Consumers can save time and money using a prepaid debit card versus other alternatives such as using a credit card, a checking account, or a check cashing store. It can be a lot more convenient to manage money with a prepaid card as well.
There are some key differences between prepaid cards and credit cards. The amount of money available in a credit card may be much more than what you have on hand. This means it’s easy to spend way more than what you can afford. Furthermore, credit cards usually charge high interest rates on amounts that are borrowed. On the other hand, prepaid debit cards do not charge interest since no credit is involved. Also, it is difficult to spend more than what the cardholder has deposited on the card. Another nice feature of debit cards is that they do not require good credit. Even those with bad credit or a ChexSystems record can still get a prepaid debit card.
Differences also exist between using debit cards and a checking account. With a checking account, it’s possible to spend too much and incur a overdraft fee that often exceeds $30 per item. Also, the monthly maintenance fee on a regular checking account can be over $10 per month. On the other hand, a debit card typically does not allow for an overdraft situation to occur. Furthermore, the monthly fee charged for having a debit card is usually lower than the monthly fee on a checking account for those not carrying high average monthly balances.
Those who decide to live with a debit card can find ways to cut the costs on using it. For example, the typical way to load a debit card involves going to a retail outlet and paying with cash. Usually, there is a fee for loading money in this manner. This fee is charged by the retail outlet. The issuer of the card may charge a fee as well. However, there is a cheaper way to load money.
The cheapest way to load money on a prepaid debit card is by using direct deposit from an employer or other source of income. Many debit card issuers will not charge a fee for loading funds via direct deposit. In addition, you will not have to incur the costs of doing business with a check cashing store while all the time being “Green” by not receiving a paper check.
After getting paid by your employer, it is easy and cheap to get cash out of the account. The best way to get cash is to shop at stores that allow cash back with a PIN transaction. The terminal will ask if you wish to withdraw cash. If you withdraw cash, many cards do not charge you a fee. Keep in mind that the store may set limits on the maximum amount of cash back per transaction. If you process the payment as a credit card transaction, it will not be possible to get cash back. You can also get cash from an ATM, but you will have to pay a fee to do so. The ATM itself will probably charge a fee as well. That is why it is much better to get cash while shopping at the grocery store instead of the ATM.
There are times when a check has to be written. Not everyone accepts a debit card for payment. However, there is an easy and cheap way to write a check without a checking account. When a check is needed, go to a retail outlet that sells money orders at a cheap price. There are stores that are willing to sell a money order up to $1,000 for less than $1. To pay for the cost of the money order, run the payment through with the debit card as a PIN transaction.
In conclusion, it is easy to use prepaid debit cards while saving time and money. The financial savings from using prepaid cards can really add up over time.
Tracy Jones is a content contributor for GetDebit.com, which provides information about prepaid products, including the Walmart MoneyCard Visa.