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My New Year’s resolution for 2011 is to get my and my husbands spending under control so we can get out of debt. I want to get each of us a prepaid VISA card so we don’t spend more than our “allowance”. It is NOT for credit-building/repairing. It is only to control spending. We have checking, savings, credit cards, etc. What would you recommend? I’m considering getting a Wal-Mart Money Card but that one seems to have a lot of fees. My main criteria is: 1) Low reloading charge 2) No minimum balance/transactions per month 3) online or over-the-phone reloading ability.

3 Thoughts on What is a good prepaid VISA card?
  1. Reply
    Andrew
    July 31, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    American Express… i love thee 100$ gift cards

  2. Reply
    TK
    July 31, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    GreenDot cards (available online, at Walgreens, and a bunch of other stores.. check their site for something close to you) sound like they’d be what you need.

    They cost 4.95 per reload, and can be reloaded on the phone or online.

  3. Reply
    Loan Ranger
    July 31, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    There are pre-paid credit cards and there are pre-paid credit cards that are gift cards. You have to read the back of each one – the fine print – to get a real idea of what each offers and what the restrictions are.

    I wish I knew of a website that had images from scanning the backs of unopened “pre-paid cards” and also images of any information printed on the inside and of any paper inserts with “terms and conditions”.

    Any non-gift prepaid credit card from VISA or the others is actually a credit card at a bank account, and you will have to supply information that is required by law to that bank to fully activate and use your credit card. Why not check with your local banks to see if they have anything similar ? I doubt credit unions do.

    You might be better off with store-branded gift cards, for example, at the local grocery store. Some of those have no activation fee or reloading fee, because they are used only at the store.

    In that situation:
    Walk in with 100 dollars cash, buy the gift card.
    Then use it only for purchases at that store. Monitor the balance on the card, and before it is used up, reload it. Or pull another 100 dollars cash and get another card, and use up the first card before starting the second card. This way, you never have to worry about monthly transactions.

    I’ve been told that Wal-Mart has a “gasoline card” (my memory is a little foggy) that even gives a discount on gasoline purchased from their store pumps, but this is in Austin, Texas. I don’t know about other areas.

    ===== But changes have been happening, this article gives some warnings.

    http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/devil-details/holiday-shoppers-beware-bogus-gift-cards/3402/
    Holiday Shoppers: Beware Bogus Gift Cards
    By Kathy Kristof | Nov 30, 2010

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