What’s The Best Prepaid Credit Card? Our Top Smart Value Choices

young women trying to decide what's the best prepaid credit card

What’s The Best Prepaid Credit Card?

Prepaid credit cards have become an increasingly popular way to pay.  So popular that many have asked themselves what’s the best prepaid credit card for personal use and how can it help improve my credit standing.

man reaching into his shirt pocket to use the best prepaid credit card

From 2012 to 2014, prepaid credit card usage grew by 50% in the United States. By 2016, estimates show that 23 million Americans had begun using prepaid cards.

There are several reasons that a prepaid credit card might be preferable.

Many people prefer the ability to pay using a credit or debit card, but don’t like spending money they may not have.

Prepaid cards allow users to pay with plastic, without racking up the debt or overspending. Prepaid cards also eliminate the possibility of accruing over-the-limit fees or overdraft charges incurred by some financial institutions.

Some parents use prepaid cards to keep track of their children’s spending. And, some people appreciate the convenience of having a prepaid card to use for travel purposes.

The Top Prepaid Credit Cards

Prepaid credit cards have limits on how much you can spend and withdraw daily.

They are not the same as other debit cards, or as prepaid gift cards, which may carry the same emblem or be sold by the same company as the credit cards.

Some may be linked to a separate bank account. And, some prepaid cards even have their own rewards programs.

Before you decide on what’s the best prepaid credit card to use, you should know about specific features, benefits, and fees.  This way you will be certain to choose the best one for you.

Read on to find out what’s the best prepaid credit card for you!

1. Bluebird by American Express

Users get many of the same benefits of an AmEx card, such as 24/7 customer service, purchase protection, fraud protection guarantees, roadside assistance, and access to discounts for entertainment events.

In addition, in 2017 they rolled out extra features like baggage insurance and their global assist hotline for travelers. Many prepaid cards don’t offer these types of benefits to users.

You can reload the card via direct deposit or from another bank account. It is also reloadable at any Walmart location. There’s also the added bonus of a check-image capture feature so that you can deposit checks onto your card.

stack of credit cards with amex card on top

There are no monthly fees or ATM withdrawal fees when you use a Moneypass ATM.

You pay $5 dollars for a Bluebird kit at Walmart. Then you have the option to sign up for your permanent card and an account that works much

like a typical online checking account.

2. American Express Serve

Both American Express prepaid cards on our list have a $750 dollar maximum daily withdrawal limit.

Like the Bluebird prepaid card, this card offers many prime features that others don’t, such as online bill pay, free ATM withdrawals at Moneypass locations, subaccounts for family members and mobile access.

You can activate a card for free online, but activating in stores will cost you around $3.95.

Cash reloads can also cost up to $3.95, but you can avoid the fee by using direct deposit options or depositing from another bank account.

There is a $1 dollar monthly fee, but prevented with a minimum deposit of $500 dollars. This amount is still very low when compared to some of the other prepaid cards that have monthly fees of up to $9.95.

Both cards also have free fraud protection, which is another rarity among the prepaid variety.

3. Green Dot MoneyCard (Walmart)

Green Dot, one of the most notorious names in prepaid card services, still ranks high among experts as one of the best.

The Green Dot Basic Walmart Mastercard has a $3 monthly maintenance fee. There is also $1.88 activation fee, that you can waive if you activate your card online.

In addition, the Walmart Mastercard version has zero ATM withdrawal and balance inquiry fees when used at Moneypass ATMs.

The basic Green Dot monthly maintenance fee of $5.95. To avoid this fee, you can load $1000 dollars or more onto the card, or by making at least 30 monthly transactions.

4. Movo Virtual Prepaid Visa Card

This card has the benefits of no activation fee, no monthly fees, and no added fees each time you make a purchase, unlike most of your options for prepaid credit cards.iphone pen paper and visa card

The virtual element makes online purchases more convenient, but there is also a physical card for purchases, ATM withdrawals and cash back at retailers. And, there is a no-fee ATM network available.

However, there are charges by retailers to reload, and there may be additional credit card transfer fees.

Free reload options are available, but many of these require additional time. Also, there is a 75 cent charge each time that you use the card to pay a bill.

5. Fifth Third Access 360 Degrees Reloadable Prepaid Card

This card is only available in states with Fifth Third locations, limiting availability.

The card offers users a free ATM network of over 45,000 ATM All Point locations, and a $2.75 fee at non-network ATMs.

The $4.00 dollar monthly charge, but having $500 dollars of deposits in a month’s time or maintaining a Fifth Third banking account, sidesteps this fee.

You can reload your card at any Fifth Third location, or via card transfers or direct deposit. However, there is not the bonus of being able to reload at a national retailer.

Another benefit that this card offers is that it allows more than one user on your account.

To apply for the card, there is no credit check required.

Want to Know More About Unconventional Credit Cards?

Still uncertain about what’s the best prepaid credit card? Then you may want to explore more unconventional options.  If you are in a situation where bad credit has limited your choices, prepaid credit cards are not your only option.

You may have some interest in learning about credit cards specifically for those with less-than-stellar credit scores.

If you want to find out how to build your credit back using a credit card for users with bad credit, check out our post on credit cards that may be right for you!

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