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Answer These 4 Questions To Find Out If A Prepaid Card Is Right For You

[Wednesday, October 17th, 2018]

If you pay any attention to the finance industry, or even if you don’t, you’re probably aware that prepaid cards have become increasingly popular over the past several years. But you may still not quite know what a prepaid card is, or how one works. Is it the same as a secured card? Is it a credit card? What’s the difference between a debit card and a prepaid card?

Answering the following four questions will not only illuminate the subject of what a prepaid card is, it will help you determine whether getting one is right for you.

  1. Do you have a checking account? Prepaid cards are a great solution for being who are what’s known as “unbanked”. These are people who, for whatever reason, are unable to open a traditional checking account with a major financial institution, such as a bank or credit union. The requirements for getting a prepaid card are less stringent than those for opening a bank account, making them a popular choice for folks without a regular checking account.
  2. Are you tired of paying bank fees? Many people are frustrated by overdraft fees, monthly account access fees, and fees for paper checks—all of which a traditional bank often charges. A prepaid card works much the same as a bank account, without many of these common fees. Think of it like a debit card without a checking account attached. There may be fees associated with it, but they are often less than those a bank would charge for a traditional checking account.
  3. Do you give your children allowance? One popular use for prepaid cards is to give young people experience using a payment card. Instead of giving your teenager or young adult cash, you can give them a prepaid card loaded with funds. You’ll be able to see how much is on the card, reload it when it runs low, and see where the money is being spent.
  4. Does carrying cash make you nervous? A prepaid card can be a great replacement for cash. It will be accepted at many stores and restaurants—wherever you could pay with a credit card, you can pay with a prepaid card, as long as they accept the particular network that issues your card. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express all offer prepaid cards, so finding one that’s widely accepted will not be a problem.

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