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Millions of Americans do not have bank accounts. Approximately ten million to be exact. The FDIC also reports that millions of Americans are “underbanked”; meaning that they may have a simple checking account but rely on check cashing services and payday loans to get by.
Americans without bank accounts either don’t trust banks (especially after the financial crisis in 2008) or they have made mistakes with banks, overdrawn accounts and have poor credit.
How in the world can Americans get by in the plastic era with no bank account? How do they use direct deposit, automatic bill pay, online shopping, paypal, amazon…..the list of handicaps is endless. Thankfully, anyone can enjoy the same conveniences of having a bank account with reloadable prepaid cards.
The Simplicity of Purchasing a Reloadable Prepaid Card
Reloadable prepaid cards can be purchased at almost any retailer. Anywhere from gas stations to supercenters; there will be a section (usually near the register) full of different reloadable prepaid cards.
Once you select your card of choice; you simply cash it out and choose how much cash to put on it. There will generally be a small purchase fee and reload fee.
How to Choose a Reloadable Prepaid Card
The most widely accepted reloadable prepaid cards are either Mastercard or Visa. American Express and Discover also offer reloadable prepaid cards but they are not accepted everywhere. However; the most flexible and accepted cards tend to be Visa reloadable prepaid cards.
Next, you will want to compare monthly service fees, reload fees and options. Most of the cards offer an online account that can be more user-friendly and convenient than a local bank. Many reloadable prepaid cards even offer a daily text option with your balance. Reloadable prepaid cards also will usually offer some sort of seperate “savings” balance in which a consumer can set aside money that will not be accessed when the card is swiped or used online unless the consumer moves the money back.
Reloadable Prepaid Cards Are Perfect For Families
Prepaid cards are great for teens and young people to begin to learn how to use money electronically without ruining their credit.
Reloadable prepaid cards are also a great way for spouses to have shared and separate money. While a joint checking account can be great for some families; it is often preferable to have an account for bills and two seperate accounts. With a reloadable prepaid card; a family can simply purchase three cards rather than opening three checking accounts.
Reloadable Prepaid Cards For Budgeting and For Businesses
For those who have already compromised their credit; reloadable prepaid cards are a great way to pay bills, budget and save until they can pay off debts and improve credit. People with collections accounts can also feel secure in the fact that the money on the reloadable prepaid card cannot be “frozen” like a bank account. In essence, the card can help a person with bad credit get a fresh start without being as handicapped.
Businesses can also enjoy the convenience of having separate accounts with flexibility and the same record of transactions that a bank would offer. The fees are far smaller and the reloadable prepaid card will not go on a credit report or have overdraft fees.