Find the best prepaid cards

Prepaid cards are cards that have a balance loaded onto them beforehand and can be used almost anywhere as they are backed by major credit card networks such as Visa and MasterCard. In fact, these cards are better referred to as debit cards as they are used only to the point of the balance. It is ideal for those customers who don’t want to open a bank account but still want to have all the features of a credit card to book hotel rooms or rent cards, which is possible with the prepaid cards. These cards usually don’t require a credit history check, even with a poor credit score, you can get yourself a prepaid card. They have many other benefits, depending on the issuer and the bonus features, for example being able to withdraw from an ATM, pay bills online, or even recurring payments to be made. One thing to watch out for are fees that apply to each card, this can add up to being a lot depending on the card that you choose.

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Why choose a prepaid card?
Using a prepaid card is great if you do not like carrying around cash, you want to be able to use a card to pay at any location where they do not accept debt, or even purchase goods online. It is great because it acts in the same way as a debit but has the ability to be used where credit cards are accepted as well.
What is a prepaid card?
A prepaid card is a great way to avoid having to carry cash around or paying by cheque. It is a card that you can load money into, similarly to a debt card, and can be used at a physical location and on the internet. You cannot actually go beyond what you load into it.
What kind of card can I get?
Anyone can have a prepaid card. If you are looking to rebuild credit because you are sitting at a poor score then this card won’t help you as it does not have credit that can be tracked as it is a pre-loaded type of card. There is no way to actually go in debt and pay anything off. If you are looking to do online shopping or just carry around a card to make purchases without using the debit card, then this card is for you.
What are the pros & cons?
In some cases the pros do not outweigh the cons – but if you are sitting at a poor credit rating and need a way to pay where cash is not accepted it might be your only choice. The prepaid card is a great way to pay bills, services, and other payments that need to be paid online or in person. Of course, on the downside, it will charge you an annual fee, so make sure to look for ones that have the lowest fees.

Featured Prepaid Card

AccountNow ® Gold Visa ® Prepaid Card

AccountNow ® Gold Visa ® is an excellent choice as you will get paid up to 2 days faster with free direct deposit. You have 100% approval* upon successful ID verification and $0 activation fee*, no minimum balance, and no risk of overdraft fees.

Highlights

Individuals who sign up will have no credit check, interest charges or overdraft fees to worry about. You can check your current balance and view recent transactions made with the card sent to your phone. Those who have direct deposit options with their employer can get their paychecks deposited right into their account.

You can get a bonus with a qualifying Direct Deposit and never pay to cash your paychecks and get your pay faster. Use it everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted and pay anyone with PayAnyone Bill Pay. Shop online, rent a car, pay your rent and more.

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Related Credit Card Options

Secured Credit Cards

If you have a limited credit history or if  you are working on rebuilding your credit then a good bet is a secured credit card. With a minimum security deposit required, which is used for collateral, you will be extended a credit line and with responsible use by you, you will be on your way to building credit. Be sure to shop around and compare offers as some secured cards come with annual fees or set up fees.

Travel Credit Cards

If you are an avid traveler and would like to earn rewards on your purchases which can be redeemed for travel expenses, then you may want to consider a travel credit card.

0 APR Credit Cards

If you are looking to make an expensive purchase then a 0% intro APR card may be the right choice for you. The introductory rate usually lasts anywhere between 6 months to 18 months depending on the issuer and is a great way to reduce or eliminate interest payments on your qualifying balances.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

If you are doing a balance transfer to pay off  your debt and reduce or eliminate higher rate interest charges then a 0% intro APR card on balance transfers may be what you are looking for. The introductory rate usually lasts anywhere between 6 months to 18 months depending on the issuer and is a great way to to reduce or eliminate interest payments on your qualifying balances.

Business Credit Cards

If you run a small business, medium-sized business, or even a large corporation, then you may benefit from a business credit card. You can get business perks and some cards offer rewards.

Fair Credit Credit Cards

If you are working on building or rebuilding your credit you may be eligible for a credit card for those with fair credit. Each issuer makes their own determination as to who is eligible for a card within each credit range. Be sure to manage your credit responsibly such as making sure your payments get posted on time, and stay under your limit. Some cards for those with fair credit offer rewards or other perks and benefits so be sure to shop around.

Disclosure: Credit Sesame is an independent comparison service provider. Reasonable efforts have been made to maintain accurate information throughout our website, mobile apps, and communication methods; however, all information is presented without warranty or guarantee. Please visit the provider’s site for current information and verify all terms and conditions of any offer prior to applying. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any credit card issuer. Any opinions, analysis, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. All images and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Help: Choosing the best prepaid credit card

Prepaid cards have great advantages for people. If you are someone with poor credit who is unable to get a traditional credit card then prepaid cards are the perfect card to have because you will get approved 100% of the time as long as you have verifiable identification. Then you can use the prepaid card at any location where your particular credit card is accepted. For example, if your prepaid card is sponsored through Visa then you will see the Visa logo somewhere on the card. This means you can use the prepaid card at any merchant location where Visa credit cards are accepted. If you are someone who is unable to obtain a regular credit card and you want to pay your bills quickly, then a prepaid card will certainly be the best alternative. Otherwise, you would have to mail a money order which would cost you extra money in fees each time you create one. That is why prepaid cards are better. However, the bad thing about prepaid cards is they can have unpredictable fees attached to them. After all, credit card companies need to have some way of making money off issuing prepaid credit cards to people. Since no traditional credit is attached to the cards and no interest is being charged as a result, the only way for credit card companies to make money is to charge fees for its usage. This can make prepaid cards more expensive than one might think. But if you examine your options and study the fees associated with each type of prepaid card, you will be able to find one with lower fees and better features.
The best prepaid cards to get are the general purpose reloadable cards. These have many similarities to the regular debt and credit cards. For one thing, prepaid cards tend to be associated with one of the main payment networks, such as MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. These payment networks are accepted by millions of merchants around the world as well as by merchants online. The general purpose reloadable cards can be reloaded with funds at any participating retailer. Then you can use the card to pay bills, make purchases or even withdrawal cash from an ATM. In fact, more employers now are offering their employees prepaid cards as an alternative to direct deposit or paper checks. Each employee will simply get their own unique prepaid card. Then every pay period the funds from their paycheck will get added to their prepaid card. Then they can make withdrawals from ATMs or pay bills with it.
When you go to choose a prepaid card you need to make fee comparisons between all the general purpose reloadable cards out there. If you go to websites like BankRate.com or CardHub.com, they will set up fee comparisons for you on all the top prepaid cards that are currently available. There are a number of fees you will want to pay attention to because they come at you from many different angles. The fees associated with prepaid cards include activation fees, reloading fees, monthly service fees, purchase transaction fees, declined transaction fees, ATM withdrawal fees, funds transfer fees, foreign transaction fees, inactivity fees, and paper statement fees. Now when you look at these fees, you will find that many of them won’t pertain to you. For example, if you don’t plan to use your prepaid card in a foreign country then you won’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees. If you aren’t going to make ATM withdrawals or obtain paper statements then you won’t have to worry about those fees either. The only fees that everyone will have to worry about are the monthly fees and the reloading fees. The activation fee will only be one time, so after you purchase the card then that fee will go away. Therefore, just keep your needs in mind when making fee comparisons. Then make the best choice in your given situation.
General purpose prepaid cards do not have the same federal regulatory protection as traditional credit and debit cards. It is important that you research the specific policies and protections put in place on the prepaid card that you choose. Ask yourself these questions. Does the card issuer offer to replace any stolen or lost funds in the event of fraudulent charges? How much does the registered user have to pay if there are unauthorized transactions on their card? And most importantly, is there FDIC insurance protection on the balance of your funds? Obviously, you want your card issuer to protect you from fraudulent activity on your prepaid card and reimburse you for any unauthorized charges. You also want to have FDIC insurance protection in case the company goes bankrupt and loses the monetary balance on your card. Remember that card issuers are not banks and not all of them offer FDIC protection. So pay attention to these details and make the best choice.

Disclosure: Credit Sesame is an independent comparison service provider. Reasonable efforts have been made to maintain accurate information throughout our website, mobile apps, and communication methods; however, all information is presented without warranty or guarantee. Please visit the provider’s site for current information and verify all terms and conditions of any offer prior to applying. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any credit card issuer. Any opinions, analysis, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. All images and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

See the online provider’s application for details about terms and conditions. Offers are subject to change and the terms displayed may not be available to all consumers. Please visit the provider’s site for current information and verify all terms and conditions of any offer prior to applying.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.