A Prepaid debit card can serve as a budgeting tool or an all-out replacement for a bank account. Prepaid cards are easy to get. There’s usually no credit check, and they’re often available even if you can’t get a bank account because of a bad banking history. Unlike with a credit card, you preload funds onto prepaid cards before use, so therefore you have no way to overdraft your account. They’re now the fastest growing payment method. Americans spent about $37 billion on prepaid debit cards last year, double the amount from 2009, according to the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association.
While I was in college, I had a Prepaid debit card. I wasn’t ready for a checking account, and the Prepaid card still provided all the perks that I needed at that time. I was able to get direct deposit on my card and use it wherever Visa was acceptable. The card I used at that time was a Rush Card, and I see it’s still on the top list of Prepaid cards in 2018. Today we will discuss the perks of different cards, as well as pros and cons. The only real downfall I can state about a Prepaid debit card, is a monthly fee is usually associated and you have to grab your funds from an ATM or cash back service. However if you look at that in a positive light, that can help you maintain a budget and save money.
Best Prepaid Cards of 2018:
- 24k Prepaid Visa® RushCard
- AccountNow® Gold Visa® Prepaid Card
- PayPal™ Prepaid MasterCard®
- Fifth Third Access 360° Reloadable Prepaid Card
- MOVO Virtual Prepaid Visa Card
- Western Union® NetSpend® Prepaid MasterCard®
- NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card
- American Express Serve®
- READYdebit® Visa Prepaid Card
Prepaid cards come in all shapes and sizes, but there are certain features that help some of them stand out. When you’re looking for a prepaid card, these are the characteristics you should look for:
- Convenient card loading options
- Flexible ways to spend and pay bills
- Minimal monthly fees
- Free direct deposit
- Retail networks or online connections
- Widely accepted
- Ability to send money to friends and family online or via mobile device
- Keeping your money safe when traveling. Prepaid debit cards are easily used overseas. And there’s another upside: If your card is stolen, your losses are limited to the amount on your card.
- Teaching kids about money. Prepaid cards can teach kids how to spend money within set limits
- Prepaid cards also are a better way to buy online because you can protect yourself against consumer fraud