The best way to find the right prepaid card is to:

  • Work out what type you need

  • Check the cost

Once you have found the best card, you can apply for it on the provider's website.

How to work out what type you need

This depends on how you plan to use your card. This comparison includes personal prepaid cards you can load with pounds sterling.

You can use it to compare prepaid cards you can use yourself in the UK.

But if you need a card you will use differently, use our comparisons to find:

  • Cards to use abroad: These come with cheaper fees than normal prepaid cards when you use them abroad. They also let you hold other currencies like dollars or euros.

  • Cards for your business: These can be used for your company's spending and held in your business' name. You can get several cards if more than one person needs one.

  • Cards for teenagers: These cards are available even if you are under 18.

Visa or MasterCard?

Most prepaid cards have either a Visa or MasterCard logo on them. This is the company that processes the transactions on the card, including when you use it to buy something.

The main difference between a MasterCard or Visa prepaid card is the exchange rate you get if you spend abroad.

The rest of the costs are set by the card provider, so picking a card with the lowest fees should save you more money than choosing between Visa and MasterCard.

How to choose the cheapest

Prepaid cards come with several costs, including:

  • A one off fee for buying the card when you apply

  • Monthly fees for as long as you keep the card

  • Cash withdrawal fees

  • Transaction fees every time you pay for something

  • Load charges for adding funds onto the card

This comparison includes details of which of these fees you have to pay on each card and how much they cost. It also shows which cards come with free cash withdrawals or transactions.

You can work out which card is cheapest for you by working out how often you will:

  • Pay money onto the card (and how you do this, e.g. bank transfer or at the Post Office)

  • Withdraw cash

  • Make purchases on the card, e.g. paying in a shop or online

Check how much each card will cost you to use each month and choose the cheapest. Here is how to apply for the prepaid card you choose.

Prepaid cards FAQs

Q

Can I go overdrawn on a prepaid card?

A

No, they do not let you borrow money in any way. You can only spend what you have already added to the card.

Q

Can I get more than one card?

A

Yes, some let you take out additional cards for other people, e.g. family or friends. They can only spend the money added to their own card.

Q

Are prepaid cards good for travel money?

A

They can be used worldwide, and travel prepaid cards are usually cheaper if they hold the currency you spend in. Here is how else to spend abroad.

Q

How old do I have to be to get a prepaid card?

A

18 for some cards, but younger people could get a card with parental permission. Some providers issue cards to anyone over 6 years old.

Q

Is my prepaid card protected by Section 75?

A

No, Section 75 only protects credit cards. But the Chargeback scheme could help you get your money back if something goes wrong with a transaction.

About our prepaid cards comparison

Q

Who do we include in this comparison?

A

We include prepaid cards you can load with pounds sterling from our panel of providers. They are all from providers either directly regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or providers that are partnered with a company regulated by the FCA. Here is more information about how our website works.

Q

How do we make money from our comparison?

A

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.
You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.