What is a MasterCard Prepaid Credit Card

Published on 14 July 2012 by Raffick Marday

Where can I use a prepaid credit card?

You can use your prepaid credit card wherever MasterCard and/or Maestro cards are accepted, including: retail shops, over the Internet, mail order and byphone – at home and abroad.

To keep track of your spending every time you use your card, the balance will be checked electronically with your card company before payment is made. In some circumstances your card may be declined because there is not enough money loaded onto it. This security feature exists to protect you from spending money that you do not have.

Can I use prepaid credit cards to withdraw money from an ATM?

You can use your card to withdraw money from any ATM worldwide wherever MasterCard and/or Maestro and/or Cirrus cards are accepted, provided this feature is available on your card.

Can I use prepaid credit cards abroad?

You can use most prepaid cards anywhere in the world that accepts MasterCard and/or Maestro cards – just like a debit or credit card. Please check with your card provider for details.

Can I use prepaid cards to shop on-line, over the phone and by mail order?

Yes you can. You can use your prepaid card with any retailer that accepts MasterCard and/or Maestro.

What are the fees and costs for having and using a prepaid card?

There are many types of prepaid cards that are available for different purposes. You’ll see gift, travel and everyday money cards, to name but a few – and the services they provide are charged for in different ways.

Compare the features and costs of similar types of prepaid cards to find the best deal for you.

Some of the common fees and charges for prepaid cards:

• Card application fee – to set up your account and provide you with a card.

• Monthly service charge – this may entitle you to certain services such as a help line or on-line service.

• Card-loading fee – to load more cash onto your prepaid card. This may vary depending on how you top up your card (if you load funds onto your card from a bank account, you may be charged a fee by your bank).

• ATM withdrawal fee – there may be a charge for withdrawing money from an ATM (cash machine). A higher charge may apply when withdrawing money from ATMs abroad. You may also be able to use certain ATMs free of charge and/or make a limited number of free ATM withdrawals or deposits each month.

• Purchase or on-line fee – you may be charged for each transaction, or for certain types of transactions.

Can I use a prepaid card to make regular payments, such as for monthly subscriptions?

Some prepaid cards can be used to make regular payments. Please check with your card provider.

What makes prepaid credit cards safe?

Because you must enter your PIN code to use most prepaid cards, it’s a safer way to carry money instead of cash. If your card is lost or stolen, most card providers will allow you to ‘stop’ the card and some may arrange for a replacement to be sent to you.

What happens if my card gets lost or is stolen?

If your card is lost or stolen, you must report it to your card company immediately. Usually your money will be frozen so no one else can use the card. Some card companies will voluntarily replace money stolen from your card – but not all of them do.

How do I load money onto my card? 

There are a number of ways to reload (or ‘top up’) your card, for example: cash top-up at post offices or convenience stores, by funds transfer from a bank account, or on-line through the Internet.

The ways in which you can reload your card will vary. Please read the information provided by the card provider for details of how and where you can load money onto your card.

What is the minimum age for having a prepaid credit card?

Prepaid cards are generally available to all ages, although some companies require you to be at least 18 years of age to use their cards.

There will be restrictions on cards that are available to persons under 18 to prevent their use for inappropriate spending (e.g. gambling and alcohol).

What’s the difference between a ‘reloadable’ and a ‘non-reloadable’ card? 

A ‘reloadable’ prepaid card can be ‘topped-up’ with money. Cards that are loaded once (e.g. gift cards) are ‘non-reloadable’ and can’t be ‘topped-up’.

Is there a limit to how much money I can put on my card?

Some card companies may set a limit on how much money you can load onto your card at any one time. For prepaid cards that you can buy without any proof of address and/or identity, the maximum amount of money that you can load onto the card will generally be much less when compared to reloadable cards.

Can I see a history of how I have used my card?

Yes, many card companies provide this option. When you pay with your card, details of the transaction are stored on-line. This information includes the dates, locations and amounts of your transactions. All of this will appear on your on-line statement, so you can check and access details easily.

How many cards can I have?

There are no limits on the number of prepaid cards that you can hold. Bear in mind that there could be fees and charges for each card that you buy – think carefully about how you will manage these costs.

Where can I get one?

Prepaid credit cards are available from a variety of companies and locations. Some of the places that you can get prepaid cards include banks, over the Internet, and at participating retailers.

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