Currently, the prepaid debit card market is the most consumer friendly that has ever been. In other words, there are many prepaid debit cards with very low fees.
In the past, many cards contained high hidden fees! You still need to be on the lookout to avoid these prepaid debit cards, and their exorbitant hidden fees! Below, you will find a list of the top 7 fees with tips to avoid paying them.
1. Monthly Fee
We have seen monthly fees as high as $19.95 per month. But you may be able to pay $0 and avoid a monthly fee altogether. If you want a no monthly fee prepaid card, then you should take a look at the Western Union prepaid card. This card gives you a free or no monthly fee!
With most prepaid cards, you will be responsible for paying about $5-$10 as a monthly fee. The Chase prepaid card has a low $4.95 monthly fee, without a bunch of hidden fees!
2. Purchase Fee or Set Up Fee
This is a new trend that we have seen prepaid debit credit cards charge you a purchase fee or one time set up fee. This purchase fee is usually about $5. You’ll always be responsible for paying a purchase fee, if you buy a prepaid card at a retail location such as Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Target, and more.
There are prepaid cards that will not charge you a purchase fee or a one-time setup fee. And instead it will be completely free. It is important to read the fine print and review the fee schedule, before you fill out any applications for prepaid debit cards.
3. Direct Deposit
You should never pay a fee if you use direct deposit. This should always be free. We have seen some debit prepaid cards offer you an incentive to use direct deposit.
The prepaid AccountNow Gold card offers you a free $15 bonus if you use direct deposit. You do typically have to use direct deposit with conditions such as two consecutive months.
4. ATM Fees
One of the newer and best features about the new prepaid debit card industry. Is that some prepaid debit cards will give you free ATM access.
This free ATM access is usually with a certain ATM network such as All Point, or MoneyPass. However, both of these ATM networks contain over 20,000 ATM locations. Located all over the country. The Suze Orman Approved Card and MAGIC prepaid card will give you free ATM access.
5. Speaking To a Customer Service Representative
It sounds crazy, but some prepaid debit cards will charge you up to $2 to speak with a live customer service representative. In other words, to speak to a real human being, you are going to be required to pay money! Some prepaid debit cards will provide you one free phone call per month and then charge you per call after that. Other prepaid cards will charge you for every phone call.
But you can get an American Express Prepaid Serve Card and not be required to pay any fees to speak to a live customer service representative! This is an important feature for a company that is handling your money!
6. Online Bill Pay
You can often get a free online bill pay system with your prepaid card. However double check because we have reviewed some cards that will not provide you this.
It is important to check the fee schedule. Some cards will start charging you a fee after a certain number of payments have been made per month. We have also seen fees charged if you send a paper check instead of an electronic payment.
7. Cash Loading Fees
Check to make sure you are not going to be charged an arm and a leg when you deposit cash on your prepaid card. If you are not going to use direct deposit, you will be required to pay a fee to deposit cash.
It is always important to read the fine print and double check the fee schedules on a prepaid debit card before you apply. There are some companies who are less than upfront with their fees.
However, this is one of the best times especially compared with recent years to get a cheap low fee prepaid credit card. One of the best prepaid debit card offers we have seen is the prepaid American Express debit card. But, there are many good prepaid cards to choose from, just make sure you avoid the bad debit cards with nauseating fees
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