American Express Prepaid Cards Dangle Possibility Of Actual Credit Card To Customers

It's the prepaid card with training wheels.

In a move that differentiates American Express from other prepaid debit cards on the market, the company will now offer prepaid users with good track records the chance to upgrade to a full-fledged charge card, according to a story on

For consumers with a thin credit file or no credit record at all (students), this could be much-needed way to onramp into a credit card. No other prepaid debit card offers a similar path to credit.

Amex said it's also adding more features to its prepaid cards including direct deposit, higher limits for ATM withdrawals and more ways to load cash, according to MainStreet's story. Users could direct deposit their paychecks onto the cards.

This all comes with a price tag, of course. American Express prepaid cards cost approximately between $122 and $205 in fees annually, according to prepaid comparison site By comparison a low-balance basic checking account costs between $84 to $180 per year in maintenance fees at some of the big banks.

As more banks get rid of free checking for customers with relatively low balances, the market for prepaid debit cards is expected to grow.

AmEx is not the first company to try and make a connection between prepaid cards and building credit.

Suze Orman's new prepaid card, the Approved Card ($195 per year), shares data with TransUnion. Even as TransUnion is getting the information from Approved Card users, it has yet to use the information in credit reporting. Orman said she needed 10 million Approved cardholders to sign up for the credit bureau to consider such data for indicator purposes.

Currently reporting bureaus don't consider prepaid cards in a consumer's traditional credit file because there is no borrowing--or credit--involved. Prepaid cards may look and feel like credit cards but they are much more like debit-cards, where consumers can preload them with cash and can only spend what they have available.

Use your prepaid gift cards wherever PayPal is accepted.

Simply pay with prepaid gift cards with a Visa, American Express, MasterCard, or Discover logo just like any other debit or credit card during checkout.

Add your prepaid gift cards to your PayPal wallet during checkout as you add a new debit or credit card, and choose a prepaid card that has enough balance to cover the total amount to pay. It’s that simple!

No problem! Just enter the card information as you normally do with a debit or credit card during checkout. For the billing address, you can enter your home or shipping address. As long as the prepaid gift card you selected has enough balance to cover the total amount, you are good to go! If you like this experience, you can sign up to become a PayPal member at any time.

More about using prepaid gift cards through PayPal

Can I use prepaid gift cards to make a purchase using PayPal?

Yes. Anywhere in the U.S. where PayPal is accepted you can use prepaid gift cards that have a Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express®, or Discover® logo on it. Please note that this doesn’t apply to merchant-specific gift cards, which do not have a Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express®, or Discover® logo on them.

How do I use prepaid gift cards using PayPal?

Just like any other credit or debit cards. No difference at all!

For PayPal members, you can simply add prepaid gift cards to your wallet then start using them during checkout - just like any other credit or debit cards.

For users without PayPal account, you can just enter the card information during checkout in the same way you would do with credit or debit cards.

Can prepaid gift cards used for all services and products through PayPal?

Prepaid gift cards can be used to make payments for any product or service except for recurring payments or reference transactions.

This is because due to the nature of prepaid gift cards, they can become low in balance over time to cover the recurring amount. In order to protect our members from unintended service interruption, prepaid gift cards cannot be used for payments automatically pulled from PayPal accounts.

I‘m using a prepaid gift card, and I‘m getting a declined message.

If your payment is declined, it’s likely that you don’t have enough money on your prepaid gift card to cover the entire transaction amount. You may want to use another card or buy a less expensive item.

You may also get an error message if your prepaid card was not issued in the U.S. or if you are trying to buy from an international merchant.

If you get a declined message during checkout even if the prepaid gift card has enough balance to cover the full amount, then you may have to register your billing address with the card issuer. Look for a contact website or phone number on the back of the prepaid gift card to complete the registration process. Once registered, please try again.

I‘m trying to add a prepaid gift card to my PayPal account, but I‘m getting an error message.

In rare occasions, you may have to register your billing address with the card issuer. Look for a contact website or phone number on the back of your prepaid gift card to complete this registration process.

American Express Serve® Cards: Everything You Need To Know

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The American Express Serve® prepaid debit cards are an excellent option for consumers who cannot, or don't want to, open up a traditional bank or credit account. Among the three products, the American Express Serve® Cash Back is a standout offer - it is the only prepaid debit card to come with a rewards program. Cardholders earn 1% cash back every time they shop using it.

  • Providing debit card features to underbanked individuals
  • Has the same limitations as most prepaid debit cards - won't build credit, limited consumer protections, etc.
  • Those who want to avoid high prepaid debit card fees

Review: What Makes the American Express Serve® Card Stand Out?

Amex Serve® is one of the best prepaid debit cards due to the low upkeep cost and limited fees - a rare feature, as most prepaid debit cards are notorious for charging excessive fees. The Serve® comes in three varieties - the classic American Express Serve®, American Express Serve® FREE Reloads, and American Express Serve® Cash Back. Consumers have the option to pick a Serve® Card tailored to their specific needs. The analysis section below details how to choose between the different offers.

Among the three cards, the American Express Serve® Cash Back is our favorite. It's the ideal prepaid debit card for individuals who spend $595 per month or more. This is the breakeven point of the card, where the 1% cash back it earns users begins to come out ahead of the $5.95 monthly fee. As mentioned previously, there is currently no other prepaid debit card to offer a cash back benefit - a feature typically seen in reward credit cards.

All American Express Serve® cards also offer purchase protection benefits, typically seen only in credit cards. If an item you buy with one of the cards is damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, Amex may reimburse you up to $1,000 per occurrence. Be mindful that, unlike in credit cards, this benefit is not mandated by federal law. That means American Express may change the terms at any moment, or refuse to cover a particular incident.

Bottom Line:If you prefer to use a prepaid debit card over a credit card or bank debit card account, the American Express Serve® cards are a good choice. Simply pick the card that best fits your spending and usage to minimize fees paid.

In-Depth Analysis: Amex Serve® vs American Express Serve® FREE Reloads vs American Express Serve® Cash Back

There are very few obvious differences between the American Express Serve® cards. Most of the features and benefits are the same across all the products, including free direct deposit and online bill pay. The key to distinguishing between the options comes down to their monthly and cash reload fees.

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Deciding between the different American Express Serve® card options comes down to how much you spend and how frequently you plan to reload your money. Before applying, consumers should ask themselves the following questions:

  • How much do you plan on spending with the Serve® card?

The original American Express Serve® prepaid debit card is ideal for individuals who spend $495 or less per month, or less than $595 for those who can set up their account with a $500+ direct deposit. This is because it comes with the lowest monthly fee, and no additional frills. If you charge more than this, the American Express Serve® Cash Back may be the best choice. If you spend at least $595 on the card, you will earn $5.95 in cash back rewards – the same as its monthly fee. Any higher spending will result in a net gain on the cardholders part.

The American Express Serve® FREE Reloads card is the optimal choice if you plan to deposit cash to the account multiple times per month, without direct deposit. With the other two Amex Serve® cards, doing so would cost you $3.95 each time you perform a cash reload. If you only plan to direct deposit funds into your account, the Amex Serve® or the American Express Serve® Cash Back are optimal.

There are some circumstances where the Amex Serve® will come out ahead of the American Express Serve® FREE Reloads, despite the fees. To figure out when, you can follow a simple calculation. Take the average number of cash reloads you expect to perform during a month and multiply the result by $3.95, then add $1.95. Next divide that result by 0.01. This final number is the minimum amount of money you must spend per month using your card, in order for the American Express Serve® Cash Back to be the better option. If you don't meet this minimum, you should apply for the American Express Serve® FREE Reloads instead.

Let's walk through an example. Assume for a moment we spend $300 per month, and usually do 2 cash reloads per months. The two cash reloads would typically cost me up to 2 x $3.95 = $7.90, if I were to use one of the American Express Serve® Cash Back card; on top of this we would also pay $1 per month more for the cash back card. Therefore, the total monthly cost to use the American Express Serve® Cash Back is $7.90 + $1 = $8.90 greater than that of using the American Express Serve® FREE Reloads. One would need to spend $8.90 / 0.01 = $890 or more per month, in order for the cash back to make up for this difference.

How Does The American Express Serve® Differ From A Credit Card?

The major difference between the Amex Serve® cards and regular credit cards is that the former does not help establish a credit history. Since you are not being issued credit, using a prepaid debit card will never help you improve your credit score.

On top of this, the Amex Serve® cards do not come with as many protections as credit cards. Even though Amex advertises "Fraud Protection" on the Serve® website, no further details are given, and the feature is not mandated by law. This means Amex is free to change or update its policy for its prepaid debit card users at any time. On the other hand, credit and debit cards come with strict regulation that frees up a consumer's liability in the event their card is used for unauthorized purchases.

As noted in the review, the Amex Serve®, like credit cards, does come with purchase protection benefits - up to $1,000 if your items are damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, and limited to $50,000 per year. Most prepaid debit card accounts do not offer this as a benefit.

How Does The American Express Serve® Card Compare To Other Prepaid Debit Cards

In order to provide a clearer picture of the value the Amex Serve® provides, we compared it against some of its leading competitors.

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This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

Walmart's Bluebird is one of the more popular options among prepaid debit card users. This card is one of the cheapest cards available to consumers, coming with the least fees of any prepaid card we've come across. There are two downsides to using the Bluebird consumers should be aware of. Firstly, opportunities for free cash reloads are not as available as with the Serve®. You may load cash onto the Bluebird at Walmart locations without a fee. If you do not live close by to one of the stores, performing cash reloads may be an issue. Secondly, the Bluebird does not provide any cash back rewards - meaning that as long as you spend more than $595 per month, the American Express Serve® Cash Back comes out ahead from a pure value standpoint.

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The Green Dot debit card comes loaded with fees in exchange for very few features. The card doesn't offer any cash back rewards, and has a monthly fee of $5.95. If you load $1,000 onto the card or make 30 purchases within a month using the card this fee will be waived. If you qualify for the fee waiver, this card becomes slightly better than the base Amex Serve® product. For consumers who can direct deposit at least $500 onto their prepaid debit card account, the American Express Serve® will be the cheaper option. When it comes to the American Express Serve® Cash Back versus the Green Dot, the Amex card is better in virtually all circumstances - the only exception occurs when you don't pay a monthly fee. If you qualify to have your monthly fee waived on the Green Dot, you will need to spend $595 on the American Express Serve® Cash Back before it becomes the better deal.

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Target Prepaid REDcard from American Express Review

There’s been a huge buzz around the new Target Prepaid REDcard from American Express, so I figured I’d summarize some of the features and benefits of this new offer.

The Target Prepaid REDcard works anywhere American Express cards are accepted, so you can use it to pay bills, buy groceries, and shop online.

Plus, it gives you 5% off at U.S. Target stores and online at (excluding gift card purchases) as well as free shipping on and 30 extra days to make returns.

The Target Prepaid REDcard has no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements.

It’s free to register and use, free to add cash at any U.S. Target store (with cash, debit cards, or credit cards), free to set up direct deposit and online bill pay, and provides free ATM access at U.S. Target stores and U.S. Allpoint network ATMs.

Right now, you can only buy the Target Prepaid REDcard at Participating Target Stores with an initial load of up to $500 that you can purchase with a credit card.

Once you purchase your temporary REDcard at a Target store, you can then register for your permanent REDcard online.

Please note that Target stores in some regions are charging $5 for a REDcard, but Target stores in other regions are providing them for free.

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

You can only have 1 of the following 3 cards: REDcard, Bluebird, or Serve.

If you already have a Bluebird or Serve account, then you will need to cancel that card before you can register for your permanent REDcard.

You can purchase the temporary REDcard at a Target store while you still have Bluebird or Serve, but you cannot register for your permanent REDcard while you have an open account with Bluebird or Serve.

Updated May 8, 2015: Please note that you can no longer load the Target REDcard directly from your credit card.

Thank you to The Frequent Miler, we now know that you can reload your REDcard with a credit card at Target stores.

In addition, it looks like REDcard reloads will count as purchase transactions on your credit card, and not cash advances.

You can also reload your card with cash or debit cards (as well as credit cards) at Target stores, which is referred to as “Cash” loading.

You can reload your REDcard from your Checking or Savings account as well.

You can also perform online debit card loads, but for online debit loads, you can only use bank-issued cards, and not prepaid debit cards or Visa/MasterCard/AMEX gift cards.

  • Initial Load When Purchasing Temporary REDcard – $500
  • Total Load Limit with Temporary Registered REDcard – $1,500 (includes initial $500 load limit)
  • Cash Loads at Target for Permanent REDcard (Credit, Debit, or Cash) – $1,000 Per Load, $2,500 Per Day, and $5,000 Per Month
  • Online Debit Card Loads – $200 Per Day and $1,000 Per Month
  • Checking and Savings Account Loads – $2,000 Per Month
  • Check Loads – $2,000 Per Day and $10,000 Per Month

How You Can Withdraw Funds from Target Prepaid REDcard

You can withdraw your funds from your REDcard at U.S. Target stores, U.S. Allpoint network ATMs, and via your Checking or Savings account with no fees.

For ATM withdrawals, there is a limit of $750 per day and $2,000 per month.

The card is not usable at ATMs in Target stores in Kansas City, MO.

You can also use the REDcard to pay bills online to major utility companies, phone providers, or others, like your landlord.

For now, it looks like the Target Prepaid REDcard from American Express could be a great option for meeting minimum spending requirements for credit card bonuses, since you can reload your REDcard with a credit card at Target stores for $1,000 per transaction, up to $2,500 per day, and up to $5,000 per month, so you could easily meet a $5,000 minimum spending requirement in just 1 month by “purchasing reloads” on your REDcard.

In addition, if your card issuer codes your Target purchases as a grocery store and offers extra rewards for grocery store purchases, you might then earn extra rewards when you use your credit card to reload your REDcard.

Check out this FlyerTalk Forum for ongoing updates and personal experiences with the new REDcard.

I will update this article as new information becomes available, and please also feel free to post about your REDcard experiences in the comments below this article.

Barclaycard CashForward Credit Card $200 Bonus – New Increased Offer

Apply for the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® to earn a $200 cash bonus after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days after account opening, plus get 1.5% cash back on all purchases with a 5% redemption bonus and no annual fee. [Read More] Barclaycard CashForward Credit Card $200 Bonus – New Increased Offer

too deal.. I like my serve, since with Isis it gives me 8000/month.

How much does it cost to reload redbird at target? If its free, it would beat getting OVGCs to load serve/bluebird..

The Best Prepaid Credit Cards | 2017 Guide to Finding Top, Free, Online Prepaid Credit Cards

A prepaid credit card is exactly what the name implies—a payment card that can be used like a credit card, but that does not carry the risk of spending way more than you can ever pay back.

There are both benefits and drawbacks to relying on a prepaid credit card. This article will go over how prepaid credit cards work, where to get prepaid credit cards, and the fee structures they include. This article will also provide recommendations for some of the best prepaid credit cards.

A prepaid credit card works much like a gift card or any other reloadable card. You simply load it up with a certain amount of money, use it to make purchases, which are deducted from the card’s balance, and then once you have used all the funds on the card, you reload it.

For the most part, prepaid credit cards are accepted wherever credit cards are accepted. It may depend on the card carrier. For instance, if a vendor only accepts Visa, then your Visa prepaid card should work. With few exceptions, the best prepaid credit cards allow you to make purchases wherever regular credit cards are accepted.

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You can also make cash withdrawals at ATMs using a prepaid credit card. Whether it will be counted among free prepaid credit cards (meaning it has no ATM fees) usually depends on if you use an ATM inside or outside of the card’s network.

Prepaid credit cards have become an extremely popular credit option in recent years. Americans fed up with overdraft fees, growing consumer debt, and their own impulse spending have turned to prepaid cards both as an alternative to traditional bank accounts and as a way to curb their own spending.

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For some, making their transactions entirely in cash was the norm, but concerns over the security risks of walking around with huge sums of cash made prepaid credit cards a more attractive alternative. Others prefer the anonymity of prepaid credit cards with no fees or even with fees. They do not get this kind of anonymity when they make transactions using a card that is linked to a bank account, which keeps a record of their transaction history. And then there are those who do not mind having a checking account—they just can’t afford one.

Don't Miss: High Yield Bank Accounts

The biggest drawback has traditionally been fees, but this is on the decline. Prepaid credit cards are growing in popularity, even among people who use traditional banking products. As a result, more players are entering the market trying to position themselves as the provider of the best prepaid credit card.

Furthermore, prepaid credit cards do not have the same amount of regulation that traditional credit cards do, leaving consumers at risk of predatory fees that can take them by surprise and put a serious dent in the initial value of the card.

This can make it difficult to maintain confidence in prepaid credit cards with no fees or with fees as a safe and sustainable way to manage your money.

Fortunately, recent changes have increased federal oversight of prepaid credit cards. Prepaid cards are the fastest growing consumer product in the United States, since so many people rely on them for basic banking.

Approximately 65 billion dollars were put onto prepaid cards in the year 2012. According to the federal government, that number will rocket to $112 billion by the year 2018.

Providers touting the best prepaid credit cards would make a significant amount of money through an assortment of fees including activation fees, overdraft fees, balance inquiry fees, and even transaction fees from some providers.

Essentially, consumers were forced to take a hit every time they used the prepaid credit card for its intended purpose: managing money and making purchases.

Recent regulations have particularly targeted overdraft fees (a fee that defeated the purpose of not going into debt by using a prepaid credit card.)

If you have your heart set on finding free prepaid credit cards (who wouldn’t want prepaid credit cards with no fees?) then you are setting yourself up for either disappointment or predatory hidden fees. Perhaps there are some no-fee prepaid credit cards we’ve missed, but we’d venture to say there are only a few legitimate ones, and your energy would best be spent finding one with a small monthly fee and limited hidden fees.

Why do we say this? Why are we so direct about crushing your hopes of finding no fee prepaid credit cards? Because any card that advertises itself as the best prepaid credit card with no fees is likely trying to draw you in so that you will get hit with other fees that come after the fact related to balance inquiries or cash withdrawals.

It may not be a monthly fee in the technical sense, but you certainly will need to check your balance or get your hands on some cash a few times a month.

Some cards do have extremely low monthly fees or they have monthly fees that can be waived in certain cases. These will be included in our choices for the best prepaid credit cards later in this article.

IMPORTANT: Prepaid Credit Cards Are Technically Prepaid Debit Cards (But They Are Not Secured Credit Cards!)

Here’s a big tip to keep in mind while searching for the best prepaid credit card: they are rarely referred to as prepaid credit cards.

There is a lot of ambiguity surrounding this area of financial products, which is made abundantly clear by the fact that even the regulations around these products are in a nascent state as well.

For instance, running a search for the best prepaid credit card will often bring you results for one of two options: the best prepaid debit cards or gift cards offered by major credit card providers.

Some links will be to major credit card providers who offer prepaid cards, and when you click on the link the text will refer to them as credit cards.

This is because a prepaid credit card, technically, is just a prepaid debit card. A credit card by definition is accessing money that you do not have. This is not so with a loaded card. So do not dismiss these search results; they are what you’re looking for.

In addition, prepaid cards (whether you call them prepaid debit cards or prepaid credit cards) should not be confused with secured credit cards. Secured credit cards require a security deposit, but your transactions are not subtracted from this deposit.

A secured card operates like a regular credit card, and you can choose to carry a balance each month and pay off your outstanding debt incrementally. Your security deposit is not used to pay your monthly balance.

If for any reason you completely default on this credit card, the bank uses the security deposit to cover their loss. In this way, a secured credit card is different from a prepaid credit card.

You will notice that it is difficult to find regulations regarding prepaid credit cards specifically. Instead, info from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will refer to this category of financial products as prepaid cards.

Best Prepaid Credit Card for Minimal Fees: American Express Serve Card

The American Express Serve Card is one of the best prepaid credit cards. This prepaid credit card comes with no credit check, no minimum balance, and no hidden fees. Customers enjoy free withdrawals at more than 24,000 participating ATMs across the country. Other ATMs can be used as well, if needed, but fees may apply there.

The American Express Serve Card is also a prepaid credit card online. You can access an online account where you can make bill payments online or write a check that they will mail to someone. The flexibility of this prepaid credit card makes it one of the best prepaid credit cards.

This prepaid credit card also comes with an adjoining mobile app. Customers have access to American Express’s customer service 24/7 and fraud protection to provide added peace of mind for customers worried about stolen cards and fraudulent purchases.

On top of it, the monthly fee for this American Express prepaid credit card is only $1. The best part is that even this tiny monthly fee is waived if you set up a direct deposit of $500. It is these reasons, along with the other features, that make this a top pick on our list of the best prepaid credit cards.

Where to Get Prepaid Credit Cards Like the American Express Serve Card?

If you are wondering where to get prepaid credit cards like the American Express Serve Card, it’s simple. You can register online for free.

Best Prepaid Credit Card for Money Management: Bluebird by American Express and Walmart

Bluebird by American Express and Walmart is a convenient prepaid credit card option for those looking for a money management solution without a bank account and who need a place to deposit their money, whether it is their work pay or government assistance. This is a great option for a prepaid credit card online.

This prepaid credit card online (which also comes with a physical card) comes with no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, free direct deposits, and free bill pay. That is more than enough for this to qualify for our list of the best prepaid credit cards as one of the best online prepaid credit cards. But it gets better.

This prepaid credit card can be used anywhere that American Express cards are accepted, giving you the flexibility and diversity of options that you need to experience the most financial freedom. And that is something you want with any physical or online prepaid credit cards.

This is also one of the online prepaid credit cards that gives you access to the 24,000 participating ATMs that allow you to access cash for free. It allows you to set up direct deposit of your checks from employers or from government assistance.

If you’ve been searching for where to buy prepaid credit cards, you can avoid making exploratory runs to neighborhood convenience stores. You can simply apply online for the Bluebird prepaid credit card.

The Chase Liquid Card is free to activate. There are no fees for loading the card, making transactions with the card, or reloading the prepaid credit card. There is, however, a monthly fee of $4.95. There are also fees for using an ATM that is not part of the Chase network or if you have a returned item. The good news is that you can make purchases in-store and online and enjoy the features individuals usually do with a regular checking account like being able to send money to others via email.

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Where to Buy Prepaid Credit Cards Like the Chase Liquid Card

Wondering where to buy prepaid credit cards from Chase? Unfortunately, this prepaid credit card cannot be bought online. You are required to go into a Chase branch, provide two pieces of government ID, fill out an application, and load $25 onto the card. You will receive a non-personalized card to use until your personalized card arrives in the mail.

Where Can I Get a Prepaid Credit Card for International Spending? (International Prepaid Credit Card)

Those with upcoming travel plans may be wondering, “Where can I get a prepaid credit card for international spending? Is there such a thing as an international prepaid credit card?”

One option is the Visa TravelMoney card. This international prepaid credit card allows you to make purchases worldwide wherever Visa Debit is accepted, get easy access to currency by using local ATMs instead of going to currency exchanges, and the card is reloadable by phone or online anywhere in the world.

You get access to card and cash replacement in emergencies, 24-hour customer service, and fraud protection. All of this provides peace of mind while traveling with your prepaid credit card.

If you were wondering “where can I get a prepaid credit card for international travel?” you can visit the Visa TravelMoney website.

Prepaid Credit Cards Are Growing in Popularity as an Alternative to Bank Accounts and to Control Spending

Prepaid credit cards, prepaid debit cards, prepaid cards, a useful piece of plastic—whatever you want to call them these financial products can serve as a useful alternative to bank accounts.

They are also helpful for many people as a way to curb excessive spending and consumer debt. It’s important to carefully read the fees associated with each card, but so long as you do your research, you’ll find the best prepaid credit card to suit your needs.

With so many options out there, both online and in branches, you are bound to find a product that fits your needs. While prepaid credit cards cannot help you build credit and do not enjoy the same protections that bank accounts and credit cards do, they can be very helpful if used mindfully.

Reasonable efforts have been made to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be our affiliates. Click to view our advertiser disclosures.