When it comes to making wise spending decisions, there are a lot of offers.
From opening up a strict banking account to setting a budget to owning a credit card, managing your money and spending habits can come through a variety of ways. These methods pave the way for more unconventional financial practices, such as not having a stable bank account to keep your funds.
Whether you’re unable to qualify for a bank account or just choose not to have one, there are plenty of alternatives to managing something like a checking account. A prepaid credit card is a payment method that serves as another great option to a bank account. Unlike a traditional credit card, a prepaid card is paid for upfront. They work like a typical debit card except you’re not required to have a bank account connected to the card.
To use a prepaid credit card, all you have to do is load some funds onto the card to establish your balance, then spend away. When your balance is close to gone, reload money onto the card to keep on going.
Choosing a Prepaid Credit Card
A prepaid credit card may be a great option for you in managing your money. If you’re looking into using a prepaid credit card as a method to make your transactions, here are some important things to keep in mind:
Limit the Fees
Just like regular credit cards, some prepaid cards may also come with associated fees based on your account and usage. For the prepaid card option you look into, know what those fees are and discover how you can best avoid paying them by proper account management. Another perk of choosing a prepaid credit card is that you don’t have to worry about overdraft fees, since you can spend the money you haven’t already put forward.
Load Your Card Wisely
The funds you add to your card are yours to spend. It works like a regular debit card where you pay only what you’ve already put forth as available. But once you submit that money toward your card, it’s there. Options like direct deposit make it easy and quick to get funds added to your account. Choosing this option is often free for most card companies and saves you time in having to manually transfer the funds you want to your account. You choose the amount you want deposited to your card each payment or paycheck so you can control what funds go where. Be wise about how much you load onto your account at one time to align with your financial status.
Since you can’t exceed the amount on your card, or take out a loan to cover the rest of your balance, with a prepaid debit card, it’s important to remember, like in any transaction, to spend wisely. You don’t want to run through your prepaid card faster than what you had anticipated. With most card’s account tracking apps and online features, you can stay on top of your balance and make any adjustments as needed to your account.
You Won’t Build Credit
Although this prepaid card is technically called a credit card, it doesn’t allow you to build or rebuild your credit line. If you have consistent credit issues, a prepaid credit card allows you the opportunity to keep track of your spending without being caught up in not getting approval for other offers. However, this card also won’t help you rebuild your credit as you make wise financial decisions.
Match the Offers With Your Financial Goals
Just like a regular bank account or credit card, companies seek out your business by offering special features and deals that can help you manage your money well. From online balance checks to ATM usage to much more, each card offer comes with opportunities for you to use the prepaid card to its fullest.
Keeping these important points in mind, you can get on your way to using a prepaid credit card to ease your purchasing processes. There are several types of prepaid credit cards, each with their own fees, rewards opportunities and policies. With so many options to choose from, how are you to know which prepaid credit card is best for you? Here we share some of the top prepaid credit cards to help you decide.
Best Prepaid Credit Cards
Practice your spending discipline with this prepaid credit card that helps you keep track of how you use your money. This prepaid card account is designed to be used for your spending habits so you can easily set the budget and stick to it. Use direct deposit from your bank to add funds or through other methods so you can help limit your spending if that’s an area of financial concern for you.
With an Akimbo card, there are no enrollment or monthly fees to use the card. To withdraw cash from an ATM, there’s a $1.98 fee and if you need a replacement card, you can do so for $4.95. Akimbo also charges a $5.95 fee per month if you don’t use your card for 12 months.
With your mobile phone, your can track your spending, set up personalized text alerts on your account and submit money requests, all with a few taps of your finger. You can also add sub-cards that allows you to separate your spending even more into different categories. This makes it even easier to track where your money is going and make sure you don’t overspend. With mobile options and accurate account management, creating a budget and sticking to your commitments is even easier. Akimbo suggests to split your income between your regular bank account and your Akimbo card. Use your bank account for bills such as rent or mortgage, car payments and covering insurance. With the Akimbo card funds it’s easier to restrict your spending on your monthly expenses like groceries, entertainment and putting gas in your car. With separate accounts for these two categories of expenses, it’s easy to manage your money wisely.
You have probably heard of the American Express credit card. This credit giant serves many customers with the opportunity to rack up rewards as they spend. WIth their prepaid credit card options, you can have the ease and convenience of using a card, and still rack up the benefits.
American Express offers prepaid card options based on what matters to you as you use a prepaid card. The standard American Express Serve card comes with free direct deposit, free online bill pay and many helpful tools that help you manage and track your money.
The American Express Serve Free Reloads card allows you to reload your card with no additional fees or hoops to jump through to make the purchases you want. This card also comes with the features of the standard Serve card. The American Express Serve Cash Back card gets you an extra 1% cash back back into your account. This card also comes along with the features of the standard Serve card.
American Express Serve: Comes with a monthly fee of $6.95, cash reloads up to $3.95
American Express Serve FREE Reloads: Comes with a $6.95 monthly fee
American Express Serve Cash Back: Comes with a $7.95 monthly fee and cash reloads up to $3.95.
Whether you’re looking to maximize your cash back amounts, reload your card for free or just keep a standard account, American express has the solution for you. In addition to the benefits of a card, you can also get access to free ATM withdrawals at eligible locations, with fees at non-eligible locations. Manage your account all online with online bill pay and sending checks. Make it easy to transfer cash right from your account with their mobile options that can help you take care of the payments you need to. Have a question about your account? Their American Express Customer Service team is available 24/7 to help you with your account. You’ll also spend with confidence with services like fraud protection that keeps you safe from being responsible for unauthorized purchases.
When you’re looking for security and peace of mind as you spend and make those important transactions, the prepaid credit card offer from Brinks helps you to spend, save and deposit with ease. Setting up an account and activating your card is an easy process that you can do online and with checks. When you sign up with direct deposit, you can also receive your money faster than other offers as well as avoiding inconveniences like check cashing fees and waiting in line. Direct deposit is free to enroll and saves you time and money. When you order your card, you’ll receive it within just 7-10 business days for you to activate it. Adding funds to your card is easy, whether you choose to enroll in direct deposit from paychecks, transferring money from another cardholder or visiting any in-person reload locations.
Choose your method of card plan of either a pay-as-you-go plan or a monthly plan, and potentially a reduced monthly plan. With a pay-as-you-go plan, you won’t have a monthly fee but are responsible for a $1 signature purchase transaction fee and a $2 PIN purchase transaction fee. With a monthly fee, you won’t have the pay those fees but rather a $9.95 or $5.00 monthly fee. Additional fees may apply in making withdrawals from over-the-counter or through ATMs as well. There’s no fee associated with a direct deposit system, but there may be with other transfer fees, so be sure to check your account before making those transactions. Replacing a card will also carry a fee.
Wondering what to do with your tax refund? Get access to that money faster than a standard paper check when you use direct deposit to put that money right into your account. If you’re wondering about your balance, you can check in on your account through several methods, from the online account center to direct email to phone. Use your card anywhere debit cards are accepted, from restaurants to the grocery store to online shopping. You can also use it to pay your bills quickly and easily. And, depending on your account plan, you can even get rewarded and earn cash back offers just by using your account.
Keep track of your money and reload a card easily with the Netspend Visa Prepaid Card. With no credit check, you don’t have to worry about being denied if you have no or poor credit. This card allows you to easily deposit money directly into your account, with some ways faster than others, so you can get the money you need, when you need it.
Choose two methods of either a pay-as-you-go plan or on a monthly plan, with the opportunity to change your plan at any time. A monthly plan requires either a $9.95 or $5 fee to maintain your account. Both methods include no card purchase and free customer services. Depending on the plan of choice, you’ll also have additional fees such as:
Pay-as-you-go: Includes a $1-2 fee per purchase, a $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee, a $3.95 cash reload fee, a $0.50 fee to inquire about your ATM balance and a $5.95 monthly inactivity fee after 0 days without a transaction.
Monthly Plan: In addition to a monthly maintenance fee, you’ll also have a $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee, a $3.95 cash reload fee, a $0.50 ATM balance inquiry fee and a $5.95 monthly inactivity fee.
With easy access to your money, making those essential purchases can be a breeze. There’s no minimum balance required to use the card, so it doesn’t matter how much you start out with. Setting up your account is free with no activation fee and easy integration with a direct deposit so you can have money on your card sooner. Show your creativity and personality with a custom card design that includes your unique image so you can shop in style. You’ll also have an opportunity to earn cash back on many of your purchases through their Payback Rewards program. Get alerts on your account and manage your funds all with their alerts and mobile app capabilities so you can always be in the know on your account. Deposit your paper checks immediately into your account with their Mobile Check Load.
If you do a lot of your shopping at Walmart, you can choose a payment method that gets you in on extra rewards. With the Walmart MoneyCard MasterCard with cash back rewards gets you cash back in your pocket as you spend.
When you use this card as you shop online at Walmart.com, you’ll earn an additional 3% cash back on your purchase. When you fill up your car at a Murphy USA or Walmart Fuel Station, you’ll earn an extra 2% cash back rewards. All other shopping at your local Walmart store will also get you an extra 1% cash back on everything from toilet paper to a new t-shirt to a bag of carrots. With these rewards, you can earn up to $75 cash back each year.
But even though the rewards come through spending at Walmart, you can use this card a lot of places. This card isn’t linked to your bank account so there’s no credit check or overdraft fees in using the card
This card comes with an issuance fee of $3 and a monthly maintenance fee of $3. It also has a $3 reload fee, but can be waived when you opt into direct deposit and Walmart Check Cashing.
In addition to no overdraft fees, you can also remove funds from your Walmart prepaid card for free at anytime, up to $1,000. Applying for this card online is a free, quick and easy process, too. Keep track of your account with their mobile app that allows you to follow your money transactions and find nearby ATMs. Follow along with their special promotions they may be offering, including extra opportunities to get cash back and winning great cash prizes.
Spend How You Want
If you’ve had trouble getting approved for a credit card or a bank account, or are simply looking for another alternative to make your purchases, a prepaid credit card can be a great option. With common features such as direct deposits and mobile app capabilities, adding funds to your account and managing your finances is easier than ever. And with some card’s special offers of earning more rewards and cash back as you spend, you can earn as you shop. Based on your financial status and goals, you can choose a prepaid credit card that can help you take your finances to where you want to be.
With options like these, you have the power of how you want to make those important transactions and get on your way. Whether you use it for just select purchases like entertainment or for larger bill payments or grocery budgets, you can choose how you manage your spending.