Top Prepaid Debit Cards – 2013

Nobody wants to be mired in debt. Whether it’s avoiding harassing calls from debt collectors or simply being able to sleep at night because you know your bills are all paid, avoiding mountains of debt is an understandable goal for individuals and families. One important tool that has emerged to help people stick to a strict budget and avoid the temptation to spend what you don’t have is the prepaid debit card. Because these cards only allow you to spend what you’ve pre-deposited, there’s never a concern that you’ll max out a credit card or get hit with an overdraft fee. Below you’ll find a selection of prepaid debit cards currently on the market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Prepaid Debit Cards Work
In the most basic terms, here’s how most cards work. Users fund their card – or “load” them, in the vernacular of the prepaid card world – with money via a direct deposit, wire transfer, PayPal or a variety of other means. And once the card is loaded, it works basically the same as a credit card, debit card or check. Cardholders can complete point-of-sale (POS) transactions, go online to shop, or get cash through ATM withdrawals. What is different from credit cards and debit cards linked to a checking account is that the users of prepaid cards cannot spend more money than what is loaded on the card. For families attempting to run cash only households, prepaid debit cards are helpful for staying on budget and out of debt.

Designed for Budget-Conscious Consumers
Why are so many people choosing prepaid debit cards? One of the main reasons is fear of the unknown. In other words, many consumers feel burned by checking accounts that hit them with unexpected fees. While prepaid debit cards have fees – and shoppers need to be very careful to understand those charges – many consumers find them to be more transparent than many checking fees. When asked, many simply prefer the $2 and $3 fees from prepaid cards over the potential of a $35 overdraft fee on their checking accounts. There are always other financial products available, such as checking accounts and credit cards, but prepaid cards allow budget-conscious consumers to limit their spending and avoid incurring unwanted debt.

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