Kiplinger: Prepaid Cards Flooding the Market
’Tis the season for whipping out the plastic. But which plastic? This holiday season, more consumers will be shopping—and perhaps bill paying, check cashing and visiting the ATM—with prepaid cards. Prepaids typically come with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover logo, allowing you to use the prepaid card wherever those cards are accepted, up to the amount that you’ve paid in advance. You can purchase prepaid cards in stores or online, and you can fund them over and over—even using direct deposit to add your paycheck and, with some cards, to deposit other checks, too.
Prepaid cards can be a good deal, but only if you watch out for the pitfalls. The cards come with a bevy of fees, some of which may not be disclosed or which may be disclosed in a way that makes comparison-shopping a challenge. A study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that most cards include between seven and 15 individual fees for discrete services, such as acquiring the card, making purchases, monthly maintenance or ATM withdrawals. The median cost for most services is less than $3.
Read the full article at kiplinger.com.
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