How to use a prepaid credit card

Using Prepaid Cards as an Alternative to Credit Cards

How to use a prepaid credit card

How to use a prepaid credit card

How to use a prepaid credit card

The Balance / Chelsea Damraksa

Many Americans are unable to get a bank account with a debit card—or they simply don’t want to. But, in today’s world, it can be difficult to function without one. The good news is, prepaid debit cards offer a way to get many of the benefits of standard cards without some of the challenges.

You can get a prepaid card even if you have bad credit. However, as the name indicates, you can’t use it unless you’ve prepaid money onto the card. Since a prepaid card doesn’t allow you to carry a credit balance and pay later, it’s not a credit card.

Around 6.5% of American adults don’t have a bank account, but they can rent a car or book a hotel room with a prepaid card instead of having to deal with a bank.   Many prepaid cards even have a routing number and an account number, so people can have their paychecks deposited to their prepaid card account. Learn more about how these credit and bank alternatives work.

How Does a Prepaid Card Work?

Visually speaking, it’s pretty easy to mistake a prepaid card for an actual credit card. For the most part, prepaid cards look identical to credit cards or bank account debit cards, carry a card network emblem, and can be used in most places that accept credit cards.

Before you can use a prepaid card, you’ll have to load money to your account, similar to how you would with a gift card. You can only spend as much as you’ve loaded onto your card. As you use your prepaid card, the amount of your purchases is deducted from the balance. Your available balance is reduced even further as you make more purchases.

Let’s say, for example, you deposit $300 onto your prepaid card. After paying $150 for a car rental, you’d only have $150 left to spend. Once you’ve used your entire balance, you have to reload more money onto the prepaid card before you can use it again.

By comparison, a credit card gives you a credit limit against which you can borrow for purchases. You have the option of repaying your purchases with monthly installments or all at once.

Managing your prepaid card is more like managing a checking or savings account than managing a credit card. You don’t have to worry about monthly minimum payments, finance charges, due dates, or late payments. Your spending limit equals whatever dollar amount your card currently holds. You’ll also have no increased revolving debt balance, minimum required payments, or due dates to think about, and no risk to your credit score.

Do Prepaid Cards Build Your Credit?

You can get a prepaid card regardless of your credit history. Providers don’t check your credit because you’re not borrowing money. Unfortunately, that also means prepaid cards won’t help you establish or improve your credit.

Using a prepaid card says nothing about your borrowing or repayment habits, so the card companies have nothing to report to the credit bureaus. In short, if you use a prepaid card, it won’t have any influence on your credit score, good or bad.  

If you’re looking to rebuild your credit, consider a secured credit card as a better option. It’s similar to a prepaid card in that you have to make a deposit, but it’s actually a credit card. The deposit acts as collateral in case you don’t pay your credit card balance, and your payment history gets reported to the credit bureaus.

How Much Does It Cost?

Prepaid cards can come with a variety of fees. Before choosing a card, read the “fine print” to determine which option comes with the least amount of fees, so that they don’t eat up whatever money you deposit to the card.

For example, the Account Now Prepaid Visa charges a monthly fee of $9.95, an ATM withdrawal fee of $3 per transaction, up to a $5.95 fee to reload additional funds to the card, $2.50 for each ACH transaction on your account, and $1.50 to make a balance inquiry at an ATM. Each time you incur a fee, it comes from your balance, giving you less remaining money to spend.

Since the cost plays a big role in the prepaid card you choose, make sure you pay close attention to the fee schedule of any card you’re considering. Many of them come with no monthly fees and also keep other fees to a minimum.

Who Uses Prepaid Credit Cards?

You might use a prepaid card if your bank doesn’t offer debit cards and you don’t have a traditional credit card, or if you can’t get a checking account because you have bad credit with ChexSystems. ChexSystems monitors individuals’ checking and savings account activity to alert merchants about people writing bad checks when paying for purchases.

Children and college students also make good candidates for prepaid cards. Parents can load money on the card for their kids to use and begin teaching them good money management skills. For college students, parents can easily reload money onto the card to pay for books, food, and ongoing expenses.

As prepaid cards become more popular, they’re not just used by people with bad credit or those who can’t get a checking account. Some people use prepaid cards to help manage their budgets.

How Do You Load More Money on the Card?

It’s becoming easier to load money on prepaid cards, and you can fill up your card in the following ways:

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How Do Prepaid Debit Cards Work?

How to use a prepaid credit card

How to use a prepaid credit card

A prepaid debit card is much like a gift card: It allows you to spend whatever amount of money is stored on the card. Once the balance is used up, you can reload the card online or at an ATM, a participating store, or other physical location. Prepaid debit cards are issued by banks and branded by the major credit card companies, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

Key Takeaways

  • A prepaid debit card can be a useful alternative to cash.
  • Prepaid debit cards are an option for people who don’t have a credit card or access to a regular debit card connected to a bank account.
  • There are many fees associated with prepaid debit cards, so it’s important to shop around for the best deal.

Understanding Prepaid Debit Cards

A prepaid debit card is as good as cash—and sometimes better:

  • It is a safe way to carry money around—unlike, say, a wad of paper money. Prepaid cards also come with certain consumer protections, while cash does not.
  • A prepaid debit card can be used for online purchases.
  • It can make a more attractive gift than cash.

Anyone who wants to stick to a strict budget, or who has had trouble managing credit cards, could also consider using a prepaid debit card.

You can use a prepaid debit card for any transaction that you might otherwise use a credit card or regular debit card for. In many instances, the recipient of your payment may even be unaware that the card is prepaid.

Some employers pay their workers with prepaid debit cards called payroll cards (which can be useful if the person doesn’t have a bank account or direct deposit). Many government benefits are also available via prepaid debit cards, including Social Security.

Prepaid Debit Cards vs. Regular Debit Cards

With a regular debit card, the amount of money you can spend is tied to how much you have in the checking account it is linked to. So you need to have a bank account to use a regular debit card, while you don’t with a prepaid debit card. With a regular debit card, the amount of money you have available to you will also fluctuate from day to day, as money moves in and out of your checking account. With a prepaid debit card, you have a fixed amount of money to spend, which declines as you spend it and rises only if you reload the card.

The Downsides of Prepaid Debit Cards

Prepaid debit cards can come with an assortment of fees that will eat into your cash balance. These may include monthly fees, transaction fees, ATM fees, reloading fees, foreign transaction fees, and more. You may even be charged a fee for checking your balance in the card.  

Employees have a legal right to decline being paid through a payroll card because the fees will reduce their take-home pay.  

Shopping for a Prepaid Debit Card

If you’re shopping for a prepaid debt card, pay particular attention to its fees. Also consider convenience. For example, if the card is free to use at an ATM (as many of the best cards are), how large an ATM network will you have access to, and is there one close to where you live or work?


If your goal is to repair your credit rating, consider a secured credit card instead of a prepaid debit card.

An Alternative to a Prepaid Debit Card

If the reason you want a prepaid debit card is that you have a bad credit history or no credit history and are unable to get a conventional credit card, you might consider a secured credit card instead. Secured cards are easier to qualify for because they require you to put down a refundable security deposit that serves as collateral for the lender.

The advantage of a secured credit card is that your monthly payments can be reported to the three major credit bureaus and help build your credit history. Debit cards, either prepaid or the regular kind, don’t report transactions to the credit bureaus and will do nothing to improve your credit.

How to use a prepaid credit card

Written by Dan Base, Financial Content Writer

How to use a prepaid credit card

What are prepaid cards?

Prepaid cards can be a great way to help you manage your spending. Unlike credit cards you aren’t borrowing money, instead you load money onto the card, which you can then use to pay for things, as you would with any other credit or debit card.

Prepaid cards can be a good way for children and teenagers to spend, but they aren’t just for kids. They can be a convenient way of spending money overseas or if you don’t have a current account.

How much do prepaid cards cost?

Prepaid cards aren’t free to use. Charges vary between providers so it’s important to compare cards first and think about how you will use yours before you apply.

You sometimes have to pay loading or top up charges. Each card comes with different fees, and the amount usually depends on the method you use. For example, a card could charge:

£1 to pay in cash at a Post Office

3% of the amount you pay onto the card in a PayPoint shop

2.5% if you log into your online account and use your credit card

Nothing if you log into your online account and use your debit card

Nothing if you send money by bank transfer

In addition to top-up fees there may also be monthly or application fees depending on the card. Cards may also charge you for taking out cash out at an ATM or levy transaction fees (such as 3% of your purchase).

If you don’t use your card for a while some providers charge inactivity fees.

Activate your card

When you receive your new card and PIN, you usually need to confirm it has arrived to activate it. You also need to sign the back of the card on the signature strip.

You can usually do this by setting up your online account using the card provider’s website and selecting the option to activate your card.

Some providers let you activate your card by phone instead. The number you need to phone should be on the card or the letter that comes with it.

Once you have activated your card you can add funds onto it and start spending or withdrawing cash.

Top up your card

Check how your provider lets you load money onto your card and compare the cost for each option. You may be able to add funds:

Online, by signing into your account on the card provider’s website or app and paying money in using a debit card.

By paying in cash at a post office, some banks or a shop or petrol station that offers a PayPoint service.

By sending bank transfers from your bank account. Your prepaid card provider should let you know the sort code, account number and reference you need to use.

By receiving bank transfers somebody else sends to your card. Your employer could send your wages to your prepaid card if you use it instead of a bank account .

How long until you can spend the money?

The way you pay money onto the card affects how quickly you can access your money and some prepaid cards take longer than others. Ask your provider how quickly the funds become available to spend.

Most cards let you spend money once the funds have cleared. This can take up to two days forcard payments, but may be instant when you use cash.

Spend on your card

You can use prepaid cards almost anywhere that accepts credit and debit cards.

You can use your card:

In person in shops, restaurants and other businesses

Online by phone or mail order

Some can only be used in electronic terminals, which are chip and PIN devices found in most businesses that accept card payments

You can use it in the same way as a credit or debit card. If you pay in person, you can:

Enter your card and PIN into a card machine

If you pay online you need to enter the card number, expiry date and security code from the back of the card.

Withdraw cash

You can use your prepaid card in a cash machine to check your balance or withdraw money.

You just need to insert your card, enter your PIN and follow the onscreen instructions. Some prepaid cards charge fees when you withdraw cash .

Keep track of your balance

You do not get monthly paper statements with most prepaid cards. Instead you can check your balance, any transactions you have made and the fees you were charged by:

Logging on to your online account

Using your provider’s smartphone app

Using a cash machine

Phoning your card provider Texting your provider for a balance update

Some providers can send a statement if you ask them, but they usually charge a fee.

Set up automatic payments

Some of these accounts let you set up direct debits and standing orders, which automatically transfer money to other accounts to pay bills for things like your utilities or mobile phone.

This can be useful if you use a prepaid card instead of a current account, which could be suitable if you have bad credit and cannot get a normal current account.

Make changes to your account

Change your personal details

If your address, name or other personal details change, let your card provider know as soon as possible.

You may be able to update some details online, but providers may need you to phone them, or post documents, for example a marriage certificate if you change your surname.

Change your PIN

You can usually change your PIN using a cash machine. However, you need to know your old PIN to do this.

If you have forgotten your PIN, contact your provider. It will send you a new one, usually by post.

Some card providers let you change your PIN or request a new one online.

Cancel your prepaid card

You need to contact your provider to close your prepaid card account. Some let you do this online, by phone or in writing, and some charge a fee for cancelling your card.

It can take several days for your account to be closed because they need to wait for any remaining transactions to go through

If you still have leftover money on your card, you can usually have this refunded to your bank account. However, there is sometimes a charge for this, so it could be more cost effective to spend the money on your card instead of moving it.

Report your card lost or stolen

Report this to your card provider as soon as possible because they can freeze the card and stop anyone else spending your balance.

Call your provider to let them know, or you can report some cards as lost or stolen through its website or app.

It will send you a replacement card in the post, although it could take up to two weeks to arrive. The balance on the missing card will be transferred over to your new card, but they may charge a fee of around £5 for the new card.

Whether you need a prepaid card for spending overseas, easy budgeting or due to bad credit, we can find the right option for you by comparing some of the best deals around.

How to use a prepaid credit card

As an additional benefit to users, various banks and financial institutions issue prepaid credit cards which come with loaded funds for cardholders. Prepaid credit cards are quite similar to the traditional credit cards and work in a very simple process. The only major difference between a normal credit card and a prepaid credit card is that prepaid cards allow customers to make purchases from the funds available on the prepaid card, instead of borrowing money from the banks.

Prepaid cards allow their users to make purchases until the time funds are available in their cards, similar to gift cards/vouchers. Let’s dig deeper into what a prepaid card is, how it works and how you can get one!


The following points explain what a prepaid card is into further details-

  • Prepaid credit cards basically work as gift cards- meaning that they can be used to make payments with the amount that is already available in the card
  • These cards do not work like traditional credit cards, which means that user do not borrow any money from banks/credit card issuers to make payments
  • Prepaid card users have to adhere to a limit (the maximum amount that is available in the purchase credit card) to make purchases
  • Banks/credit card companies may charge a nominal fee from the user for issuing a prepaid credit card
  • Prepaid cards are not issued to users on the basis of their credit score


The following reasons explain why you should buy a prepaid credit card-

  • One of the biggest advantages of a prepaid card is that users can make transactions without having to incur any debts and/or pay interests in the future
  • Credit score does not play a key role in the issuing of prepaid credit cards
  • Cardholders can use these cards to make payments for both, goods and services without having to worry about carrying cash
  • Some prepaid cards also allow users to make cash withdrawals at ATMs
  • Prepaid credit cards allow customers to manage their expenses as they will be aware of the amount that they have in hand, to spend for the specific time period
  • Prepaid cards can be the best type of credit cards for users who are not looking for any other specific features
  • Users can easily make their payments using prepaid cards through their mobile phones
  • Prepaid credit cards also work as gift cards and travel cards, which can be used to make payments abroad
  • Certain employers offer the option of transferring employee’s salary to his/her prepaid credit card

Types of Prepaid Credit Cards

Users can buy any of the following types of prepaid credit cards-

  • Reloadable credit cards- These credit cards allow customers to add more funds, once the current amount in the card is used.
  • Non-reloadable credit cards- These credit cards function exactly opposite to the reloadable credit cards. This means that these credit cards do not allow users to add money to the card once the current balance is used.
  • Open looped credit cards- Also known as open system credit cards, these cards are branded with the network that they are affiliated to. As a result of this affiliation, all of these cards carry a logo of the affiliate’s brand and are issued only by a few banks. Since these cards are open looped, they are accepted by all merchants and at all locations.
  • Closed loop credit cards- Unlike open looped credit cards, these cards are accepted only at the affiliated merchant outlet. Generally, it is only closed loop credit card holders who are issued gift cards.
  • Semi-open loop credit cards- Working as a mix of open looped and closed loop credit cards, semi-open loop credit cards are the ones that are accepted by multiple merchant outlets, who are affiliated with the card. Most of these cards are issued by retail chains or shopping malls only and can be used at all locations that have stores with the affiliated brands.

Drawbacks of Having a Prepaid Credit Card

Before you decide to get yourself a prepaid credit card, take a look at the drawbacks of a prepaid credit card-

  • A prepaid credit card cannot be used unless there is any money loaded into it
  • Unlike other credit/debit cards, prepaid cards are not so secure and hence, can be misused easily
  • Banks do not report the payment history of a prepaid credit card since there is no revolving credit limit involved. As a result, your transactions are neither recorded, nor reported to the major credit bureaus. Hence, prepaid credit cards do not impact user’s credit score as well

Difference Between Prepaid Card, Credit Card & Debit Card

Study the table below to understand how a prepaid card, a credit card and a debit card can be differentiated-

Prepaid Card Credit Card Debit Card
You can spend only the amount of money that you have previously loaded You can spend the amount of money that your bank has set the limit for You can spend as much money as is available in your account
These cards can be linked to a specific business brand These cards can be used at any store/merchant These cards can be used at any store/merchant
Upon spending the entire amount, you may reload your card with cash/cheque Upon spending the entire monthly limit, you need to clear your current dues and restart your expenses on the card from the next month You can keep depositing money to your bank account to continue using your card
Prepaid cards work as gift cards/vouchers, without any debt or high interest charges Credit cards work on debts borrowed from banks, and charge interest on the borrowed amount Debit cards work on the amount available in your bank account, and do not charge any interest on the money spent

Prepaid cards are secured with prepayments and work only on the money loaded into the card beforehand. More like gift cards, prepaid cards can be used at select stores/merchants as they are linked to affiliate brands and come with the brand logos printed on them. It is important not to confuse prepaid credit cards with traditional credit cards as these cards don’t work on borrowed credit from banks/credit card issuing companies. Prepaid credit cardholders can spend only that amount of money that is preloaded into the card and not more. If your needs match to that of a prepaid credit card, these cards can be one of the best options for you to use.

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What is a prepaid card?

A prepaid card is a card you can use to pay for things. You buy a card with money loaded on it. Then you can use the card to spend up to that amount.

A prepaid card is also called a prepaid debit card, or a stored-value card. You can buy prepaid cards at many stores and online.

Many prepaid cards come with the Visa or MasterCard logo. These prepaid cards look just like a credit card.

Why would I use a prepaid card?

  • Prepaid cards are a convenient way to pay for things if you are not carrying cash.
  • You do not owe a bill since you are using money you already have.
  • You do not need a bank account to use a prepaid card.
  • You do not need a good credit history to use a prepaid card.

Why would I not use a prepaid card?

Many prepaid cards have extremely high fees. You might pay fees when you:

  • activate your card
  • add money to the card
  • use the card to buy something
  • find out what your balance is, or how much money you have left
  • use an ATM

You might find many other options with lower fees.

How do prepaid cards work?

Prepaid cards work like debit cards. But you do not need a bank account to get a prepaid card. Here is how a prepaid card works:

  • You get a card from a store or company.
  • Sometimes, you buy a card in a certain amount. You might pay $50.00 for a card. That means you can use that card to spend $50.00.
  • Sometimes, you buy a card and then add money to it.
  • You can use the card to buy things in stores. You also can get cash from an ATM.
  • Your card stops working when you spend all the money you added.
  • You can add more money.

Unlike most debit cards, many prepaid cards charge very high fees.

What kind of fees do prepaid cards charge?

You might have to pay fees to:

  • buy a card
  • add more money to a card
  • buy something with the card
  • find out what your balance is, or how much money you have left on the card
  • use an ATM with your card

Sometimes there is a fee every month just to have the card.

For Example

  • I put $200 on my card.
  • I paid these fees:
    $10 to activate the card
    $12 for monthly maintenance
    $3 every time I bought something
    $6 to check my balance
    $3 to get cash from an ATM
    $4 to get my statement in the mail
    $2 to talk to customer support
    $3 to reload the card
  • I paid $43 in fees. Now I have $157 to buy things with.

Why are prepaid cards popular?

Prepaid cards can be convenient for people who do not carry cash. Prepaid cards also are easy to get.

The businesses that sell prepaid cards advertise them. That means you might hear about them.

Some businesses use celebrities to advertise their cards. Some businesses also say that prepaid cards are good for people who do not have a bank account. The businesses might say prepaid cards are a good way to manage your money.

Do prepaid cards help my credit history?

Most prepaid cards do not help you build a credit history. Your credit history describes how you use money. Businesses look at your credit history before they give you a loan, a credit card, or sometimes a job.

Learn more about your credit history.

What is the difference between a prepaid card and a secured credit card?

With a prepaid card:

  • I can just buy one
  • I pay very high fees
  • My money earns no interest
  • It does not help my credit history

With a secured credit card:

  • I have to apply for one
  • I pay some fees, usually lower
  • My money might earn interest
  • It can help my credit history

Prepaid cards are another way to pay for things. You add money to a prepaid card and use it like a debit card. But you pay very high fees to use a prepaid card.

How do I choose a prepaid card?

If you decide to use a prepaid card:

  • find out what fees you will have to pay
  • see which card has lower fees
  • do not buy a card because you like the celebrity who talks about it. It may have higher fees than other prepaid cards

How do I compare prepaid cards to other choices?

Prepaid cards can cost a lot to use. You might want to compare other ways to spend your money.

Choose at least two of each to compare:

  • prepaid cards
  • secured credit cards
  • checking accounts in a bank or credit union

For each type of card or account, answer these questions:

  • What are the fees? Look for:
    • low activation fees
    • low annual fees
    • low ATM fees
  • Will the card help your credit history? Some cards send information to the three credit reporting companies. That might help you build a credit history.
  • Does your deposit earn interest? Sometimes you can earn interest on the money you put on a card or in a bank account.

Compare the answers. You might find ways to spend your money that are cheaper than a prepaid card.

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.

Already have a PayPal account?

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!

Don’t want to create a PayPal account just yet?

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.

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.

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Prepaid cards are not the same as credit cards. Unlike traditional credit cards, activity from a prepaid card is not reported to the three credit reporting agencies (Experian ® , TransUnion ® , and Equifax ® ) and will not help in establishing or maintaining your credit score. Known as general purpose reloadable cards (GPRs), prepaid cards work similarly to gift cards and likewise have no bearing on your credit score.

Although they can be used to pay for services, online purchases, pay bills, and to withdraw cash from ATMs, prepaid cards do not come with a credit limit the way credit cards do. When you make a purchase with a prepaid card, you are using your own funds that you deposited onto the card rather than a credit limit or deduction from your bank account. In other words, you are not borrowing money.

How does a prepaid credit card work?

Prepaid cards can be loaded with funds through direct deposits or purchased at retailers. They can be accepted at many major retailers and can eliminate the need to carry cash. There could be associated fees with reloading and using the card with funds, so be sure to check out the terms of the card before you commit to one.

Funds on a prepaid card may be covered under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), known commonly as the Prepaid Rule. This could offer some protections in cases of lost or stolen prepaid cards. Be sure to read over the terms and conditions of your prepaid credit card for more information about protections for your card.

Do prepaid cards build credit?

Unlike a credit card, funds from a prepaid credit card are not loans, so what you do with them isn’t reported to the credit bureaus. If anything, they’re more similar to debit and gift cards in that you are using your own funds to spend money.

When should I use a prepaid card?

A prepaid card can be useful for setting budgets, managing expenses and providing allowances to family members. They can’t, however, help you build up your credit score. Traditional credit cards could be a better option for your finances if you are looking to build your credit.

This is the card that goes wherever you go, giving you an easy-to-use, reloadable option when travelling, studying or shopping online.

The smarter way to spend

MCB Visa Prepaid card is accepted online and at merchants around the world displaying the Visa logo.

Apply for your card

Bring your ID and proof of address to any MCB branch for your card application.

Shop online securely

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How to use a prepaid credit card

Easily review your prepaid credit card options

Compare fees, charges and card features from providers nationwide

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Why should I use to compare prepaid credit cards?

Searching for the right type of prepaid card for you can be tough, especially when there are so many different providers, fees, and benefits to consider.

This is where we step in. At we can remove the stress of comparing prepaid cards with our prepaid card comparison tool.

Within seconds you can compare the card features and charges available on the market. Review prepaid credit cards from a whole range of providers, such as Revolut, N26, Swirl, 3 mobile, Neteller, and Skrill.

Best of all, our service is free, easy-to-use, 100% impartial and accurate.

We simplify savings

Bonkers Money Limited, trading as, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.How to use a prepaid credit card

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I compare prepaid credit cards?

Comparing prepaid credit cards is easy with Just use our online comparison service to quickly compare the different fees, charges, and card features across a range of providers and find the card that’s right for you in minutes.

How does a prepaid credit card work?

A prepaid credit card works much like a gift card. Money is loaded onto the card in advance by the customer and then any money spent is deducted from the balance. There’s no ability to spend beyond your means or to get into debt.

Unlike gift cards, prepaid credit cards can be used in millions of locations worldwide just like a normal credit card.

What’s the difference between a prepaid card and a credit card?

The money you spend on a prepaid card is money that you have uploaded onto the card in advance. You will only be able to spend the amount of money in the account, however, with a credit card you may not have a limit. This is because with a credit card the money you spend is borrowed from your provider. You could get into debt and then be charged high rates of interest.

Often a prepaid car may still have a credit card logo on it such as a Visa or Mastercard logo, which can be confusing for cardholders. However, the money on a prepaid card is not borrowed money, while on a credit card it is.

What fees apply to a prepaid credit card?

Unlike a credit card, you can’t fall into debt and be charged interest on a prepaid credit card. However, prepaid credit cards are still subject to fees but they will depend on the provider and card type.

Prepaid credit cards may have some, or all, of the following fees:

  • A one-off upfront charge for purchasing the card
  • A top-up charge which is applied when you load money onto your card
  • A purchase fee on anything you buy
  • A €5 Government stamp duty charge
  • An ATM charge which is applied when you withdraw money
  • A non-use fee may be applied if you do not use your card for a certain period of time.

A non-use fee may be applied if you do not use your card for a certain period of time.

In general, no credit checks apply to prepaid credit cards as you’re not getting access to any credit – you’re only spending money that’s already been loaded onto your card.

However there may be limits to the amount of money you can load onto your card and for anti-money laundering reasons, you may have to provide proof of address and identity once you go above a certain amount.

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A prepaid credit card can be a great financial tool. Bankrate explains what it is.

What is a prepaid credit card?

A prepaid credit card is a type of credit card with a credit limit based on the account holder’s deposit. It works like a regular credit card, but instead of buying items through credit, account holders spend money that they have already loaded onto the card.

Deeper definition

Prepaid credit cards resemble standard credit cards, but they work like a debit card. Users have to front-load the card first before they can use it for purchases. Banks and other financial institutions issue the cards with the logos of major credit card companies, such as MasterCard, Visa or Discover. However, they sell the cards through independent companies.

Account holders do not have to worry about accruing debt or finance charges. What they have in their account is all they are able to spend. There is no due date or revolving balance to think about.

Since users are not borrowing money when they use a prepaid card, there are no finance charges or interest rates to consider. However, it doesn’t mean that using a prepaid credit card is free. Here are the common fees associated with prepaid credit cards.

  • Purchase and activation fees are one-time charges that can range from $0 to $30 or more.
  • Reloading fee is assessed for adding funds to the prepaid card account. It varies depending on the bank, from $0 to $5 or more per reload.
  • Monthly service, also called maintenance fee, can be as much as $9.95 per month, though some banks issuing prepaid credit cards don’t charge anything.
  • Declined transaction fee is charged if the user tries to make a purchase without sufficient funds in his account. Not all prepaid cards charge this fee, so look for one that doesn’t.
  • Transaction fees are charged for every transaction prepaid card users make, both online and over-the-counter. The same applies for withdrawals through ATMs. These will either be a percentage of what an individual withdraws, or a set charge.
  • Funds transfer fee is a fee charged for transferring funds to another account.
  • Inactivity fees are charged if an account is dormant for several months.

Prepaid credit card example

To open a secured line of credit, applicants should first look for a bank offering this service. Applicants may be required to pay an application fee and an annual fee. The amount that banks charge can vary widely, as do terms and conditions, so applicants should carefully research any prepaid credit card they are considering, along with the bank, and the contract.

Once approved, the user can often load or reload the card either through direct deposit, through the bank’s website, or simply with a banking agent in person, depending on the chosen card.

People with poor credit are often qualified for a prepaid credit card even when they may not get approved for a standard credit card. Thus, it is often used as a way of establishing positive credit. By making small charges regularly and paying them off every month, a borrower can show that he is financially responsible. In some cases, after several years of making regular payments, a secured account can be converted to an unsecured one.

While it looks like a credit card, an RBC Visa Prepaid Card is actually a prepaid/stored value card. Funds are loaded to the card and when purchases are made, the amounts are deducted from the card’s balance until it reaches $0. An RBC Visa Prepaid Card can be used to make purchases anywhere in the world where Visa cards are accepted (1) including online, by phone and at millions of retail locations worldwide.

The following provides important information related to the use of RBC Visa Prepaid Cards.

  • In-store purchases and split payments
  • Hotel, car rental or cruise line transactions
  • Restaurant or salon transactions
  • Fuel purchases
  • Merchandise returns and credit vouchers
  • Online and telephone purchases
  • Using your cards outside of Canada
  • Security and protection
  • Lost/stolen cards

You are on: In-store purchases and split payments

In-store purchases and split payments

To make a purchase that is greater than the balance on the card, let the merchant know in advance that you will be splitting the payment (some merchants may not accept multiple forms of payment). Advise the merchant of the amount available on the card and use a second form of payment – credit card, debit card, cash or cheque – to cover the difference. You will need to know your available balance because merchants cannot check it for you.

For balances and other inquiries visit or call toll-free 1-855-228-8885.

You are on: Hotel, car rental or cruise line transactions

Hotel, car rental or cruise line transactions

Hotels, car rental agencies or cruise lines will hold funds until the end of your trip upon making a reservation. While the funds are being held, you will be unable to use them until they are released back onto your card. These holds are normal practice, and it can take some time for them to be cleared. We recommend that you do NOT use your card for these types of bookings in order to ensure that you have your full balance available to you for other purchases.

You are on: Restaurant or salon transactions

Restaurant or salon transactions

To ensure there are sufficient funds available on the card, certain merchants require that a hold be placed on funds (up to an additional 20%) in advance of providing the goods or services. Examples include restaurants, salons or other services that could require a tip or extra charge. This is normal practice for merchants accepting credit or prepaid cards. Because these holds take some time to clear, we recommend that you do NOT use your card in these situations to ensure that you have your full balance available to you for other purchases.

You are on: Fuel purchases

Fuel purchases

Difficulties may be encountered when using RBC Visa Prepaid Cards to pay for fuel at “pay at the pump” kiosks. We recommend that you take your card inside the gas station and pay the cashier.

You are on: Merchandise returns and credit vouchers

Merchandise returns and credit vouchers

For merchandise returns, deal directly with merchants. Be sure to keep your card and purchase receipts, even after the balance is depleted, as you may be asked to present them in order to process the return. If the merchant’s policy is to credit the card used for purchases (rather than provide you with cash or a store credit), the available balance on your card will be increased by the amount of the refund within two to three days of the return.

You are on: Online and telephone purchases

Online and telephone purchases

Cards can be used for online and telephone purchases. However, some online and telephone retailers will only allow purchases to be made with registered cards (cards that have a name and address associated with them). Register your card at .

Cards cannot be used for certain types of transactions including those connected to Internet gambling.

You are on: Using your cards outside of Canada

Using your RBC Visa Prepaid Card outside of Canada

RBC Visa Prepaid Cards can be used to make purchases outside of Canada but they do not include Chip technology. Some merchants may not be familiar with these this type of card so it is recommended that you have another form of payment (credit card, debit card, cash or traveler’s cheques) available when making purchases, to avoid potential processing problems or delays.

If cards or card numbers are used outside of Canada or if amounts are charged to cards in a foreign currency, transactions are converted to Canadian dollars no later than the date we post the transaction to your Prepaid Card account at an exchange rate that is 2.5% over a benchmark rate Royal Bank of Canada pays the payment card company on the date of conversion. We will show the exchange rate for each transaction on the transaction history.

You are on: Security and protection

Security and protection

RBC Visa Prepaid Cards work like cash, but are much safer with added security and protection. This includes protection against unauthorized use, provided you take reasonable precautions to protect the card, as set out in their agreement. In addition, registered cards can be replaced if lost or stolen.

You are on: Lost/stolen cards

Lost/stolen cards

RBC Visa Prepaid Cards can be replaced if lost or stolen provided they have been registered. To report your card as lost or stolen, please call toll-free 1-855-228-8885 . A replacement fee may be charged. Please refer to your agreement for full details including applicable fees.

1) RBC Visa Prepaid Cards are issued by Royal Bank of Canada and may be used to make purchases anywhere in the world where Visa cards are accepted. Use of cards by recipients is governed by the terms and conditions of the agreement provided with the card. Standard cards cannot be used to withdraw cash at an ATM or to receive any other cash withdrawal or make financial payments at a financial institution. Refer to your agreement for full details.

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Use your Oregon State Credit Union Prepaid Visa ® card anywhere Visa is accepted.

Purchase a card — Visit a branch or call 800-732-0173.

Enjoy the benefits of a Prepaid Visa card

Travel — A Prepaid Visa card is safer than cash. It’s especially useful when traveling internationally since regular ATM/debit/credit card transactions may be blocked in some countries due to heightened fraud alerts.

Budgeting — Use a prepaid card with a preset spending limit as a budgeting tool.

Teens and college students — Load a prepaid card for your child to pay for expenses at home or school. Young people will have the convenience of paying with plastic without the danger of credit card debt.

Features of Prepaid Visa card

Load a Prepaid Visa card with $10 – $2,000.

Use it for point of sale transactions and ATM access worldwide.

Enjoy peace of mind with the security of a card that is protected with a PIN and signature.

Reload up to 30 times during the card term at any branch, online or by calling 800-732-0173.

Check your balances online or by phone.

Report lost or stolen cards by calling 866-906-4170.

Get a Prepaid Visa card

  • Visit a branch or call 800-732-0173.

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Accessibility assistance: If you have difficulty accessing or using any portion or function of our online or mobile channels, please call us at 800-732-0173 or email us. We will work with you to provide the information, item, or transaction you seek in a manner that we believe is accessible for you, as we are able.

Oregon State Credit Union
PO Box 306 Corvallis, OR 97339
Phone: 800-732-0173 | Routing number #323274270 | NMLS #472475

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Dear customer, Kindly note that sending funds to Jordan using NBK Direct Remit will be disabled effective 25 April 2022.

Important Announcement

Dear Customers, On the occasion of the Eid Al Fitr, National Bank of Kuwait will be closed from Sunday 1 May until Wednesday 4 May 2022. Aiming to answer your banking needs, we welcome you on Thursday 5 May 2022 at our operating branches: NBK Headquarters, Sharq, Cinema Al Salmiya, The Avenues, Grand Plaza-The Avenues, Ahmadi, Mubarak Al-Kabeer, Saad Al-Abdullah, Al-Khairan, and Kuwait International Airport branches, in addition to the ITM service at the Avenues & T4 Airport branches. Duty will resume in all departments and branches on Sunday 8 May 2022. For more details, please contact us via NBK Call Center or NBK WhatsApp on 1801801 or on our NBK Social Media channels. NBK wishes you a happy Eid.

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Most prepaid cards can be used to shop at a variety of retail locations and online.

Most prepaid cards have a network logo (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover) and can be used anywhere that brand is accepted. Some examples include grocery stores, department stores, gas stations, hotels, and for online shopping.

Prepaid cards can also usually be used for purchases over the phone. Some prepaid cards can also be used at ATMs or for person-to-person transfers, though you may be required to register your card first.

Check the cardholder agreement for your prepaid card to learn about its features and if there are any restrictions. You should usually be able to find a copy of the agreement on your prepaid card provider’s website, and you can request a copy from the provider if it is not there.

Don’t see what you’re looking for?

Browse related questions

  • How do I shop for and buy a prepaid card?
  • Learn more about prepaid cards

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We’re the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

Legal disclaimer

The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.

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How to use a prepaid credit card


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PayPal Business accounts can use both bank accounts and cards as payment methods. Credit and debit cards are the types of cards most often used with PayPal, but prepaid credit cards can also be used. With PayPal and any merchant you pay with PayPal, payments made with a prepaid credit card will appear as if they were paid with a standard credit card. The ability to use a prepaid credit card can be very useful, especially if you don’t want to expose your business credit card to PayPal.

Log in to your Business PayPal account and open the “Profile” tab in the menu bar.

Select the “My Money” option from the Profile page and click the “Update” button in the “Debit and Credit Cards” section.

Click the “Add a Card” button and type in your prepaid credit card details. Click the “Add Card” button when done to add your prepaid card to your Business PayPal account. To use the prepaid card, select it as your payment method from the drop-down list when you go to pay for an item.

Daniel Hatter began writing professionally in 2008. His writing focuses on topics in computers, Web design, software development and technology. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in media and game development and information technology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

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‘Credit cards are almost a necessary tool,’ says personal finance mentor

Ellie Clin uses a Wealthsimple Cash prepaid Visa to pay for gifts, takeout, groceries, entertainment and other non-essential expenses and saves her bank’s Visa card for larger purchases and monthly bills.

“I’ve never been good at formal budgeting with spreadsheets and receipts. When I was using my main bank account for personal and entertainment spending, I found there were some months where I’d go to pay my Visa bill and gulp because I knew I had overspent,” said Clin, a 35-year-old program director in Kitchener, Ont.

“I like being able to just look at the balance in my Cash account and have a simple yes or no answer to whether or not I can afford something at the moment.”

Rapid growth predicted

Clin isn’t alone: The prepaid credit card market in Canada is expected to see rapid growth in the new few years.

According to an October 2021 study commissioned by the Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization (CPPO), the number of open-loop prepaid accounts in Canada is expected to double to 93 million accounts by 2025. Open-loop prepaid cards are prepaid cards that can generally be used anywhere those cards are accepted. Closed-loop cards, on the other hand, typically only work with one company.

Prepaid credit cards, which allow users to load a set amount of money onto the card, can be beneficial for people who struggle with impulsive or emotional shopping and need more structure, said Liz Enriquez, a personal finance mentor for Canadian millennials at Ambitious Adulting in Hamilton, Ont.

“There are some people who recognize that they’re just not good with credit cards, but they want to be better at their personal finances.”

While people have traditionally been advised to cut up credit cards for overspending, it’s harder to do so nowadays when so much spending happens online, especially during the pandemic, Enriquez said.

“Credit cards are almost a necessary tool, especially for younger generations who grew up not using cash as much.

“For people looking to become debt-free, or avoid going into debt, the set limit of a prepaid credit card can help with self-discipline,” she said.

Mindset shift

While revolving credit cards only require a minimum payment each month, prepaid cards create a mindset shift because you’re only working with money that you actually have, which creates a forced spending or budgeting plan.

That’s also why some prefer prepaid credit cards over debit cards — it puts a strict limit on how much you can spend on certain spending categories that the card is intended to pay for. And, spenders don’t risk accidentally dipping into money meant for rent, bills or other expenses.

Additionally, prepaid cards are helpful for Canadians who have bad credit and aren’t eligible for traditional credit cards, Enriquez said. Since prepaid cards don’t require a credit check, they can be used like a typical credit card to online shop, book hotels and more.

Comes with restrictions

One thing to watch for, however, is that many — but not all — prepaid cards can include fees, such as for annual dues, account inactivity, certain ATM use, card replacement and foreign exchange.

Enriquez said fees shouldn’t be a deterrent, however, since many credit cards also charge fees.

“You just have to pick and choose what you want,” she said.

For Clin, the main disadvantage to her prepaid card is that there’s a limit to how much money she can transfer at a time and store on the account.

“Wealthsimple’s instant deposit feature means I don’t have to wait for the funds to fully transfer from my bank account before I’m able to use them, but it’s a limited amount,” Clin said.

“One time when I tried to add more than the instant deposit amount imposed by Wealthsimple, it took more than five business days to appear on my Cash card but [all the money had] been withdrawn from my bank account and I had no access to those funds for over a week. So it takes some financial agility and enough cash flow to have the patience to move your money around.”

This limits the number of large payments she can use the prepaid card for, Clin adds.

Despite its limitations, Clin said the benefit of having a separate account for personal and entertainment expenses is still worth it, given her aversion to stricter budgeting.

“In a way, the limit on that instant deposit feature is a really simple way to limit my personal and entertainment spending overall, since it means I’ll give appropriate pause and think over any larger purchases and whether I really have the funds to cover them.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2022.

Free Card available online or in the SWIRL App. Accepted in over 30 million locations worldwide, in store and online, wherever you see the Mastercard logo. Make secure payments and instant transfers to family & friends. The safest way to pay.

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NEW! – SWIRL Virtual

Make secure payments conveniently with SWIRL Virtual Cards

SWIRL Virtual is a prepaid virtual card available in Euro, US Dollar and Pound Sterling. It’s designed to offer you the same functionalities of your physical SWIRL card, but it’s completely virtual. This means that you can use it to shop securely online with added convenience and peace of mind.

Whether you want to protect your main account, pay in dollars or sterling, manage your spending or just don’t have your physical card details with you, SWIRL Virtual is the perfect payment card. It’s available exclusively in the SWIRL App and is ready to use instantly once your account has been set up.

Card Security—With Visa’s Zero Liability policy, the liability for unauthorized transactions is $0—you pay nothing¹. All cards also offer EMV chip technology including up to two secondary cards.

Convenient Cash Access—MemberPay offers a large fee-free² ATM network in the U.S. and 24-hour access to cash in local currencies at ATMs abroad subject to foreign transaction fee.

Multiple Reload Methods—Add money in person, online or on mobile app ³ with several reload options at no cost ² . See Cardholder Agreement for pricing.

  • Through Direct deposit
  • Online or with the MetaWallet mobile app ³ by ACH bank transfer, debit/credit card or check
  • At participating AAA locations
  • At third-party networks accepting cash reloads (MoneyGram ® , Western Union ® , Green Dot ® or Visa ® ReadyLink locations)

Personalized Cards—Primary cardholders automatically receive a personalized card after the first card reload; personalized secondary cards are also available.

Visit your local AAA to purchase a card.

Savvy travel money option

  • Emergency cash and card replacement as well as lost luggage reimbursement
  • Worldwide Visa acceptance, plus ATM access

Smart online payments

  • Secure way to use online without concern of primary financial account information being compromised.
  • Built-in budgeting because you set the amount available to spend, but can easily add more funds when needed

Easy method to share funds

  • Quick reload options to get dependents money whether they are at home or away
  • Account monitoring with an easy mobile app² that can manage multiple cards at a glance
  • Up to two companion cards per primary account are available; cards must be purchased at time of primary account opening and are not sold online

Simple budgeting tool

  • Spend tracking to set goals and monitor your progress
  • Modern approach to envelope budgeting for specific expenses, and a way to save money over time

Anywhere, anytime access

How to use a prepaid credit card

Account management at your fingertips

Account management at your fingertips

Easy signup and sign-in—Use your device camera to capture your card information for fast signup, and eliminate sign-in hassles by using fingerprint authentication.

Simple, time-saving and comprehensive—See balances, transactions, and deposits when they are available.

Know your balance—For those unexpected purchases or payments, view your current balance without having to sign in to the app.

Stay on top of your money—Get text or email alerts 3 for low balance, verified transactions, and when funds are loaded.

Reload funds quickly—Find reload locations to add cash to your card, get your direct deposit information, or load a check 4 right in the app.

The MetaWallet app is a free download 3 for iPhone and Android.

The MetaWallet app is a free download 2 for iPhone and Android.

For fees and other information view the Cardholder Agreement and Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. Visa’s Zero Liability policy covers U.S.-issued cards only and does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholder must notify issuer promptly of unauthorized use. Consult issuer for additional details or visit
  2. While this feature is available for free, certain other transaction fees and costs, terms, and conditions are associated with the use of this card. See Cardholder Agreement for more details.
  3. Standard text message rates, fees, charges, and other third-party fees may apply.
  4. Ingo Money is a service provided by Ingo Money, Inc. and First Century Bank, National Association, Member FDIC, subject to Ingo Money and First Century Bank Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. Approval review usually takes 3-5 minutes, but may take up to one hour. All checks are subject to approval for funding in Ingo Money’s sole discretion. Unapproved checks will not be loaded to your card. Ingo Money reserves the right to recover funds from bad checks if you knew the check was bad when you submitted it, if you attempt to cash or deposit it elsewhere after funding or if you otherwise act illegally or fraudulently. Fees may apply for loading or use of your card. See your Cardholder Agreement for details. Message and data rates may apply.

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Read about the cards you can accept when you use Square.

Square works with any US-issued and most internationally-issued magstripe or chip cards bearing a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, or UnionPay logo. The following card types are accepted:

Debit (processed like credit)

The Square Point of Sale app processes all card types with the same standard rates.

Accept Prepaid Cards

Square can process prepaid cards bearing any of the logos above at our standard processing fees. Any remaining balance from prepaid cards will display on the receipt.

Note: When manually entering a prepaid card, check that your customer has registered the card with a billing address and zip/postal code, which can be done by contacting the card issuer. Information on how to register the card may also be available on the back of the card.

Accept International Cards

Square can process most internationally-issued cards bearing any of the logos above via manual entry, by swiping a card, dipping a chip card, or tapping a contactless card.

Please note: If your customer or a payment card isn’t present, you can manually enter your customers’ card information.
To manually process an international card, enter the card number, expiration date, CVV, and postal or ZIP code.

Keep the following in mind when processing international cards:

To switch between numbers and letters on your device:

iOS: Tap ABC or 123 at the lower left of the screen

Android: Tap the keyboard icon to the right of the payment card field

If you experience issues processing an internationally-issued card, have the cardholder contact their issuer.

Cardholders may be charged for currency conversion by their card issuer since payments must be processed in your country’s official currency.

You must be located in the country where you activated your Square account to process payments.

Square can also process payments from your international customers via Invoices or eCommerce solutions.

Square Invoices are a great way to bill your customers without having to worry about entering in your customer’s payment card information. However, this gives you less visibility into how your customer is paying, the following general best practices may help.

Online store payments accepted using Square’s eCommerce solutions may originate from international customers. However, it’s also important to take additional precautions on these types of orders to help prevent fraud and disputes.

Accept HSA and FSA Cards

Licensed health care providers and pharmacies can process Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) cards with Square.

If you are a healthcare provider and you selected the Medical Practitioner, Medical Services, or Dentistry business category during the signup process, you should have no trouble accepting HSA or FSA cards. If you believe your business category needs to be updated, contact us.

Note: Daycare centers and childcare services are unable to accept HSA and FSA cards through Square at this time.

Accept EDD Cards

Square can process Employment Development Department (EDD) Debit Cards at our standard processing rate. We currently don’t support Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards.

Accept Government and Military Cards

We cannot guarantee approval of government or military cards as approval is dependent on each card issuer.

Prepaid Visa cards are a great option for gifts, teens, traveling, budgets, and more.

With a Freedom Bank prepaid Visa cards you can load with money to use everywhere Visa is accepted. You can use it as a gift card, pay bills, shop online or in person, receive a direct deposit, and more. No credit check or bank account needed – simply sign up, add money, and start using it. Feel secure with a Visa Prepaid card.

To get a prepaid Visa card, visit Freedom Bank today. See all prepaid Visa card options below.

Freedom Bank Gift Card

Give the perfect gift. Need to gift a specific amount? Load it on the gift card and you are all set. We make it easy.

  • Easy to use: Just load and go.
  • Fully transferable: Buy and give.
  • Choose from a number of gift card designs.
  • Purchase fee: $4.75 customers / $5.75 non-customers.

Travel Card

Your worry-free travel companion. Take this card on your next travel adventure.

  • Accepted internationally‡. ‡Certain countries are exempt. Ask a teller for details
  • Emergency card and cash replacement.
  • Direct deposit allows you to save for that special trip.
  • Get cash at participating ATMs and retailers.
  • Companion Card available.
  • Purchase fee: $6.75.

Reloadable Card

When you need simplicity and flexibility. You can load your card with direct deposits, payroll checks, and more. This card gives you convenience without commitment.

  • No credit check required.
  • Better than check cashing: load your payroll, government and other checks.
  • Payroll direct deposit available.
  • Pay your bills online.
  • Get cash at participating ATMs and retailers.
  • Purchase fee: $6.75.

The above cards may be subject to a minimum load amount of $20 and a maximum of $3,000. Additionally there may be a reload fee for a prepaid Visa card of $3.

Insights Money Laundering Using Prepaid Cards

Money Laundering Using Prepaid Cards

How to use a prepaid credit cardAlthough prepaid credit cards have been available since the 1990s, their popularity grew significantly in the late 2000s and continued to do so over the following decade. By 2022, research suggests that the global prepaid card market will be worth $3.1 trillion. While prepaid cards are popular with consumers and service providers because of their convenience and availability, those benefits also present opportunities for criminals seeking to exploit the anonymity associated with their use to perpetrate fraud and money laundering.

To protect financial systems and ensure legislative compliance, banks and financial institutions must be aware of the money laundering risks posed by prepaid cards and how to address that risk in their AML/CFT compliance solution .

What are prepaid cards?

Prepaid cards are stores of value that can be used to pay for goods and services as part of existing card payment processing networks. Issued by banks and other financial services firms, prepaid cards can be pre-loaded and reloaded with funds and can be purchased on behalf of others. Unlike credit and debit cards, prepaid cards do not require an evaluation of the cardholder’s creditworthiness or the existence of a payment account. Some prepaid cards can be used to withdraw money from ATMs.

There are two types of prepaid card:

  • Closed: Also known as non-reloadable or closed-loop, closed prepaid cards are typically issued as gift cards. This category of prepaid card restricts purchases to a single merchant or to a small network of merchants and may not be used to access ATM networks.
  • Open: Also known as reloadable or open-loop, open prepaid cards are issued as real, payment network-branded cards and linked to an account containing preloaded funds. Open prepaid cards can be used for transactions with any merchant or provider linked to their payment network.

Prepaid Cards as a Tool for Money Laundering

The accessibility and availability of prepaid cards mean that criminals can purchase them from numerous outlets and use them to both move and transform illegal funds. Prepaid cards can be used at the placement, layering and integration stages of money laundering:

Placement: Criminals may, for example, use their illegal funds to purchase large numbers of prepaid cards and then introduce their stored value into the legitimate financial system or transport the cards overseas to avoid the scrutiny of authorities. The criminals may even hire money mules to purchase and transport the cards for them.

Layering: Funds stored on prepaid cards can be spent on or redeemed for merchandise (such as computers or other high-value electronics) that is then resold or transported abroad. Criminals may also use prepaid cards as currency, reselling them to beneficiaries meaning that layering AML needs to be considered.

Integration: Criminals may use prepaid cards themselves as a form of payment for legitimate goods and services, such as component chemicals for drug manufacturing, real estate deals or life insurance products.

The specific AML/CFT risks associated with prepaid cards, and that make them such a popular tool for money launderers, include:

  • Anonymity: Prepaid cards can be purchased without the same customer due diligence (CDD) identification and verification measures associated with other payment cards.
  • Global reach: Many open prepaid cards can be used on global payment networks and so enable money laundering across borders by facilitating funding in one country and cash withdrawals in another.
  • Portability and transport: Prepaid cards physically resemble normal credit cards and can be transported discreetly in many environments as an alternative to large volumes of cash.
  • Funding methods: The origin of funds loaded onto prepaid cards, and their transaction history, can be obscured. Funds may be loaded onto open cards via a variety of services, including phone and online mediums.

Service complexity: The large number of service providers involved in the prepaid card industry makes AML/CFT efforts administratively challenging. Typically, the provision of a prepaid card involves a program manager, issuer, acquirer, payment network, distributor and vendor.

ML/CFT Responses to Money Laundering Using Prepaid Cards

The money laundering risks of prepaid cards mean that financial institutions must be vigilant for specific red flag indicators and ensure their customer due diligence mechanisms are able to spot potential criminal activities. Red flag indicators of money laundering using prepaid cards include:

  • Clients attempting to obstruct CDD processes or asking suspicious questions about their prepaid cards.
  • Customers purchasing large volumes of prepaid cards or making an unusually large number of prepaid card transactions not commensurate with stated business activities.
  • Individual customers holding several prepaid card accounts with a single provider.
  • Frequent cash loading onto prepaid cards by a third party rather than the cardholder.
  • Patterns of cash loading in amounts just under reporting thresholds. In the United States, for example, the reporting threshold is $10,000.
  • Funds transferred out of prepaid card accounts immediately after loading.
  • Withdrawal of funds at different ATMs, often in different countries.
  • Unusual purchasing patterns: for example, a customer paying for a high-value item (such as a laptop) with several prepaid cards.
  • Prepaid cards being sent to recipients through the mail or being discovered on travellers who have an inconsistent connection to stated business activities.
  • Prepaid card accounts used only for cash withdrawals rather than purchases.

Many jurisdictions are tightening their prepaid card AML/CFT regulations in response to money laundering risks. In the EU, for example, the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive lowered the transaction limit on prepaid cards and prohibited the use of cards issued in high-risk countries. From a practical perspective, firms may consider a range of measures to manage and control their prepaid card risk, including:

  • Limits on funding, purchasing and reloading
  • Spending limits
  • Stricter controls on cash access
  • Geographical constraints

Given the risks, firms should review their customer due diligence and transaction monitoring solutions to ensure they are operating in compliance with relevant AML/CFT legislation and are able to detect and report money laundering using prepaid cards accurately and efficiently.

Reduce Risk from Money Laundering Using Prepaid Cards

An effective AML solution should deal with risk quickly and help you stay in control of regulations.

What do the TD Connect Card changes mean for me?

How to use a prepaid credit card

As of October 15, 2021:

  • You are no longer able to use your card
  • If you had any remaining funds on your card, your balance was refunded to the TD Bank Debit Card linked to your account by October 27 th . If there is no card linked, a check will be mailed to you (check refunds can take up to 30 days)

Manage your TD Connect Card

Explore our new account: TD Essential Banking

Compare all our checking accounts and choose the one that meets your needs and your budget with the perks you want.

Important Disclosures

1 If you are under the age of 18, you must open a joint account with a parent or legal guardian as the secondary owner. For the TD Essential Banking account the maintenance fee is waived if the Primary account holder is 13 through 17 years of age. Upon the primary account holder’s 18th birthday the account will be subject to the monthly maintenance fee. Please see the Personal Account Maintenance Information Grid for additional details.

† By clicking on this link you are leaving our website and entering a third-party website over which we have no control.

Neither TD Bank US Holding Company, nor its subsidiaries or affiliates, is responsible for the content of third-party sites hyper-linked from this page, nor do they guarantee or endorse the information, recommendations, products or services offered on third-party sites.

Third-party sites may have different Privacy and Security policies than TD Bank US Holding Company. You should review the Privacy and Security policies of any third-party website before you provide personal or confidential information.

1 If you are under the age of 18, you must open a joint account with a parent or legal guardian as the secondary owner. For the TD Essential Banking account the maintenance fee is waived if the Primary account holder is 13 through 17 years of age. Upon the primary account holder’s 18th birthday the account will be subject to the monthly maintenance fee. Please see the Personal Account Maintenance Information Grid for additional details.

† By clicking on this link you are leaving our website and entering a third-party website over which we have no control.

Neither TD Bank US Holding Company, nor its subsidiaries or affiliates, is responsible for the content of third-party sites hyper-linked from this page, nor do they guarantee or endorse the information, recommendations, products or services offered on third-party sites.

Third-party sites may have different Privacy and Security policies than TD Bank US Holding Company. You should review the Privacy and Security policies of any third-party website before you provide personal or confidential information.

1300 181 032 [email protected]



Petty Cash Card

Christmas Cards

Generic or custom cards

Get It Quick

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  • Case Studies
  • What our clients say about us
  • How Clients Use Prepaid Cards
  • Christmas Gift Cards The Ideal Gift
  • News & Views
  • What are cashbacks
  • Corporate Wearables
  • Virtual Prepaid Mastercard
  • Zero Balance
  • Get It Quick
  • Digital Prepaid Mastercard®
  • Contact Us
  • About us



Petty Cash Card

Christmas Cards

Generic or custom cards

Get It Quick

Tap & Pay

  • Case Studies
  • What our clients say about us
  • How Clients Use Prepaid Cards
  • Christmas Gift Cards The Ideal Gift
  • News & Views
  • What are cashbacks
  • Corporate Wearables
  • Virtual Prepaid Mastercard
  • Zero Balance
  • Get It Quick
  • Digital Prepaid Mastercard®
  • Contact Us
  • About us

1300 181 032 [email protected]

Q. How does the Corporate Prepaid Cards Work?

The Corporate Prepaid Cards is a prepaid or stored-value card that carries a certain amount of spending power. Each time the card is used to make a purchase, the purchase amount is deducted from the card’s available balance. Singleload cards cannot be reloaded with more spending power.

Q. How do I activate a card? Why do I have to do this?

To activate a Plastic Card, please visit and enter the proxy number (PN number on the back of your card), your 4-digit code which is enclosed in the letter you received with your card and the 3-digit CVV on the back of the card.

To activate a Virtual Card (email delivered), please click on the ACTIVATE NOW button in the email you received with your card and enter the 16 digit card proxy number and your 4-digit code which are in the first email you received with your card and the 3-digit CVV, which for security purposes, arrives in a second email.

To activate a Digital Prepaid Card, follow the instructions and use the link provided in your SMS message to:
1. Open the Universal Gift Card app and enter your mobile number and activation code.
2. Tap “Add to Wallet” to add to your preferred phone wallet.
It’s that simple! Your Digital Mastercard will be added to your Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay wallet, ready to Tap and Pay and/or use online.

Q. Does the card have an expiry date?

Yes. It will expire at the end of the month shown on the front of the card. This means that most cards have a life of about 12 months. Whatever value is left on the card after its expiry will not be available to you. We encourage you to use your card before it expires.

Q. What should I do if my card is lost or stolen or damaged?

Phone 1800 174 239 immediately to report a stolen card, so we can stop any subsequent transactions from being authorised. If the balance on the card exceeds $15 at the time you report its loss, you may order a replacement card, which will be loaded with the balance of the lost / stolen / damaged card at the time its loss was reported, less an administration fee of $15.

Q. Where can the card be used? where is it not accepted?

Corporate Prepaid Cardss can be spent in about 500,000 stores in Australia or 25 million stores overseas or for internet purchases — wherever Visa Prepaid Cards are accepted, provided the merchant can process it electronically.

Q. Are there any transactions for which the card cannot be used?

The card can not be used for mail or telephone orders, and we suggest it not be used at automated fuel bowsers.

Q. Are there any fees for using the card or checking the balance?

For single load Prepaid Visa Gift Cards there are no hidden costs:

No monthly account fees
No inactive card fees
No fee to activate the card online or over the phone

There may be a small fee to access your balance over the phone
If you use a Corporate Prepaid Cards overseas, a foreign currency conversion fee of 3% of the transaction value will apply

Q. Can I use the card to get cash from an ATM?

Only reloadable Visa Cards can be used at ATM’s

Q. What if the value of the purchase I want to make is greater than the value / balance on the card?

You will need to supplement the spending power on the card with cash or other payment method accepted by the merchant.

Q. Why might a proposed transaction using Corporate Prepaid Cards be declined?

There are several possibilities:

1. Your card has not been activated
2. The amount of the purchase exceeds the available balance. (Please refer to the following two questions and answers too.)
3. Your card has expired
4. Your card has been reported lost or stolen or has been suspended
5. Reserved funds have not yet been released
6. The signature panel on the back of the card has not been signed, or your signature on the purchase receipt does not match the signature on the back of the card

Any questions about your prepaid card? We will be happy to help you further.

Any questions about your prepaid card? We will be happy to help you further.

Did you know that you can do more with your prepaid card than you think? Find out more about the best way to use your card and what you stand to gain.

What are the benefits of my prepaid card?

Pay worldwide, including online

How to use a prepaid credit card

You can use your KBC Brussels Prepaid Card to make payments worldwide and online.

However, there are two conditions

  1. There must be enough money on your card
  2. The balance on your card must be verifiable online

This is why you can’t use your prepaid card to pay at:

  • toll plazas
  • car parking facilities
  • vending machines
  • tax-free shops
  • in-flight shopping services

Can I use my prepaid card to pay at filling stations?

How to use a prepaid credit card

If you want to be able to use your prepaid card to pay outside at the pump at a filling station, you’ll need to make sure that there’s at least 125 euros on it. This is usually the amount filling stations hold as a reserve on your card (though it can be more than that). It comes off the available balance on your card even before you’ve finished filling up and the exact amount is known. The actual cost of your fill-up will be charged to your card a couple of days afterwards, when the reserve on your card is released.

Pay abroad

Going abroad on holidays and want to use your card while you’re away? You can use KBC Brussels Touch or KBC Brussels Mobile to set where your prepaid card can be used as standard. You can activate it for use just in Europe or worldwide (including or excluding the US).

How do I activate my prepaid card for use abroad?

On your desktop or tablet

1. Log in to KBC Brussels Touch
2. Go to ‘Payments’
3. Tap or click ‘. More’ at the top right
4. Select ‘Credit cards’
5. Select the card to be activated
6. Tap or click ‘Manage card’
7. Select where you want to use your card under ‘Standard region’
8. Or select ‘Temporary exception’ to make your card temporarily usable in another region

On your smartphone

1. Log in to KBC Brussels Mobile.
2. Tap ‘My KBC’
3. Select your prepaid card under ‘Means of payment’
4. Tap the three dots at the top right
5. Tap ‘Settings’
6. Tap ‘International card use’
7. Select where you want to use your card under ‘Standard region’.
8. Or select ‘Temporary exception’ to make your card temporarily usable in another region.

How much does it cost to withdraw cash and make payments abroad?

How to use a prepaid credit card

Withdrawing cash and paying abroad with your prepaid card can sometimes attract charges.

How to use a prepaid credit card

A prepaid card works similarly to a gift card, but it’s one that you can reload with cash.

Even though it can be used to pay bills, rent, book a hotel or a car, and buy products online, it’s more of a debit card than a credit card because users are unable to spend more than what’s on it.

It’s also perfect for travelers who don’t want to carry a lot of cash on them.

Quick answer: Most prepaid cards cannot be loaded with a credit card. However, you can use a credit card advance to load a prepaid card — not recommended because of the fees and higher interest rates involved.

How Prepaid Cards Work

When you use a prepaid card, you’re using your own money instead of borrowing money from the bank, like you do with a credit card.

What makes them different is that you don’t need a bank account to use a prepaid card. You can load money directly onto it before making purchases.

Once you have no more money left on it, you simply reload it.

Most major card networks — including Visa, American Express, Discover, and MasterCard — offer prepaid cards.

Therefore, they can be used anywhere debit cards can, like at the grocery store, gas station, and even for bills.

Prepaid cards are used as an alternative to banks. Many people in the U.S. don’t have checking accounts. Instead, they use prepaid cards to make card-based purchases more convenient.

Prepaid cards have account numbers and routing numbers, so users can have paychecks deposited directly into the card, just like they would with a checking account.

Unlike credit cards, no credit is required or built with a prepaid card. They were originally created for people with poor or no credit history.

They are still a great option for anyone with credit issues because it’s impossible to spend more than what’s on the card.

Prepaid cards expire when the money on them runs out. Additionally, there’s no credit check required when signing up for a prepaid card.

If your goal is to build credit, however, it’s best to consider a secured card like the .

Reasons to Use a Prepaid Card

The most common reasons people get prepaid cards are to avoid overdraft fees, to control spending, to control credit card debt, and to make purchases with merchants that don’t accept cash.

However, many people use prepaid cards to collect points and rewards too.

Like any other financial decision, it’s best to do your research before getting a prepaid card. Some charge extra for customer service, and most have fees for activating the card, balance inquiries, using the ATM, reloading money and more.

Figure out what a prepaid card will cost you before making a decision.

Common Methods of Reloading a Prepaid Card

Buying a reload card, kind of like buying a minutes card for a cell phone, is a popular method of reloading a prepaid card.

Direct Deposit

Reloading money by setting up a direct deposit from a bank account is one way to get around monthly fees depending on the card. One can even collect cash bonuses when they sign up if they initially deposit a specific amount.

Most of the time, people set up direct deposits from their paycheck, a government benefits check or a cash refund.

The option to set up direct deposits on a prepaid card is available when you sign up for one on the website of a card network. This also allows people to monitor their direct deposits and activity online.

Reload Networks in Retail

Common cards from major networks allow for alternative methods of loading funds through different reload networks. Some examples are MoneyGram, Western Union, Green Dot, and Visa ReadyLink.

These financial service merchants are usually found in gas stations and convenience stores and they offer to reload services for a fee. Other retail reload networks are ACE Express, PayZone, ReloadIT, PreCash, and CashPass.

Transfer from a bank account

Most prepaid cards allow for transfers from a bank account directly onto the card, which can be set up online.

Some cards will also accept checks, wire transfers or money orders. However, not all cards offer the ability to transfer cash from an existing bank account.

Reloading a Prepaid Card With a Credit Card

These days, many cards only allow transfers from the methods mentioned above. However, there are still ways to use a credit card for reloads.

Reloads with a credit card were accepted more often until prepaid cardholders started abusing this method to simply get more points and rewards.

It was a common method to hit credit card bonuses without actually buying anything. Now, reloading a prepaid card with a credit card is pretty rare.

One way is to use cash advance checks that come with a credit card. By making the check out in the card holder’s name, one can cash the check-in a retail store or check cashing center.

Some stores let people make a cash advance check out to the business, then a customer service representative can deposit the money directly onto the card.

That way, one can save money by not having to pay personal check cashing fees along with the fees to reload a prepaid card.

Another way to use a credit card to reload a prepaid card is by withdrawing cash directly from an ATM to reload onto a prepaid card.

However, getting a cash advance from your credit card comes with steep fees and even steeper interest rates. Only do this if you can pay back the balance on the credit card immediately to avoid falling into credit card debt.

Reloading with a credit card, in general, isn’t worth it. The fees and interest involved with taking out a cash advance from a credit card on top of all the fees for opening and reloading a prepaid card make it a very expensive method.

Fees vary between different types of cards and institutions, but when it comes to cash advances, they’re of the more expensive financial options.


Prepaid cards are best for people who are traveling and want to keep their cash safe or have poor credit or are recovering from debt and need to control their spending.

For those who don’t have a bank account or a checking account, they’re a great option for convenient spending because you can use them to pay for anything that a regular credit card can be used for.

Prepaid cards come with various methods of reloading and monitoring them, leaving one with plenty of options outside of a credit card to add money to the card.

Customize Your Prepaid Experience

Leveraging our patented technology you can curate a unique experience and direct spend to motivate specific behaviors. Choose one of our prebuilt filters or customize the filter to create your own experience. Offered in both physical and digital delivery formats.

The MAX Prepaid Card

Need a unique experience fast? Have a diverse audience? We have the perfect solution for you: The MAX Prepaid Card, which can be used at 150 popular stores, restaurants and more. Now available in digital format. Redeemable with those merchants online or whose locations accept mobile payments from Apple, Samsung or Google.

Be Unique. Customize Your Own Prepaid Card


Wherever the card goes, your branding goes with it! Customize prepaid cards with your own logo and artwork.

Single-Load and Reloadable Options

Reward participants with a single-use card or encourage them to keep your brand in their wallet with a reloadable card.

Five Back™

Recipients get 5% back on their cards when they use them at participating merchants. There are 70 merchants in the US and 20 in Canada.

Global Prepaid Cards

Business rewards across borders! Ship plastic prepaid cards to more than 40 countries, and digital cards go anywhere with an email address 2 .

Virtual Accounts

Speed up the incentive process by sending out electronic prepaid virtual accounts.

Visa® Prepaid Cards for Commercial Rebates

Make life easier—get a high-load card for commercial rebates in the name of a business, so multiple people can use the card.

ATM Access

Cardholders can hit up the ATM and pull out cash with many of our universal prepaid cards.


Activate prepaid cards however you want, including options to batch-activate, fund cards only when they’re activated, and data-capture at activation.

Looking to order cards now?

Giving Good™ Prepaid Mastercard®

When you send prepaid cards to your customers, employees, clients or sales channel teams, you want the recipients to feel excited and delighted. To amplify those great feelings, we’re introducing a donation opportunity with our new Giving Good Prepaid Mastercard incentive cards—the reward that gives back. Now, at no extra cost to you or your recipients, you can send prepaid cards that also support a great cause. It’s a feel-good choice, and here’s how it works:

  • Decide to support a leading non-profit organization by choosing a Giving Good Prepaid Mastercard option. There are five charitable partners to donate to: Feeding America®, Habitat for Humanity, Make-A-Wish®, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® or Wounded Warrior Project.®
  • Know that 3% of your cards’ value will be donated by Blackhawk Network to the organization indicated on the card.
  • Treat recipients to a curated spending experience at select popular brands—there are almost 100 merchants that accept these cards—for the full value you load on their cards.

Participating nonprofit organizations

Feeding America

Fighting to eliminate hunger in the United States.​

  • Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, comprised of 200 local food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, working together to connect people with food and end hunger.
  • Every dollar helps. *$1 helps to provide at least ten meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.

Habitat for Humanity

Building strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership.

  • Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. “We believe affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities.”
  • Every dollar helps. $3 helps buy 3 pounds of finish nails to put that finishing touch on a Habitat home.


Transform lives, one wish at a time.​

  • Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. As the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, Make-A-Wish serves every community in the US and 50 countries worldwide.
  • Every dollar helps. $26 per year provides a wish kid and family with a photo book to capture and preserve the memories of the wish experience.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Finding cures. Saving children. ® ​

  • At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital , families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food—because all they should worry about is helping their child live.
  • Every dollar counts. $3 helps provide pediatric isolation masks to help protect patients with compromised immune systems.

Wounded Warrior Project

Transforming the lives of our nation’s injured veterans and their families.​

  • Wounded Warrior Project transforms the lives of injured veterans and their families through services in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care—all at no cost to them.
  • Every dollar counts. $13 helps to provide a safe voice on the other end of the phone for a warrior in need.

*Participating merchants are subject to change.

100% of charitable donation, which is determined at the time of purchase, will be funded by Blackhawk Network, regardless of when the card is redeemed.
Blackhawk Network, Inc. will donate 3% of the purchase price of this card to the featured charity.
Campaign begins when cards are first sold and continues for as long as card are available for sale.

For a complete list of participating merchants, visit:

Prepaid card is issued in connection with loyalty, award or promotion program. Card terms, conditions and expiration apply.

How to use a prepaid credit card

Prepaid credit cards can certainly be convenient- allowing you to use them as a bank account for your child or as a debit card at a store for yourself. What’s more, you also aren’t required to have a background or credit check to get one. Yet although there are a few indisputable benefits for consumers who use prepaid cards, there are many hidden dangers, as well. Here are some of the biggest:

Find the right prepaid credit card for you.

Lack of Protection

When you use a prepaid credit card that isn’t attached to a bank account, you have no liability protection. To that end, if your card is stolen or lost, you have no way to cancel it and get the money back. Prepaid cards have no protections under the law, no matter how much money is loaded onto them.

Some credit card companies do offer protection, but it’s completely up to their discretion, and it isn’t mandatory. If they choose to follow some rules and not others, or if they choose not to follow any at all, they are not held accountable to the customer.

They Don’t Control Spending, You Do

It’s a mistake to use a prepaid credit card in the hopes that it might help you control your spending. While they can keep you from spending more money than you have in a way that a credit card won’t, they still facilitate spending. Rather than getting a prepaid card, it may be a good idea to try financial counseling and take a hard look at how you’re spending your money.

Check out now: Free checking accounts

It Doesn’t Help Build Credit

Prepaid credit cards are attractive to those who have a poor credit score or have had issues obtaining a bank account since they don’t require a credit check. Unfortunately a prepaid card will not help you build your credit. With a prepaid card you are spending your own money so you aren’t borrowing money from anyone else.

Costly Fees

If any of the above reasons weren’t enough to make you think twice, costly fees associated with prepaid cards might. If you do decide to get a prepaid card, it’s important to know what you’re paying for. The companies that issue the cards need to make money, and they may do so with a monthly fee or activation fee. Some may even charge you a fee if you don’t keep a minimum balance or make regular purchases. So you are paying to be able to spend your own money.

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6 Tips to Save Using the Most Popular Food Delivery Apps

Most people are interested in maintaining a good credit score and keeping their debts low. Rather than apply for an unsecured credit card, many consumers have chosen prepaid credit cards. Prepaid credit cards are beneficial because consumers can deposit money onto them, and don’t have to worry about accruing too much debt. Plus, prepaid credit cards can be used to withdraw funds from an automatic teller machine (ATM).

Order a PIN, or personal identification number. The majority of prepaid credit cards are issued with one. However, if you didn’t receive a PIN, you can contact the credit card’s customer-service department and request one. You’ll need a PIN to access the ATM and withdraw money.

Know the fees. Although these credit cards are prepaid, cash advance fees may apply. Additionally, some ATMs charge a small surcharge or convenience fee that ranges from $1 to $3.

Have adequate funds on the credit card. Going over your limit can result in additional fees. Check your balance before attempting to withdraw cash.

Find an ATM within your network. Every ATM displays the logos of its participating networks. Look on the back of your prepaid credit card to find its network. You can use ATMs outside your credit card’s network; however, you’ll pay additional fees.

Once you find an ATM within your network, swipe your card and follow the prompts. Enter your PIN and choose a withdrawal amount. After the machine dispenses your cash, take your receipt.