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7 Best Prepaid Debit Cards You Should Know

7 Best Prepaid Debit Cards You Should Know

Prepaid debit cards are a great way for individuals to learn how to be financially responsible. In our world today, cash is starting to become obsolete in comparison to the use of plastic to make purchases. When you go online to purchase items, a place that can offer amazing deals, cash isn’t accepted but credit or debit cards are. This means that missing out on a debit card results in possibly missing out on some amazing cyber deals. But not all prepaid debit cards are made equal. Some come with outrageous fees, difficulties with ATM access, and multiple regulations. Today, we will give a nice overview of six of the best prepaid debit cards on the market today.

1. American Express Serve

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    American Express used to be considered a company for those with higher incomes. With the release of credit cards along with charge cards, this reputation changed and the company became open to more individuals. Now, with American Express Serve, as well as Bluebird, American Express is open to just about anyone. For only $1 a month if you don’t use Direct Deposit or load less than $500 a statement, you can enjoy a prepaid debit card with some of the same benefits I enjoy as an American Express credit card holder. ATM is free at a variety of select locations. Serve is loadable at thousands of locations across the US.

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    2. GreenDot Card

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      Greendot is considered by many to be a top prepaid debit card to choose. The card is free to purchase online. You do have a higher monthly fee of $4.95 compared to American Express. However, if you load more than $1000 a statement, it is a waived fee. In addition, unlike having to either load $500 or use Direct Deposit with American Express to be eligible for a fee waiver, you can have fees waived with Greendot by making 30 or more purchases of any value in a statement. ATM access is free at select locations.

      3. Simple

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        Simple has a unique concept compared to the other cards listed in this article. This Visa card is focused more on saving rather than spending for the individual. You are able to make goals, partitioning money to a specific part of your card reminiscent of a savings account but without being able to make interest. This is all on a contemporary, mobile phone-focused experience. Simple is very simple to sign up for and the savings benefits is a big draw for individuals. It is free to get and there are no fees as long as you keep the card active at least once within a six month period. There are other fees, including when you perform ATM withdrawals internationally, however they are small. You can access your money for free at over 55,000 ATMs across the country.

        4. H&R Emerald Prepaid MasterCard

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          The H&R Emerald Card with MasterCard is a great option from the company that we all know of with filing taxes. The Emerald Card doesn’t come with any monthly fees. There is a one-time loading fee of $4.95 to get started. ATM fees are $2.50, regardless of where you go. That’s a big reason why it isn’t in the top half of our list. However, the quality of the card and company behind it, along with the lack of monthly fees makes it a very competitive card. Just like all of the cards mentioned on the list, the FDIC insurance protects you as a user, ensuring that your money is safe and secure.

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          5. BB&T Money Account

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            The BB&T Money Account card makes the lower half of our list due to the fees associated with the card. While there are a fewer number of fees compared to the other cards on the list, one thing that is certain with this card is that you will pay something every month. As long as you use a BB&T ATM domestically, you are safe from those fees. However, you can’t escape the $6 a month fees that come with holding the card. Even if you load $1000 or more a month, this fee only reduces to $3 a month. If you are a student, look into their special card for the younger crowd, you’ll always pay $3 a month, no matter what. Despite this, it is a card we can recommend because the BB&T name behind this card is very strong. You’ll have almost no trouble finding a BB&T ATM to use, and the features with this card are numerous.

            6. Chase Liquid

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              Chase is a well known credit card company, but little did you know, their prepaid debit cards are just as good. If you are in the market for a debit card, you may find them even better. Their monthly fee of $4.95 makes it the most expensive on the list. Yes, while the Greendot card allows you to get out of the monthly fee if you deposit $1000, there’s no such grace period with the Chase Liquid card.

              Despite this, chances are you won’t be paying anything else. You can use the Chase app to keep track of your transactions, and this card comes with most of the same features mentioned about the other cards in this article. With the name Chase having your back, this is a great card and one of the best to finish off this list.

              Now that you know which of the best prepaid debit cards are out there, why not go out and get one for yourself today.

              Featured photo credit: Financial Queries via financialqueries.com

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              Last Updated on June 26, 2020

              25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

              25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

              “How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

              If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

              You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

              Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

              As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

              And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

              But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

              • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
                • food
                • rent/mortgage
                • cell phone
                • insurance
                • socializing/entertainment
                • transportation
                • hygiene products
                • household bills
              • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
                • travel
                • clothing
                • medication (*depends)
                • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
                • gifts

              Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

              Save Money on Food

              1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

              Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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              Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

              2. Buy the store-brand version

              Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

              3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

              Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

              4. Have group dinners

              If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

              Save Money in Transport

              5. Get a bicycle

              Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

              6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

              Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

              7. Find the cheapest gas

              Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

              Save Money in General Shopping

              8. Shop online

              Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

              9. Sell your old stuff

              Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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              Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

              10. Bulk buying stores

              For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

              Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

              11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

              You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

              12. Generic brand medication

              More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

              13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

              It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

              Cut Down on Household Expenses

              14. Printing

              Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

              e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

              Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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              15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

              A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

              16. Shop around for insurance

              Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

              Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

              17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

              If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

              18. Don’t get a TV

              Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

              19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

              My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

              Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

              20. Have house parties

              Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

              For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

              21. Open festivals, meetups and events

              It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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              22. Volunteer

              If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

              23. Housesit

              There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

              Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

              24. DIY beauty

              French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

              25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

              If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

              Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

              Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

              • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
              • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
              • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
              • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
              • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
              • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
              • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

              Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

              What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

              Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

              More Tips for Personal Finance Management

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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