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Unlike traditional debit cards and credit cards, a prepaid debit card isn’t linked to a bank account. Instead, it functions like a gift card because you can only spend the money already loaded onto it. A traditional debit card is linked to a bank account, so any purchases you make using your debit card will be withdrawn from your bank account. A prepaid debit card is not linked to a bank account, so you can spend only as much as the available balance. If the balance runs low, you’ll need to reload the card by adding cash at a participating retailer or transferring money to the card, if it’s permitted.
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- There’s a similar Bluebird card networked with Visa, which you may prefer if you’re worried about vendor acceptance (though this isn’t much of a concern in the U.S.).
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A prepaid card offers the convenience of having your money available to spend without the potential issues of using cash — the risk of total loss if it’s stolen or misplaced. Several other prepaid debit cards are available on the market today. These are some of the other options that we considered that nearly made our 2022 best prepaid debit card list. Prepaid cards aren’t linked to a checking account, and customers load and reload money on the card directly, much like a gift card — bypassing the need for bank accounts altogether. Prepaid debit cards are generally safe to use and are likely safe to use for online shopping purchases.
What is a virtual prepaid debit card ?
That means there will be a much more rigorous application process compared to simply paying for a prepaid debit card at a store. You can get prepaid debit cards from a bank or credit card company. You may even be able to buy them over the counter at a store. Prepaid cards are reloadable, so you can add money to them whenever you need to replenish the funds. Some prepaid debit cards come from major companies like Visa or Mastercard and offer rewards like a credit card. Others are for specific purposes, like a college student who has a prepaid card used to access student services and cafeterias.
In addition, there are no cash reload fees at Family Dollar and a lower $3.74 fee at Walmart locations. You can make free cash withdrawals at 37,000 locations in the MoneyPass ATM network. Plus, you can use the card to get paid up to two days sooner with Early Direct Deposit. Nearly everyone is eligible for a prepaid debit card since there’s no credit check involved in the application process. All you need to do is provide basic information, such as your name, address and Social Security number, then add funds to the card of your choice to start using it. Generally, you have to apply for a bank account to get a debit card.
But there are quite a few that have no monthly or annual fees. You can often avoid cash deposit and withdrawal fees if you use the right services. Just like direct deposits, most prepaid cards are similar in the ATM withdrawal department.
Check your approval odds before you apply
Reloading your prepaid debit card shouldn’t be a challenge, and the best cards have many reload options. This might include cash reloads, best prepaid debit cards direct deposits, or bank transfers. Before signing up for a prepaid debit card, check to see if you can use your preferred reload method.
Here are our top prepaid debit cards based on fees and features. The main difference between a prepaid card and a bank debit card is that you don’t need a regular bank account to get and use a prepaid card. You can have a regular bank account and use a prepaid card on the side to manage some of your spending, or you can use prepaid cards exclusively—without any kind of bank account.
Prepaid debit cards often come with fees, and no one likes paying just to access their money. Fees might include monthly fees, cash reload fees, and ATM withdrawal fees. Pay attention to the fees and look for a prepaid debit card that doesn’t have an excessively long list of them. The best prepaid debit card depends on your lifestyle and needs. If you aren’t a frequent user of prepaid debit cards, you may want to consider options that don’t have monthly fees and instead charge you per transaction.
Offers prepaid debit card with no minimum balance requirement. Reload card with direct deposit, a mobile check, reload locations or funds transfer. Unlike credit cards, prepaid debit cards don’t require a credit check and won’t let you spend beyond the amount you load onto the card. Most prepaid debit cards also allow you to withdraw cash from ATMs — just watch out for fees.
Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information. PayPal regulars might appreciate the benefits offered by this card thanks to its
available rewards and convenience. If you’re looking for a convenient way to spend prior to signing up for a credit
card, this is a solid, widely accepted choice. Prepaid payment options like the Square Cash Card, Venmo Debit Card, and Chime Visa® Debit Card have fewer fees. Bluebird® is networked with Amex and comes with some credit card-style perks as a result.
If you’re seeking access to a physical card immediately, the Blue Netspend Visa Prepaid Card is a solid choice that offers potential rewards, albeit one that carries a series of fees. Although it’s a no-credit-check card, you can still take advantage of select cash back and personalized offers once you’ve opened your account. Even though they look the same, a prepaid card does not give you access to a line of credit. With a prepaid card, you load money onto the card upfront and then use it to make purchases. Direct deposits, debit card transfers to other Bluebird account holders, and mobile check deposits.