Advantages of using a Prepaid Debit Card

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Carrying cash around with you isn’t always the best option for either individual going on holiday or for business. Especially if you are wanting to use your card abroad a traditional credit or debit card will often charge you for making transactions which can be costly. A good option is to use a prepaid card to negate the fees that traditional cards charge.

What is a prepaid card

Prepaid card

A prepaid card is very much what the name implies – it is a card that can be topped up with money and then used as and when you need it. The difference between a prepaid card and a traditional card is that you can only spend the money that is on them and they aren’t tied to your bank account. Once you spend the money on them you need to top them up again. One of the main advantages of using a prepaid card is that you can add different types of currency onto them and not just dollars. This means that if you are traveling in Europe you can top up the card in Euros and use the card while you shop. As the card already has the correct currency on it you won’t have to pay the fees associated with exchanging one currency into another, saving you money. Generally, you can top up a prepaid card with Great British pounds (sterling), Euros or dollars, but increasingly providers are now selling prepaid cards that can be topped up with many currencies and not just limited to the three mentioned above. 

Advantages:

The advantages of prepaid card are that it means that you don’t have to carry cash around with your while you travel. This is useful for both personal holidays, where losing cash may mean that you can’t get your next taxi home, but also for businesses. Prepaid debit cards for business is useful if you regularly travel for business or have employees that travel. Some companies offer branded prepaid cards so all cards have a uniform look and look professional. It also means that you have a record of all payments being made and that employees can’t go overbudget.

Prepaid cards are generally better to use when abroad than a normal debit or credit card, which can charge up to a 3% fee when used in another country. This also applies for withdrawing cash at an ATM, which can take an additional fee for transacting. These can both be avoided by using a prepaid card, or at least are charged at a lower rate.

Disadvantages:

While prepaid cards are often better than normal credit and debit cards they do have some disadvantages. If you use an ATM some cards still get charged a fee. They are also not as flexible as normal cards, and if you run out of money you need to top it up which may be inconvenient or not even possible depending on if you have your phone available or not.

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