Prepaid Credit Cards or simply prepaid cards as they are also known have been creating waves and hype. The financial service equivalent to the mobile phone prepay card means that you can load money on to the card and then use that card to spend online, in-store and over the phone wherever your card is accepted. Getting a card is extremely easy – there are no credit checks, no bank account requirements. Simply produce some valid ID and a valid address and the cards in your back pocket sooner than you know it.
Everyone Loves Prepaid – NOT!
Yes, it’s true. For all the power of the pre paid card and all its wonderful benefits, pre-paid cards attract a lot of criticism as well.
The reason is simple, pre-paid cards typically have fees attached to them which means that you need to pay a fee to load your card and to use your card. Strangely enough, this fee is typically very small but not small enough to prevent the media going all gung-ho on it and criticizing the entire concept of prepaid. We are so used to the idea of free banking, that the mere thought that we actually have to pay for a little bit of added value service seems to be unacceptable.
The point to make is that consumers generally look to these products as those which give them freedom. However, what they are also seeking is freedom from fees just like they would have with other payment mechanisms such as credit or debit accounts with their bank. The reason is that they still view credit and debit cards to be fee free propositions and expect these new payment mechanisms to be just the same.
Prepaid Cards Fighting Back
Well, it seems that pre-paid companies are fighting back by providing us with added value propositions so that are protestations melt away. Fighting back are a number of pre-paid cards like the BaBeeCard, the Rational FX Travel Money, Caxton FX and Virgin Money.
1.General Spend Cards
Top of the hoop would be the BaBeeCard as a general spend card. Should really have been called the “Mummy card” because it is the one product in the market which truly delivers exceptional value to mummies – young, old and expecting.
With numerous discounts on shopping like Argos, ASDA, Alton Towers, Boots, Buyagift, Comet, Carphone Warehouse, Debenhams, JJB Sports, Halfords, H.Samuel, House of Fraser, Homebase, HMV, Legoland, Mothercare, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Selfridges, TopShop, Waitrose, WH Smith and many many more, the BaBeeCard promised to deliver huge savings across just grocery and petrol shopping alone thereby offsetting the fees to some extent.
Key: The discounts and cash-back offers mean that you can offset the fees of using the card by availing the offers.
2. Travel Money Cards.
Cards that immediately come to mind are the Rational FX Travel Money Card and Caxton FX Prepaid Travel Card. Travel money from specialized FX providers like Rational FX and Caxton FX means you get a fantastic exchange rate which is way better than the high street exchange rate. Avoid Exchange rates at the Airport at all costs because they are simply too high – exorbitant even.
With travel money cards, you basically get market leading exchange rates put on to a card. Typically these cards tend to be free cards with the best FX rate in the market delivered on a convenient, safe and secure prepaid card, in a choice of currencies ready to deliver savings when you use your card at over 28.5 million worldwide locations. The media does quite like travel cards but not as much as they are loved by consumers and travel cards along with money transfer cards represent the fastest growing segment of the market by far.
Key: The savings on fx rates and interchange mean help offset the costs which are typically nil anyway. It is best to choose a a travel card from an FX provider as opposed to a general prepay card provider. Just a couple of prepaid propositions that are changing the context of how pre paid cards are viewed by consumers.
Read all about prepaid cards like BaBeeCard, Rational FX, Caxton FX and Virgin Money Prepaid that are shaping the way that consumers think about pre pay cards at Prepaid365 or find out more about the brand new O2 Prepaid Cards.
Divya Sharma is a senior editor at Prepaid365 – the UK’s prepaid card comparison portal and an expert in the prepaid card industry. With over a 100 prepaid cards listed, Prepaid365 remains the UK’s leading prepaid card comparison portal providing customers with genuine, unbiased, reviews and ratings of business and consumers prepaid cards in the UK.