Compare Prepaid Cards and save money
Prepaid cards offer an ideal alternative to a regular credit card. They may look just like normal credit cards – issued by Visa® or MasterCard®, pay anywhere on the go, online or abroad – but that is where the similarity ends. Prepaid cards are based on the principle that you load money onto the card yourself. There is no credit facility (no borrowing), so there is no debt danger. Once the funds on the card have been spent, it is up to you to load the card again. Because of the no-debt factor, prepaid cards are often available even to under 18s, students, the unemployed, those who are self employed and those with a bad credit rating. You are unlikely to undergo a credit check when you apply for a prepaid card.
Compare Prepaid Cards
Prepaid cards work like credit cards but there is not risk of accumulating debt as you can only spend what you have.
How does a prepaid card work?
Prepaid cards work like credit cards. You can use them to make purchases online, over the phone and in shops. However there is one big difference – you can only spend the money you have put on the card. You are not borrowing any money, there are no overdrafts and as such there are no credit checks. Anyone can get a prepaid card, whether you are under 18, have a bad credit rating, or don’t do not have a bank account.
There are no credit checks and it doesn’t’ matter if you have been refused a credit or debit card elsewhere. Prepaid cards let you load cash on them and spend anywhere credit and debit cards are accepted. With a prepaid card if you haven’t loaded money on, you can’t spend on it. Only transactions up to the balance loaded onto the account will be authorised so you can only spend what you have paid in.
Prepaid cards are widely accepted and can be used internationally. With most accounts you will be given an online account so you easily view your balance and transactions. Also if your card gets lost or stolen, the remaining balance will be transferred to a new account and you will receive a replacement card. Prepaid cards are much safer than carrying around cash which you are unlikely to see again if it gets lost or stolen.
Things to consider when purchasing a prepaid card
Some prepaid cards will come with certain fees that are worth considering. It is common for a fee to be charged when you top on the card but this depends on the one you choose. You can also find there are application fees and replacement fees for ordering a new card. A few cards may also charge a monthly fee. Many cards charge you for retail purchases or withdrawing from a cash machine. Please bear in mind that you can be charged considerably more for making transactions like this while abroad.
It is worth bearing in mind that different prepaid cards come with different fees and charges. Some cards will charge a monthly fee and some card providers will an application fee just for issuing you with the card. Some cards will have a maximum balance which might affect your decision and it is also likely that you will be charged for withdrawing money from cash machines and for making transactions abroad. There are also some card companies who will charge you if you fail to use the card.
Choosing a prepaid card
You can usually choose between a ‘Pay as you go’ or a ‘Pay monthly’ tariff and again these will have different features and charges that you should take into consideration. As prepaid cards are becoming increasingly popular there are a wide range of prepaid cards available for you to choose from. Use the comparison table above to find the best prepaid card to suit your needs.
03 September 2013
Which Way To Pay
We investigate whether the typical charges that are associated with prepaid cards are in fact becoming more competitive and show you what to watch out for.
26 March 2013
Prepaid cards can be the ideal alternative to traditional credit cards. Prepaid cards can be used like any other credit card. One can use them to go shopping, go to restaurants and buy goods on the Internet, and you can use them at cash machines.
08 March 2012 17:00
Prepaid cards are becoming an increasingly popular financial product in Ireland because of the element of user control.
03 August 2011
The principle of prepaid cards is you load money onto the card yourself giving you the ability to personally manage the amount of money available on the card. There is no credit facility (no borrowing), so there is no debt danger.