How to Pick the Best Prepaid Cards: Things You Should Consider

prepaid cards in Singapore

Over the years, one plastic card has experienced a tremendous growth explosion—the amazing prepaid cards! In fact, a Pew survey revealed that prepaid card usage has surged by as much as 50 percent. And that’s between 2012 and 2014 alone!

If anything, the best prepaid cards have evolved dramatically since they were first introduced. Nowadays, prepaid cards are considered one of the most trusted and convenient methods of payment. This is especially true among those who don’t have access to banks. 

In addition, the best prepaid cards have now been considered by many millennials as the consummate alternative to the conventional bank account. If you’re considering getting a prepaid card but unsure how to pick the best one that will suit all your needs, this article can help!

However, let’s get into the basics first.

What are prepaid cards, really?

If you’re not familiar with their distinction, it’s easy to mistake prepaid cards for the typical credit or debit card. For starters, they share a lot of surface similarities. What sets the best prepaid cards apart from credit or debit cards is they are not connected to any bank account.

Also, unlike credit cards, you get to decide how much money you’ll load into the account. Why is this important? It puts you in total control of your spending! That means when you use your card to pay for purchases, you will be using your own money rather than “borrowing” money from the bank.

If you need help sticking to the budget you’ve set or curbing overspending, a prepaid card is your ultimate ally! Since you won’t be able to use the card without loading money onto it first, you get total control when it comes to the amount you’ll load and spend. That’s a truly helpful feature especially for those who have difficulty controlling their spending.

How can you use your prepaid cards?

Offering unbelievable and peerless ease and convenience, prepaid cards can be used for both merchant and online purchases. More often than not, prepaid cards are affiliated with seasoned payment networks. That means they are also accepted and honoured in places their payment network is associated with.

Each and every time you use your prepaid card, the total amount of your purchase (regardless if it’s through merchants or online), will be deducted directly (and immediately) from the balance that’s available on your card.

In addition, it is also crucial to remember that the amount you can spend will be based on the balance that’s available on the card. In other words, you can easily control spending by limiting your purchases and other transactions on the balance available. If the balance you have in your card is not sufficient to cover your intended transaction, your transaction will be declined.

This might not be common knowledge but prepaid cards can also be used for ATM withdrawals aside from purchase transactions. If you’re going to use your prepaid card for withdrawals, you’re going to need a PIN (personal identification number) to successfully carry out the transaction.

How do you pick the prepaid card that’s best suited for you?

When looking for the ideal prepaid card, it is crucial that you first determine how you are going to use it. Case in point: how do you intend to load your prepaid card? It is going to be through reload networks or direct deposits? If you prefer the former, then it would be wise to opt for a prepaid card with a reload network you can conveniently go to.

Another key aspect to look into is the charges and fees. In line with this, you also need to figure out how you intend to use the card. Of course, it would be wise to opt for a card that charges the most minimal fees available. In addition, ensure that the card you’ll choose charges less especially for transactions you often do.

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.