Prepaid Debit Card Offers: are They Right for You?

By: Edward Vegliante

If you have less-than-perfect credit, you may find it hard to get approved for a regular credit card. You still have some credit options, however. One of these is the prepaid debit card. Following is information on how this type of card works, its advantages and disadvantages, and two to consider applying for.

About Prepaid Debit Cards. Prepaid debit cards entered the market in the 1990s. They are similar, in some ways, to a prepaid phone card. You place money into your account, and then are able to make purchases. Once the balance runs out, you have to load more money into the account.

Loading money onto the card is fairly easy. Some cards let you call in and transfer money from one account to another. You can also load money by accessing your account online. The amount of money you put on the card becomes your credit limit.

Advantages of Prepaid Debit Cards. There are several advantages to this type of card. First of all, it is available for just about anyone over the age of 18. So if you have a history of poor credit, this may be a smart choice for you. You can use the card instead of carrying around cash. Paying with plastic is sometimes safer and easier when it comes time to check out.

Most prepaid debit cards are issued through Visa or MasterCard, which means they are widely accepted around the world. Since the credit limit is determined by the balance on the card, you do not have to make monthly payments. This saves you the hassle of bills and potential late fees.

Disadvantages of Prepaid Debit Cards. Many prepaid debit cards come with a number of attached fees. You might be charged an application fee, as well as a fee for monthly maintenance. Some also include a charge every time that you make a purchase.

These costs may seem steep; however, it is important to remember that this card is an option for you if you're having trouble getting approved for different forms of credit. By understanding the fees involved, you can make sure you use the card in a way to get the most out of it as possible.

Two to Consider: There are a variety of options available if you want a prepaid debit card. One of these is the READYdebit card issued by Visa. This card has a minimum amount of fees. You can load money for free through direct deposit and bank account transfers. Also, it advertises that all who apply will be approved.

Another option to look into is the Bank Freedom Prepaid MasterCard. No credit check is performed when you apply for this card. There are also very few fees involved. With both of these options, you can enjoy many of the benefits of a credit card without having to worry about having good credit in order to get approved.

If you decide to get a prepaid debit card, do some research before you apply for one. Look online at the different choices available. When you find one that fits your needs, fill out the application. The card will arrive in just a few days.

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