The question what is the best prepaid card can be answered by taking a few key facts into consideration. In this article we seek to find the answer to that question, and take a look at the use of prepaid cards in general.
The first thing to do is to examine what exactly a prepaid credit card is. With these cards the usage of the word credit can sometimes be misleading, as the cards do not offer the user a line of credit in the way that a traditional credit card does. These cards simply have most of the same functional uses as credit cards, which is why the word credit is sometimes incorporated.
Prepaid cards work by the cardholder adding funds to the account, creating a positive balance. This is known as topping up and can be done by methods such as Direct Deposit, transfer from a bank account, or at a designated retail location such as a branch of Western Union.
Once the money has been added, the card can then be used in much the same way as a credit card. This includes buying items at retail outlets, paying utility bills over the internet and for ATM cash withdrawals. All of these operations are subject to the user having sufficient balance; otherwise the transaction will be declined.
When searching for the best prepaid credit card it is worth noting that prepaid cards can come in both MasterCard and Visa variants, so if your favourite retailer only accepts one of these methods of payment, then you may wish to take this into consideration. This, however, is rare, and most companies accept both forms.
With no credit being offered the customer cannot get into debt with the card. This makes the best prepaid credit cards ideal for young people who are looking to establish good financial practices, as well as those who have bad credit scores and cannot get accepted for a regular credit card. Prepaid cards usually do not require a preliminary credit check, so any legal citizen of the USA can be accepted for one.
Prepaid cards are issued by an ever-increasing number of banks and credit companies. The main way in which their products differ from eachother is the types and amount of fees and charges made for using different card services. These can vary widely from card to card, and it is wise to carry out a comparison before making any online applications.
Just some examples of fees and charges are: One-off account setup fees, ongoing monthly maintenance fees, annual usage fees, ATM cash withdrawal fees, PIN number transaction charges and various other smaller charges for items such as checking your balance at an ATM.
All of these fees and charges are required to be listed in the cardholder agreement, which can usually be found on the website of the company that offers the prepaid card in question. By looking at the small print and comparing the differences from card to card, it is possible to find which is the best prepaid credit card on the market really is.