: The Pros and Cons of Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards offer the convenience of a credit card without the difficult approval process or risk of getting into debt. These cards work a lot like a gift card, you will have to load the account with cash (direct deposit is usually available) before you can use it for a purchase

Prepaid cards are not credit cards; you cannot spend more than the balance you have deposited and you will not be charged interest for your spending. The prepaid account will not be reported to the credit bureaus as a credit card.


– Easy approval process, no credit required- The same fraud liability protections as a standard credit card- Easy to use for online or phone purchases- Access cash from ATM machines- Less expensive than check cashing services


– Expensive fees for opening and maintaining the account- Fees for loading money on the account or using the card for purchases- Very limited, if any, reporting to the credit bureaus- Does not help improve your credit the same way a credit card or secured card would- Much more expensive than opening a checking account and using an ATM cardFees and charges can vary significantly between different prepaid credit card offers. Be sure to read the fee schedule for the prepaid credit card before you apply.