6 Best Prepaid Cards

6 Best Prepaid Cards

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Likely very few people can say they have racked up a $40 bill at McDonald’s. Sounds crazy, right? Well before  you shake your head, think about this: The average overdraft fee a bank charges for insufficient funds is $34. If you pay McD’s $5 for your food and accidentally overdraft your checking account in the process, that meal just cost you $40.

Sound uncommon? It’s not. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that nearly 20% of folks who have opted in for overdraft protection from their banks overdraw their accounts at least 10 times per year - and most of the transactions are for goods or services that cost less than $24.

You might be wondering:

Is there a way to avoid overdraft charges?

Yes, get a reloadable prepaid debit card. Prepaid debit cards, also called prepaid credit cards, provide an alternative to traditional banking services. Americans charge approximately $220 billion on prepaid debit cards each year and growing.

Here’s the deal:

There are tons of reasons why people get reloadable prepaid cards.

For example, maybe you're one of the 17 million Americans without a bank account. Or maybe you recently filed for bankruptcy and need an easy, effective way to manage your money.

It’s possible that you want a regular bank account but can’t get one because you have a negative ChexSystems report or a low FICO score.

Prepaid cards are also a popular option if you want to shop from your sofa or limit the amount of cash you carry.

Some of the popular uses for reloadable prepaid debit cards include:

  • Online shopping.
  • Budgeting purposes.
  • As an allowance.
  • Avoid high-interest rate fees on credit cards and personal banking accounts.
  • Security purposes and to keep your information private.
  • Prepaid cards can be used as a direct deposit account

Some people continue using their empty (or near empty prepaid cards) to register for free online trials or memberships that require a credit card, without the hassle of being charged unknowingly on their primary financial cards.

If you're thinking about getting a low or no fee prepaid debit card, we realize that picking the right one can be difficult, so we picked the best prepaid cards currently available.

Key factors to consider when selecting a card include activation and monthly fees, cost of reloads, direct deposit options, ATM withdrawal locations, and other perks that may come with owning a reloadable prepaid debit card. 

Now check out our list below and get one step closer to protecting that hard earned money!

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Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated July 11, 2017 but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.


Editorial staff

Last updated: July 11, 2017