TOP 5 – Best Prepaid Cards for Sep, 2019

A new, 2019 trend is emerging and changing the way Americans see their finances. These days, more consumers are choosing prepaid cards as an alternative to carrying cash, and of course, there’s a convenience factor. Up to 18% of Americans now carry prepaid cards, making it a smart choice for many.

Editor’s Choice

  • Save 30% on H&R Block software
  • Receive your Tax Refund faster
  • Get FREE Unlimited Advice from a Tax Expert with software purchase
  • Maximum Refund Guarantee
  • 5 Federal E-Files
  • Easy Recordkeeping
  • No card loading fee
  • No Interest Charges
Opening Min App Fee ATM Fee Credit Reporting Credit Needed Rate this Card
0* $0* $2.50* No* Bad Credit OK*
total votes: 152

Each prepaid card has its own benefits but finding one that offers the lowest fees without compromising benefits should be a priority. We conduct our own reviews in order to find the best value. Our editor’s choice takes all of this into consideration.

More Competitive Prepaid Choices for Sep, 2019

  • Save 30% on H&R Block software
  • Receive your Tax Refund faster
  • Get FREE Unlimited Advice from a Tax Expert with software purchase
  • Maximum Refund Guarantee
  • 5 Federal E-Files
  • Easy Recordkeeping
  • No card loading fee
  • No Interest Charges
Opening Min App Fee ATM Fee Credit Reporting Credit Needed Rate this Card
0* $0* $2.50* No* Bad Credit OK*
total votes: 152

Prepaid cards are also used as gift cards. The difference is with a prepaid card, the recipient often can use the funds anywhere he chooses, whereas gift cards are usually purchased from a retailer and can only be used with the retailer who sold it. Of course, that’s just one of the reasons many are turning to prepaid debit cards.

Benefits of Prepaid Cards

These financial tools wouldn’t be as popular today were it not for the added value. One reason many choose prepaid cards, besides not having access to checking accounts, is the convenience factor. Funds are easily loaded via direct deposit, through many retailers and via online fund transfers. Not only that, but these cards are also helpful for those trying to stick to a budget. Most prepaid cards come with access to the bank or issuing company’s website where cardholders can check their balances, track their spending and budget their funds.

Another added benefit is the lack of credit hurdles users must jump. These products don’t require credit checks or employment verification. Proof of ID, however, is required to stay compliant with federal laws. Opening an account is easy and if you choose a local retailer, your account can be opened in minutes. Money placed on the card is usually accessible immediately.

The Downside of Prepaid Cards

It’s important to keep in mind lost or stolen cards might not have the same protection as credit cards or debit cards associated with your bank accounts. Currently, the FDIC does not required prepaid card distributors to insure their customers’ money, so there is some risk involved. The most important thing to keep in mind is prepaid cards will not help you build or rebuild your credit; that’s not what they’re designed to do.

Tips for Choosing Prepaid Products

  • Be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions so that you understand what your prepaid card can and cannot do.
  • Pay attention to the fees. A few that are sometimes found include ATM fees, reload fees and fees to speak with a live operator.
  • Many prepaid customers who also have bank accounts say they would prefer to pay the small $3 or $4 reload fees instead of NSF fees that are usually more than $35 a pop. If that’s important to you, it might be a prepaid card can help you better meet your budget.
  • Many fees are waived if you meet certain criteria, such as a certain number of deposits or a minimum balance. Again, this is all found in the terms and conditions.

Editor’s Thoughts

Because the prepaid market is growing so fast, many of the big credit card companies, including American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard, are now offering their own versions of prepaid cards. The benefits are impressive, though for all intents and purposes, the prepaid market is still in its infancy, so there are bound to be growing pains. Still, the big credit card companies are making huge – and impressive – strides in this sector. In fact, many big banks are looking for ways to turn their prepaid consumers into long-term customers who can transition into the more traditional bank services and products, such as checking accounts and credit cards that don’t require security deposits.

Card name Intro APR Intro APR Period Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Needed
H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard® N/A* N/A* N/A * N/A* Bad Credit OK*
 

The prepaid market is here to stay and with so many people using them for a myriad of purposes, you can be sure they number of prepaid cards on the market will only increase with time. The good news is that competition keeps fees low, which is always good for the American consumer.

Have you had any personal experience with Prepaid Debit Card?


 
 

Advertiser Disclosure

CREDIT DAD is an independent, advertising-supported website. Many debit cards, credit cards and other financial offers that appear here are from companies from which CREDIT DAD Websites receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this website (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CREDIT DAD Websites do not include all card offers in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

CREDIT DAD is an independent, advertising-supported website. Many debit cards, credit cards and other financial offers that appear here are from companies from which CREDIT DAD Websites receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this website (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CREDIT DAD Websites do not include all card offers in the marketplace.