Best Prepaid Debit Card Option

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Although debit cards are becoming quite widespread today, many users have not yet had time to appreciate them and understand the benefits and opportunities that they provide. Practically similar in use to credit payment cards, they have many attractive features, thereby distinguishing themselves from other banking products.

What's the difference? It should be noted that we are talking about bank cards of the international payment network: Visa, Mastercard, etc., which are universal payment instruments and are used similarly to conventional cards.

What is a Prepaid Debit Card?

A plastic financial instrument that provides for the use of pre-deposited funds is called a prepaid card. It is worth noting that such plastic is not only banking. It can be produced by various stores, gas stations, cosmetic companies, and even MFIs.

Visa and American Express systems were the first to issue this type of bank card. Initially, they became popular among parents. They transferred a certain amount of money to the children and controlled their expenses which was much more practical than giving out cash. Today the prepaid card market is developing rapidly. But it is in the USA that it has the greatest success. You can even get quick cash from directly on your card.

Difference Between Prepaid Debit Cards and Other Types

As we can see from the above definitions, credit and debit cards are always issued tied to a specific bank account owned by an individual or company. Therefore, it is always easy to identify the owner of the real money making the payment.

When issuing a debit card, the bank does not open a personalized account for its client. Therefore, the owner's personal information is not available at the time of issue or when it is purchased. Besides, the person who owns the card can use it only within the limits of its face value or the total amount of funds deposited in advance.

Due to the lack of a checking account and a link to a specific ID, anyone who owns a debit card can use it. All this distinguishes prepaid bank cards from similar tools. There they can only be used by the legitimate owners who ordered the issue and maintenance of the card.

Features of Prepaid Debit Cards

Prepaid debit cards have some specific features stemming from their main characteristics.

  • They must be registered. When paying with any bank card, the name and address are verified. So, each prepaid debit card must be registered. Since the AVS (Address Verification System) check whether the owner's billing address exists in reality. At the same time, non-refundable prepaid cards can be registered in any name including aliases while some of them have random restrictions on the billing address. Geographically, they can only be registered in a certain country.
  • They must be activated. Since the user or reseller receives the card later than the day of issue, the prepaid debit cards are kept in an inoperative state and can neither be registered nor used. As a rule, they are activated at retail outlets directly by sellers when they transfer them to the owner, or the cardholder makes the activation himself by calling the appropriate bank service. Prepaid debit cards are sold already activated.
  • They have limitations in terms of cost and shelf life. Stored value cards are subject to much stricter expiration dates than regular debit and credit versions. In most cases, their validity period does not exceed 1 year. But even if such a card is valid for a longer period of time, it will be charged a bank processing fee after 1 year of use. If you have a non-downloadable prepaid debit card, then your cash flow is limited to its face value. And there is no way to increase the amount. Keep this in mind when purchasing your prepaid debit card. The higher face value option is preferred.

Best Prepaid Debit CardsPayPal Prepaid Mastercard

Consumers who wish to pay with a plastic payment card but do not want or may not be eligible for a debit or credit card can use this card. This is a particularly useful prepaid option for people who prefer to receive payments online through PayPal. 


  • ATM withdrawal fee $1.95;
  • $4.95 monthly maintenance fee;
  • A cancellation fee of $5.95 if you have any remaining funds in your account.

Western Union Prepaid Netspend Mastercard

Western Union Netspend Mastercard is the best-prepaid card for people who cannot qualify for a credit card. It comes with some nice features like a high-interest savings account and some great cashback deals.


  • No overdraft fees;
  • No cancellation fees;
  • Withdrawal fees of $2.50 for both plans.

Walmart MoneyCard

Walmart MoneyCard Visa is a very suitable prepared debit card for customers who like to shop at Walmart. Cash offers cashback rewards for Walmart shoppers. It also allows their free online debit system to be used as the best-prepaid debit card at Walmart.


  • No cancellation or inactivity fees;
  • No overdraft fees;
  • No transaction or purchase fees.

Prepaid Mastercard Greenlight

The Greenlight Card is the perfect way for parents to provide their children with benefits and also teach them how to budget properly. It is a very effective tool in helping your children understand the value of savings from an early age.


  • Monthly fee $4.99, replacement $3.50 free;
  • No withdrawal fee;
  • No cancellation fees.

Prepaid Mastercard Brink

The Brink prepaid debit card with Mastercard offers cardholders discrete budget management. Avoid the hassle of credit checks and don't worry about it affecting your credit rating. The Brink card is also the best debit card if safety is your top priority.


  • No interest charges;
  • No closing fees.
  • Withdrawal fee $2.50, balance check fee $0.50.

Benefits of Prepaid Debit Cards

Typically, using prepaid debit cards is as easy as using classic products. Despite some disadvantages, such as cost and shelf-life restrictions, they offer quite a few advantages to their owners:

  • They can be used anonymously. Cards accept registration under a fictitious name or pseudonym. Therefore, the owner can keep some of the payments safe. Prepaid debit cards allow holders to receive their accounts in many payment systems (PayPal, Google Adwords, iOffer, etc.), verified for any name on which the card is registered.
  • There is no processing fee for the first year of use.
  • You can buy it immediately. You can also buy gift cards directly from the store. However, if you need to purchase a card online, you have the option to purchase virtual cards with immediate delivery as soon as you pay.
  • Prepaid debit cards can be transferred to other parties.

Prepaid debit cards seem like the optimal and sometimes the only solution especially when you need to get a payment card quickly or you want to keep some of your financial calculations private.

Comments (1)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

All of these have merit at different points but can all have a lot of convergence in some way

Nov 25, 2021 09:35 PM