Prepaid debit cards allow you to utilize the advantages of a debit card without having to open a bank account. The debit card functions as both a debit and credit card, and allows you to use either a personal identification number or credit transaction to pay for goods and services. While some prepaid debit cards accompany charges and fees, you may avoid these fees by following the conditions in the terms of service. As long as you use your card in the manner that would avoid a fee, such as an ATM transaction, you are able to use your debit card without a charge.
Credit Card Companies
Major credit card companies offer prepaid debit cards available for order through the company and through retail stores. Stores such as local supermarkets or department stores have the cards available, often at the checkout lines. You may add money to the card by bringing it to the register and applying your predetermined amount onto the card. Keep your receipt to activate your card online or over the telephone and create your PIN. As long as you follow the terms of service agreement, you will not face any fees throughout the duration of your use. You may be charged fees if withdrawing money from an ATM, but you can use the "cash back" option at the register when you shop to avoid a fee.
Many retailers also have prepaid debit cards available for customers. Similar to the major credit card companies, the retailers place the debit cards near the register. The card will have the retailer’s logo on it but will provide you with the benefit of using the card for any transactions that allow credit or debit card use. You may add money to the card at the register and subsequently add money online or through direct deposit. Read the terms and conditions on the back of the envelope before selecting a card to ensure you are choosing does not have fees.
Online credit card merchants provide prepaid debit cards to consumers for no cost. Sign up with the merchant to receive a free debit card and load money onto the card using an existing bank account. If you do not have a bank account, you may mail a money order for the amount you want on the card. Once you receive the card, your terms of service will show you an explanation of fees you may experience if you do not pay attention to avoid them. As with other prepaid debit cards, some ATMs will charge fees, though the cash back option will not.
Money Transfer Services
Some money transfer services that allow you to wire money to friends and family also have prepaid debit cards available for consumers. With this card, you are not liable for any fees unless you use the ATM to withdraw money or do not use the card for a certain period. You may order the card through the company’s website or through any physical location. You will need to deposit money on the card online or over the telephone to avoid a fee for loading it at the money transfer store.
- AccountNow: Why Gold
- AccountNow: How It Works
- Walmart: Cardholder Agreement
- American Bar Association. "Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) and the Law." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- CVV Number. "What Is My CVV Number and How Do I Find It?" Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Huntington National Bank. "How to Use a Debit Card: Online, ATM & Chip." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is the Difference Between a Prepaid Card, a Credit Card, and a Debit Card?" Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Visa. "Visa Prepaid Reloadable Personal Cards." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Understand the Fees You Will Pay." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is a Grace Period for a Credit Card?" Accessed March 24, 2020.
Sherry Morgan has been professionally demonstrating her writing ability since 2005. Within her writing career, she has written for Ask.com, Associated Content, Textbroker, and an extensive list of personal clients. She is currently working on her Associate of Applied Science degree in business management at MGCCC, focusing on business and creative writing.