Places To Buy Prepaid Visa Cards
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Prepaid cards are a relatively simple way for you to pay for purchases without opening a credit card or bank account. They work similar to a debit card in that you can use a prepaid card to pay bills, set up direct deposit and use mobile check deposit. You'll even receive the same $250,000 FDIC insurance that protects your deposits if your bank fails.
One reason to opt for a prepaid card over other forms of plastic is that it's a relatively low-risk way to manage your money. Parents can use prepaid cards as a way to teach their kids about money before making them an authorized user on their credit card. And if you struggle to stick to a budget, you can use a prepaid card to help monitor your spending, with the goal of eventually graduating to a credit or debit card.
If you're interested in opening a prepaid card, there are wide variety to choose from. To help make the process easier, Select rounded up the best prepaid cards, and below we've broken down everything you need to know before you sign up. (See our methodology for more information on how we chose the cards.)
Similar to a gift card, you add value to the prepaid card before you can use it, which is essentially like prepaying for future purchases. But prepaid cards come with a few more bells and whistles, like the ability to set up direct deposit and check your balance on a mobile app. They also require more attention since you can incur fees for simply having a card or reloading it with more cash.
Before you open a prepaid card, it's important to understand what fees may be associated with them. Most prepaid cards charge monthly maintenance fees around $10, which is similar to checking account fees that can cost up to $15 a month. But you may also pay a fee to open your prepaid card, typically around $5.
Prepaid cards are a good option for parents who want to give their kids spending money without handing them cash that could potentially get lost. You can request a new prepaid card if it goes missing, and many card issuers allow you to lock your card to prevent unauthorized use.
To determine the best prepaid cards on the market, Select analyzed and compared 11 cards that offer benefits to individuals and families who are looking for an alternative to credit cards and debit cards to manage their money.
Keep in mind that while prepaid cards are an alternative to credit and debit, they won't help you build credit. In order to establish a credit history, you need to regularly use a credit card responsibly, paying your bills on time and in full every month. And if you want an easy way to deposit and withdraw money for daily transactions, consider opening a checking account with a linked debit card so you can avoid ATM charges.
The Visa Gift card is a prepaid card welcome everywhere Visa cards are accepted. Visa Gift cards are loaded with a set amount of funds and can be used for multiple purchases for as long as value remains on the card. Giving a Visa Gift card puts the power of choice in the hands of your friends and family.
Buying a prepaid Visa gift card has a lot of amazing benefits and they exist in a wide variety of areas. You can purchase them in-store or online and purchase either e-gift cards or physical gift cards. You can purchase a Visa gift card right on Gift Card Granny! This is an excellent way to earn cash back on all your purchases.
Ally is an online bank. While the cards and accounts offered from Ally are not strictly speaking the same as the prepaid travel cards featured elsewhere on this list, you could open and use an Ally account in a similar way.
There are many prepaid card options out there from banks and online providers. Because Visa and MasterCard are among the most commonly accepted card networks outside of the US, many travel cards are issued on these networks to increase coverage.
The multicurrency account is an electronic money account which you can use to hold money in 56 currencies, including Japanese yen. You can use the debit card for online shopping (in Japan and other countries), and in brick-and-mortar stores, paying at the real exchange rate, or using the currencies in your account. You can also use the debit card for ATM withdrawals abroad, but not currently in Japan. The card offers 3D Secure authentication for online shopping, which prepaid credit cards typically do not.
The au Wallet card can be charged online or through the au app, as well as at au stores and convenience stores (just look for the au Wallet sign near the cash registers). It has the same limited functionality as other prepaid cards in Japan (i.e. you cannot use it for subscriptions, utilities, or to put gas in your car).
Most prepaid cards will provide some services of a traditional checking account -- you can usually set up direct deposits, pay bills or deposit checks on your phone. Prepaid debit cards might have fees or limits on deposits and withdrawals. Be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of any card before purchasing.
If you've already claimed your Visa or Mastercard prepaid card, you may be wondering what exactly you can spend it on. The most important thing to know is that prepaid cards work a lot like debit cards. They can be used at any location, but only for the amount they have loaded.
There seems to be a prepaid card for everything. There are gift cards, transit cards, phone cards, and retail cards -- just to name a few. The big player in the bunch is the prepaid card. These are sometimes referred to as \"prepaid credit cards,\" but this is a misnomer, given that no one grants you credit when you purchase a prepaid card.
In fact, many people who use prepaid cards do so because they don't have a bank account. Instead, they sign up for a card online or pick one up at a retail store, \"load\" it with cash, and use it to make purchases. Each purchase decreases the amount of money left on the card.
And if, like a growing number of employers, your boss wants you to accept a loaded prepaid card as payment for work, you have the right to say no. No employer can legally force you to accept your wages via prepaid cards. They must offer you at least one other option, including direct deposit and/or a paper check.
Roughly 12 million Americans use a prepaid card at least once a month, according to a survey by The Pew Charitable Trust. These cards allow people without a bank account and those who cannot qualify for traditional credit cards to do things like reserve hotel rooms, withdraw cash from ATMs, and make online purchases.
Don't get confused between prepaid cards and secured cards. While they both offer credit or debit card functionality to consumers who otherwise could only use cash, they are two very different products. They both also do what their names suggest: Prepaid cards allow users to load up a balance that they can then spend, while secured cards are credit cards that are secured against a deposit.
Unlike secured cards, prepaid cards are often loaded with fees. Each card has its own set of charges, making it especially important to shop around for the card with the most reasonable terms. No matter which prepaid card you settle on, you are likely to pay for almost everything you want to do, including:
Until recently, the world of prepaid cards has been like the wild, wild west of finance. There were very few rules to rein in card issuers, and little or no consumer protection. Two years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), designed regulations to make prepaid cards safer and less costly. Those rules were enacted on April 1, 2019. While there are still a lot of fees (including the dreaded cost of using an ATM), there are also a lot more safeguards, including:
The EDD issues benefit payments for Disability Insurance, Paid Family Leave, and Unemployment Insurance claims using a visa debit card. This prepaid debit card is a fast, convenient, and secure way to get your benefit payments and is not subject to a credit check or monitoring by the EDD. With the debit card you can:
Safer than carrying cash5 and convenient, a reloadable prepaid card is an excellent banking alternative. Enjoy the freedom to make purchases anywhere Visa debit cards and Debit MasterCard are accepted, pay bills online3 and get cash at more than a million ATMs worldwide.6
There's been steady and significant growth in the use of prepaid debit cards over the last decade, and industry forecasts expect that growth to continue. Prepaid cards are often used in place of cash or checks, providing funds in a more convenient form. Unlike these older methods of payment, prepaid cards can be used to make e-commerce purchases without first transferring the funds to a bank account.
Merchants, especially those in e-commerce, may benefit from the growth in prepaid cards. Unfortunately, these cards come with one big downside: fraud. What do merchants need to know to combat the threat of prepaid card fraud
Prepaid cards branded by Visa, Mastercard, or other card networks can be used with any merchant that accepts that network's cards. Some prepaid cards are used in place of gift cards, allowing the recipient to shop anywhere they like rather than being limited to a single store. Others are used in place of one-time cash or check payments. In 2020, many Americans received their economic stimulus checks in the form of prepaid cards.
While reloadable cards do require the user to provide some personal information, prepaid cards often aren't easily tied to specific identities. That makes it easy for fraudsters to use them for money laundering. They can purchase prepaid cards with stolen funds, then use them to make untraceable purchases anywhere they like.
As usage increases and prepaid card products become more sophisticated, we may also see greater use of these cards to conduct criminal activity. According to law enforcement agencies, these cards have already been used in drug trafficking operations and in preparation for terrorist attacks. However, thei