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Compare our best prepaid cards

Find a prepaid card that can help you stay in control of your money by only letting you spend what's loaded onto the card.

  • Earn cashback and rewards
  • Control your spending
  • Improve your credit rating

Compare prepaid cards from top providers

You'll only find results from genuine companies. Our data experts check each company before we add them to our comparisons.

Pockit
Suits Me
Currensea
NatWest Rooster Money
FairFX
thinkmoney
Cashplus Bank
Wise
Caxton
Equals

How to get a prepaid card

1

Compare cards

Use our prepaid card table to find one that offers all the features you need that will cost the least in fees.

2

Check the eligibility

Make sure you fit the eligibility criteria for your chosen card, and have proof of ID.

3

Apply for the card you want

Click 'view deal' and fill out the application form on the provider's website with your personal details.

4

Start using your prepaid card

Once you receive the card and your PIN, start to use and manage your prepaid card.

Prepaid card deals

11 results found, sorted by affiliated products. How we order our comparisons. Commission earned affects the table's sort order.
Sort
Suits Me Essential Card
Administration fee
£5
UK transactions
Free
UK ATM withdrawals
£1
Load charges
Bank transfer: free, Paypoint: £2 + 2.6%
Suits Me Essential Card
No credit checks. Open an account in minutes and get instant access to your sort code and account number. Comes with the ability to make bank transfers and set up standing orders. Includes a free contactless Mastercard ® debit card.
Must have a UK address and be aged 18 or over.
Eligibility
Permanent UK Resident
Minimum Age18 years
Suits Me Premium Card
Administration fee
£9.97 then £4.97 a month
UK transactions
Free
UK ATM withdrawals
£1.25
Load charges
Bank transfer: free, Paypoint: £0.99 + 2.6%
Suits Me Premium Card
No credit checks or hidden fees or charges. Open an account in minutes and get instant access to your current account with the ability to set up bank transfers, direct debits and standing orders. Includes a free contactless Mastercard debit card.
Must have a UK address and be aged 18 or over.
Eligibility
Permanent UK Resident
Minimum Age18 years
Suits Me Premium Plus Card
Administration fee
£9.97 then £9.97 a month
UK transactions
Free
UK ATM withdrawals
£1.12
Load charges
Bank transfer: free, Paypoint: £0.50 + 2.6%
Suits Me Premium Plus Card
No credit checks. Open an account in minutes and get instant access to your current account with the ability to set up bank transfers, direct debits and standing orders. Includes a free contactless Mastercard debit card. 4 free UK ATM withdrawals a month.
Must have a UK address and be aged 18 or over.
Eligibility
Minimum Age18 years
Sign up through the link and get a free £10 top-up. T&Cs apply.
Revolut Standard Prepaid Card
Administration fee
No fees
UK transactions
Free
UK ATM withdrawals
Free
Load charges
Debit card: free
Revolut Standard Prepaid Card
Open an account in minutes. Free UK and Euro IBAN account. Spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate. Exchange in 29 fiat currencies up to £5,000 per month without any hidden fees. No fee ATM withdrawals up to £200 per month.
Eligibility
Permanent UK Resident
Minimum Age18 years
Pockit Prepaid Mastercard®
Administration fee
£1.99 a month
UK transactions
Free
UK ATM withdrawals
£0.99
Load charges
Bank transfer: free, debit card: free, Paypoint: £1.49
Pockit Prepaid Mastercard®
Get a prepaid contactless Mastercard and current account in minutes. Top up £10 and get free card delivery and 1st debit card load free. No credit checks or penalty fees. Send and receive money, use Direct Debits and ATMs.
Must have a verified UK address and be aged 18 or over. T&Cs apply.
Eligibility
Permanent UK Resident
Minimum Age18 years
Additional Cardholders Minimum Age13 years

Compare another type of prepaid card

What is a prepaid card?

A prepaid card works like a debit card for spending, but you have to add cash to it rather than the money simply coming out of your bank account. You pre-load it before using it and top it up when the funds run out.

A prepaid card – or prepaid debit card as it is sometimes called – can be used to make purchases online or in person.

You might hear it being called a "prepaid credit card" but this isn't strictly right because you don't get access to credit. Once the balance reaches £0, you can't use it again until it's reloaded. This makes them very helpful if you're trying to stick to a budget. Some people also call them "cash cards".

Prepaid cards are 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.

Card illustration

Who can get a prepaid card?

Prepaid cards for bad credit

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 to get the 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.

Prepaid cards for students

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 who want to keep a better track of their teen's spending.

While these don't have monthly fees, they're not free prepaid cards because may be charged for making higher-value transactions or withdrawing money.

Types of prepaid card

There are a few types of prepaid currency cards available. Which type is the best prepaid currency card for you will depend on how you plan to use it.

Single-currency prepaid cards: You load up these cards with Euros for use when you're abroad. These cards let you save money on the 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 onto the card for use in any country. The transactions are automatically converted into the local currency.

Use our comparison to decide which prepaid credit card for travel you want

cards image

Prepaid card fees

The best prepaid cards are those that are the cheapest and easiest to use.

Here are some of the features and costs to look for when trying to find the best prepaid cards:

  • Application fees: Many prepaid cash cards charge a fee when you first open your account, but this is sometimes waived if you add more than a certain amount to your card.

  • Monthly fees: Most cards charge a monthly fee. This is likely to cost between £2 and £5.

  • Renewal fees: Just like your debit card, prepaid cash cards expire after three years and there may be a renewal fee to get a new prepaid cash card. Once again, whether this fee is charged often depends on how much money you load onto the card.

  • Transaction/withdrawal fees: There's often a fee for each transaction you make with a prepaid card. With ATM withdrawals, the fee is either a set amount, such as £2, or a percentage of the transaction.

By reviewing these costs, you should be able to find the best prepaid debit card for you.

This table uses representative examples of some of the fees, but check with your provider for full details.

Updated 24 June 2022
CardAdmin feeATM withdrawal feeLoad fee
Suits Me Premium Card£9.97 (then £4.97 a month)£1.25Paypoint: £0.99 + 2.6%
thinkmoney Prepaid Card£10 a month£0Check with provider
Cashplus prepaid MasterCard (Deluxe)£5.95 (then £9.95 a month)£0Post office: 0.3%
Pockit Prepaid Card£1.99 a month£0.99Paypoint: £1.49
CardOneMoney cardone£12.50 a month£1.50Post office: £1
Rooster Money Prepaid Card For Parents And Kids£1.99 a month£0Check with provider

How to top up a prepaid card

There are several ways to top up your MasterCard or Visa prepaid card. Popular options include:

  • Digital platforms: you can add money to your prepaid card by logging on to the provider’s website or app

  • PayPoints: if you prefer to add cash to your card you can use a PayPoint. These are located in banks and retailers

  • Bank transfer: with some cards, you can top up your card by transferring funds directly from a current account. You need the card's sort code and account number to do this

Topping up fees

Using a bank transfer is the cheapest way to add money to your prepaid card. You have to pay a fee if you use a PayPoint or add money at a Post Office; these charges will quickly add up – as you can see from the graph.

prepaid card chart
Cost of topping up your prepaid card over a year

The chart shows the cost of topping up a prepaid card by £10 each week for a year. The lower line shows how much less you'll have on your card after 12 months if you pay a £1.50 fee each time.

A £1.50 charge might not seem like much at first, but cumulatively over a year, it can have a big impact on the amount of money you have available to spend. Using a card with no loading fee or topping up your card by an alternate means should help you overcome this drain on your funds.

Prepaid cards pros and cons

  • Budgeting: You can only spend what you load onto a prepaid card, so they're very safe from a budgeting perspective. If you're prone to overspending, a prepaid card can be a good way to make sure you stay on budget.
  • Security: Prepaid cards limit the damage that scammers can inflict on you. The most you could ever lose is the amount you've loaded on to the card.
  • Students: They're a good way for parents to teach young people about financial responsibility. Young people and students can learn to budget if their parents only give them access to small amounts of money.
  • Travel: If you don't want to carry cash when you're travelling, prepaid cards protect you. They normally let you cancel them if they're stolen and aren't connected to other accounts.
  • No credit checks: You don't need to be credit checked to get a prepaid card. This means they're a good option for people with bad credit history or those who've just moved to the UK.
  • No section 75 protection: With a credit card, you'll get protection on purchases over £1,000. You don't get this with a prepaid card, but you do get access to Visa and MasterCard's chargeback schemes.
  • You can't use them everywhere: Sometimes, when you hire a car or check into a hotel, they take your card as a security deposit. With prepaid cards, this means there will be a chunk of your money that you can't access until the bill's cleared.
  • Many cards will come with fees for using them in certain ways, such as to withdraw cash
  • You cannot spend money that you don't have in your account, unlike with a credit card or a current account with an overdraft
  • No FSCS¹ protection: You will be protected if the card provider goes bust, but not if the bank or building society looking after your money goes out of business

Alternatives to prepaid cards

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.

Salman Haqqiquotation mark
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

How to use a prepaid card abroad

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.

Prepaid cards FAQs

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Why compare prepaid card deals with money.co.uk?

Comparing prepaid cards could save you money. Our multiple award-winning comparison service makes sure you get the lowest fees and rates possible based on your individual circumstances. Our aim is to provide you with the most up-to-date information, as well as useful tools and calculators so to help you make life's most important decisions and take control of your money.

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¹To find out more about how the Financial Services Conduct Authority protects your money, visit FSCS.org.uk.

Last updated: 15 July 2022