New to Reloadable Prepaid Cards? Keep These Essentials in Mind

Reloadable prepaid cards are also known as general purpose reloadable cards. Over the years, they have become more and more popular thanks to the exciting and enticing benefits they offer. 

Unlike other plastic cards like credit and debit cards, reloadable prepaid cards are not linked to any savings or checking accounts. With that said, they are considered a lot safer compared to the other two.

What makes reloadable prepaid cards even more endearing to many consumers is they can easily be obtained. That means, you don’t have to go through the hassles of filling out registration forms or submitting personal and financial documents just to get ahold of one.

In addition, if you take into account all the unbeatable and peerless features and benefits reloadable prepaid cards offer, it’s easy to see it’s all the card you’ll ever need. You can use it for several purposes and you won’t need to carry other plastic cards if you already have one.

However, while reloadable prepaid card users have grown tremendously over the years (and have not shown any signs of slowing down), not many people can really claim to know their reloadable prepaid cards inside out. 

For instance, not everyone is aware that there are also international prepaid cards that frequent travelers consider their ultimate travel companions. Unlike the typical prepaid card that’s designed for local use, international prepaid cards come with a few other features that are beneficial for globetrotters.

That being said, the importance of knowing all the basics about your reloadable prepaid card cannot be overstated. For starters, you won’t be able to fully enjoy all the features of this amazing financial tool as well as all the benefits they have to offer when you don’t even know the essentials.

To help you out, here’s all the basics you need to know about this one-of-a-kind tool:

Some reloadable prepaid card transactions have corresponding fees/charges.

When you use your card and notice a deduction in the balance after, it’s safe to assume you were deducted a fee for the transaction. Since prepaid cards are not linked to savings or checking accounts, many assume transactions using the card is also free.

The good news? Compared to other plastic cards, fees/charges when you use your prepaid card is minimal. The thing is you just need to be aware of these charges so you know if the deductions are correct.

In line with this, consider it best to check with your prepaid card issuer in terms of their fees/charges for transactions. If your issuer has a website, check their website out so you’ll know the charges as well as other things you need to be aware of when using your card.

Most reloadable prepaid cards are accepted by many merchants and establishments.

This is great news for those who intend to use their prepaid cards in various establishments like department stores, restaurants, and boutiques. What’s even more amazing is prepaid cards can also be used for online purchase transactions as well.

That means you are spared from leaving the comforts of your home and office just to purchase what you want. Just ensure your prepaid card has sufficient balance and you can already use it to purchase any items you want.

Online transactions are not only secure, they are also highly convenient and practical. Everything is done in just a few minutes and you won’t have to get dressed or interact with other shoppers or sales people just to purchase what you want.

Prepaid cards can also be used for withdrawal transactions.

This is something not many people are aware of. But yes, you can also withdraw money using your prepaid card. Most prepaid cards are compatible with most ATMs so withdrawing money is always a breeze.

It is also important that you are aware of your card’s daily spending limits (if any) so you can accurately plan your cash withdrawals and online purchases. Check with your issuer regarding those and visit their website for other essentials and instructions.

Prepaid Card 101: Understanding Prepaid Cards

The best prepaid cards are so similar in a lot of ways to debit and credit cards that many people often mistake one for the other. However, unlike credit or debit cards, the best prepaid cards are not linked to savings or checking accounts.  

Before prepaid cards can be used, money needs to be loaded on the card first. When used for purchase transactions or ATM withdrawals, the money is immediately deducted from the balance that’s available on the card. Once all the balance in the card has been depleted, cardholders have the option to load money on the card anytime they want.

For many, prepaid cards are considered the best alternative to cash, with the money loaded on the card in advance before it can be used. Many people also view prepaid cards as the consummate option for those who are unbanked or those who have poor credit history or no credit history yet.

Understanding Prepaid Cards

In a way, having a prepaid card is very similar to carrying actual cash minus all the risks involved. In other words, you need not worry about misplacing or having your money stolen since they are safely kept in your prepaid card.

If you’ve heard of prepaid cards but not familiar with how they are used, you’d surely find this article of massive value. Below are some prepaid card basics you need to know:

Regardless if you’re a teenager trying to learn great money management skills or someone with bad credit, you’d benefit from using a prepaid card. With a prepaid card, you can practice responsible spending habits as you go along.

As mentioned earlier, using a prepaid card is one of the best ways to carry money around wherever you go. With your money safely credited to your prepaid card, you won’t have to worry about losing your money or having shady people steal them from you.

Just like other plastic cards, prepaid cards can also be used for purchase transactions and ATM withdrawals. What’s even better is they can also be used for online transactions. That means you can easily purchase whatever it is that you want without having to leave the comforts of your home or office.

Those who are looking for ways to curb overspending or stick to a budget, a prepaid card can be a truly beneficial ally. Unlike credit cards, prepaid cards don’t come with credit capabilities. In other words, as soon as the balance on the card has been depleted, the spending also stops automatically.

Fortunately, you can use the card right away as soon as money has been successfully loaded onto it. Loading money on your prepaid card is both easy and straightforward. For instance, you can load money onto your card through secure online portals.

Prepaid Card Upsides

Why do people love prepaid cards? Primarily because they come with the following enticing benefits:

Security. Aside from keeping your money safe, prepaid cards can also be ideal for online transactions. While it would be great to be able to use your card for online purchases, what makes prepaid cards even better is they won’t put any of your personal details at risk even if you do online transactions.

Habit forming. Some people prefer to practice with their prepaid cards prior to using credit or debit cards. Undeniably, since prepaid cards don’t come with credit capabilities, it’s easy for you to develop responsible spending habits.

Card for the unbanked. As mentioned earlier, people who don’t have access to banks for one reason or another have a great alternative in prepaid cards. What’s even wonderful is you can easily obtain one without going through all those time-consuming and stressful bank applications.

Prepaid Cards: The Viable Alternative to Bank Accounts

If you’re not familiar, you can easily mistake the best prepaid cards for other plastic cards. This is not surprising however since prepaid cards share a lot of surface similarities with credit or debit cards.

In addition, the best prepaid cards also share some of the features that make other plastic cards enticing. For instance, just like a debit or credit card, prepaid cards can be used to pay for hotel reservations, car rentals, hotel bookings, and other online purchases.

What’s even better is obtaining a prepaid card is easy and hassle-free. In fact, even if your credit standing is less than desirable, you can still easily get your hands on a prepaid card if you so wish.

Best Bank Account Alternative

A whopping 68 million people don’t have access to a bank account. And that’s in the United States alone. Fortunately, thanks to prepaid cards, they can still perform some of the typical transactions other people with bank accounts or other plastic cards can do like purchase transactions (online and through merchants) as well as ATM withdrawals.

How Prepaid Cards Work

Before a prepaid card can be used for any transactions, money has to be loaded onto the card first. Purchase transactions as well as ATM withdrawals you can do will depend on the balance available on the card. The amount of purchase transactions and withdrawals will also be deducted directly from the balance that’s available on the card.

That means if the amount of your purchase or withdrawal is greater than the balance available on the card, your transaction will be declined. If the balance is insufficient for your transactions or if your balance has been fully depleted, you need to load money onto the card before you can use it again.

Managing your prepaid card is more similar to managing your checking or savings account than managing a credit or debit card. Just like a savings account, you won’t have to worry about finance charges, late payments, due dates, or minimum monthly payments when using your prepaid card.

Also, unlike credit cards, you don’t have the option to “borrow” money from the issuer. Your spending limit is limited to whatever balance is available on your card. When you use a prepaid card, you are also spared from revolving debt balance, costly interests and charges, and putting your credit score at risk.

In some ways, prepaid cards also resemble debit cards since all transactions are deducted from the available balance. Any amount spent or withdrawn is not deducted from any bank account but from the available balance on the card.

Ideal Prepaid Card Users

Prepaid cards are ideal for many people especially those who have no access to banks. For instance, parents who want to teach their children how to manage their money accordingly use prepaid cards. Some parents provide prepaid cards to their children and load whatever money they need on the card so they also won’t have to carry physical cash with them.

Those individuals with bad credit can also get their hands on a prepaid card if they want as their credit standing won’t be looked into. In addition, a prepaid card is the best option for those who don’t want to put up with the hassle associated with bank account or credit card applications.

When you apply for a prepaid card, you are not required to submit any financial or confidential information. This is especially helpful if you don’t want to put any of your financial or personal information at risk of getting compromised. Also, if you’ve made financial mistakes in the past like not paying your credit card bills on time, your chances of getting a card is slim to none.