There are a lot of different types of prepaid debit cards on the market. Some prepaid cards are even endorsed by popular celebrities. If you’re planning to get your own prepaid card, being confronted with so many choices can prove to be a tough challenge. So which one should you pick? Consider these tips:
Know why you want / need a debit card. Why do you want to get a prepaid debit card? What kinds of purchases do you plan to use it for? Are you planning to use the card on your trip? Different prepaid credit cards offer varying features and services so it’s important to know your personal needs first before starting your search for a prepaid card.
Check the fees. Fees can vary greatly from debit card to debit card. You need to read the fine print to make sure that you are getting one with the lowest possible fees, while it is still meeting your reasons why you decided to get a debit card. Suze Orman, the financial advisor, prepaid debit card Approved was recently closed down by the issuing bank. Why? IMHO, Ms. Orman was forcing them to keep the fees low! There was no real profit to the bank in doing things her way. Banks are greedy. They were making money, but they could make more money with other celebrities that would allow them to use their face and images, AND charge a lot more fees. I was really sad to see this card go.
What kinds of fees can you expect? Some prepaid cards require a one-time set-up fee and activation fee but you can also find others that offer free set-up and activation service.
Most prepaid credit cards charge a monthly fee to maintain the account. This fee can range anywhere from $3 and up, depending on the type of prepaid credit card. Some even charge you a per transaction charge each time you use your prepaid card for payment. Other prepaid card fees you should be aware of are overdraft fees, withdrawal fees, reloading fees, customer service fee, card replacement fee, card renewal fee, etc. One fee that you shouldn’t be to unhappy to pay is the credit builder feature. I’ve seen that most of the prepaid cards offering this feature are charging around $10 a month for this. This feature makes sure they report your card to the credit bureaus and help you build your credit.
Evaluate and compare. The only way you can be sure that you’ve made the right choice is by spending some time evaluating and comparing your options.
Of course, you want to look for a prepaid credit card with a minimal set of fees and reasonable terms. For instance, you can save a great deal of money if you go with a prepaid card that offers $0 activation fee, free direct deposit, and $0 or minimal monthly maintenance fee. Aside from the costs, don’t forget to consider the features of the prepaid credit card.
Ensure credit reporting. In the past, prepaid credit cards could not be used for building or rebuilding credit because there is no way to monitor the cardholders account activities. Since prepaid cardholders do not revolving credit, some prepaid card issuers came up with a special program to prove a person’s credit-worthiness. How so?
By using your prepaid credit card or prepaid debit card to pay off your monthly bills such as electricity, cable, internet, and other service subscriptions, the issuer will be able to keep track of your prepaid card use and report your account activities to the major credit bureaus. Indeed, a prepaid debit cardholder now has the chance to use the card as a tool for building credit or repairing bad credit. Take note that not all issuers of prepaid cards offer credit reporting service so you need to carefully read the fine print before making a choice.
About the Author:
Tara Tiemann is the credit specialist for Go-Prepaid. Which is a resource site for people who want to live debt free! If you are on a budget, using a prepaid credit card and secured credit card can save you big money!