Prepaid cards are ubiquitous these days. From online retailers to banks, credit unions, and retail locations, consumers can obtain prepaid cards easily. In addition, many employers and government agencies have also turned to prepaid debit cards as a safer and faster way to distribute payroll funds.
With so many prepaid card options out there, knowing what to look in a card is critical. Here, we'll explore some of the best features of prepaid debit cards and find out how cardholders are making the most out of this financial resource.
Prepaid Cards Are Ideal for Frequent Travelers
When it comes to traveling safely with money and controlling vacation spending, prepaid cards are quite possibly the best choice. From pay-as-you go to flights to worry-free travel booking, prepaid cards are becoming the preferred payment method for those who travel frequently. Since prepaid cards offer cardholders the option to load their cards ahead of time, many of the problems typically associated with traveling with cash can be avoided.
Travelers no longer have to worry about losing cash, calculating foreign exchange rate conversions, or exceeding their travel budgets. Many prepaid cards even feature low or no foreign transaction fees, which is convenient whether you are making purchases or withdrawing cash at ATMs when traveling abroad.
For those traveling with a group, prepaid cards can make it easier to keep track of vacation spending. Reimbursing members of your travel group is even easier with the variety of mobile payment apps that support prepaid cards.
Prepaid Cards Save Money
Critics of prepaid cards often argue that prepaid cards cost consumers more than maintaining traditional checking accounts. Several studies have refuted this assertion; many found that prepaid cards can be, in fact, even more cost-effective than traditional banking. Prepaid cards can be purchased at retailers across the United States, and card reloads are often free or can be waived when the cardholder meets specific criteria.
Prepaid cards only allow cardholders to spend the amount that’s been loaded onto the card. This means that consumers who are on a budget often find these cards are the best method to help them keep track of their funds. Once the money is spent, the cardholder no longer has to worry about overdraft fees or other fees typically charged by banks.
Prepaid cards can also be used as an alternative to credit cards, which can help consumers save money. A consumer who uses a prepaid card never has to worry about going over their credit limit, paying interest, or having their credit rating adversely affected, which can potentially save thousands of dollars down the line. A prepaid card can be a better financial alternative than credit cards, which can lead to debt.
Easier Payment Methods
In the past decade, technology has advanced to the point that many consumers have chosen to abandon cash in favor of debit cards, especially prepaid debit cards. Thanks to the advent of Internet-accessible cell phones and wireless network devices, individuals can access their financial information and complete transactions from just about anywhere in the world.
One task that used to be a challenge for many was splitting the check when paying for a meal with friends, family, or colleagues. A plethora of financial apps have addressed this issue. To use technology-driven person-to-person payments, an individual simply needs to pre-register their prepaid debit card. Then one person can pay the check and each member of the dinner party pays that person their share of the bill. This eliminates fumbling with cash, and no one ever has to leave the table.
How to Select the Best Repaid Card for You
So how do customers know what to look for in a prepaid card? Don Gayhardt, CEO of CURO Financial Technologies Corporation, believes that consumer should be educated about the use of prepaid debit cards. He recommends conducting research to find the most cost-effective prepaid card for one’s purposes. For example, you can compare the initial purchase fee and reload fee as well as the ATM fee structure to determine which card will best meet your budget.
Don Gayhardt also recommends researching the most cost-effective way to reload your prepaid debit card. For example, if the card charges a fee for each reload, it may be more advantageous to reload less frequently with larger denominations. No matter what, if you take the time to properly inform yourself, finding the right prepaid card should be a relatively simple process.
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