While prepaid credit cards were designed for a growing number of unbanked consumers (those who don’t have traditional checking accounts), these days, they’re also serving as tools many Americans use to rebuild their credit histories, pay bills online or for shopping online.
And if you’re wondering just how fast this particular sector is growing, consider this: the amount of money loaded on prepaid cards is expected to hit $118.5 billion in 2012. In 2010, the total loaded on these prepaid cards was $36.6 billion. This definitely puts a new perspective on the role the prepaid credit card plays in the American economy.
That said, there are as many different prepaid cards as there are issuers. Some offers are better than others and many are now offering perks designed to draw new customers. Here are a few of the higher rated prepaid credit cards worth your consideration. Even if it appears many offer similar benefits, there are other considerations, including customer service, fees and other options, that must be taken into consideration and will shape the worth of any prepaid card offer to anyone considering them.
The AccountNow Vantage Debit MasterCard
First up, we take a look at the AccountNow Vantage Debit MasterCard. This prepaid gem quickly become a favorite for many consumers. It serves as an ideal solution for receive tax refunds, it bears the MasterCard logo and like any traditional prepaid card, there are no worries about approval, APR, minimum balance or credit checks.
The Account Now MasterCard provides free access to a credit builder program. This puts it above other similar cards and makes it a great choice for those wishing to begin building their credit histories or for those who are rebuilding their credit ratings. Also, customers will enjoy free bill pay services for their first seven transactions every month. Learn more about the AccountNow Prepaid MasterCard here.
The Applied Bank Gold Match Plus Card
The Applied Bank Gold Match Plus Card just might be the crowd pleaser. When you apply for the Applied Bank Gold Match Visa, the bank opens an account, FDIC Insured, with your initial deposit. From there, it will also increase your credit limit (which is what you deposit) by $300.
This will certainly add to your buying power but it also allows you to shore up your credit ratings with on time payments. Not only that, but there are no application or processing fees and because it’s Visa, you’re assured of global acceptance. No worries about hidden fees, rates that go up, or a negative credit history. You can build your account to reflect up to $5,300 ($5,000 plus the bank’s $300).
The READYdebit Control Prepaid Visa Card
Next, we explore the READYdebit Control Prepaid Visa Card. We’ve showcased this card in the past because of its strong benefits. There are no overdraft fees or minimum balances you must maintain.
Approval is guaranteed since there is no credit check, you can load up to $10,000 – which is one of the highest figures for prepaid credit cards. It’s issued by The Bancorp, Inc. and it too is a Visa, which puts major purchasing power in your hands.
You’ll also be enrolled in the complimentary Credit Score program, which allows you to build or rebuild your credit with on time payments. This is a popular choice and for good reason. You must deposit at least $10 as your opening deposit, there is a $9.95 application fee and monthly service charges are waived with a total direct deposit each month of at least $1,500. If that’s not possible, your monthly fee is just $3.95. There are other fees, so be sure to carefully review the Terms and Fees page and you may check out the terms and reviews here.
These are just a few of the many prepaid debit and credit cards available to consumers. As mentioned, this is a fast growing sector, so you can be sure those perks will continue to increase. Before you decide on the right prepaid card for your needs, we encourage you to always read the fine print and understand any fees associated with any new credit card offer.