Prepaid debit cards can be a useful payment tool in any season. But some people especially want an easy way to shop or pay for drinks and snacks while on their summer vacation. Summer is about feeling free and having fun, after all.
Which is where prepaid debit cards come into play. Most things in life cost money. Even if you’re just out enjoying the sunshine, it’s not a bad idea to have plastic on hand in case you want to run an errand on your way home. So with that in mind, consider four main reasons that using a prepaid debit card might be a good financial choice for you.
1 Provide Interest-Free Access to Money without the Pitfalls of Using Credit
For some reason, Americans can be a bit fixated on using (and even abusing) their credit cards. The interest rate for new credit cards is more than 22 percent, according to WalletHub. And it’s paying off all that credit plus interest that gets people into trouble. What’s more, some folks end up appearing risky to lenders by having too many credit cards, making loans difficult to obtain.
In contrast, prepaid debit cards typically:
- Don’t have interest rates
- Don’t entice you with money you don’t have
- Don’t have hidden fees
- Don’t penalize you for overdrafts or late payments
- Don’t require a bank account or financial history
Starting to see the picture? They’re not for everyone, but for some shoppers, they can certainly come in handy.
2 Widely Accepted at Stores
Some people operate under the misconception that prepaid debit cards might not be accepted where they want to spend their hard-earned dollars. This may have been the case in the past, but times are changing. Major financial companies such as VISA offer prepaid cards. This means you get access to the brand recognition without the pitfalls of credit and can use them wherever that brand is accepted, and that’s usually a lot of places.
So, if access is what’s worrying you, take another look. You might find you have no problem using it where you’ll be going.
3 Don’t Need to Be Linked to a Bank Account
It’s nice to feel plastic in your hand when shopping! But not everyone has been preapproved for a credit card, or wants to be. One of the biggest advantages of prepaid debit cards is that they give users who don’t have bank accounts – a.k.a. the “unbanked” – a similar option as credit cards.
Prepaid debit cards function similarly to credit cards, only not necessarily in combination with an account through a financial institution.
4 Safer than Carrying Cash Around
You know that guy who’s always carrying around a fat wad of cash in his pocket? He might want to consider using a prepaid debit card instead when he goes out at night. Carrying a bunch of bills in your pocket can be dangerous! It attracts the wrong kinds of people – you know, the people who want your money. Cash is easily lost or stolen. And if it’s lost, good luck getting it back.
In contrast, a prepaid card comes with a digital trail showing the amount you put on the card. While you will definitely want to ask what happens if it’s lost or stolen (different places might have different policies about replacing your money), having a digital trail means it’s more likely you can replace your funds or keep them from getting into the wrong hands.
Chicago’s South Suburban Currency Exchanges (SSCEs) Make Getting Prepaid Cards Fast and Easy
Be sure to find out about the specific card before getting one so you know what to expect. There are pros and cons to everything and you may be charged a small fee when getting your new card.
If you get a prepaid debit card through one of Chicago’s South Suburban Community Exchanges (SSCEs), you know it’s through a trustworthy business with a long history in our local neighborhoods. We will help you get it set up properly so you can walk out in minutes with your new card in your pocket.
Then, just swing by an SSCE location wherever your funds are low and we’ll help you load more money onto your card. And don’t forget to check out everything else we offer online so you can take care of multiple personal finance tasks under one roof!