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Reloadable Credit Cards

Madhurjya Bhattacharyya Jan 23, 2019
Reloadable credit cards have emerged as an exciting proposition for people who aren't too keen on opening a bank account or getting a credit card. In the following passages, you will find more information on these cards.
To counter the risk of carrying cash around, a host of options have come up. Debit cards, credit cards, reloadable credit cards, all these make it easy for people to carry out their daily transactions.
Credit cards, however, have gained some notoriety in the recent years, primarily due to the debt that so quickly accumulates on them. An alternative to having a credit card is a reloadable credit card.
A reloadable credit card works pretty much the same way as a credit card, the major difference being that it doesn't allow a user to buy stuff on credit. So, you get to use only what you have in your card. This feature makes the card very appealing to concerned parents and guardians who want to ensure that their wards spend wisely and judiciously.

Getting a Reloadable Credit Card

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a reloadable card. Once you have applied for the card, you need to fund the card with an amount you think will suffice you. Once receiving the card, you need to activate it by going to the bank or through phone banking/online payment. You can withdraw funds from the card up to a  limit, depending upon the card type.

Ways of Funding the Card

  • Direct deposit by self/employer/guardian.
  • Online bank transfer.
  • Buying a reload card.
  • Over the phone.
(Please note that the methods of funding a reloadable credit card may depend on the terms and conditions of the card issuer).


  • A reloadable credit card serves both the purposes - it reduces the dependency of carrying cash around all the time, and doesn't allow one to buy things on credit. Impulsive shopping is abetted by credit cards and this is where a reloadable card can be a good way of staying within your means.
  • The prepaid card industry has grown considerably in the past couple of years and one of the main reasons for this has been the control it has given to concerned parents, who often have to pay off the debt accumulated due to some reckless spending on part of their children.
  • As one is not indebted to a bank or agency for credit, people with bad credit or those who can't open a bank account due to certain reasons have the alternative of opting for a reloadable card.


There have been some concerns regarding the fee structure of reloadable cards in the past. These cards lack the level of scrutiny that one finds in case of debit and credit cards. Although, on face value, reloadable cards come with exciting offers, the associated fee is often veiled.
Normally, reloadable cards charge the customers on the following:
  • Application fee (while applying for the first time).
  • Maintenance fee which can either be monthly or yearly.
  • Fee for replacing a card, even if the card is lost/stolen.
  • Inactivity fee, for not using the card for a stipulated duration.
  • Charge on withdrawing money from a third-party ATM.
  • Charge for canceling the card.
(Please note that the charges vary and depend on the terms and conditions of the card issuer).

A Few Things to Consider

Most of the major credit card companies, like American Express and Citibank issue reloadable cards. Online application has become popular among the masses due to its easy procedure and instant results. However, there are a few things one needs to remember before applying for these cards.
Always look at the list of places where these credit cards can be used. There are certain cards which can be used only in particular locations or in some specific merchant stores. Also, look for the fees associated with these cards. As mentioned before, if you don't use the card for a specified period of time, the bank charges your account.
Usually, if the card is not used for six months to a year, the card issuer starts decreasing the value. So, make sure you consider your usage before buying the card, and also the amount you lose in case you don't use the card for sometime.
Reloadable credit cards are a good option to control the amount of cash you spend each month. These also help to carry out financial transactions easily, by saving your time and all the hassles associated with opening a bank account.
If you feel that a reloadable credit card will work well for you, you can get in touch with the issuing company/bank. Do read the terms and conditions, especially, the fee structure carefully.