So you’re planning to get a prepaid credit card for your holiday spending. This can be a smart move if you are trying to keep your spending in control. The holidays can bring up more temptations and if you’re using a credit card, it’s too easy to just charge everything to credit and worry about repayment later.
With a prepaid credit card, going into debt is not possible because you are not allowed to charge a purchase to credit. Everything is paid automatically using the funds in your account. When the balance runs out, a prepaid cardholder does not have the option to purchase in advance, pay later, or carry over a balance.
So, which prepaid debit cards should you pick? Acquiring a prepaid card is so much easier than applying for a regular credit card. However, consumers are still advised to spend some time evaluating their options and reading the fine print to make sure that they are getting a prepaid card that’s right for them.
Some prepaid credit cards are notorious for the fees, particularly those prepaid cards that are endorsed by celebrities. Needless to say, you should avoid prepaid debit cards that carry expensive fees if you really want to enjoy the benefits. Here is your guide to comparing different prepaid credit or debit cards in the market.
Check all fees. What kinds of fees are associated with prepaid credit cards? The most common fees are card application fee, monthly service fee, reloading fee, ATM cash withdrawal fee, per transaction fees, card replacement, card renewal, inactivity fee, overdraft fee, customer help fees, etc.
The ideal prepaid card should offer free set-up fee, minimal or no monthly fee, and should give you the option to reload your account at no charge. Free card replacement in case of theft or loss is also important.
What about inactivity fee and customer help fees? Yes, some prepaid card issuers penalize their holders for not using their credit card for any transaction within a specified period. Believe it or not, you can also be charged with an extra fee for calling customer service assistance. It’s good to look for a prepaid card that offers reliable customer service for free.
Widely recognized. Is the prepaid credit card recognized by reputable merchants and establishments? Is it accepted abroad? Prepaid debit cards that bear the VISA and MasterCard logos are typically recognized by many businesses worldwide so if you plan to use a prepaid card on a trip, it’s a good idea that you choose one with a VISA or MasterCard logo.
Prepaid credit card rewards? Some prepaid credit cards offer reward programs which can be a great way to get a little bit more from your spending. However, before choosing a prepaid card with rewards, you want to make sure that the maintenance costs will not be a burden.
Some prepaid reward credit cards may carry expensive annual fees plus monthly fees and per transaction charges. If the maintenance costs are too high, the fees can just as easily offset the value of rewards you can earn.
About the Author:
Tara Tiemann is the credit specialist for http://www.go-prepaid.com. Which is a resource site for people who want to live debt free! If you are on a budget, using a merchandise credit cards and prepaid debit cards can save you big money!