bank account or credit card, use cash for their purchases. While this may work when it comes to paying for something at a store counter, it is problematic when it comes to paying for something like airline tickets, renting a car, or reserving a hotel room. In addition, it is difficult to use cash to pay a bill by mail, order something by phone, or purchase something on the Internet. Furthermore, carrying large amounts of cash on your person can be risky, attracting the attention of pickpockets and muggers every time you open your wallet in public.

An alternative to carrying large amounts of cash with you is to use a prepaid debit card, and the best ones are those with low fees or no fees. Some cards even carry rewards for some everyday purchases, just like a credit card.

Shopping Online with Prepaid Debit Card
Shopping Online with Prepaid Debit Card

Prepaid debit cards work like traditional checking accounts in a bank. However, unlike a paper check, it offers the same safety and convenience as a credit card. All you have to do to acquire one is to fill out a few simple forms. There is no credit or background check. These cards are designed for those with no credit or poor credit. Once you receive your card, you activate it and register it with your personal information.

These prefunded cards don’t carry the same risk of overspending associated with credit cards, so there is no risk of overextending your budget and running into credit problems. You can’t spend more than you have deposited. In addition, you don’t have any interest payments so you don’t end up paying more for your purchases. All you have to do when your funds your funds are running low is to make a deposit to increase your balance again.

When deciding on the best prepaid debit card, here are a few questions to ask:

1. What are the fees? Different cards have different policies regarding activation, paying monthly charges, making purchases, making cash withdrawals, printing monthly statements, calling customer service, replacing lost or stolen prepaid cards, and so on.

2. How do you recharge a card? While a direct deposit is one way to recharge a card, some services allow you to make deposits using other methods. You may be able to transfer money from a bank account, either your own or someone else’s bank account. You may also be able to make a deposit through an agency like MoneyGram or Western Union, and you will find these outlets at the customer service counters of giant retailers, supermarkets, and pharmacy chain stores. Usually, there is a small charge, ranging from $3 to $5.

3. What is the monetary limit you can deposit into your card account? Some cards allow you to carry a total balance of $1,000 while others allow you to carry up to $10,000.

4. What are the features associated with the card? It’s important to understand the daily cash withdrawal limit, and if you get online account management and email or text alerts on account activities.

5. Is there a referral program if you recommend family and friends to get the card? If you like the card and want to share its benefits with others, you may be eligible for some compensation or rewards.

Where do you go to purchase a prepaid debit card?

NYT Headlines on Credit and Debit Cards

Buyer’s remorse is real, but there are ways to avoid overspending on things you just don’t need.
Shoppers can quickly get approved for the services, but regulators are concerned that the loans lack important protections.
For some fans, a chance to see their favorite artists in concert is the most compelling reason to sign up for their first credit cards and start building credit.

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Updated: 11/22/2011, FinancialTips4U
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FinancialTips4U on 11/23/2011

Great Dustytoes, thank you for the compliment and anything to help!

dustytoes on 11/23/2011

Okay, now I know where to get one! Thank you - very good info here.

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