New to Prepaid Cards? Your Basic Introduction

Through the years, prepaid cards have become widely popular. A Pew survey even indicated that prepaid card use from 2012 to 2014 increased by as much as 50 percent. From the time they were first introduced, prepaid cards have truly come a long way. Nowadays, it has evolved into one of the most preferred payment options available.

What are Prepaid Cards? Here’s All You Need to Know!

If you are reading this, it is likely that you are considering getting a prepaid card. Or maybe you may already have one but don’t know how to use it fully yet. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. This article can serve as your short but comprehensive guide to one of the best financial tools you can get your hands on.

What are Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards look no different than the typical credit and debit cards. However, unlike the two, prepaid cards are not linked to any bank account. They also need to be preloaded with money before they can be used for ATM withdrawals and purchase transactions. 

In addition, unlike prepaid cards, you won’t be “borrowing” money from the bank when you use it. With credit cards, the bank pays for your purchases first and you’ll just pay the bank at a specified date. With a prepaid card, you will be using your own money—the balance that’s available on the card.

Many people mistake prepaid cards for gift cards. While they do have certain similarities, they are actually two separate and distinct financial tools. Unlike prepaid cards, gift cards are designed for one-time use only. In other words, once the balance available on the gift card has been depleted, you won’t be able to load money onto it or use it again.

How to Use Your Prepaid Cards

Just like debit and credit cards, prepaid cards can also be used for online and merchant transactions. And unlike gift cards, prepaid cards can be used to withdraw money. Prepaid cards are typically affiliated with established financial networks. That means, they are also honoured and accepted in establishments associated with the financial network.

Each time your prepaid card is used, the money is deducted directly from the balance that’s available on the card. If the balance is not enough to pay for a specific purchase, the transaction will be declined. Also, if the balance available on the card has been depleted, you have the option to load money onto your card at any time you deem convenient.

The frequency of the loading will also depend on what’s convenient for you. You can load money, weekly, monthly, or quarterly, whichever suits your needs. You even have the option to load money on the card daily if you want to!

What to Consider When Choosing a Prepaid Card

Nowadays, there’s no shortage of prepaid cards you can choose from, that picking the one that’s best for you has become quite challenging. Fortunately, you can narrow down your options by asking yourself a few key questions about your possible use of the card. For instance, it is more convenient to load money through direct deposits or through network reloads?

If you prefer the latter, it would be ideal to pick a prepaid card whose reload network is easy for you to go to. Another important factor you should take into account are the fees and charges. In line with this, examine the transactions you often do using your prepaid card.

Take note of the patterns you’ll notice in terms of card use and identify those transactions you perform more often. Understandably, it would be best to choose a prepaid card that charges less for those transactions you perform often.

Practical (and Smart!) Reasons to Get a Reloadable Prepaid Card

In today’s technology-driven and fast-moving world, seamless and cashless transactions have almost become the norm. In other words, nowadays, almost all financial transactions are carried out using a debit, credit, or reloadable prepaid card.

Without doubt, these awesome and undeniably ingenious tools have become the financial tools of choice by many over the years. However, of the three mentioned, the reloadable prepaid card is the most recent addition.

While relatively new, it is reassuring to know that reloadable prepaid cards are not inferior in any compared to other cards in terms of the convenience and ease offered. Given that you know all the basics of your reloadable prepaid card, you’ll be able to maximise and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.

Reloadable Prepaid Cards: Your Smart and Practical Plastic Card Alternative

If you’re considering getting a prepaid card or you already have one but clueless when it comes to the benefits they offer, we’ve listed them down for you. While there’s no shortage of benefits reloadable prepaid cards offer, some of the most remarkable ones include:

They are so easy to obtain

Have you tried applying for a bank account or a credit or debit card? If you have, you can definitely attest to how hard they can be to apply for. For starters, you’ll have to go through those time consuming and meticulous credit and background checks.

If anything, you’ll have to be prepared to submit financial documents and share personal information.

If you’ve made a few financial mistakes in the past (i.e. issuing bouncing checks or not paying bills on time), it is very likely that your application will be declined. Thankfully, even if you don’t get your hands on a credit or debit card, you can easily obtain the next best thing—reloadable prepaid cards!

With reloadable prepaid cards, you no longer have to worry about submitting financial or personal documents. That means you are also spared from those tedious credit and background checks.

What’s even better? Since reloadable prepaid cards don’t come with credit capabilities, you are spared from the risk of spending beyond your means.

They can help you manage your money better

When you use a credit card, you need to always be aware of your spending. Otherwise, you can end up buried in a mountain of debt that will take years for you to fully pay.

Come to think of it, you can easily get stuff and pay for them at a later date. Unless you’re being really wise with your spending, you’ll always have to constantly deal with the temptation of spending more than you’re supposed to.

Thankfully, with a reloadable prepaid card, you won’t have the same dilemma. Since you get to decide how much to load to the card, you can also limit your spending to the balance that’s available on the card.

You are free from the impulse to purchase things you don’t really need just because you can pay for them at a later time.

As if not enough, prepaid cards can also be very effective as a budgeting tool since it allows you to easily track your spending. It is also considered ideal for those who want to strictly adhere to the budgets they’ve set.

They can make shopping online really easy

Shopping in stores and malls especially during these times of quarantines, lockdowns, and social distancing has become extremely challenging. Of course, for most, it’s also not practical or safe.

The good thing is, your reloadable prepaid card can be used to shop online so you don’t have to go out to get what you want. To ensure the safety of your online transactions, be cautious about the sites you’ll purchase items from.

Spend some time to check if they are indeed legit and trusted. Fortunately, with reloadable prepaid cards, your risk is way lower even if it is compromised since it is not connected to your bank accounts or any of your personal or financial information. Truly, safety, ease, and convenience you can’t find anywhere else!

Your Quick Guide to Prepaid Cards for Business

Nowadays, a new and ingenious financial tool has earned quite a following in the business world—prepaid card for business. While dramatic, the popularityprepaid card for business are currently enjoying is not really surprising.

If we look into all the benefits this amazing financial tool offers, it’s easy to see why they’ve earned so much following in such a short amount of time.

While once viewed as a beneficial financial tool only consumers have easy access to, prepaid cards have slowly made their way and dominated the business world.

Which brings us to the following key questions: what exactly are prepaid cards for business? What makes them so popular? And how exactly do they work? Discover all the answers and more in this quick and comprehensive guide!

Prepaid Cards for Business in a Glance

The Basics

Since they share several surface similarities, many people mistake prepaid cards for business for the the typical debit and credit cards. If anything however, that’s often where the similarities end.

Prepaid cards for business have a few distinct differences that clearly sets them apart from the typical cards used nowadays.

For starters, those who issue credit cards put heavy consideration on the financial status of the applicant as well as the business profile before considering them qualified.

The exact opposite is true as far as obtaining a prepaid card goes.

If you’ll apply for a prepaid card, you won’t have to provide any financial documents. You are also spared from all the hassles associated with tedious and time-consuming credit and background checks.

While having access to really high credit limits can have its upsides, it can also have massive downsides. Case in point: if your business has a credit card with a really high credit limit, it also becomes very easy for employees to overspend since they won’t be shelling out cash to pay for the purchases.

With a prepaid card on the other hand, money has to be loaded on the card before it can be used. This gives business owners one very helpful feature—it puts them in total control of how much they’ll be spending.

In addition, transactions using prepaid cards will be limited to the balance that’s available on the card. That means no overspending when you can’t afford to!

Set Up

Many businesses are quite delighted to know that obtaining a prepaid card is both easy and straightforward. Since it does not have any credit capabilities, you don’t need an impressive credit and financial standing just to get one.

Also, businesses who are using prepaid cards have the option to have the card personalised using the company colours and logo. They are also given the luxury to choose if they would prefer a generic prepaid card or one that’s issued only to a few staff.

Limitations

Without doubt, the flexibility prepaid cards offer is one of the main reasons businesses have ditched their other plastic cards. Another benefit prepaid cards offer that many people consider too enticing to resist is the ability to load money at their convenience.

Once the balance has been depleted, users have the option to load money onto the card again or delay it at a later time.

Since spending is limited by the balance available on the card, it’s a lot easier for prepaid card users to stick to the budget they have set for a specific period.

For instance, if the card is used to pay for miscellaneous purchases, cardholders can easily look into their spending patterns so they’ll be able to budget the money until a specific time.

Prepaid cardholders also have the option to load money onto their cards at any time that’s convenient and ideal for the business—whether it’s weekly, monthly, quarterly, or daily, you call the shots!

6 Reloadable Prepaid Cards Myths and the Truths Behind Them

Understandably, there will always be misconceptions about new tools and technologies and reloadable prepaid cards are no exception. While credit and debit cards have been around since the 70s, prepaid cards are considered the most recent FinTech innovation.

Since they are considered relatively new, it’s not really surprising that people are still unfamiliar with reloadable prepaid cards and don’t know the truth behind some of the most prevalent reloadable prepaid card myths.

In this article, you’ll learn all there is to know about prepaid cards and the truths behind some of the most common reloadable prepaid card misconceptions.

Myth Number 01:

You can’t obtain a reloadable prepaid card if you have bad credit.

Truth:

There’s no truth to this. When you use a prepaid card, you won’t be able to borrow money from the bank. Instead, purchase transactions and ATM withdrawals will be deducted from the money available on your card.

That being said, prepaid card issuers won’t take into account the credit standing of those who would like to obtain a prepaid card. Additionally, when you get a prepaid card, you are spared from submitting financial documents and the annoying long wait just to get your application approved.

Myth Number 02:

Prepaid cards and gift cards are one and the same.

Truth:

While many people often mistake one from the other, prepaid cards are different from gift cards. For starters, prepaid cards are typically sold at grocery stores and can be loaded only once. In addition, gift cards can also be used only once.

This means you’ll have to purchase another gift card once you’ve depleted the balance available on your card. On the other hand, reloadable prepaid cards have a way higher limit and can be used for online transactions as well as ATM withdrawals.

Myth Number 03:

Only those with no access to bank accounts can use prepaid cards.

Truth:

Prepaid cards are often used by freelance specialists, parents, smart budgeters, travellers, and business owners. If anything, it’s an awesome financial tool everyone can use, not just those individuals who don’t have access to banks.

For those who have access to banks, reloadable prepaid cards can also serve as an easy-to-get additional account. The charges and fees of reloadable prepaid cards are also often very minimal while its functionality and features are topnotch.

Myth Number 04:

Reloadable prepaid cards are risky to use and prone to security breaches.

Truth:

Nothing can be farther from the truth. If anything, reloadable prepaid cards are considered very secure. In fact, some prepaid cards even come with two-factor authentication just like some debit cards.

Each time the card is used for ATM withdrawals, a PIN will be required so transactions are secured and protected.

Myth Number 05:

Just like credit cards, prepaid cards can also be overdrawn.

Truth:

If your bank account comes with an overdraft feature, it’s easy for you to spend beyond the balance available. Fortunately, with a prepaid card, your spending is limited by the balance available on the card.

This makes prepaid cards ideal for parents who want to teach their children the value of money and not spending beyond what they can afford to.

Myth Number 06:

You can’t use your reloadable prepaid card for online shopping.

Truth:

Online shopping is one of the enticing activities you can do using your prepaid card. If truth be told, many people consider using a prepaid card ideal for online purchases.

Why? For starters, since it’s not linked to your bank or savings account, you won’t be compromising your account or any personal information.

So why risk getting your bank accounts compromised when you have a preloaded, safe, and independent prepaid card?

Effective Ways to Properly Manage Your Reloadable Prepaid Card

Nowadays, more and more people are relying on reloadable prepaid cards for their day-to-day transactions. Taking into account all of the benefits this amazing Fintech innovation offers, its popularity is not exactly surprising. 

As the name implies, a reloadable prepaid card is a card you can use for purchase transactions and ATM withdrawals. However, money has to be preloaded on the card before you can use it.

Unlike credit cards that come with credit capabilities, prepaid cardholders will use the money that’s been loaded on the card for their transactions. Transactions are deducted directly from the balance available on the card.

Once all the balance in the card has been depleted, transactions will be declined. However, you can immediately use the card for transactions again once you have successfully loaded money onto the card again.

How to Manage Your Reloadable Prepaid Cards Wisely

While reloadable prepaid cards are easy to use, not many know how to use them accordingly so they can maximise all the amazing benefits they offer. If you want to manage your reloadable prepaid cards appropriately, here are some beneficial tips you need to keep in mind:

Use them to effectively manage your finances

Do you find sticking to the budget you have identified extra challenging? Do you always run out of money before the next payday? If you answered yes to any of these questions, getting a reloadable prepaid card might be a great option for you.

To manage your finances better, you can try using one prepaid card for a specific monthly expense. For instance, you can have one reloadable prepaid card for rent, another one for allowance, another one for transportation, etc.

By using this technique, you’ll be able to allocate a specific amount without the risk of spending beyond your means or what you can afford to. If all the balance in the card has been depleted, you have the option not to load it again until you have the money.

Use them when you travel overseas

Another way to use your reloadable prepaid card wisely would be to take them with you when you travel overseas. Prepaid cards can be used for payments as well as purchase transactions and ATM withdrawals.

Prepaid cards can also be used to pay for local transfers, plane tickets, and hotel or other accommodations. Using your reloadable card to pay for those transactions is not only convenient, it might also entitle you to rebates, promos, and other discounts.

Another enticing benefit of bringing and using cards overseas is you won’t have to carry wads of cash with you as you move from one place to another. You can keep your money securely in your prepaid card and you can just request for blocking in case your card gets lost or stolen.

Use your prepaid card as a piggy bank

If you want to save money, loading it in your reloadable prepaid card would be a good idea. This is especially helpful for those who don’t have access to banks or those people who don’t like dealing with banks.

Since you have the option to withdraw money at ATMs, reloadable prepaid cards is no doubt a convenient tool. Using a reloadable prepaid card is also a practical idea if you like purchasing items online.

Using a reloadable prepaid card is also ideal if you are wary about getting your personal or financial information compromised. Since your reloadable prepaid card is not linked to any bank or savings account, there is no risk of shady characters getting access to your confidential data in case your account gets compromised.

How to Find the Best Prepaid Card: Top Tips

Also commonly referred to as general purpose reloadable cards, prepaid cards have truly come a long way. Nowadays, we even have international prepaid cards, an awesome financial tool that can be used when you travel outside the country.

In a way, prepaid cards work similar to prepaid cards or debit cards. However, prepaid cards have one distinct difference—they are not connected to any savings or checking accounts.

Instead, money has to be loaded onto the card before it can be used for purchase transactions or ATM withdrawals.

In 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued consumer protections for prepaid card users. It went into effect last April of 2019. The consumer protections were created to change the prepaid card consumer protections for the past decade.

Prior to the CFPB rule, prepaid card providers were not required to give consumers fee disclosures, protection from unauthorised transactions and loss, and free access to their account information.

Fortunately, many prepaid card providers voluntarily provide some protections already. Robust protection is just one of the amazing benefits prepaid card offers. No wonder they have grown in popularity over the years.

Need proof? In 2016 alone, Americans spent a whopping $557 billion using their prepaid cards! This accounted for 9 percent of all prepaid card purchases made through merchants.

Get Your Hands on the Best Prepaid Card: Key Factors to Consider

If you’re considering getting a prepaid card or an international prepaid card, below are some the fundamental factors you need to take into account:

Is it what you really need?

If you don’t like checking accounts because of the balance requirements or the exorbitant transaction fees, a prepaid card can be your most amazing alternative.

If you also find it hard to stay within the monthly budget you’ve set, you’d find prepaid cards to be of tremendous value.

If you wish, you can have one card for groceries, gas, shopping, etc. Once you’ve depleted the balance for each, you have the option to wait for the month to end before you load money onto the card again.

This can help ensure you stay within the monthly budget and not spend more than you are supposed to or can afford to.

There are also other smart uses for prepaid cards. For instance, many parents have been using it to teach their children how to manage their money accordingly.

Prepaid cards can also be a good gift option instead of a gift card because it offers better loss and liability protections and has a more vast acceptance to boot.

What are the terms, fees, and conditions?

Look into these three primary components as they can differ from one issuer to another. You also need to compare terms laid out as not all prepaid card providers have the same terms and conditions.

If the fees you’ll likely pay is a priority for you, it is crucial to also look into other possible fees and charges you’re likely to incur. For instance:

●    Monthly fees

●    Purchase fees

●    Balance inquiry fees

●    Point of sale transaction fees

●    ATM withdrawal fees

●    Loading fees

●    Dormancy fees

●    Fees when you add or load money onto your card

Is it easy and convenient to use for purchases?

Using prepaid cards for purchase transactions is similar in a way to using a debit card. You can use it for purchase transactions and ATM withdrawals just like you would a credit or debit card.

The primary difference is you will be using your own money and not that of the bank.

Also, depending on the features available, your chosen prepaid card might come with other enticing options like online bill payments and free cash withdrawals at in-network ATMs.

Conclusion

Finding the best prepaid card that will suit your needs is no easy feat. However, as long as you know what your priorities are and what to look for, picking the right prepaid card should be a walk in the park!

International Prepaid Cards: When are They Ideal?

Many frequent travellers nowadays never leave home without their international prepaid cards. International prepaid cards have experienced a massive rise in popularity over the years thanks to their amazing features and the unparalleled benefits they offer.

For many, international prepaid cards are the consummate travel companions. They spare you from all the trouble of taking wads of cash with you wherever you go while ensuring you of ease and convenience each time you use them.

When are International Prepaid Cards Ideal?

Having an international prepaid card is ideal in the following scenarios:

If you want to save money on currency conversion charges, getting an international prepaid card is ideal.

Also, if you want to load foreign currency directly to your card, an international prepaid card is your best bet. This feature also allows you to only make currency conversions when the rates are to your liking.

When you want to travel but don’t want to take lots of cash with you wherever you go, you should never be without an international prepaid card.

All you have to do is load money on the card and you’re good to go. You can use it for most of your transactions including paying for hotel fares, purchases, and ATM withdrawals.

If you want a card you can easily reload money onto, international prepaid cards are the best way to go.

With them, you’ll have plenty of reloading options available at your disposal. You can load the card through internet or mobile banking. You also have the option to load money to your card through secure online portals.

Once money has been successfully loaded on your card, you can immediately use it for purchase transactions and ATM withdrawals.

If you want a card that provides beneficial coverage for constant travellers, you can never go wrong with international prepaid cards.

Amazing travel benefits some international prepaid card providers offer include personal air accident protection, loss baggage coverage, lost liability card protection, and counterfeit liability to name a few.

However, that’s not all. Depending on the card you’ve chosen, you might also enjoy other perks like discounts from merchants or bonus points.

If you want to have better control of your spending, using an international prepaid card is your foolproof option.

When you use an international prepaid card, you are better able to manage your money since spending also stops automatically as soon as the balance on the card has been depleted.

In similar scenarios, you have the option to reload money on your card again or just choose to no longer use it once all the available balance has been consumed.

Also, it is important to remember that once all the available balance on your international prepaid card has been depleted, you won’t be able to use it for the time being or until such time that you load money onto your card again.

In other words, any transactions you will do (online or merchant purchases as well as ATM withdrawals) will be declined. However, it is only temporary. You can use the card again once money has been successfully loaded onto it.

If you want a card you can easily have blocked in the event of loss or theft, an international prepaid card is hands down your best option.

All you have to do in case of card theft or loss is get in touch with the issuer so you can request for blocking. What’s even amazing is some prepaid card issuers provide additional benefit to their cardholders by providing an add on card in case the primary one gets lost or stolen.

Answers to the Most Common Prepaid Card Questions

Simply put, the best prepaid cards are the ideal alternatives to carrying money around. You just load money onto the card and you can use it for purchase transactions and ATM withdrawals instantly.

If you are considering using prepaid cards but don’t know much about it, you’ll find all you need to know about this amazing financial tool in this article.

Prepaid Cards: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Are there different kinds of prepaid cards?

Basically, there are two different types of prepaid cards: single-use (non-reloadable) and reusable (reloadable) cards. Rebate cards, incentive cards, promotional cards, and gift cards are some classic examples of non-reloadable cards.

In other words, you only get to use them one time and you won’t be able to use them for other transactions after.

The best prepaid cards on the other hand can be loaded and reloaded with money whenever you deem fit. That means you can also use it for purchase transactions and ATM withdrawals given that there is money available on the card.

How are prepaid cards different from gift cards?

Unlike prepaid cards, gift cards come with a predetermined amount of money loaded onto them. It also cannot be reloaded once the balance on the card has all been used up. Gift cards are also usually designed to be given as gifts.

On the other hand, you can use your prepaid card as many times as you want as long  as there is balance available on the card. Once you deplete all the money on the card, you have the option to load money onto it so you can use it again.

Can prepaid cards help me build credit?

Prepaid cards won’t help you build your credit as you are not borrowing and repaying money. If anything, all you’re doing is accessing the money that you have loaded to the card.

To build credit, you need to borrow money and pay it back. The creditor also has to report your payment record to major credit reporting agencies.

How can I choose a prepaid card that suits my needs best?

Since there are various prepaid cards to choose from nowadays, you need to do some research before diving in. Fortunately, a quick Google search can already give you an idea if the card you are considering suits your needs and your lifestyle.

For instance, if you want a prepaid card you can use to shop online, it makes sense to get a card that will require a per-use purchase fee as opposed to a monthly fee.

However, if you use your prepaid card similar to a debit card, it would be ideal to go for one with a low monthly fee. It would also be a good idea to see if you can qualify for a fee waiver.

How can prepaid cards help me manage my money?

Nowadays, even those individuals who have access to banks are using prepaid cards,  thanks to all the amazing benefits they offer. One thing many people love about prepaid cards is the fact that it is a great and effective budgeting tool.

Some prepaid cardholders use different cards for various purposes. For instance, grocery money for the month is loaded on one prepaid card while the budget for food is loaded on another.

As soon as the balance on the card has been depleted, they will wait until the end of the month until they load money onto the card again.

In a way, prepaid cards can effectively help you manage your spending since your transactions (purchases and ATM withdrawals) will be limited by the balance that’s available on the card.

Once the balance has been depleted, your spending also stops automatically.

Prepaid Cards: Fast Facts You Should Know

Basically, the best prepaid cards work like a combination of a credit card and a checking account. Oftentimes, they are issued by bank holding companies and are branded by established financial institutions.

Before the best prepaid cards can be used, money needs to be loaded on the card first. Just like a credit card, prepaid cards can be used for purchase transactions (online and at merchants) as well as for ATM withdrawals. Also, akin to most credit cards, prepaid cards are honoured where most credit cards are accepted.

While prepaid cards share a few features in common with credit cards in terms of functionality, it’s financial side is more identical to that of a checking account. What that means is any amount spent or withdrawn will be deducted from the total balance available on the card. In addition, prepaid cardholders won’t be able to spend beyond the balance that’s on the card.

Prepaid Card Fast Facts

If you’re considering getting a prepaid card, here are some fast facts you need to know:

  • For some, prepaid cards are the convenient alternatives for various transactions that will require the use of credit cards. That being said, prepaid cards can be especially beneficial for people who don’t have access to banks or have minimal to zero knowledge in terms of how they work.
  • Prepaid cards can also be awesome for people who have no access to banking services or those individuals who are locked out of the banking system because they have poor credit scores.
  • Those who like to give gift cards as tokens would be delighted to know prepaid cards provide a much better alternative thanks to some of the beneficial features they come with. For instance, some prepaid cards come with protection in the event of loss or theft.
  • Most of the time, cash cannot be used to pay for online services or products. Fortunately, prepaid cards can be used to pay for transactions done online. Unlike gift cards, prepaid cards can also be used to withdraw money from the ATM.
  • Thanks to the topnotch benefits they offer, prepaid cards have evolved into one of the fastest growing niches in the financial sector. In fact, many experts project the number of prepaid cards sold to rise by as much as 22 percent annually from 2015 to 2020. Another prediction indicated that the total amount that will be loaded by prepaid cardholders will rise to as much as $116 billion by the year 2020.
  • To be able to pick the best prepaid cards for your needs, consider it best to analyse your spending habits first. From there, opt for a card that will charge less in areas where you are more likely to be charged. For instance, if you use your card for a lot of transactions, it would be wise to choose a prepaid card that will waive fees each time you exceed the money transaction limit.
  • Another beneficial tip you should keep in mind when looking for a prepaid card is structure that you can easily understand. You have to remember that some prepaid card providers use the flat-free model while others charge users for most card transactions. Analyse your monthly card activities so you can gauge if a flat-free model would be a good fit for you.