This comparison only includes prepaid MasterCards. Use it to find a card, check what fees it comes with and then apply through the provider's website.

What are prepaid MasterCards?

Prepaid cards work like credit or debit cards, but you can only spend money you have already added onto their balance.

MasterCard is the company that processes the transactions on your card when you buy anything with it or withdraw cash.

Most prepaid cards use either MasterCard or Visa to process its transactions. That company's logo is printed on the card.

The main difference is if you use your card abroad because the exchange rates are set by Visa or MasterCard. You can check MasterCard's exchange rates here.

You do not get your card from Visa or MasterCard. A card provider handles your application, sends you the card and deals with you as a customer.

Where can you use prepaid MasterCards?

You can use them almost anywhere that accepts MasterCard payments. This includes millions of cash machines and businesses that take card payments all over the world.

But there are some transactions you cannot use a prepaid card for, like self service petrol stations.

How to pick a card

The best card for you might not be a MasterCard. Compare prepaid cards from both Visa and MasterCard to work out which is best.

Use our prepaid card comparison to find one. This includes cards from MasterCard and Visa that let you spend in pounds sterling.

Find the cheapest card by checking the fees set by the provider, which can include charges for:

  • Buying the card

  • Keeping your account open (charged monthly or annually)

  • Adding funds onto the card

  • Buying anything with your card

  • Withdrawing cash

  • Spending abroad

Some cards are free for some transactions, e.g. some come without fees for using them abroad or withdrawing cash.

You can also get cards designed for spending abroad or for your business.

Prepaid MasterCard FAQs

Q

Can I use my prepaid MasterCard abroad?

A

Yes, they can be used worldwide. Travel prepaid cards are usually cheaper to use if they hold the currency you want to spend in.

Q

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

A

18 for some cards, but if you're younger you 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.

Q

Where can I find a Visa prepaid card instead?

A

You can find one using our Visa prepaid card comparison.

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.

About our prepaid cards comparison

Q

Who do we include in this comparison?

A

We include prepaid MasterCards 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.