Prepaid debit cards are a good alternative to credit cards for anyone who is trying to control their spending. A prepaid debit card allows a consumer to deposit their money into a virtual account that can be accessed through a debit card. Once the funds are depleted, the consumer cannot spend anymore.
Unlike a credit card, a prepaid debit card does not allow a consumer to spend money he or she doesn't have. This prevents the consumer from racking up debt that he or she cannot pay off. Additionally, there is no interest charged on a prepaid card, and no bills to pay at the end of the month.
All these make the prepaid debit card a more responsible tool for budgeting and spending money, at least compared to a credit card.
In addition to controlling spending, many people like to use prepaid debit cards to send money abroad or give a gift to a relative or friend. Since these cards are easy to load and mail, they are ideal for people who need to send money abroad. In fact, they are safer than sending cash or checks through the mail, since many cards are able to be re-issued if the proper paperwork is kept. These debit cards can be used in many countries. A Visa debit card is particularly convenient since it can be used at thousands of stores and restaurants that also accept a Visa credit card.
Unlike credit cards, debit cards do not charge interest, but there are a few fees involved with using them. Just like a checking account at the bank, most prepaid cards will charge a maintenance fee once a month, as well as a small transaction fee when the card is used. Prepaid cards such as a Visa debit card do this in order to recoup their costs for issuing the cards and transferring the money from the card to the merchant or to other accounts. However, these payment and transfer fees are very low compared to those charged by banks for similar transactions.
All in all, prepaid debit cards are a great way to control spending through the holiday season, an excellent alternative to a high fee checking account, and an inexpensive way to transfer money to relatives and friends abroad.