Prepaid Debit vs. Credit
You like the convenience of online shopping but don’t have a credit card? Or maybe you have a credit card but don’t like using it to make online purchases. Not to worry. Prepaid debit cards are a great alternative and, in many ways, even preferable to using credit cards online.
Pick a Card. Any Card.
Most online retailers, and certainly all the brand-name retailers like eBay and Amazon, accept prepaid debit cards. The tricky part is choosing which card to go with. There’s a plethora of choice out there so you’ll need to do a little research, weigh the pros and cons, compare the advantages and disadvantages offered by different cards before making your choice. Monthly maintenance fees, ATM usage fees, transaction charges, minimum/maximum reloads – these are all things you’ll want to consider before making your final choice. Some cards, for example, require minimum reloads of $50 or more which may or may not work for you. But finding the right card won’t be difficult because, again, there’s plenty of choice out there. A little research is all it’ll take to find the card that best suits your purchasing needs.
Budgeting Made Easy
So, you’ve found your card of choice and you’re keen to start using it. If, like so many of us, you’re one of those shoppers who can sometimes get carried away, the prepaid credit card offers one great advantage. Because you yourself determine how much money to put on the card, you’re always aware of your spending limits. In this way, the card provides a built-in budgeting mechanism and a convenient way to self-police your online spending.
One caveat, however. You’ll need to figure out the best, that is, the most economical way to fund your card. Adding funds to your card at retail locations can be pricey – typically $3.00 to $5.00 – so you’ll want to watch those funding charges and find the most economical way to reload. Some cards, for example, allow no-fee direct deposits from your employer. Funding costs is another consideration when choosing your card. Find a card with funding options you’re comfortable with.