Prepaid Visa Card Uk Where To Buy
A prepaid card is an alternative to carrying around cash. It works in a similar way - and looks identical - to a debit card, except for the fact it isn't connected to a bank account. Instead, you load money on to the card and then use it for your day-to-day spending, topping it up when you need to. The way it works means there is no risk of overspending on the card, becoming overdrawn or building up any kind of debt.
prepaid visa card uk where to buy
Using a prepaid card minimises your risk of being a victim of fraud as, unlike a credit or debit card, the amount you stand to lose is limited to the total amount loaded on the card. For this reason, some people prefer using a prepaid card for online purchases or when purchasing items when abroad. A prepaid card can also be preferable to cash as it is easier to handle and, if you lose it, there is more chance of being able to get the money back.
In this article we explain exactly how prepaid cards work and highlight the best cards for general use. If you want specific information about prepaid travel money cards, read our review. If you are looking for the best prepaid cards for children, we also have a comprehensive guide.
You can buy a prepaid card from retailers such as newsagents, or you can buy them online. At the point of purchase you will need to decide how much to load on it. Some cards also allow you to set up a direct debit from your bank account to automatically load money on to your card on a monthly basis. Different methods of topping up your card may have different limits. For example, you may be limited to adding 250 if you are doing it at a shop, but you may be able to do a bank transfer for over 1,000.
Most prepaid cards have a fee or charge associated with them, so it pays to shop around and work out in advance what it is likely to cost. While one option may initially seem more appealing because there isn't a charge to take it out, for example, it could cost more in the long run if there is a high transaction fee.
Prepaid cards are considered to be a safe option for many users because they limit the risk of overspending and are also easier to manage than having to carry around the equivalent amount in cash. In addition, as for most cards they are not directly linked to your bank account, it minimises your exposure to fraud if your card details are stolen. Moreover, using a prepaid card doesn't appear on your credit file so there isn't the same risk of damage as there is if you mismanage a credit card.
Some general-use cards are also good options for use abroad. However, for details specifically on prepaid travel cards - and credit cards that are well-suited to travellers - read our article "Compare the best travel credit cards".
A prepaid card can be a good option if you aren't eligible for a standard credit card but don't want the inconvenience of carrying around cash. As they are not a credit product, there is no need for a provider to access your credit file before taking out a prepaid card. Prepaid cards have the added benefit of limiting your spending to the amount you have loaded on to the card, which can be useful if you have a habit of overspending and running up debts.
While a standard prepaid card won't help you to improve your credit worthiness, there is the option with some cards to add on a credit-builder component. This service works by the card provider in effect lending you the equivalent of a year's worth of monthly fees and reporting to the main credit reference agencies when you make the repayment each month. If you pay the amount owed in full and on time each month, your credit rating will improve.
There are a growing number of accounts designed for children that provide prepaid cards. The idea is that, with most adults using debit and credit cards, it's good to get children used to managing their money using a card as well as cash. It can also be a practical option because as a parent or guardian, you can have control over, for example, limiting spending on the card or putting more money into the account linked to household chores. If the child loses the card, there is also more chance they will be able to safeguard the money in the account rather than if they lose cash.
As you will likely have to pay fees and charges for a prepaid card, it arguably makes more sense to use a debit card for day-to-day spending. However, prepaid cards can be a great option in a number of specific situations, including for travel or as a way to budget, particularly if you have a poor credit history. As with all financial products, it pays to shop around and to select the best option for your circumstances. You should also make sure you read through the small print before choosing a prepaid card to make sure there aren't any hidden charges or unexpected limits on the way you can use it.
You can load it with between 50 and 5,000 (see more on load limits below). You can use it to pay wherever the Mastercard Acceptance Mark is displayed. And you can withdraw cash with it at over 2 million ATMs worldwide (charges and fees apply, see 'Are there top-up limits?' below).
To avoid unnecessary charges to your card, wherever asked, you should always choose to pay for goods or withdraw cash in the currencies of your card. For example, if you are using the card in Spain you should always choose to pay in euro if offered a choice; choosing to pay in sterling (GBP) in this example would allow the merchant to exchange your transaction from euro to sterling. This would mean your transaction has gone through two exchange rate conversions, which will increase the total cost of your transaction.
One important thing to research before choosing a prepaid card are fees that might be associated with any number of different actions. According to the CFPB, you may be charged fees for a number of reasons, like:
Prepaid cards may also come with fewer protections than your typical credit or debit card. The government has taken steps to provide legal rights for prepaid cardholders, like a pathway to reimbursement should you lose your card or have it stolen. But these protections may not measure up to those of traditional credit or debit cards.
However, they're certainly not for everyone. Unlike credit cards, prepaid cards don't offer many perks to those who are already good with money. That's why it's important to do your research and weigh up your options before deciding which option to go for.
Wise is a prepaid card that's perfect for UK and international spending. It allows you to send money to 80 countries and hold over 50 different currencies. This is perfect for international students, if you travel often or if you do any freelance work for which you receive payment in a different currency.
With Clubcard Pay+ from Tesco, you can get a digital prepaid card which you can use via their app. And unlike other prepaid cards, the Tesco prepaid card gives you FSCS protection, since it's linked to Tesco Bank.
On top of that, you'll earn Clubcard points for using the card, even if you don't spend it at Tesco. You get the regular one point per 1 when shopping at Tesco, but you can get one point per 8 when using the card elsewhere.
Another handy feature that comes with this prepaid card is the Round Up savings account. It rounds up your transactions and puts the difference in a special savings pot, making it very easy to save money without really trying.
Our latest National Student Money Survey found that students spend on average 116/month on groceries. By topping up the Tesco prepaid card with less than this, you can push yourself to spend less than the average student on food.
On the app, you can set up different money jars (for anything from groceries and takeout coffee to holidays and Christmas presents), which makes it much easier to budget efficiently and put money aside for bigger purchases. With the Hyperjar prepaid card, you can then spend directly from any jar.
The Ode prepaid card is a little different from the other cards on this list. You can only get it if you are a carer, charity worker or work in education or healthcare. If any of these apply to you, it's definitely worth checking out.
Although this can be annoying, the major bonus is that you'll never have any interest to pay back and no charges to catch you out if you go over your overdraft limit (because, of course, you don't have an overdraft). With a prepaid card, you can only spend what you have preloaded or transferred onto the card.
As for actually topping up a prepaid card, you can do this with cash, by phone, online, text or with an app. It depends on the kind of card that you have. Just be aware that there can be additional fees involved depending on the card's terms and how you choose to top up.
You can always check your balance online, and the latest prepaid card technology gives you instant updates and notifications to your smartphone. This way, you know exactly how much and where you're spending your money.
Prepaid cards like Wise and Clubcard Pay+ are free to set up and don't come with any monthly charges. But it's also not uncommon for companies to offer new customers a prepaid debit card as a reward for signing up or buying a product from them.
This means they usually have all the technology that made app-based prepaid cards so appealing in the first place. That includes live spending updates, digestible breakdowns of your spending and budgeting help.
Prepaid cards definitely have their benefits, but they're a lot more useful for some than others. We'd recommend considering getting a prepaid credit card if one (or more) of these situations applies to you:
Prepaid credit cards are perfect for anyone who struggles to stay within budget each month, because you have no choice but to oblige. There's no overdraft or extra money at the bottom of a prepaid card, so you need to keep on top of your finances.
Unsure how much your weekly budget should be? Our handy budgeting spreadsheet will help you crunch the numbers.You have a bad credit ratingMost prepaid cards come with a guaranteed acceptance rate, which is great for students who have been declined for a credit card in the past. This can happen if you have a poor credit score. 041b061a72