Reloadable Prepaid Cards: The Basics
While there are many plastic cards now available in the market, one of them stands out—the reloadable prepaid card. A reloadable prepaid card has a lot of benefits and features that make it stand out. That being said, it’s not really a surprise why the reloadable prepaid card has become a force to be reckoned with in the financial world.
A research done by the Mercator Advisory Group provided proof as to the reloadable prepaid card’s bankability and popularity. In 2010, a whopping $40.85 billion was loaded by reloadable prepaid card users. What’s even more astounding? The figure is 43 percent higher compared to the previous year.
How to load money onto the reloadable prepaid card can vary and will depend on the issuer of the card. However, some of the most common methods of loading money onto the card include direct deposits, online portals, reload cards, and bank transfers.
Majority of the reloadable prepaid cards in the market today are associated with trusted credit and card networks such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. If you are one of the many who are considering getting a reloadable prepaid card, below are some of the basics you need to take note of:
You will share personal and financial data.
Not everyone may be aware of it but reloadable prepaid cards are different from gift cards. That being said, you cannot just present your reloadable prepaid card on the counter when doing purchase transactions. If anything, reloadable prepaid cards are created with long-term usage in mind.
And since they are designed for long-term use, applying for a reloadable prepaid card will require providing basic personal and financial information. The good news? At the most, you’ll only be asked to provide the basics—name, address, birth date, phone number, and social security number.
Also, if you want to use your existing account number to reload money on your reloadable prepaid card, you’d need to provide your account number.
Some reloadable prepaid cards provide exciting freebies and perks.
Many reloadable prepaid card issuers entice consumers by providing exciting (and sometimes exclusive) benefits, freebies, and perks. This type of marketing strategy has worked very well for credit cards so it’s not surprising that some reloadable prepaid card issuers are also providing the same benefits.
Some prepaid card issuers also provide practical benefits for card users. For instance, some users are given protection for lost and broken items they have purchased using the card. The catch however is the transaction should be reported within 90 days from the time the item was purchased.
If you are a frequent traveler, you can also benefit from using a reloadable prepaid card as some come with global assistance in the form of legal and medical aide for those who travel outside the country.
Customer service can vary from one issuer to another.
While many prepaid cards provide almost identical features in terms of function, they can differ when it comes to the customer service they provide. For instance, while some issuers provide customer service and human interaction, others can only be reached through automated voicemails or emails.