Prepaid credit cards can be purchased in stores, ordered on the web or via the phone. According to the FDIC, prepaid credit cards come with many of the same features as personal credit cards, such as monthly billing statements and customer service phone lines.
Drug stores and nationally branded chain stores carry prepaid credit cards and allow consumers to add more money to existing cards. Typically found in the same area as gift cards and phone cards, prepaid credit cards are usually easily accessible.
If you choose to order your prepaid credit card from a web or phone based serving company, you will have to wait until it arrives in the mail. Prepaid credit cards must be activated before use, and transactions that exceed the available balance will not be honored.
How do you add money to a prepaid credit card?
Adding money to a prepaid credit card is pretty simple. You can connect your bank account to your prepaid credit card so that any funds available to you can be electronically linked to your card. If you want to manually add money to your prepaid credit card, visiting a partnered retailer will be necessary.
All you will need to do is have the cashier swipe your prepaid credit card and give him or her the amount of money you want placed on your card. Since you will receive a receipt, it will be easy for you to keep track of the total amount of money that has been placed on your prepaid credit card. It is possible for other people to add money to your prepaid credit card if you give them access to your pertinent details.
Can you cancel a prepaid credit card?
If your prepaid credit card has been lost, you will want to have it canceled promptly by the issuer. The money that you had loaded onto your prepaid credit card should still be available to you; however, this entirely depends on the policies of the credit card company. The United States government puts prepaid credit cards in the same category as gift cards. Although you will have certain protections as a consumer, there is a chance that you will not be able to recover your money if your prepaid credit card has been stolen.
Not all prepaid credit cards come with your name printed on the front, but those that do will provide you with more protection. If you have purchased a prepaid credit card from an established credit card company, you might be able to rely on the relationship you have established in order to get your funds back.
Canceling a prepaid credit card that has a balance is not advised unless absolutely necessary. Any money not spent on your prepaid credit card will stay there until you ask for it back or the card expires. You can request to have the balance sent to your home in the form of a check, but you may also be charged a fee for this.
What if you want to buy a prepaid credit card in another person’s name?
Although you cannot apply for a personal credit card in anything other than your legal name, purchasing a prepaid credit card as a gift for a relative or friend is allowed. This can also be done by parents that want to provide their children with an alternative source of money.
While you will end up paying a fee for the convenience, prepaid credit cards can be used by consumers with even the most severely damaged credit ratings. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation does not give prepaid credit card owners the same protections as traditional credit card account holders.
Why do you have to pay fees on prepaid credit cards?
Prepaid credit cards do not charge customers interest because they are simply spending their own money. However, prepaid credit cards are processed like debit transactions when used at stores. Monthly service fees, initial setup costs and even fees when money is loaded onto a prepaid card are common.
You will also have to pay a fee if your prepaid card is misplaced. Even when you combine all of the fees most commonly associated with prepaid credit cards, you can still save a large amount of money when compared to the interest charged on personal credit cards.