Best Prepaid Cards

Andrew Reyes
A person's hand holds several, fanned out credit cards.
Reading Time: 6 minutes

A payment method that lets you pay as you purchase, prepaid cards offer an affordable, streamlined payment option with funds loaded in advance.

Consumers who don’t like the traditional credit model — borrowing funds from a credit company to be repaid later — will find prepaid cards a superior option, as they only allow you to spend money that’s already waiting in your account.

While prepaid cards don’t allow you to build long-term credit or borrow money from a financial institution, they are easy to use and even easier to reload with additional funds. Even without an active bank account, prepaid cards can help you spend your money in the ways you want.

Best Prepaid Debit Cards

Consult the prepaid card options below for more information on the specifics of prepaid spending plans that help put you firmly in control of your own finances.

Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard®

Without a credit check, customers can secure a Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard® in seconds. After a streamlined application process that only asks for a few pieces of basic information, qualifying consumers will be able to receive paychecks up to two days faster through the power of automatic deposits.

Unlike many of the other prepaid card options on the market, the Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard® offers cash-back options through Payback Points that you earn from purchases you make every day.

You can also use this prepaid card option to receive direct deposit checks from work, and you can check your balance — and recent financial history — at any time through their easy-to-use mobile application. You can even personalize the card itself with a custom image or photo that has special meaning to you.

  • Monthly fee:$0, $5, or $9.95;
  • Regular annual percentage rate:N/A
  • Intro APR:N/A
  • Rewards rate:Varies.
  • Compare cards here.

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®

From PayPal — one of the world’s largest online payment systems — the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® is all about financial freedom. Especially for individuals who maintain an active PayPal account, this prepaid card option truly offers the shortest distance between your money and your monthly transactions.

Customers can easily move funds back and forth between their prepaid card and their PayPal account. When connecting the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® with your employer’s payment system, employees can also see paychecks in their account up to two days earlier than normal.

And through the PayPal Payback Rewards program, customers have extra incentive to make purchases from vendors who participate in PayPal’s cash-back rewards program.

  • Monthly fee:$4.95;
  • Regular APR:N/A;
  • Intro APR:N/A;
  • Rewards rate:Varies.
  • Compare cards here.

Greenlight Debit Card

Ideal for younger individuals who are learning healthy spending habits, the Greenlight debit card offers sufficient financial flexibility, all to institute financial intelligence at a young age.

Children and parents can download and log into the same mobile application to manage finances and set appropriate spending boundaries. Parents can set limits on spending totals and available vendors, teaching children to set and achieve financial goals that contribute to improving their money-management habits.

Multiple available debit card plans — all of which cost less than $10 per month — offer your child access to both a prepaid card and supplementary financial resources and tools helpful in forming financially smart practices. Select cards are even FDIC-insured, and offer heavy encryption to protect card security.

  • Monthly fee:$4.99, $7.98, or $9.98;
  • Regular APR:N/A;
  • Intro APR:N/A;
  • Rewards rate:N/A.
  • Compare cards here.

Netspend® All-Access® Account by MetaBank®

From a provider already used by millions of customers, the Netspend® All-Access® Account by MetaBank® bundles all of the best features of a prepaid card into a single payment tool.

Customers can obtain the card itself without a credit check, and earn access to paychecks, tax refunds, and government benefits up to 48 hours earlier than normal.

Without any activation fees, the Netspend® All-Access® Account by MetaBank® helps customers take steps to protect their financial health. Optional overdraft protection services mean that your account will not incur penalty fees if you accidentally spend more money than the card can access.

And thanks to Netspend’s Payback Rewards program, consumers can even earn cash-back perks on everyday transactions.

  • Monthly fee:$5;
  • Regular APR:N/A;
  • Intro APR:N/A;
  • Rewards rate:Varies.
  • Compare cards here.

Self Credit Builder Account

The Self Credit Builder Account offers the unique combination of a prepaid card that helps consumers build healthy credit. Unlike virtually all other prepaid payment plans, this Credit Builder Account helps you take steps to improve your credit score over time.

You’ll pay a one-time activation fee, after which point you’ll be free to set spending limits that effectively transform a credit-based payment method into a prepaid card.

Plans are affordable, and offer the added benefit of credit score improvement over time, as you take steps to address the major factors that influence overall credit score.

  • Monthly fee:Commitments of $25, $35, $48, or $150 (you choose);
  • Regular APR:15.97%;
  • Intro APR:N/A;
  • Rewards rate:N/A.
  • Compare cards here.

Netspend® Prepaid Mastercard®

Despite a varying monthly fee, the Netspend® Prepaid Mastercard® offers a beneficial combination of secured banking and prepaid financial freedom. After eligible customers complete a painless application process and successfully activate their cards, they’ll be able to earn funds available through direct deposit up to two days earlier.

The Netspend mobile application helps make quick work of any financial difficulties, offering clarity on your financial history and remaining available funds.

And thanks to a prepaid spending model that eliminates the possibility of any late fees or compounding interest, consumers are free to use their Netspend® Prepaid Mastercard® with the confidence that their funding is protected until the moment it’s needed.

  • Monthly fee:Varies;
  • Regular APR:N/A;
  • Intro APR:N/A;
  • Rewards rate:N/A.
  • Compare cards here.

Control™ Prepaid Mastercard®

Without any overdraft fees or cost to order the prepaid card itself, the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® allows customers to access funds up to two days faster than with a traditional credit or debit card.

All you’ll need to do is enter a few pieces of basic information — and choose your preferred card design — before your card is on its way.

The Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® is optimized to allow you maximum control over your prepaid funds. You’ll be able to access updated financial information at any time through their responsive mobile app, with which you can activate notifications for remaining balance updates, activity alerts, and other pertinent messages.

Their refer-a-friend program even means that you can earn free money directly to your prepaid card, when a friend begins enjoying the Control™ Prepaid Mastercard® in the same ways you already are.

  • Monthly fee:$7.95;
  • Regular APR:N/A;
  • Intro APR:N/A;
  • Rewards rate:Varies.
  • Compare cards here.

Western Union® Netspend® Mastercard® Prepaid Card

The Western Union® Netspend® Mastercard® Prepaid Card is the card you need for purchases on the go. You’ll be able to transfer funding in minutes, to and from a prepaid card that offers you early access to funds through direct deposit.

Without any credit check, customers can take steps toward owning a Western Union® Netspend® Mastercard® Prepaid Card after answering only a few online questions.

If you’re looking to load and spend funding on your timetable, this prepaid card is an excellent option for you. Its mobile check loading capacity through a simple mobile app allows you to take a photo of your paper check and load the finances into your card account.

Once your money is available to spend, you’ll even earn cash-back rewards on a wide variety of everyday transactions.

  • Monthly fee:Up to $9.95;
  • Regular APR:N/A;
  • Intro APR:N/A;
  • Rewards rate:Varies.
  • Compare cards here.

Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card

The perfect prepaid card for any customers looking to avoid the hassle of late fees, interest charges, and other drawbacks from traditional credit accounts, the Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card effectively streamlines the financial process.

Instead of needing to borrow money and repay loans monthly, you’ll be able to load and spend money that’s already yours, whenever you need it.

The Netspend mobile application gives you total control of your prepaid funding. The app can even send you text messages or email notifications that document regular account activity, flag potentially suspicious purchases, and track any relevant updates.

And without any minimum balance thresholds, the Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card provides an ideal option for younger individuals looking to improve financial habits.

  • Monthly fee:$9.95;
  • Regular APR:N/A;
  • Intro APR:N/A;
  • Rewards rate:Varies.
  • Compare cards here.

Pink Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card

The same financial freedom now offered in a bright, new package, the Pink Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card looks great while helping to keep your money secure.

Card encryption means that you’re offered much of the same protection afforded to credit card holders, with the flexibility to load and spend funds as you choose.

At every point in the transaction process, the Pink Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card helps you take steps to sustain healthy financial habits. Direct-deposit functionality means you can see money earlier than before, and their mobile application allows you to control your money — and receive relevant notifications — whenever you need to.

  • Monthly fee:Varies;
  • Regular APR:N/A;
  • Intro APR:N/A;
  • Rewards rate:Varies.
  • Compare cards here.

How to Get a Prepaid Card

Interested prepaid card customers will need to submit a few pieces of personal information during the application process — including name, address, zip code, and Social Security number — so keep any relevant documentation nearby.

You can apply today for a prepaid card, in only a few steps:

  1. Identify your preferred prepaid card option from one of the above choices.
  2. Enter relevant personal information in the online application form for your preferred prepaid card.
  3. Once you’re accepted, wait for your prepaid card to arrive.
  4. Activate your prepaid card through its mobile application, or by reaching out to the appropriate customer helpline.
  5. Load funds onto your prepaid card.

Once funds arrive on your card, you’re free to begin spending the funding on your prepaid card however you would like.

How to Pick the Right Prepaid Card

Choosing the right prepaid card means prioritizing options according to the characteristics of a prepaid payment method that are most important to you.

First, you’ll want to pick a prepaid card that satisfies your preferences for monthly fees. Regular payments — sometimes as high as $9.95 — due each month can quickly add up. Picking the right prepaid card means selecting a payment method with monthly fees that work with your current budget and spending habits.

Many customers also prefer to speak with a live customer representative when they have questions about their prepaid card, which means you’re looking for a card option that offers a live customer service team.

Other consumers care about the design of their card, and will likely prefer prepaid card options that allow them to use a personal photo to customize their card to their liking.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

Keep Learning

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on reddit
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on reddit
Want a FREE Credit Evaluation from Credit Saint?

A $19.95 Value, FREE!

X
This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site.  This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.
X
Want a FREE Credit Evaluation ($19.95 value)?
Subscribe & get a free credit evaluation from our #1 trusted partner, Credit Saint!
Pop Up