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Top Non commission prepaid debit cards of August 2021 in the United States

The top and reloadable prepaid debit cards have low or no monthly fees and offer many ways to deposit and withdraw money.

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Interesting facts in articles from the financial community.

The idea of prepaid debit cards

This card is a payment instrument. Similar to traditional debit cards, prepaid ones can be used to shop online and offline, wherever accepted. Pre-paid cards are generally issued by the same payment networks as traditional credit and debit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

Note! Prepaid cards differentiate from regular ones in the way that prepaid cards are not tied to checking accounts in a bank or a credit union.

In addition, you can only use the funds that you have credited to the card. Although a number of prepaid cards provide overdraft protection, this is not as versatile as with regular banking accounts.

These cards are at times paralleled with secured credit cards but they are actually very different. Having this debit card you just utilize the money deposited to the card. By contrast, an advance deposit is required for secured cards usage and it becomes your credit line. You can use this line, repay it and keep using it over and over again. In fact, you never use deposit money and you may get it back when you close the account or perhaps even earlier. Moreover, secured cards might help obtain a loan while debit cards don't have such a feature.

A lot of prepaid cards enable to create auxiliary accounts so that you can share cards with other family members and all cards are tied to the same primary account. But many cards charge various fees including reload, monthly, transaction, ATM ones and others.

Because of this, it is better to make a search and compare several options before choosing one.

Who needs to hold prepaid debit cards

The largest target group for this kind of cards is people having no access to banking services or not having sufficient banking services by choice or circumstance. It can be difficult to qualify to set up an account provided you don't have a number of social security or have had problems with former bank accounts such as forced closings or uncovered negative balances.

Important! Issuers do not verify credit history when you apply.

However, a number of social security may be asked but this is not required by all cards.

Such card usage may be considered in case budgeting assistance is needed. Provided you want to set limits on certain expenses over a certain time period then it is worth transferring money to your prepaid card and apply this method of payment only for the specified category. There are options that afford to hold multiple cards for various budget categories.

Additionally, some people may see prepaid cards as a substitute to a credit card. Despite a prepaid card cannot help obtain a loan but it can be a proper tool to avoid paying interest and avoid a debt on a credit card. Although customers don't get outstanding benefits and rewards in comparison with top credit cards but they can still receive cashback as well as other rewarding by holding some of the prime prepaid cards.

Issues worth paying attention to when choosing a prepaid debit card

A number of factors should be considered when comparing various cards. The most important include:

  • Commissions including those for monthly fees cancellation
  • Free access to ATM
  • Free reload options
  • Awards
  • Protection against fraud and for purchases
  • Auxiliary accounts flexibility
  • Options for savings
  • Mobile app availability

Which features are essential depends on your personal circumstances and the plan of your card usage.

Substitutes to prepaid debit cards

Undoubtedly, these cards are not the only one method of payment.

Attention! Payment by cash is a suitable option provided you don't want to worry about an account opening or your card managing. However, cash do not provide protection if your money is lost or stolen and it is not suitable for online transactions.

Having a credit card can be a great choice if the bills are paid in full and timely each month. It allows to take advantage of various benefits and rewards as well as increase your credit rating. But you should be careful as with credit cards it's easy to accumulate significant debts.

A traditional debit card is a valuable option in case you are eligible to have a checking account and no additional tools for budgeting are needed. Otherlike, you can obtain a prepaid debit card instead.

Charge-free prepaid cards

Below is the list of the top no commission prepaid debit cards that are worth being considered. It's useful to know that commissions, conditions and fees may vary from state to state. The schemes outlined here are the most common charging schemes in use.

Even a free prepaid card may not be completely free of charge. Different fees are added for various services, so we've also highlighted the main expenses to be considered. You need to read the fine print prior to choosing a proper prepaid card in order not to face any unpleasant surprises.

You should also remember that each card offers different benefits and features that may satisfy needs of some customers but not of others. For instance, some options offer refunds or rewards for purchasing while others allow to hold multiple cards associated to one account, and it is convenient if you want to, for example, give the card to your child or another family member. You will need to do a little research in order to find an appropriate card. Actually, there are so many options in the market that you will surely find one that suits you best.

An overview of some top options introduced into the market

American Express Serve

Features

  • The card can be ordered online free of charge and it applies no monthly fee in case $500 is deposited per month.
  • No creditworthiness verification
  • Free bank or direct debit top-ups
  • A cash top-up fee up to $3.95
  • Free of charge withdrawals at MoneyPass ATMs. Other ATM networks apply fees
  • Cards of AmEx network are less accepted than Mastercard and Visa
  • Possibility for online invoice payment
  • 2.7% commission for purchases in foreign currency

Movo virtual pre-paid Visa card

Features

  • Obtain and utilize digital Visa cards right after registering
  • Register online for free and receive your card within 5-10 days. To get a physical card you need to contact customer service
  • No creditworthiness verification is required
  • Bank deposit, tax refund, direct transfers or PayPal
  • Free usage across the USA
  • May be used with Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Apple Pay
  • ATM fee of $2 for an ATM usage outside the network of Visa Plus Alliance
  • International fees when utilizing the card in foreign currency or withdrawing money from an ATM abroad
  • $ 4.95 month charge for inactivity in case the card has not been used for 90 days

Starbucks Rewards pre-paid Visa card

Features

  • Visa network card with Chase as an issuer
  • Cards are issued and replaced for free in case standard shipping options are chosen
  • No monthly, yearly or recurring fees
  • No overdraft or loan fees and your money is protected by the FDIC
  • Cannot be used in ATM cash withdrawal machines
  • Cash top-up is not possible, only from another debit card or a current account
  • Rewards earned can be spent at Starbucks
  • Overseas transaction fees of 3% are added to international purchases

American Express Bluebird

Features

  • Free account opening, no monthly fees
  • Available for clients with bad credit scores
  • The card can be ordered online for free
  • $5 cost for cards bought at retail outlets
  • Deposit money online free of charge with a direct debit card
  • Free cash adding by cash payment at Walmart. Commissions may be applied for adding cash elsewhere
  • Free MoneyPass ATM withdrawals. $2.50 commission otherwhere (possible ATM operator charges may be applied)
  • No commission for currency exchange
  • No inactivity fee

Walmart MoneyCard Cashback prepaid debit card

Features

  • Accepted widespread Visa card
  • No creditworthiness verification is required
  • 1%-3% cashback for purchasing made with this card
  • No monthly charges if at least $1000 is deposited per month
  • Free cash top-up at Walmart. Commissions may be applied for cash top-ups elsewhere
  • You can receive salary or benefits earlier by redirecting them to this card with the help of a direct deposit

Fifth Third Access prepaid debit card

Features

  • Free account opening
  • No monthly charge if you already have an account at Fifth Third or the amount over $500 is deposited per month
  • Free adding, funds transfer and withdrawal
  • Cash top-up at Fifth Third
  • The Mastercard network card that is widely used across the country and abroad
  • Free Fifth Third ATM withdrawals nationwide
  • International charges and currency conversion fees for spending abroad and ATM cash withdrawals while traveling

The advantage of holding a prepaid card

These cards are really convenient and frequently safer than carrying cash. But they also have a number of other advantages over other kinds of credit and debit cards.

Important! Holding a prepaid card you can only access the pre-loaded funds so you don't accidentally waste it.

This means that you will not plunge into an overdraft and pay a bank commission that you did not expect. You don't spend money on credit so no interest is charged. However, you will still receive a variety of benefits of a regular card usage like ATM withdrawals and usual day-to-day expenses.

The downside of this card's usage

While choosing a prepaid card it is necessary to consider the fees associated with it because they can be rather high as compared with regular debit cards. It is also worth checking how you can top up your card and if any top up costs are applied.

You should pay attention to the possibility to manage your account online as not all options have simple applications or access to the types of services you would get at regular mobile banking. There are also places such hotels and gas stations that do not accept prepaid cards.

Attention! Prepaid cards are proper for customers with bad credit scores but they are unable to assist in building your credit history or increasing your credit score over time.

These cards are also not ideal for those who are aimed to save funds as in most cases no interest is paid so a regular savings account may be a worthwhile option.