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Mastercard Prepaid Debit Card Review

Updated on September 21, 2011

Mastercard Debit Cards

Mastercard's prepaid debit card selection boasts three key features that I will review in this article; convenience, ease of use and safety. I will try to be as objective as I can in reviewing these claims, and due to the fact that I am in no way connected or endorsed by Mastercard, I will be as blunt as possible when it comes to the results.

In the first part of the article I will discuss the Mastercard debit card selection, and as the article progresses I will then shift my focus onto prepaid debit cards. Although many tend to lump the two categories together, they are fundamentally different and cater to different audiences, as well as offering a different array of pros and cons.

Before we begin however, I will clarify eligibility and some basic important information regarding Mastercard's rePower service. While one of the major benefits of a Mastercard is the fact that it is almost universally accepted, the rePower prepaid service is intended for U.S consumers.

Types Of Debit Cards

Everyday Prepaid Card -For everyday purchases and expenditures.

MasterCard Prepaid Gift Card - A transferable card suitable as a gift.

MasterCard Travel Card - Tailored for those that wish to spend while traveling.

Convenience

Mastercard's claim that their debit cards are more convient than cash depends, to me, on what they mean by global coverage. Due to the fact that my primary motivator for acquiring a debit or prepaid card is traveling, and I'm not a fan of dragging more than a couple of cards around the world with me, I was interested in knowing what Mastercard deems is worldwide coverage.

The hard facts:

  • Mastercards (including debit cards and the Maestro debit card) is supported in over 210 countries across the globe.
  • Accepted in 29 million locations worldwide.
  • In the U.S market, Mastercard currently trails VISA in market share, but remains competitive at second place.

While most people urge traveling with a backup (I.E a VISA if you have a mastercard), it seems clear to me that in terms of reach, Mastercard offers a great deal of protection. Nevertheless, for readers who want to know exactly where ATM locations are (a perfect solution for those who travel frequently), Mastercard offer the following service that allows cardholders to locate the most convenient ATM and Mastercard services worldwide.

Pricelesss.

Locating convenient ATM locations anywhere, is made easy with this free cardholder tool.
Locating convenient ATM locations anywhere, is made easy with this free cardholder tool.

Ease Of Use

The strong-point of most pre paid debit cards, and not only Mastercard's ones, is that they are easy to apply for and offer powerful spending options. Here's what I consider to be the salient points of Mastercard's rePower debit card program.

  • No credit checks.  (see video below)
  • No bank account required.
  • Online financial tools make it easy to make payments.
  • Zero liability 
  • 24 hour banking

Mastercard Emergency Contacts

From the U.S: 1-800-MasterCard or 1-800-627-8372

Internationally: 1-636-722-7111

Safety Features

Prepaid debit cards are intrinsically safer than cash. Mastercard offers its own tools and services to cardholders to achieve an even higher level of security.

The feature I like the most is Mastercard's zero liability policy towards cards that are reported stolen. In short, you are not held responsible for illegal and fraudulent transactions (assuming you have, in fact, reported the card as quickly as you can). In Mastercard's own words:

With Zero Liability, you’re not responsible for unauthorized purchases, whether they’re made in-store, by phone, or online. You can’t say that about cash.

Aside from the fact that a prepaid debit card is inherently safe. You may worry about having problems that are certainly less exotic than being a victim of a crime. If you find yourself in a financial pickle, know that you are supported by Mastercard's helplines and emergency contacts for cardholders (right).

Where to get one?

Mastercard do not issue the cards themselves, rather, they are made available via private issuers. Thankfully, browsing a selection of Mastercard prepaid debit cards via their issues is made simple via Mastercard's online selection tool (right).

All major banks offer Mastercard programs so finding one is as easy as hopping online and either browsing the issuer tool, or heading into your local bank and asking for one.

I hope you have enjoyed this article. For any questions or concerns regarding Mastercard pre paid programs, feel free to use the comment module below to interact with me and other readers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Comments

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    • seigfried23 profile image

      seigfried23 

      6 years ago

      I tend to go for debit cards over credit cards anyway, except when traveling abroad, where i might need more protection and coverage - lost luggage, etc. Thanks for this informative hub!

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      8 years ago from USA

      good information, I've had excellent service and results with mine.

    • MKayo profile image

      MKayo 

      8 years ago from Texas

      I'll bet you get a lot of traffic on this subject - great, detailed info. Thanks!

    • thooghun profile imageAUTHOR

      James D. Preston 

      8 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thank you ladies and gents!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Good review for you. I'll bookmark this one. Thank you very much.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      It sounds like the way to go especially for someone who tends to overspend. I like the security features.

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 

      8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Good solid information. I will be trying this I think. It is a good way to go, keeps you out of the credit cycle.

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