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What else NOT to buy with a prepaid card.

Updated on December 19, 2009

When making a purchase with any type of prepaid card, you may find that not all of your money is available to you; even though, when you check your prepaid card account, all of your money is their.


This is caused when you make a purchase at a business, and the business does not know what the total amount of the purchase will be at the time you present the card. For a more in depth explanation visit, What NOT to use a Prepaid Credit Card for.


Here are some types of purchases with a prepaid card, that you may NOT want to make with a prepaid card:

(You could try to ask the manager or business owner, what is their policy on excepting prepaid credit/debit card for making purchases at their establishment. Generally, you could ask a modified version of this question, “How much money is initially placed on hold with a credit card at the start of a transaction?”)


  • Running a tab at a bar.

    Typically, when you run a tab at a bar, you will be asked for your credit card to start the tab. Initially, your card is swiped to verify that it is valid and indicates that the card can be used for purchases. This initial check may put a hold (lock) of any amount from twenty to fifty dollars; making that amount unavailable for use (minus the amount of money you spent at the business) for the next couple of days.

  • Renting equipment.

    Depending on the type of equipment you are renting, the effect would not be much different than renting a car. You can still have X amount of dollars on your prepaid card put on hold for several days.

  • Renting a Truck.

    There is no difference between renting car or equipment than renting a truck or trailer.

  • Airline Reservations.

    This is about the reservation of an airline ticket; not the purchase of the actual airline ticket. When you make the reservation, a prepaid credit card will still have a certain amount of money placed on hold. While this money is on hold, you can not use it. The money is on hold because the airline does not know if you really intend to purchase the ticket or not. If not, you may have to pay a cancellation fee. Either way, you may have a certain amount of money unavailable for use (minus the amount of money you spent for the ticket and/or fees) for the next couple of days.


With the above as your guide, you should be able to identify the types of businesses that, if you used your prepaid credit card there, your prepaid card would end up with a number of dollars that are unavailable to you for the next few days.


It is important to note, that the place where you are making the purchase is not the one that is holding your money for X number of days. The place that is holding your money for the next few days is the company that issued the card.

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    • profile image

      Jenelle 

      3 years ago

      Dag nabbit good stuff you whreppisnappers!

    • wolfpack5 profile image

      wolfpack5 

      8 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi floating mind, very nicely written hub you have here. very informative and helpful, thank you

      have a great night :)

    • lindagoffigan profile image

      lindagoffigan 

      8 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Helpful information and a good warning.

    • Teresa Laurente profile image

      Maria Teresa Rodriguez - Laurente 

      8 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

      Wow, I didn't know about this. Thank you so much for this very important and helpful information. God bless.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      This is a good hub, and with some interesting info from a financial perspective. Oh, and the pretty ladies work too! : )

    • Dao Hoa profile image

      Dao Hoa 

      8 years ago

      Interesting to know. I only bought a prepaid card once for my youngest son to use on a trip. However, I never check to see if we still have any money in it.

    • floating mind profile imageAUTHOR

      floating mind 

      8 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Hi Maita. Part of an experiment; to see if pretty ladies attract more readers or not. So far, not so much. Maybe I should change the title to, "Watch these Pretty Ladies decide what else NOT to buy with a prepaid card." :)

      Thanks you for the greetings.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 

      8 years ago from US

      bar yes, thats right, hey pretty ladies in the pics..haha

      I came by to greet you Happy holidays, Maita

    • floating mind profile imageAUTHOR

      floating mind 

      8 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Lady_E - Thanks. I glad you find these hubs useful. I have more to come in this area.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Very interesting Floating Mind. I've read a few of your financial Hubs and noted you are very wise Financially. I wish I'd known you a bit earlier - then I would have been wiser financially.

      Very useful article. Thx.

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