Prepaid credit cards, also known as prepaid debit cards, are
becoming popular among people unable to qualify for a checking account or credit card. With all the card options, it’s always helpful to know what you are doing before you go out and get a card.
Often, people look at prepaid credit cards as being all the same; however, different cards have different types of fees, features and services. This article will guide you through the process of finding a prepaid card
that is right for you.
Step one: Identify Card Use
If you are in the market for a prepaid card, the first thing you should do is identify why you are getting a prepaid card. Will you be using it on a regular basis? Or will it only be used for special occasions? The
majority of cardholders use prepaid cards to handle their personal finances, such as paying for groceries, bills, and other necessities. On the other hand, some people like using prepaid cards for special occasions, such as vacations, traveling, and online shopping. Identifying how you will be using your prepaid card will help narrow down your card options.
Step two: Identify Card Features
From the previous step, you identified how you plan on using your prepaid card, now you need to identify what card features you are looking for. ATM withdrawal and direct deposit is common among most prepaid cards and
usually a necessity; however; some features, such as SMS text alerts and
short-term loans, are more of a luxury and only offered on select prepaid
credit cards. For example, a card with higher deposit limits and free bill pay
may be more important features if you’re using the card to handle most of your personal finances, but not as necessary for someone using it just for vacation. Make a list of features you need, a list of features you want, and a list of features you can deal without. This will come in handy when you begin searching card offers.
Step three: Identify Card Fees
The last thing you will need to identify when choosing the right prepaid credit card are the fees. Every card is set up differently and has its own fee structure. Not all prepaid cards charge the same type of fees, but some of the more common fees you can expect see are: activation fees, monthly fees, bill pay fees, ATM fees, and transaction fees. Identify all the possible fees you can expect to pay along with an ideal and maximum amount you
are willing to pay for each fee. This step helps by set a budget for how much
you are willing to spend on prepaid credit card.
Step four: Card Comparison Sites
Now that you have an idea of what you are looking for in a prepaid credit card, it is now time to start shopping around to find the card that fits your needs. With so many prepaid cards available to choose from, it can be quite time consuming searching through so many prepaid cards online, this is why card comparison sites are so useful. Most credit card comparison
sites have categories for prepaid credit cards, but since their sites are
formatted for traditional credit cards, the prepaid information may not be as useful. It is better to use a card comparison site that is designed primarily for prepaid credit cards. These websites are great information resources for finding the right prepaid card; you can compare prepaid cards, read card reviews, and get information on a variety of prepaid credit cards without searching the internet for each card individually.
Step Five: Apply and Review
Now that you have used a prepaid card comparison site to find the prepaid card that matches what you need in a card and what you are willing to pay, all you have to do is apply. Once you have applied for the prepaid card that is right for you, write a card review on the prepaid card comparison site that you used. By writing card reviews, you can contribute to the community of prepaid card shoppers by sharing your own personal experience with the card.
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