Prepaid credit cards are growing in popularity as a way to manage your money. They’re easy to get and to use. According to the results of a Consumer Reports study of 20 of the most popular cards, Catherine French, one consumer, says that both her mother and son use repaid cards. Her son, James says that he can use the card almost anywhere, from restaurants to convenience stores, gas stations.
Catherine says that it is easy to get a prepaid credit card, but there are also perils. So she won’t let him get a card with his name on it. Consumer Reports evaluated the terms of 20 prepaid cards and said that they were better than they used to be.
One of the big improvements is safety. All of the prepaid card issuers voluntarily offer some of the same protections as the banks which issue credit and debit cards, however, you must register your card to get those protections. And since they’re only voluntary, they could be revoked.
Consumer Reports also evaluated the cards for value and convenience for those who use the cards in place of a bank account. It’s important to be able to pay bills, add money and withdraw cash without incurring a lot of fees. The NetSpend prepaid Visa pay-as-you-go has relatively high fees, and there’s always a fee to use an ATM in response.
NetSpend says that it offers quote a feature-rich product that may not be comparable to the prepaid card programs. Consumer Reports reviewed the four highest rated prepaid cards worked well for those who use them instead of a bank account as well as for those who use them for shopping. They are the Bluebird from American Express, Walmart Chase liquid issued by Chase, the Green Dot prepaid Visa and the halogen reloadable prepaid card available at Kmart, they all have low fees voluntary safety protections and are widely accepted.