Over the years, the best prepaid cards have earned quite a following. This is not exactly surprising as the best prepaid cards come with peerless benefits that are truly hard to miss. In 2015 alone, more than half of Americans purchased prepaid cards for personal use. That’s a massive rise compared to just 19 percent in 2008.
If you’re considering getting a prepaid card but unsure if it’s the right fit for you, you’ve come to the right place. This article will cover all you need to know about prepaid cards so you gauge if it’s the best option for you and you will know what to consider when getting one.
Prepaid cards work more like a debit card than a credit card.
While prepaid cards look just like the typical debit or credit cards, they are actually very different in terms of features. Unlike credit cards where the bank will have to pay for your purchases first, with prepaid cards, you will be spending your own money. Also, unlike debit cards, your prepaid card is not connected to any bank account.
The great thing about prepaid cards is you can also use them for purchase transactions and ATM withdrawals just like you would when you’re using a credit or debit card. Prepaid cards are also often backed by major financial institutions so they are accepted and honored by many merchants the world over.
Your prepaid card can also be used for online purchases. This is one thing many people find really inviting. After all, it spares them from all the hassles associated with going to the malls, braving the traffic, and dealing with fellow shoppers and sales clerks.
Prepaid cards can be a great alternative to banks.
If you don’t like dealing with banks or would like to avoid the hassles associated with it, prepaid cards can be a wonderful alternative you can look into. In the United States alone, a whopping 68 million people have no checking account. Fortunately, they can use prepaid cards as an alternative.
What makes prepaid cards a truly enticing alternative is how easy they are to obtain. Unlike prepaid and debit cards where you have to submit financial documents and personal information and subject yourself to credit and background checks, prepaid cards are straightforward to get. No credit and background checks and no need to submit any financial documents or personal information!
They can help you manage your money accordingly.
If money management is a challenge for you, you are not alone. Many people also find it extremely difficult to manage their money accordingly and stay on top of their spending. Fortunately, prepaid cards can be your most powerful and helpful ally. For starters, all the transactions you will do using your card is deducted directly from the balance available.
When using credit cards, you can do purchase transactions and carry out ATM withdrawals while “borrowing” money from the bank. In other words, the bank pays for the purchases first and you’ll have to pay the bank at a later date plus interest. The unfortunate thing is it’s easy for you to spend even if you are not allowed to or can afford to.
With a prepaid card, all the spending will be deducted from your balance in real-time. Once the available balance on the card has been depleted, the spending also stops. You won’t also be able to do any transactions if the balance on the card is already zero. You however have the option to load money onto the card so you can use it again for whatever transactions you have in mind.