You will pay $2.50 any time you make a withdrawal, even at in-network ATMs. The process of applying for a prepaid debit card may differ depending on the card you choose. Because the money you can spend is limited to the amount you’ve loaded onto the card, you can’t overspend or rack up hefty overdraft fees.

  1. Provides Serve, Serve Free Reloads and Serve Cash Back options.
  2. In lieu of a bank account, this can be a convenient option for making and
    receiving payments as well as withdrawing cash.
  3. Entrusting your kids with their own debit cards can help teach them about budgeting and financial responsibility.

This is a good choice for those who want to avoid extra fees and even earn some
cash back as they spend. However, there are cash back cards for
poor credit that would do you better in the long run. Recent legislation now requires prepaid card issuers to provide fraud and error protection policies so consumers can dispute charges or be reimbursed for stolen funds. Typically, you must register your prepaid card to be eligible.

How much is a prepaid debit card?

With a prepaid card, you may be able to request a new card or have any remaining funds returned to you for a fee. Both types of cards also may charge an inactivity fee if you don’t use the card within a certain period of time. And while it may not include a rewards program, the absence of various fees for activation, maintenance, and online purchases can more than make up for it. Plus, family members can enjoy the freedom of having their own cards with sub-accounts that link to the primary account. Cash reloads may be your best option if you don’t have a checking account, making the Amex Serve FREE Reloads a top choice. However, this card doesn’t earn rewards in the form of cash back, so you won’t get extra earnings on every purchase.

You can find the maximum limit on your prepaid debit card by reading your card’s terms and conditions. Once you add money to the card, you can use it anywhere a typical debit best prepaid debit cards card is accepted. Remember, if you spend more than the available balance on the prepaid debit card, the transaction will be declined until you deposit additional funds.

Here’s more information on how to get a prepaid debit card and how they work. Prepaid cards make it easy to budget because you load your card with money that acts as your spending limit before you can use it. If you tend to overspend, that will be harder to do with a prepaid card. FinanceBuzz is an informational website that provides tips, advice, and recommendations to help you make financial decisions.

There may be basic eligibility requirements, such as being 18 years old and providing a form of identification. However, some prepaid card accounts are intended for families and allow you to request debit cards for children who are under the age of 18. With so many prepaid debit card options, choosing the right one can be overwhelming.


When shopping online or making a hotel reservation, a prepaid debit card works much like a bank-issued debit card. Qualifying for a prepaid debit card generally doesn’t require a credit check. Consumers who have had financial problems and can’t open bank accounts generally qualify for prepaid debit cards. They’re easily accessible – no matter what your credit looks like – because they don’t require a credit check and usually don’t require a bank account.

Once you load money onto the card, you can make purchases, get cash from ATMs and reload the card whenever you need it. Most prepaid debit cards don’t come from big banks with a vast network of ATMs. This could be a problem, as you typically must pay a fee to withdraw cash from an ATM that isn’t in your network.

Pros and Cons of Prepaid Debit Cards

When not working, she is probably paddle boarding, hopping on a flight or reading for her book club. The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® can cost up to $4.95 to purchase the card ($0 if you get the card online) and charges you $4.95 a month to use the card. You may also incur ATM withdrawal fees of $2.50, check deposit fees ranging from $0 to 5% of the total check amount and a 4% fee on purchases made outside the U.S. Prepaid cards can be used to make purchases and pay bills, just like debit or credit cards. They are accepted nearly everywhere since they are often backed by a major card network, such as Visa, Mastercard or American Express. The monthly fee is higher than average but can be lowered with direct deposit, and the rewards and unique features could make the card worth it for some.

When it comes to managing finances, prepaid cards have gained popularity. They are convenient, widely accepted and can be used for online purchases, bill payments and foreign transactions. Thanks to Mastercard, you’ll get benefits to protect against fraud, including $0 liability for unauthorized purchases and a few others. Also, this card is a cousin of the Netspend options, allowing you to utilize its reload network of 130,000+ locations. Making on-time, sufficient payments with this option can do wonders for your future financial health.

Similar to a gift card, you add value to the prepaid card before you can use it, which is essentially like prepaying for future purchases. But prepaid cards come with a few more bells and whistles, like the ability to set up direct deposit and check your balance on a mobile app. They also require more attention since you can incur fees for simply having a card or reloading it with more cash.

Other than that, the card is relatively light on fees with no monthly fee, no transaction fee, and no ATM fees if you stick to the Visa Plus Alliance network. A prepaid debit card could be a great fit for you if you do not have a bank account. They are fantastic tools for parents who want a family-friendly way to manage household finances, and it can also be a great choice when you simply want to keep emergency cash-on-hand. You should be, because you can receive a prepaid debit card online free of charge. To find the best prepaid debit cards, we considered several different factors.

If Walmart is a preferred shopping destination, then the Walmart MoneyCard may be the smart choice for a prepaid debit card. The multi-tiered cash-back options mean money in your pocket. And the free reloads don’t just save you money on card refills. Load enough every month and they can eliminate the monthly fee.

One of the biggest perks of the card is that you can create virtual secondary cards to use online. That makes this card a great fit for someone worried about protecting their personal identity and finances. You can also add cash at select retail stores, but there’s a fee of up to $3.95 for this option. In addition to cash back, the card also offers purchase protection.

When you get a prepaid card in-store, you’ll often incur a card opening fee around $5. Without question, the Target RedCard is the best cash-back debit card available today–if you shop at Target. The RedCard pays 5% cash back on all purchases at Target–in-store or online. The 5% cash back applies to in-store Starbucks purchases and specialty gift cards. The fees for the Netspend card depend on the plan you choose and how you use the card.

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard offers the most ways to replenish your prepaid card out of all the cards on this list. You can accept direct deposits, reload at more than 130,000 NetSpend Reload Network locations nationwide or make PayPal transfers for free. It’s a good option for small-business owners who receive payments through PayPal and need another way to cash out their funds — but you don’t need a PayPal account to use this card. Chime also allows cash reloads at retailers like Walmart and 7-Eleven.


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