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Best Re-loadable Prepaid Cards For Anyone

Updated on May 19, 2013
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Why Get A Re-loadable Prepaid Card

There are several reasons you may want to get a prepaid card. First of all you don't need to have good credit as there is they don't affect credit. Also it's impossible to go into debt with them because it's prepaid! Anyone can get a prepaid card easily. Even a teenager can get one. Some cards allow as young as 13 years old to get one. There are also student and family cards available!

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Fees To Be Aware Of

There are a few fees to look out for when searching for the right prepaid card. These fees include monthly fees, transaction fees, inactive fees, ATM fees, and others. Below will be a chart of fees for several cards, so you know which card will fit you best. If you just want to know the fees on these cards, you can just scroll to the chart at the bottom of this article.

Different Fee Plans

Typically there are two different kind of fee plans that prepaid cards offer. Pay as you go and monthly fees. Pay as you go plans usually will have no monthly fee, but will have $1-$2 transaction fees. This is best if you only want to use your card occasionally. If you want to regularly use your card then a monthly fee plan will probably work best for you. Monthly fee plans usually have free unlimited transactions, but have a monthly fee ranging anywhere from $2-$15.

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Reloading Your Prepaid Card

While most cards have free direct deposit, you most likely will have to pay a small fee for reloading with cash. If you want to reload with cash it's important to see what reload locations are compatible with your card. Popular reload locations include MoneyGram, Western Union, Green Dot, etc.

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Prepaid Cards For Teens

Most prepaid cards require you to be 18 years or older. However there are many student or family prepaid cards available. The problem with these cards is you might need a parent card with it or money can only be added through the parent. Only a few cards will allow individual card holders under 18 years old. So if you're under 18 and don't want your card to be linked to a parents it may limit your choices, but there are still a few good cards out there.

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American Express Prepaid Card

This is probably the very best prepaid card in terms of fees. There is no monthly or transaction fees on this card. There is a $2.50 ATM withdrawal on this card, but that's not uncommon. Also you only have to be 13 to apply for one! Besides direct deposit, you reload this card through vanilla reload network and moneypak. The only downside to this card is that it's not as widely accepted as Visa or MasterCard.

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Visa Kaiku Prepaid Card

This card is definitely the best visa card in terms of fees. It has a minimal fee of $1.95. That is the lowest monthly fee you'll see on a visa prepaid card. That $1.95 a month gives you a card that has no transaction OR ATM fees. Cash can be added through Visa Ready Links and MoneyGrams. The only flaw with this card is you have to be 18 years or older to apply. However minors can be a secondary cardholder.

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Mango MasterCard

This is one of the best prepaid cards by MasterCard. It has a pretty decent monthly fee of $5 that can actually be waived by loading more than $500 on it each month. This card has no transaction fees, but does have a $2 ATM withdrawal fee. You can load cash through any Western Union or Green Dot agents. What makes this card cool is it has text alerts, its own app, and you can load through PayPal as well! You do have to be 18 years or older to apply though.

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NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card

This is the card you want to get if you're under 18 years of age and don't want a card linked to your parent's account. There are two different plans for this card. You can get the monthly plan with a moderate fee of $9.95 per month. The other plan is the Pay As You Go Plan. This plan has no monthly fee, but you will be charged $1 for signature transactions and $2 for PIN transactions. The ATM fee for both these plans is $2.50. This may not be the cheapest prepaid card, but you only have to be 14 years old to apply for one. You can reload this card at any MoneyGram, Western Union, and any other Visa Ready Link location.

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Suze Orman The Approved MasterCard

This is a pretty good card all around. It has a small monthly fee of $3 and unlimited free transactions. The ATM withdrawal fee for this card is $2. You can add cash to this card through MoneyGram, Express Payment, and Western Union. To apply for this card you have to be 18 years or older for a primary card and 13 years or older for a secondary card.

Fee Comparison

Card Type
Monthly Fee
Signature Transaction
Pin Transaction
ATM Withdrawal
Minimum Age
Reload Locations
American Express
$0
$0
$0
$2.50
13
Vanilla Reload, Money Pak
Kaiku Visa
$1.95
$0
$0
$0
18(13 for Secondary)
Visa Ready Link, Money Gram
Mango MasterCard
$5(Waived If $500 loaded/month)
$0
$0
$2
18
Western Union, Green Dot, Paypal
Netspend Visa (Pay As You Go)
$0
$1
$2
$2.50
14
Visa Ready Link, MoneyGram, Western Union
Netspend Visa (Monthly Plan)
$9.95
$0
$0
$2.50
14
Visa Ready Link, MoneyGram, Western Union
The Approved Card
$3
$0
$0
$2
18(13 for secondary)
MoneyGram, Western Union, Express Payment

Saving Money And Avoiding Fees

There are a few ways to avoid fees. For example the mango MasterCard allows you to bypass the monthly fee if you deposit at least $500 that month. Some cards have a higher signature transaction fee than PIN fee such as the Netspend card. A way to save money is to select credit instead of debit, so it is considered a signature transaction. Also most cards will give you free ATM withdrawal through their own ATM's, so it is good to know where you can find them. Some cards will give you a discount for just using direct deposit. If you use all these tips you can cut the cost of your prepaid card a lot. Just be aware of the fees your paying.

What's Your Favorite Type Of Card?

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