The number of consumers wondering where to obtain a prepaid credit card has increased drastically in recent years. Fortunately, this type of credit account is easy to find and very simple to use.
The use of prepaid accounts was once limited to people who needed a credit card to use but could not qualify for a standard credit account.
That’s no longer true. Today, if you live on a cash only basis as many have chosen to do, the prepaid credit card can be used as cash without the need to carry large sums of money with you.
The concern about identify theft is a reason often given by those using prepaid cards. The worry is well place as you must give a significant amount of personal financial information to apply for a standard card.
That information can be accessed by computer hackers even from the most secure credit lender. Prepaid credit cards are not associated to your social security number or your bank account information and are thus much safe to use both offline and online.
Most Popular Prepaid Credit Cards
The demand for this product has led to wide availability. Your local WalMart, your pharmacy or grocery may well have a display of prepaid credit cards near the checkout station. Other place to obtain a prepaid card at can be your local bank or credit union.
Larger stores may offer the prepaid card branded in their name. WalMart is the place to get the WalMart Money Card. This card can be purchased for $6-8 and has a $3 charge when adding funds and a $3 per month maintenance fee.
Fees were initially higher as prepaid cards were available only through major credit issuers. The purchase price and carrying fees can vary quite a bit so comparing prices is a good idea.
The charges for having a prepaid account are roughly half as much as they were three years ago and this is largely due to the companies who specialize in offering such accounts through local merchants.
Green Dot PrePaid Visa cards dominate the marketplace today. WalMart Money Cards are actually branded Green Dog credit accounts.
The credit cards are easy to manage as you have online access to your balance at all times. You can set a weekly or daily alert to be emailed to you giving you the balance remaining on the prepaid credit card.
Comparing Fees and Terms
Prepaid cards are not a status symbol. They have no bonus offers or airline miles associated with them. The only consideration when choosing which prepaid card you want are the fees associated with that account.
The initial fee will be from $3-8 when you buy the card. The card you receive is a temporary one and once you register the purchase online, you will be sent a permanent card in your name.
The lowest priced prepaid accounts have a minimal charge of $3-5 to add funds and a small monthly carrying fee to pay for account maintenance.
If you want to add money to the card on a regular basis you can deposit funds directly from your paycheck. Some issuers will not charge a fee for regular automatic deposit of funds.
If you are paid bi-weekly and deposit a specified amount from each paycheck to the prepaid credit card, the free option could save you almost $80 a year in fees.
For convenience it is suggested you purchase a card that is easiest to fund. Adding money to the card by paying cash at your local merchant is easier than arranging funding for a card issued by a major credit card company.
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For convenience and costs, prepaid credit cards have become a popular option for consumers. With a major logo the card can be used anywhere you can use a credit or debit card.
You can obtain a prepaid card wherever you find terms that are suitable for you. You are certain to be pleased with the privacy and convenience the products offer.