What does prepaid mean?
Many of us have prepaid phone cards or SIM cards for our mobiles, but prepaid debit cards are quite a new idea. However, the concept is the same as other prepaid mediums, where you load money onto a card and then you can spend this money at retailers or withdraw the money at an ATM. You load money onto the card using cash, bank transfer or another card.
Are they credit or debit cards?
Prepaid cards are neither credit nor debit cards, but have features similar to both. These are VISA or MasterCard cards usually, and so have the wide usage and security features of a credit card. However, you are not borrowing money, simply using your own money to top up a card and spend on it. They are a financial product that falls in between debit and credit cards.
What are the advantages?
The major advantage of a prepaid card is that you can easily keep track of your spending and limit yourself to a certain level of spending each month. Also, you don't have to pay interest and don't have to go through credit checks to get one. All of the funds on the card are completely controlled by the amount of money you wish to put on it. This means there is no risk of borrowing too much and getting into debt.
Who should get a prepaid card?
Prepaid cards can be useful for anyone who wants to control their spending but still have the security and usage features of a credit card. Also, prepaid cards can be very useful for teenagers or children if they need a card. As a parent you can control their spending by only putting on a certain amount each week or month for them to spend, whilst still giving...