Anyone interested in securing a better financial future knows the importance of using credit cards . This incredibly important tool is often misunderstood, and anyone who doesn’t fully understand them should learn more. But for the purposes of this discussion, let’s cover what makes credit cards so important. On a personal level, having good credit can mean purchasing power for items beyond the reach of your cash reserves. This could be many different things, from a refrigerator to a car or even a house. But even having the ability to pay for groceries before the next paycheck reveals the power of credit.
Demonstrating Fiscal Discipline With Prepaid Credit Cards
Now jump up a level and think of what your business aspirations might be. You might have a great idea for starting up your own company, from something as simple as an eBay store to a hip new neighbourhood restaurant or even an ambitious tech startup. And it’s not likely you will have all the cash on hand to begin any of those ventures, either. That makes having good credit even more important. In fact, without understanding where your credit is, you can’t even get a good business plan going! While prepaid credit cards don’t build up your credit, they do prepare you for the practices you’ll need to get to that place.
Regardless of your goals, building a financial foundation means building up your credit card use. And there is no better way to start down that path than by using prepaid credit cards. By demonstrating fiscal discipline to lenders by consistently funding and using your prepaid cards, over time, those institutions will feel more confident issuing you credit. Once you get your first regular credit card, you can start building up that financial reputation which will help you further your economic ambitions.
The thing is, there are a lot of prepaid credit cards out there! And some are better than others. You don’t want to get caught up with an offer that has hidden fees or restrictive terms. If facing all that research alone sounds daunting, don’t worry: we’ve got you. We’ve got a list below which reveals some of the best in the market and what makes each so special. Because not everybody has the same needs, right? Read these blurbs to find out which of these cream-of-the-crop offerings best suits you.
Here are the top 10 prepaid credit cards:
1. Walmart Money Card
If you’re like most people, there’s a good chance you do a good chunk of your shopping at Walmart. And why not? They have great products at great prices. Whether you’re looking for produce, clothing, housewares, or electronics, this is a one-stop shopping center for a large portion of the population. The Walmart Money Card has a lot of great features, including 3% cash back rewards, the ability to earn interest on savings accounts, and subaccounts for family members in case you need somebody else in the house to go shopping.
2. Bluebird by American Express
Everybody knows the name. American Express is probably the most well-known credit card company in the world. Having their name building up your good credit card practices has no downsides. This card features no fees for online purchases, activation, and more. You also get many membership services that all Amex customers enjoy, such as roadside assistance and easy options for cash reloads. While they don’t have a rewards program, there are still a lot of perks associated with this card.
If you are part of a family working on building up a financial foundation, then FamZoo might be a prepaid card worth considering. This excellent option has a multitude of family-friendly features to consider. You can order up to four cards for free to distribute among the household. Parental controls mean you can get kids started on responsible spending and watch over their purchases. There are even ways to tie cash rewards to things like allowances and chores, incentivizing kids to understand how money works. There are a couple of fees to watch out for, but the overall potential here is great.
4. PayPal Prepaid Mastercard
This one is a favorite of the financial news network CNBC. Pairing two huge names in modern finance — digital payment pioneer PayPal and the venerable credit card company Mastercard — this one might make the most sense for those seeking to make payments and earn income through digital platforms. Combining offers with qualifying stores and seamlessly integrating with your PayPal account, fledgling businesses and freelancers may opt for this one. There are some fees to be careful of, but there is still a lot of power in this option.
5. OpenSky Secured Credit Visa Card
If you’re really gung-ho about getting your prepaid credit card practices built up in a big way, check out the OpenSky Secured Credit Visa Card. Starting with as low as $200 of funding, this card has a number of features that can help you jump levels quickly, even if you’re starting with no credit history at all. After only six months, you could find a credit extension without having to pay in. And with an 87% approval rating, this Credit Karma favorite means you can get into this one with confidence.
6. Netspend Prepaid Card
Sometimes, financial strength requires flexibility and convenience. This is what made longtime finance journalism giant Forbes add the Netspend Prepaid Card to their list of recommended prepaid cards. Their main strength is having over 130,000 locations nationwide for cash reloads. This network helps ensure you can easily add funds to your card whenever you need to, especially if you rely upon cash payments. The monthly fee is a little high, coming in at $9.95. But it gets cut in half if you deposit $500 in a month.
Here is a truly modern fintech company that is a great place for first-time earners to enter the credit market. Chime was literally designed for young people coming into their financial own during the digital age. For starters, this one has no hard credit check or approval process. It’s also accepted anywhere that Visa cards are accepted, giving you a lot of places to make payments. And while it doesn’t have any fees or interests, it also has no rewards program, so you’ll have to do the math against what other prepaid credit card companies offer to see what makes sense for you.
8. Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard
Here’s a prepaid credit card that can get you a little closer to banking rather than simply getting into credit card usage. The Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard not only carries one of the most important names in the credit card market but also offers up great features like a high-yield savings account and mobile check deposits. They also keep away from overdraft fees, which is pretty nice. However, you will be charged ATM use fees, so keep an eye on that. While there are fewer credit-building opportunities here, access to basic banking services can also put you on a stronger financial footing, and there’s no credit check here, either.
9. One VIP
If you’re looking for a prepaid credit card that also uplifts Black businesses, One VIP might be the right pick for you. Backed by the Black-owned Urban One media company, this card offers a number of attractive features. For starters, it has early access to direct deposits, meaning you could get the money from your paycheck sooner. There is also a generous rewards system that incentivizes spending and growth. One VIP also donates to a lot of charities helping communities of color. There are fees to look out for as well, so as always, check out the math on this one.
10. ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card
Not into using prepaid credit cards all the time but still want to have one in hand to cover you when you need it? Then the ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card might be a good fit. Their pay-as-you-go system means you don’t have to deal with monthly fees and only get charged per transaction — a flat $1.50 rate. This may be the perfect choice for those making seven or fewer purchases a month. They even have cashback programs and zero international withdrawal fees. That said, other fees, like for mobile check deposits, mean you have to be sure you aren’t falling out of balance.