A pay as you go credit card, or pay as you go debit card, is just another name for a prepaid card.

You can only spend money you load onto a pay as you go bank card, so you cannot build up debts or owe money to the card provider.

You can use a payg (pay as you go) card to buy things online or in shops using either chip and pin or contactless just like any other bank card.

How to get the best card

The best payg credit card is the one that costs the least to use and offers the benefits you want. Look out for:

  • Administration fees: This is the cost of having your card, and can either be a one off charge or a monthly fee. Not all pay as you go cards charge an admin fee.

  • Loading fees: This is the cost of adding money to your card, and usually depends on how you load your funds to your account. For example, if may cost more to add money using a debit card than using a bank transfer.

  • Transaction fees: This is how much you pay per transaction. Most pay as you go cards offer free UK transactions but not all do so check before you apply.

  • Cash withdrawal fees: This is the cost of withdrawing cash from your card from an ATM.

You can then work out how much each card will cost based on how you plan to use it.

Pay as you go credit card FAQs

Q

Do pay as you go credit cards charge interest?

A

No, because you are not borrowing the money, instead you have to add the money to the card before you spend it.

Q

Can I go overdrawn on a pay as you go credit 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 a prepaid credit card to use abroad?

A

Yes, but some charge you for using them overseas. Here is how travel prepaid cards work.

Q

What is the difference between VISA and MasterCard?

A

VISA and MasterCard process the payments you make with your prepaid card. They are very similar, but this guide explains how they both work.

Q

Is my prepaid card protected by Section 75?

A

No, 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 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.