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Prepaid Debit Cards - The Ins And Outs Of How They Work

By Jacobey Larstons on November 04, 2011

For those leery of banks, specifically their finance charges and minimum balances, prepaid debit cards are a viable option to survive in a plastic-driven world. These function similar to a checking account in that money is deposited onto your account and when it is used, funds are deducted. The difference is that they will never impose overdraft fees or finance charges.

It is virtually impossible to reserve a seat on an airline or a room in a hotel, or even purchase goods online, without a major Visa or MasterCard. These are a solution to this problem in that they are accepted anywhere a regular card is accepted.

There are a variety of individuals for which these prove useful. For example, they can be a tremendous help for those who are not able to obtain a checking account. They are also a good option for those who are on a budget, as well as those with a tendency to overspend. A specific amount is loaded into the account and once that money is spent it is gone until the user chooses to load more money.

Parents also use them for their high school and college age students to teach the responsibility of handling finances, while allowing their children the experience of purchasing with plastic. They find great value in the fact that they can easily control their children's spending while giving them the freedom of making their own financial decisions.

There are many other benefits as well. They do not require the high minimum balances often associated with banks, and are a good option for those with bad credit history because they do not require a check to open or use. The drawback to this, however, is that the major bureaus do not look at these accounts.

While this might be a good option for some. As with every agreement, it is advisable to read the fine print. Depending on the contract, there may be significant charges for reloading, inactivity, cancellations, balance inquiries, funds transfers, and ATM fees. ATM fees can be avoided, however, by using the cash back feature when purchasing goods at a store. Some may also charge high activation and monthly fees, but this is not always the case and varies quite a bit across the spectrum.

These cards are safer than carrying cash but some may not offer the same protections as traditional cards if they should be lost or stolen. They could hold the user liable up to a certain amount, while others will not hold you liable. Each offer is different and that is why it is extremely important to be informed prior to deciding which one to apply for.

For more about the best debit credit cards or more about what is a prepaid card and other helpful credit information visit us at CardSuggest.com - you can also get a free credit consultation by calling 1-800-483-0256

Original article published on SooperArticles.com

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