Find a prepaid card that could help you stay in control of your money by only letting you spend what you load onto the card.
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Use our prepaid card table to find one that offers all the features you need that will cost the least in fees.
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Apply for the card you want
Click 'view deal' and fill out the application form on the provider's website with your personal details.
Prepaid cards are reloadable money cards. You add cash to them and top up when the funds run out.
A prepaid card or prepaid debit card can be used to make purchases online or in person. You use it in the same way you'd use a debit or credit card. You might hear it being called a 'prepaid credit card' but actually you don't get access to credit. Once the balance reaches £0, it can't be used again until it's reloaded. Some people also call them 'cash cards'.
They're designed for everyday spending, so there's usually a limit on how much you can load. The limit varies depending on where you buy the prepaid card from.
If you haven't loaded your prepaid card, you can't spend on it. This makes them very helpful if you're trying to stick to a budget.
If you've had trouble getting a card because of your credit history, a credit-building prepaid cash card can help you improve this. Anyone can get a credit-building card, but you have to opt in for service.
A credit-building prepaid cash card lends you a year's worth of monthly payments, which range from £5 to £10. You are then supposed to repay the amount over a 12-month period. If you keep making the repayments, your credit score will improve.
A pay-as-you-go prepaid card is a good way to help teenagers and students to become more financially responsible. These cards might also be useful for parents looking to keep a better track of their teen's spending.
While these don't have monthly fees, they're not totally free prepaid cards. You may get charged for making some higher transaction and withdrawal fees.
There are a few types of prepaid currency card available. You'll need to decide which type is the best prepaid currency card for you.
Single currency prepaid cards: You can load up the card with Euros and use the card when you're abroad. This way you can save on currency conversion fees that most banks charge on debit and credit cards.
Multi currency prepaid cards: These prepaid cards let you make purchases abroad without paying fees. You can load any currency on to the card and use it in any country. The transactions will be automatically converted into the local currency. You can use our comparison to decide which prepaid credit card for travel you want.
The best prepaid cards, UK wide, are the ones that are the cheapest and easiest to use.
Some of the features and costs to look for when you're trying to decide on the best prepaid cards are:
Application fees: Most prepaid cash cards charge a fee when you open your account. But some cards waive this if you load over a certain amount.
Monthly fees: Most cards charge a monthly fee. This ranges from £2-£5.
Renewal fees: Just like your debit card, your prepaid cash card will expire after three years. Some cards charge a renewal fee to get a new card. This can also be waived if you're happy to load a certain amount of money.
Transaction/withdrawal fees: Most prepaid cards charge a fee for every transaction you make. For ATM withdrawals, the fee is either a set amount, such as £2, or a percentage of the transaction.
By looking at these charges before you choose your prepaid card, you should be able to find the best available prepaid debit card that works for you.
This table uses representative examples of some of the fees you might be charged, but check with your provider for full details. The providers' fees listed are correct as of the updated date.
|Card||Admin fee||ATM withdrawal fee||Load fee|
|Suits Me Premium Card||£9.97 (then £4.97 a month)||£1.25||Paypoint: £0.99 + 2.6|
|thinkmoney Prepaid Card||£10 a month||£0||Check with provider|
|Cashplus prepaid MasterCard (Deluxe)||£5.95 (then £9.95 a month)||£0||Post office: 0.3%|
|Pockit Prepaid Card||£1.99 a month||£0.99||Paypoint: £1.49|
|CardOneMoney cardone||£12.50 a month||£1.50||Post office: £1|
|Rooster Money Prepaid Card For Parents And Kids||£2.08 a month||£0||Check with provider|
There are several ways to top up your MasterCard prepaid card or your prepaid Visa card, UK wide. The most common ways are:
Online: You can sign in to your account on the prepaid card provider's website or app and add money to it and use it like a regular credit or debit card.
Cash: Some banks and retail shops offer PayPoint services, where you can pay cash. This is then loaded on to your prepaid card.
Bank transfer: Some cards let you transfer funds directly from a current account. You'll need to know your prepaid card's sort code and account number to do this.
Topping up by bank transfer is likely to be the best way to use your prepaid card. If you use PayPoint or the Post Office and pay a fee, the charges will quickly add up – as you can see in our graph.
We use the example of topping up a prepaid card with £10 each week over a year. One with no fee and one with a £1.50 fee.
That £1.50 fee might seem small initially, but over a year it can have a big impact on the amount of money you are able to spend. Using a card with no loading fee or topping up your card by a different means should solve this problem.
Prepaid cards can be more expensive than spending on a debit or credit card because they come with fees.
Many credit cards don't come with fees, though it can be easy to get into debt if you don't repay your balance in full every month.
Spending on your current account debit card is also unlikely to incur fees, though you may be charged for spending abroad.
Prepaid cards can be a great tool to keep your spending in check, build your credit score or learn how to budget. But certain features, especially access to credit, might make a credit card or current account a better option."”Salman Haqqi, Personal Finance Editor
You can use a prepaid card to spend in foreign countries and currencies as an alternative to using cash, your credit card or your debit card.
You load money on as you would with a standard prepaid card - by using your debit card, a bank transfer or adding cash in person.
When spending abroad you can withdraw money from cash machines and spend on the card in shops and restaurants.
Prepaid cards do not let you borrow money, so you can only spend the money you have already added to your balance. Otherwise, you can use it in the same way as a credit or debit card.
Make sure to compare prepaid cards so that you get the best deal on exchange rates and transaction fees.
You can find out more about travel prepaid cards here.
No, they do not let you borrow money in any way. You can only spend what you have already added to the card.
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.
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