Best Prepaid Debit & Credit Card Offers



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Those who want the convenience of purchasing with a credit card, but want to avoid maxing out their cards and incurring interest charges should opt for prepaid debit cards. With them, you'll never encounter overdraft fees since you cannot spend more money than you already have on your card. The only drawback is that you need to be aware of your balance when you go shopping. But you can easily reload these prepaid debit cards with funds and use them for shopping, paying your utility bills, and more. Most prepaid debit card issuers offer rewards programs so you can save on things such as groceries and fuel, and many also have credit rebuilder programs. We've compared the best prepaid debit cards below, so browse through them to find the one that suits you, and apply for it online.

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Editor's suggestion: Best Prepaid Debit & Credit Card Offers - Nov 14, 2019
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There’s no denying how convenient it is to use a credit card daily. Cardholders can use their cards in stores at home and abroad, they can use them for online shopping, paying utility bills, and more. However, their biggest drawback is all the fees that can easily accumulate if you carry a balance.

You’ll have to face the high-interest fees, then if you miss a credit card payment, you’ll have to pay the late payment fees, if you max out your credit card, your credit score will suffer, etc.

While they can be extremely helpful, credit cards are obviously a huge responsibility. If you don’t feel like you can be a responsible cardholder, you can get almost all the benefits of credit cards with none of their drawbacks with prepaid debit cards.

Prepaid debit cards still require you to use your money wisely, but they’re much easier to handle, and they don’t allow you to go into debt. Let’s take a closer look at these cards.

Overview of the Prepaid Debit Cards

As its name would suggest, to use a prepaid debit card, you’ll first need to load your card with funds. The amount of money you have on your card is the amount of money that will be available for you to spend, and you cannot spend more than you have.

All the major card networks allow you to get a prepaid debit card, and you can use your card the same way you would any of your other Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover cards.

So, why would you choose a prepaid debit card instead of some other type of card?

What are 4 main reasons to get a Prepaid Card?

1. Primarily, to get a prepaid debit card, you don’t need to have a bank account at all. You can get the card from certain retail stores, some issuers, you can order one over the phone, or even online, so there’s no need for you to open a new checking account.

2. Since you don’t need to open a bank account, and you won’t actually be borrowing any money from banks or credit unions, your prepaid debit card won’t have an effect on your credit score.

3. There’s no credit check, so regardless of whether you have any credit history, or whether you have poor credit, you can get a prepaid debit card and take full advantage of it. You don’t need to worry about getting approved.

4. These cards come from the major card networks, so you can use them wherever the network’s accepted. You cannot have a negative balance, so you won’t be charged any late payment fees or interest rates. You can still easily make purchases with your card, withdraw cash from an ATM, reload your card, etc.

PRO Tip
If you’d like to learn how to manage your finances and credit cards better, starting out with a prepaid debit card is an excellent choice. You can learn how to handle your cards, stay on top of your budget, and become a responsible cardholder.

Prepaid Debit Card vs Regular Debit Card

Prepaid debit cards and regular debit cards have a lot of similarities. To use either one of them, you’ll need to have an existing balance that you can draw money from.

The difference is, however, that for a prepaid debit card you don’t need a bank account. A regular debit card is connected to your checking account and when you make purchases, the card draws money from said account.

Depending on the type of debit card, your bank may allow you to overdraw from your account, and it’s important to be aware of this. You will have a limit on how much you can overspend with regular debit cards, however, the overdraft fees tend to be very high, and can pile up if you’re not careful.

With prepaid debit cards, you won’t encounter overdraft fees simply because you cannot spend more than what you have on the card. If you attempt to make a purchase that costs more than what you have, the purchase will be denied.

PRO Tip
While you cannot overspend on prepaid debit cards, you still need to be careful when making a purchase. If you attempt to use more money than you have on your card, the transaction will be denied, and you might be charged a decline fee that will be taken directly from your card.

Prepaid Debit Cards vs Credit Cards

Prepaid debit cards and credit cards are completely different, yet they’re often confused for one another simply because the cards themselves look very similar. As mentioned, a prepaid debit card can be taken from any of the major card networks, so it will have the same appearance and logo as credit cards that come from Visa, MasterCard, or the like.

When it comes to credit cards, however, when you use them to make a purchase, you are borrowing money from your credit card issuer. Credit cards are essentially loans, and should always be regarded as such.

When you use your prepaid debit card, you aren’t borrowing money from anyone. You’re using the money that you’ve deposited to your account to make purchases, so it’s just like you’re using your own cash.

Prepaid Credit Cards aka Secured Credit Cards

Prepaid credit cards shouldn’t be confused for prepaid debit cards, as they’re vastly different. Prepaid credit cards are another name for secured credit cards, and they function very differently from prepaid debit cards.

A secured credit card requires you to make a deposit to use your card, this much is true. However, the deposit is there for safety reasons. If you fail to make your credit card payments on time, your card issuer will take your deposit. If you pay off your balance and decide to close the account, you will get your deposit back.

To get a secured credit card, you will have to go through the same application process as you would for a normal credit card. This isn’t required for a prepaid debit card.

Read more about secured cards – Secure Credit cards Explained on our Learn Center.

Can I get a Prepaid Debit Card with Poor Credit?

Your credit score isn’t even considered when you get your prepaid debit card, so these cards are excellent for those with poor credit.
There is no full credit check, applying for a prepaid debit card doesn’t leave a trace on your credit report, so if you want, you can apply for as many cards as you want, and using your card won’t have an effect on your credit score.

The problem here is that since prepaid debit cards cannot negatively affect your credit score, they cannot affect it positively either.
If you want to start your credit history or rebuild your credit, you won’t be able to do this with a prepaid debit card. Even if you use your card responsibly, this won’t be reported to the credit bureaus, and won’t affect your FICO score at all.

Top 5 Credit Reporting Card Offers

PRO Tip
If you need to rebuild your credit or start your credit history, you can look into secured credit cards. They’re designed for those with poor credit, and using this card responsibly will help you improve your credit score.

What Are Prepaid Debit Card Fees

Prepaid debit cards are the cheapest type of card that you can hold, but they can still come with some fees. Some of the most common fees you can encounter include, but are not limited to:

Monthly fees

A monthly fee (or an annual fee) is commonly paid for having a prepaid debit card. If your card comes with a monthly fee, it doesn’t matter if you use the card in the given month or not, you will have to pay the fee. Certain cards will waive this fee if your salary or other benefits are deposited directly to the card, however. See No Annual Fee Cards.

Transaction fees

You might be charged a small fee every time you use your prepaid debit card for making a purchase. Many cards come either with a transaction fee or a monthly fee – they rarely have both of them included.

Balance inquiry fee

You might be charged a small balance inquiry fee if you want to check your balance on an ATM. This is easily avoided, as most cards allow you to check your balance for free online, through email, or through text message.

ATM withdrawal fee

If you withdraw money from your prepaid debit card, you will most likely have to pay the ATM withdrawal fee. This fee will typically be higher if you use an out-of-network ATM. Using an in-network ATM will either be much cheaper, or you won’t have to pay the withdrawal fee at all.

Decline fee

If your card charges a decline fee, you will have to pay it if you attempt to use more money than you have available on your card.

Card replacement fee

While you can typically get your physical prepaid debit card for free, if your card gets lost, stolen, or simply damaged, you will most likely have to pay a fee to get a replacement.

These are just some of the most common fees that you can encounter. To learn exactly which fees you might encounter and how high they are, you will need to check the Pricing and Information section of your prepaid debit card.

PRO Tip
Since your credit score doesn’t matter for a prepaid debit card, you can be as picky as you want when choosing one. Make sure to learn about all the possible fees, advantages, and disadvantages of a prepaid debit card, and compare and contrast different cards before you settle for one.

More PRO News & Advice from our Editors

How to Choose the Right Credit Card

Credit Cards, LEARN|

When shopping around for the right credit card it is most important to find the one with features that match your needs as it can save you money on interest and fees. We have developed five steps system which would help you in process of choosing the right credit card.

Market Pro Secure® has made it very easy to find the best credit cards for you. All you need to do is find the cards you like, click "Save Card", and then compare them side-by-side.
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Market Pro Secure® is an independent payment card comparison service supported by advertisers, a complete list of which can be seen in our Editorial Guidelines. Even though some of these advertisers are financial product providers and credit card issuers, our paid partnerships don't affect card ratings or the Best Card Picks on our website. We don't post any content that is provided or commissioned by any of our partners. However, our paid partnerships may affect how and where products appear on our site, including the order in which they are presented within listing categories. This order may also be affected by our website rules, as well as the likelihood of the applicant’s credit approval. We can't offer any warranty for the accuracy of the credit card information we share on our website, even though we do our best to keep the Terms and Conditions, rates, and other credit card details up-to-date. For more accurate information, click "APPLY NOW" to get transferred to the credit card issuer's official website. Market Pro Secure® doesn't include all available payment cards in the marketplace.

ADVERTISER DISCLOSURE. Market Pro Secure® is an independent payment card comparison service supported by advertisers, a complete list of which can be seen in our Editorial Guidelines. Even though some of these advertisers are financial product providers and credit card issuers, our paid partnerships don’t affect card ratings or the Best Card Picks on our website. We don't post any content that is provided or commissioned by any of our partners. However, our paid partnerships may affect how and where products appear on our site, including the order in which they are presented within listing categories. This order may also be affected by our website rules, as well as the likelihood of the applicant’s credit approval. We can't offer any warranty for the accuracy of the credit card information we share on our website, even though we do our best to keep the Terms and Conditions, rates, and other credit card details up-to-date. For more accurate information, click "APPLY NOW" to get transferred to the credit card issuer's official website. Market Pro Secure® doesn't include all available payment cards in the marketplace.

EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE. Market Pro Secure® doesn't post any content that is provided or commissioned by our advertisers, the majority of which are financial product providers and credit card issuers whose offers we feature on our website. The entirety of our editorial content – including any opinions, analyses, reviews, and evaluations – belongs to the author alone, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers.