|Minimum Age||18 years|
|Permanent UK Resident|
|Minimum Age||6 years|
Last updated: 30 June, 2021
You can find a Visa prepaid card using this comparison. We’ve only included Visa prepaid cards.
Once you’ve found the one you want, you can get it online directly through the provider's website.
A Visa prepaid card is a reloadable card that you add funds to before you start spending.
When you get a prepaid card, you apply for it through its provider. The provider is the company that supplies the card, and which you’ll deal with if you make changes to your account or need help.
Prepaid card providers use a separate company to process the transactions when you use the card. This separate company usually tends to be Visa or MasterCard.
The main difference is if you use your card abroad because the exchange rates are set by Visa or MasterCard. You can check Visa's exchange rates here.
A prepaid Visa card can be used to pay bills and make purchases anywhere that you could use a Visa Debit card. It can be used online, or in person in shops, restaurants, petrol stations and so on.
You can add funds to it whenever you like.
Prepaid Visa cards come with lots of benefits. For example:
You don’t have to worry about overdraft fees or getting into debt. You can only spend the money that you’ve pre-loaded so you’re always sticking to your budget.
No credit checks are needed. You’re not borrowing any money.
It’s easy to access a prepaid Visa card. They’re easy to get hold of.
They’re an alternative cash. If you don’t have credit and debit cards, you can still avoid carrying cash by paying with a prepaid Visa card. A card is a safer option than carrying around wads of cash.
You can still make contactless payments. Prepaid Visa cards come with this useful feature.
They’re easy to reload. You can usually do this online or at an ATM. Some cards even let you have your salary paid onto them.
They can be safer. As prepaid credit cards aren’t linked to your bank account, it can make shopping online safer.
Some prepaid Visa cards allow you to spend abroad. This can be helpful as you don’t need to take cash or traveller’s cheques, and you might be able to avoid expensive foreign transaction fees. Check with your card provider as every prepaid Visa card is different.
Most things in life come with advantages and disadvantages, and prepaid Visa cards are no exception.
The main downside is the fees that you could face. For example, there could be:
Monthly admin fees
Foreign transaction fees
Balance checking fees.
You should try to keep these fees down as much as possible by choosing the right card. Our comparison table will help you with this.
Prepaid Visa cards don’t come with Financial Services Compensation Scheme Protection like Visa credit and debit cards do. However, if your card provider went bust you’d still get the money. The money is looked after by a bank or building society, not the Visa credit card provider.
They also aren’t protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 like Visa credit cards are. The Act protects credit card purchases between £100 and £30,000 against retailers going bust.
You may be able to take advantage of Visa’s chargeback scheme instead, which allows you to reverse a transaction.
There may be a few places where you can’t use a prepaid Visa card. This tends to be anywhere that you need to put down a security deposit, such as when you check in to a hotel, or hire a car.
The fees on your card are set by its provider. The provider may even add their own commission fees to the exchange rate too.
The prepaid card that works out cheapest will do so based on what fees it comes with, not whether it’s a Visa or MasterCard. It’ll also depend on how you plan to use the card.
If you want a card you’ll use yourself, mostly in the UK, you can compare prepaid cards offered by both Visa and MasterCard.
You should look for a card that offers low or no fees for the transactions you’ll do the most. For example, a card with free cash withdrawals could be best if you’ll mostly use it in cash machines.
You can also compare cards:
Generally, you’ll need to be 18 years old to get a prepaid Visa card.
However, some providers will let much younger people have one, as long as there’s parental permission. Some card providers will give one to children as young as six.
As you can only spend the money that’s been preloaded, many parents feel they are a great way to keep an eye on or limit their child’s spending.