The Hidden Agenda Of Pre Paid Debit Credit Cards

Today one of the fastest growing markets in the financial industry is re-loadable prepaid debit cards. As more and more people run into credit issues with today’s economy, more and more people turn to re-loadable prepaid debit cards. People who can not get a traditional bank card or credit card often turn to these prepaid cards. Some people find credit cards to costly an opt for these cards, yet these cards too can carry hidden expenses. These cards also do not carry the traditional safe guards against fraud that a real credit card carries.

The way the companies that run prepaid debit cards make their money is with fees. Many of these company’s hide the fees in fine print. Also some companies do not fully disclose their hidden fees. These hidden expenses can quickly deplete the cash loaded up on the cards. Consumer reports said in a report on the industry that these cards are filled with numerous different types of fees and other gotchas. This is one situation in which reading the fine print is definitely worth your time. Should you be in the market for a pre paid debit card, you need to read all the documentation that comes with the card, the cards website, and possibly a call to customer service to ask about what fees come with the card.

While each cards fees vary greatly, there are some very common fees to look out for. One of the most frequent hidden fees is the activation fee, which is charged the moment you buy the card with money loaded up onto it. ATM fees are also very common, deducting a fee off of your balance just to use an ATM. Many of these cards charge a fee monthly just for having the card, and this fee can range between $2.00 and up to $8.00. Another fee to be wary of is a fee to call customer service, regardless of the nature of the telephone call, some of these cards will charge you a flat fee per call.

Other fees take on varied forms. Such as balance inquiry and statement fees. If your card has an option for a mailed written monthly statement, this will entail a fee as well. Several of these pre paid debit cards will also charge you a fee for each and every purchase you make at a register. Using the card to pay your utility bills can even carry a hidden fee. If you leave your account inactive for a period of time, you may also be charged another fee called the “Inactive account” fee. They can consider your card inactive if there has been no purchases or money loaded for a specified period of time, which varies from card to card. One fee that is pretty bad, like a kick to the face is a fee for closing your account. The best way to limit your fees on prepaid debit cards to do Adequate research on them before selecting the right card for you.