The Pros And Cons Of Prepaid Credit Cards

Observers in the lending industry have estimated that there may be at least 50 million Americans who are not able to qualify for credit. These consumers are usually young, often members of the minority groups and unbankedand they are faced with the long-standing dilemma of credit: how can I build my credit record if no one will give me any credit at all?

One of the answers offered by credit card companies is a variety of prepaid credit cards, designed for use by specific segments in the market. The prepaid credit cards are meant for that significant portion of the population that cannot meet the qualification criteria for regular credit cards, or who qualified before but have since lost their credit due to repeated defaults and other reasons.

Advantages of Prepaid Credit Cards For those who do not have enough credit history or have had it blemished, prepaid credit cards are an effective way to build or slowly rebuild credit. That may not happen immediately, but it is something to work on over time. The banks that issue prepaid credit cards are also prepared to extend normal credit the moment you are able to show that you have become a worthy credit risk.

For the moment, you may have to make do with prepaid credit cards. You can use prepaid credit cards as you would any other regular credit card to purchase airline tickets, reserve hotel rooms, or order items online.

Prepaid Credit Card for Students

There is a special prepaid Visa credit card for students, which offers a lot of convenience not only for the students but also for their parents. These reloadable prepaid credit cards offer parents several options on how to reload. Parents can add money to reloadable prepaid credit cards by depositing money, by arranging an automatic transfer of funds from their account (a deposit account or their own credit card account), or by online transfer. Using the prepaid Visa credit card is no different from giving the regular allowance to their child, only they do so by electronic means and there is no more cash that changes hands.

The big advantage of the prepaid Visa credit card is that the student is limited to spend only as much money as there is in the card. The parent is thus able to control to some extent the spending behavior of their child. They can use the prepaid credit card anywhere that the credit card brand is accepted.

Prepaid Credit Cards as Gift Certificates Some prepaid credit cards function like gift certificates. You buy the prepaid credit card for a certain amount, and your recipient can purchase items with it at any of the brick-and-mortar stores or online merchants, and also for mail order items, that accept the particular credit card brand. Your recipient can use the prepaid credit card only up to the amount of money that you loaded on it. This particular version of prepaid credit cards is non-reloadable.

Like any gift certificate, recipients of prepaid credit cards can buy whatever it is they want at any time they want. Unlike a gift certificate that, when it gets lost is lost forever to the recipient, prepaid credit cards may be replaced if it gets lost or is stolen.

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