Millions of people who don’t have a bank account use check-cashing
services which are expensive, and an old method of finding someone
with a bank account who will cash a check for you isn't allowed
by most banks nowdays. Besides, keeping all of your money in cash
isn't safe. It is also harder to keep track your spending.
Prepaid Visa and Master cards work and look like a debit card
and can be used for:
- Making purchases in stores, on the internet, by phone, and
through mail order catalogs.
- Paying bills.
- Sending and transferring money.
- Withdrawing cash from an ATM (or banks)
Getting a prepaid credit card.
Some employers and many government agencies offer payments in
a form of a prepaid card. They can also be bought directly from
banks and certain stores.
Before deciding to get a prepaid credit card,
it is not a bad idea to find out how much it costs to use, and
how the money on the card is protected.
In order to use a prepaid card you have to prove your address
and identity, but credit check is not required.
How do prepaid credit cards work?
A government agency can deposit unemployment benefits, child
support payments, etc. directly into a prepaid card, as your employer
can do. You might be able to put money in it by yourself. The
money can be used right away and the amount you spend or withdraw
is deducted from it immediately. Just like debit cards, prepaid
cards have a personal identification number.
Some prepaid cards provide monthly statements and\or
allow you to check your card balance by phone or on the internet.
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The cost of using a prepaid card.
Usually, there is no fee for using a prepaid card to make purchases
or for paying bills.
Most banks however impose fees for:
getting the a prepaid card,
adding money to it,
checking the card balance.
Note, that most cards will offer limited number of customer service
inquires like checking the balance and ATM's withdrawals for free.