Compare prepaid dollar cards

Compare these prepaid dollar cards that could offer you a cheaper way to pay in the US and help you avoid carrying cash on your trip.

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Last updated: 15 June, 2021

How to find a prepaid card in US dollars

Use this comparison to find the best prepaid dollar card to use in the USA. You’ll only see prepaid cards that can hold a balance in US dollars in this table.

There are two types of prepaid cards in dollars:

  • Single currency cards: These keep your balance in dollars. If you spend in countries that use a different currency, the card will exchange your dollars to the local currency.

  • Multi currency cards: These let you keep several different balances on your card in different currencies. For example, your card might hold $150, €100 and 10,000 Japanese yen all at once.

  • Sterling prepaid cards: These let you load your card with pounds. That means you can spend in all types of different currencies.

What exchange rate do you get?

The exchange rate affects how many dollars you get when you top up your prepaid card. The rate you get will vary.

For example, if you load £500 onto your card:

  • With an exchange rate of 1.2 dollars to the pound you get $600

  • With an exchange rate of 1.3 dollars to the pound you get $650.

At what point is the currency exchanged with pre paid dollar cards?

Some prepaid cards hold their balance in pounds sterling. These convert the amount to dollars every time you spend on them. You could get a different exchange rate every time, so you never know how much the balance on your card is worth in dollars.

But the cards in this our pre paid dollar cards comparison convert your money into dollars when you add it onto the card. This means you know the exchange rate used and your card's exact dollar balance before you go away.

Compare the rates before you choose a prepaid card. They can change several times a day, but choosing a provider that offers competitive exchange rates will save you money. 

What are the benefits of pre paid dollar cards?

Pre paid dollar cards come with lots of benefits. These include:

  • You don’t need to carry large amounts of cash on holiday (better from a security perspective)

  • They’re as convenient as a credit or debit card

  • You can avoid expensive foreign transaction charges that you might pay if you used your usual debit or credit card

  • You can only spend what you’ve put on your prepaid dollar card, which means you have to stick to your budget. You can’t be tempted to overspend or run up debt

  • You can load money onto your prepaid dollar card when exchange rates are good

  • You can pay with a pre paid dollar card almost everywhere in America

  • If you lose it, you can cancel it immediately and many card providers will supply emergency cash or a replacement card very quickly

  • If the prepaid dollar card was stolen and used, you’d only lose what was on the card, rather than the entire contents of your bank account

  • Your money’s safe if the prepaid card company goes bust

  • Some prepaid dollar card providers let you and your family link cards, so you can share the money between all of you. 

What are the downsides of pre paid dollar cards?

As with anything, pre paid dollar cards come with disadvantages, too. These include:

  • All the providers have different exchange rates so you’ll have to choose carefully to get the best deal

  • If the pound strengthens after you load your card, you’ll have missed out on the best rate

  • There can be lots of fees – check that these are lower than credit or debit card fees to be sure you’re choosing the best route

  • There are some places you can’t use a prepaid dollar card, such as some care hire companies and petrol stations

  • Most prepaid dollar cards charge a fee if you withdraw cash from an ATM

  • They’re not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

What other costs are there with pre paid dollar cards?

As well as the exchange rate, you may have to pay several other charges on your prepaid card. These could include:

  • A fee to buy the card

  • A monthly or annual fee for keeping the account open

  • Cash withdrawal fees

  • Transaction fees when you pay for anything on the card

  • Loading fees when you add money onto the card.

Some cards also charge fees for withdrawing cash or making purchases outside the UK. But some of the cards in this comparison do not charge fees in countries that use the US dollar. Check carefully before you pick one.

How much it costs to use a travel prepaid card and how to choose one.

Dollar prepaid card FAQs

Yes, American retailers usually accept MasterCard and Visa prepaid cards. Travel prepaid cards are usually cheaper to use in USA if they hold dollars.

Yes, you can use a prepaid card in a cash machine outside the UK. But some cards come with fees for this.

All of the cards on this table can hold a balance in dollars. Some are multi currency cards, which let you load other currencies onto them too.

Yes, they can be used to pay or withdraw cash in the UK. There may be fees or even an exchange rate if your card only holds dollars.

This depends on the company that processes the transactions (Visa or MasterCard) and your card provider, who may take a cut too.

Yes, some providers let you send or receive money from abroad through your online account.

About our prepaid cards comparison

We include prepaid cards that can be loaded with dollars 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.

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.