By now, it’s really no secret that the vast majority of Americans carry debit or credit cards and are more apt to use them over good ol’ fashioned cash. Today, we learned the U.S. Treasury is printing less money. In fact, for the first time in thirty years, there were no ten dollar bills printed in this “cycle”.
As for one dollar and five dollar bills, there were substantially fewer of those printed, too. But if you’re thinking cash is as antiquated as your grandma’s bloomers, think again. It could be that cash is just reinventing itself, so to speak. More Americans are reaching for their debit cards or prepaid credit cards, which work like cash.
Of course, it’s much safer, too and when you run into those situations where only cash is accepted, you can be sure you’re within a hundred yards of an ATM. You might also be interested in knowing there are more businesses with “credit cards only” policies.
So, with news of the Treasury declining to put its money printing machine into overdrive, we thought we’d take a look at what prepaid credit cards have to offer and why you should consider owning one if you don’t already. Unlike the intro 0% APR credit cards, prepaid cards are always 0% since you’re using your own money to fund the account. Here are a few of the most popular on the market today -
AccountNow Prepaid MasterCard
Who says prepaid cards can’t double as a rewards credit card? The AccountNow offers cash back on everyday purchases and if you’re looking to improve your credit scores, you can enroll in the complimentary credit builder program. Easily pay your bills online or buy those hard to find concert tickets. You have 24 hour access to your account statements via the website and your transactions are protected with the MasterCard fraud protection.
There are two packages available, the Classic plan, which costs $4.95 per month or the Premium plan, which will cost you $9.95 a month. There is also a $19.95 application fee associated with this prepaid card. That said, there are no APR fees and you don’t have to worry about late payment fees, either.
Vision Premier Prepaid Visa
The Vision Premier Prepaid Visa has many perks, including free direct deposit, free PayFit credit builder, free text and/or email alerts and if your card is ever lost or stolen, your money’s protected via Visa’s Zero Liability Policy. If you sign up for direct deposit and conduct 15 transactions (or deposit at least $500 each month), the weekly fee is waived. Reloading your Vision Premier is simple, too. You can do this at many retail outlets, including Western Union, MoneyGram and WalMart (among others). It’s another smart solution for those looking to start or rebuild their credit histories
NetSpend Visa Prepaid Debit Card
The NetSpend Visa offers card holders an optional savings account that pays 5% APY. Not all prepaid credit card offers do this, so for those wishing to take control of their financial future, this is a strong reason to consider this offer. You can open your account with as little as $10 and the monthly $5.95 fee is waived if you make at least one balance inquiry or transaction every ninety days. It’s available either as a Visa or MasterCard – your preference.
Mango Prepaid MasterCard
The Mango MasterCard is one of the newer prepaid cards on the market, but it has a lot of benefits, include free sign up, free activation and a $20 bonus when you enroll in direct deposit, and an optional referral program where you earn money anytime friends and family sign up. Free text balances and 24 hour account access make this a worthy consideration. Finally, you can transfer money at no charge between other Mango users.
Prepaid cards have been on the market for several years and with each passing year, they’re becoming more mainstream. The safety features over cash is just one reason they’re worth considering.
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