Nowadays, we are increasingly reliant on technology to take care of our financial needs. Between online bill payments, ATMs, and direct deposit services, it’s often necessary to have a debit card in addition to cash.
However, an estimated 10 million households in the United States don’t have access to a bank account, which can make these basic financial transactions inconvenient and even impossible. Luckily, prepaid debit cards offer a solution for the many Americans without bank access. By loading money onto these prepaid cards, users can make online payments, have paychecks or benefits deposited directly into an account, and withdraw cash from ATMs on the go.
If you’re considering a prepaid debit card, here are a few essential facts to keep in mind:
- Approval is easy: Approval requirements vary depending on the type of prepaid debit card you choose, but they all have one thing in common—it’s very easy to get approved. Applicants with good credit, bad credit, or no credit can all easily obtain a prepaid card.
- They are not credit cards: Because the money on a prepaid debit card isn’t borrowed, these cards don’t come with a credit limit, and users can spend only up to the amount that they’ve put on the card. Most prepaid debit cards won’t allow users to overdraw, so if you’re using a prepaid card, make sure you have sufficient funds to cover your purchases.
- No interest, no payments: You won’t pay any interest on purchases made with a prepaid debit card. Instead, you may notice a small flat-rate fee for depositing money onto the card or for withdrawing cash. Prepaid cards also don’t require a monthly scheduled payment, so you’re free to add money and make purchases on your own schedule.
- They’re accepted (almost) anywhere: With a prepaid debit card, you’ll find making purchases and payments easier than ever. However, it’s important to note that while most businesses accept prepaid cards, there are a few exceptions. Hotels and rental car agencies are notable ones, as they can charge more than your predetermined payment amount for extra fees or damages.
Although these facts are true for the majority of prepaid debit cards, it’s wise to read the details for any prepaid card before you apply. Fee structures and schedules, approval processes, and liability protections all vary from provider to provider. If you’ve read the fine print and you want to proceed, congratulations! You’re about to experience the freedom that comes with a debit card without any of the hassle.