Prepaid credit cards have the advantage of not running you into debt. You get to spend just how much is loaded into the card – minus card charges. For most individuals especially students having limited credit, a prepaid credit card may be one of the few options to get something similar to a credit card while enjoying the usual privilege affording these cards.
If you find yourself in the market for a prepaid card, here are a few tips to help you sort out all those card offers and get to the one that’s right for you.
Know What you Need
Surprisingly, the bulk of consumers don’t bother to itemize the reasons for getting a prepaid card before applying for one. This is wrong. Different individuals require these cards to suit a variety of needs and you can only imagine the card companies have also thought about that.
Prepaid cards have different features and selecting the right card is most likely when you’ve selected those features you’re likely to want in a prepaid card. Consumers searching for an emergency card can have a card charging very low rates and allowing a deposit limit that isn’t so high. In contrast, consumers planning to use these cards more frequently might have to lose more money to card charges with features such as ATM withdrawal, online account checking, online bill payment, increased deposit limits and a barrage of additional features to warrant paying higher monthly rates.
For a parent with teenagers, getting a prepaid card offering additional cards may be a good idea as prepaid cards provide increased monitoring of the child’s expenses.
Use a Prepaid Card Comparison Site
Once you’ve separated the necessary features from those that aren’t so important, the next step is to begin the actual search. To the best place to start this is a prepaid card comparison site. On such sites, you should be able to view a large pool of cards with a feature to compare card features one-on-one. If available, you could read reviews which often provide an expert opinion on these cards, were not available, a comprehensive listing of card features such as availability of ATM withdrawals, mode of direct deposit, monthly charges, online access should be made available.
Obtain User Opinion
Just when searching for the right credit card, prepaid credit cards may sometimes call for a little snoopin’. Some cards are known to have a customer service that’s next to zero. Others charge you X on print and X + Y (hidden fees) in reality. One way to obtain such information is from a user perspective. As you go through satisfactory ratings from current users, you feel better about your decision. Blogs and forums could help you with this.
Read the Fine Print of Prepaid Card
In doing this, you just want to sure of crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. Although fine prints for prepaid cards aren’t nearly as notorious as compared with some credit cards, it’ll be imprudent to not go through the fine print and ensure everything on the front page checks out. If a mistake or misunderstanding is located, don’t hesitate to call or send an email to the company to monitor their customer service delivery and watch out for fast response times and helpful correspondence.
Go for It
Prepaid card applications usually require little more than a Government ID, and payment of the application or setup fee. Some card issuers let you apply online while others require you to fill out a printed form. Whichever way you decide to go with, don’t hesitate to apply for a card as soon as you’ve made up your mind.
Positives sides of Prepaid Cards
Just to get your going and probably refresh your memory on why you want a prepaid card, here are a bunch of positives you should consider:
- No accumulating debt
- Less impromptu spending
- No interest
- No late payment fees
- Same convenience of a credit card – online shopping, electronic bill payment, international travel
- Save funds for an emergency
- Send money & monitor the kids’ expenses online.
Chek out the following pages for Prepaid and similar credit cards listing.