You generally can't reload a prepaid credit card with another credit card. Typically, you have to reload such cards with a direct deposit of a paycheck or other regular payment, transfer from a bank account or cash. If you have a credit card that supports cash advances, you can get a cash advance from the credit card and use the cash to reload your prepaid card, but your credit card company will assess fees and charge interest.
It's unlikely to be able to reload your prepaid credit card directly with another credit card. One alternative is to use a cash advance to withdraw money from your credit card and then reload the prepaid card with that cash.
How Prepaid Cards Work
Prepaid credit cards are similar to other credit and debit cards when you use them in a store or online to make purchases. They usually have logos from card networks Visa, MasterCard or American Express and work in the places other cards in those networks do.
The difference is that they're not linked to a credit account that allows you to borrow money, or to a checking account such as a traditional debit card. Instead, you add money to the card and then are able to spend that balance at stores or online or, in some cases, withdraw funds from ATMs. Different fees can apply for different kinds of transactions with different prepaid cards, so it's worth shopping around to find a card that fits your needs.
Reloading Prepaid Cards
You often can pay cash to reload prepaid cards at affiliated retail stores such as supermarkets, convenience stores and drug stores. You usually can find stores that support your particular prepaid card by searching online or looking for signs in stores that you visit frequently. Some cards and stores also support depositing a check onto the prepaid card. Fees can apply for this service and can vary from store to store and card to card.
You also can arrange to have payments you regularly receive, such as a paycheck or government benefits, deposited directly onto your prepaid card, enabling you to spend the funds or withdraw them from an ATM. Some cards also allow you to transfer money from a traditional bank account to your card.
You usually cannot use a credit card to add money to your prepaid card. While historically it was sometimes possible to reload a prepaid card or buy reload credit using a credit card, many prepaid cards and retailers eliminated this option after customers were using it as a way to get credit card reward points without having to make actual purchases.
Credit Card Cash Advances
Since many credit cards support cash advances by letting you make withdrawals from an ATM, it is possible to get a credit card cash advance and use the cash to reload your card. Credit cards typically charge interest and fees for cash advances, though, and you often have to pay fees to load your prepaid card as well. With those fees in mind, it likely will save you money to use your credit card to make whatever purchases you would make with the prepaid card than to use it to borrow cash to reload the card, then use the card to make purchases.
Steven Melendez is an independent journalist with a background in technology and business. He has written for a variety of business publications including Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, Innovation Leader and Ad Age. He was awarded the Knight Foundation scholarship to Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.