Prepaid credit cards are becoming increasingly popular as, in the post recession periods when the abnormal and fluctuating economic cycles are receding, people are trying to rebuild their credit through the mechanism of these cards.
It must be noted that almost all the credit card companies and supporting financial institutes such as Visa, Master Card and American Express provide really good prepaid credit cards. In some cases prominent banks also provide such cards. Also, take into note that such cards have a much better standing in the eyes of retailers and other places where one can use the card, in contrast to the regular credit cards. Due to the unique working of this credit card, there is a distinct advantage that there is no approval process involved in getting the actual card. Almost any person, who is able to pay the small membership fee is thus able to get the card.
What are Prepaid Credit Cards?
Just like the common credit cards, prepaid credit cards are swapped in the machines for regular credit cards and the transactions are carried out through the usual credit card companies. In case of regular credit cards, the credit card companies bears the cost for you until you pay off the bill for the credit card, plus the APR (Annual Percentage Rate). In contrast to the normal credit card, the prepaid ones work in a bit different manner.
Instead of the company bearing the cost of the credit card, you need to ‘charge’ or deposit cash into the card’s account which you can then use. The following are some of the common features of almost all the prepaid credit cards. Take a look…
- The limit of the card is equivalent to the amount that has been deposited into the card’s account.
- The credit card company imposes a specified monthly or yearly charge, which is quite negligible, in order to cover up the operational expenses.
- The credit card company reports to all credit rating agencies when the card is recharged with cash deposit and the actual transaction (swipe) is conducted.
- Some specified credit cards have a small overdraft facility which is of course, charged with an APR or interest when used.
The best thing about such credit cards is that they help you to rebuild your credit and also act as a fence or protective covering from temptation to shop. It must be noted that though these cards are very similar to common debit cards, there some specified differences in the two.
List of the Best Prepaid Credit Cards
The following is a small list of the best prepaid cards which are currently, found in the market. Take a look. Also if you are interested in getting one of them make it a point to visit the official website or office of the said company, as facilities and terms and conditions of services have a tendency to occasionally change with the advent of time.
- Walmart MoneyCardSM Visa® Prepaid Card is a good one, which has a $3 monthly fee, a 1% cash back on gas and $10 bonus for a Direct Deposit.
- The ACE Elite™ Visa® Prepaid Card has a $9.95 monthly fee, which is subject to regulations and changes, plus this card also comes with a free savings account with a 5% APR, which is again subject to changes.
- Pink ACE Elite™ Visa® Prepaid Card is a philanthropic initiative of Visa where a portion of the proceeds of the account go towards the financing of services related to breast cancer.
- Capital One® Reloadable Prepaid MasterCard® is a regularly used one with a $4.95, monthly fee. This card is a highly insured one which has a FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) Insurance. The monthly fee is exempted in cases where, a minimum $500 are loaded on the card, a month.
- Green Dot® PrePaid MasterCard® is another one which is quite widely used at a $5.95 a month fees. This card has a wide array of services, such as a $10 Direct Deposit, a $4.95 credit on a MoneyPak load, and a no monthly service for 30 purchases, plus free withdrawals from 15,000 different ATMs. On the whole it is a great card.
- Insight MasterCard® Prepaid Card is an example of a card provided by a bank, in this case, the Urban Trust Bank. This card service offers two important features, namely, a $50 bonus on the first Direct Deposit of $200, and an Optional Overdraft Protection facility for emergencies and mistakes.
- EXACT Prepaid MasterCard® is another great one by MetaBank and it is offered against a $9.95 monthly fees. The cash load limit for this card is $5,000 and the card can be recharged at 100,000 locations.
The aforementioned cards were some popular examples. It is best to search for your prepaid card in accordance with your specifications.