The reloadable prepaid debit card is starting to come into its own. It’s not just a tool for the credit-challenged. It’s actually a great financial tool for anyone. It has many of the benefits of conventional credit cards and few of the drawbacks, for instance.
Just as with a credit card, a prepaid debit card enjoys certain security benefits. For instance, if you lose your card or if it’s stolen, you can have it replaced and you won’t be responsible for any fraudulent activity.
Online Bill Paying
A reloadable debit card can make purchases at just about any website that a credit card can. That means you can make your birthday, holiday, or everyday purchases from the comfort of your home computer just as with your credit card.
Retail Store Purchases
Again, you can use a prepaid card just like a credit card for your regular store purchases. These cards are MasterCard Visa cards and so they’re accepted virtually everywhere.
What’s the catch?
Well, there really is no catch. Rather prepaid debit cards just have a different financial approach to how you spend your money. These cards must be loaded up with your money first before you can use them to buy anything whereas credit cards are more or less loaded up with the promise that you’ll pay down the road. With a reloadable prepaid debit card it’s sort of like loading up your wallet with cash first before you go to the store – think of it as an electronic wallet.
So it’s much more difficult to get into financial trouble with these debit cards than it is with their credit card siblings. That’s a very good thing in today’s wacky credit world where credit card companies play it fast and loose with interest rates, charge limits, and penalty fees. You see, these prepaid cards force you to plan better, to think your purchases through, and to know where the money’s coming from before you make the purchase (instead of after).
Lastly, with these cards you don’t have to have a long-term relationship with a bank or card issuer if you don’t want to. If you no longer want the card, you can simply spend down your balance on it and not reload it again. Then, you just walk away. No long-term balance to pay off and no penalty fees either. See how easy it is to do that with a credit card after you’ve mired yourself in a big balance.
Reloadable prepaid debit cards are starting to make noise. They’re becoming popular with not just the credit-challenged but with students, travelers, and savvy consumers who see the benefits of the card for managing budgets. Take a look yourself; they might be the right financial tool for you too.