Compare pay as you go credit cards

Choose a pay as you go debit card that only lets you spend the credit you've loaded, and could help you manage your money better.

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

Compare pay as you go credit 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.

Suits Me
thinkmoney
cashplusbank.prepaid-bank-accounts
Pockit

How to compare and get a pay as you go credit 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.

Pay as you go prepaid card deals

21 results found, sorted by affiliated products. How we order our comparisons. Commission earned affects the table's sort order.
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Get up to £40 off your first card load. T&Cs apply
FairFX Currency Card
Administration fee
No fees
UK transactions
Free
UK ATM withdrawals
£1
Load charges
Bank transfer: free, debit card: free
FairFX Currency Card
Free multi-currency card that lets you hold 15 major currencies. Lock in some of the best rates available before you travel. Spend in the UK without any added fees and earn at least 3.5% cashback at some top high street retailers, T&Cs apply.
Eligibility
Permanent UK Resident
Minimum Age18 years
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
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 are pay as you go credit cards?

A pay as you go credit card, or pay as you go debit card, are just alternative names for a prepaid card. These are also often known as top-up credit cards.

Although these are often referred to as ‘credit cards’, they're not credit cards in the traditional sense. They’re actually prepaid cards. You can use these cards to spend money that you've loaded onto them. They don’t offer credit so you can’t build up debts or owe money to the card provider.

When you run out of money, you can simply top up your card by loading more money onto it – like you would with a pay-as-you-go mobile phone. You do this using a debit card or through a bank transfer.

You can use a PAYG (pay as you go) card to buy things online or in shops using either chip and pin or contactless. You do this in exactly the same way that you’d buy things with any other bank card.

Here’s a closer look at how these prepaid accounts work.

How to get the best prepaid card

The best PAYG credit card for you is the one offers the benefits you want at the lowest cost.

You can use our comparison to find the right card for you.

When it comes to fees you might have to pay, look out for:

  • Administration fees: This is the cost of having your card. It 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. It usually varies depending 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.

  • Application fees. This is a small fee that some card providers charge to open the account. 

  • Renewal fees. After three years, your card won’t be valid anymore, so you might have to pay a renewal fee to carry on using it.

  • Inactivity fees. Some card providers charge a monthly fee if you don’t use the card for any transactions at all. 

  • Redemption fees. If you want to get money that you’ve uploaded back of the card, you may pay a redemption fee.

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

What are the benefits of a pay as you go bank card?

Different prepaid cards come with different features. The advantages of using a prepaid card can include:

  • Easy access. Unlike credit cards, top up cards don't require a credit check or an eligibility assessment. Anyone who can verify their identity can get a pay as you go debit card.

  • Safer spending. With a top up card, you don't have you worry about over spending and getting into debt. It only allows you to spend the money you load on to it, so you it's a useful tool keep yourself in check. It's also safer than using cash, as a lost or stolen card can be cancelled and replaced. But if you lose cash, it's gone for good.

  • Online security. Online shopping has become the norm for so many people these days. But the internet is also rife with people trying to scam you by stealing your credit or debit card details. Top up cards aren't linked to your bank account, so they're useful for shopping online.

  • No credit checks. This makes the application process quick and simple.

  • Can be good for children. If you want to keep an eye on your child’s spending, a prepaid card can be a helpful way to make sure they can’t spend more than they have.

  • Access to Visa and Mastercard’s chargeback schemes. These mean you can ask your card provider to reverse a transaction on your card if you buy faulty goods.

  • Cashback and discounts when spending with well-known retailers. This will depend on which card you choose.

  • Can be useful abroad. Some cards can be used abroad which can be handy in terms of security so that you don’t overspend. A specialist card offering free or cheap overseas transactions is ideal in this scenario. 

What are the disadvantages of prepaid bank cards?

There are some features of prepaid bank cards that may not be ideal for you.

For example:

  • You don’t get Section 75 protection. Section 75 protection comes with credit cards. It means your credit provider has to take the same responsibility as the retailer if something goes wrong with your purchase.

  • You might not be able to use them everywhere. For example, you might not be able to use your prepaid card for putting down a security deposit or for pre-authorisation. This could be a problem if you need to use a card for car hire or a hotel room.

  • The fees can mount up. That’s why it’s important to find the card with the lowest fees.

Can you get a top up credit card if you have bad credit?

Yes. A pay as you go credit card doesn't require a credit check. That means these are useful for people with bad credit who have trouble getting a credit card, or even a current account.

As they don’t require a credit check, they can also be good for people who’ve just moved to the UK.

Pay as you go credit card 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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Last updated: 22 February, 2022