Britain struggles under the weight of historic debt caused in part by the banks irresponsible lending policies and the public’s belief that they could control their high mortgage costs, credit card debts and loan repayments. Credit card providers in the past have issued new credit card agreements to anyone and everyone without conducting proper financial checks to see that they could afford a new credit card. It’s little wonder that as a nation we are burdened with credit card debt.
Debt experts like the new prepaid cards as they offer the convenience of a credit card without the borrowing and you can only spend the money that you have transferred to the prepaid account. This is great for controlling your spending.
They can be used in the same way as a mobile phone top-up card. You cannot borrow any more money then you have transferred into your account. It’s impossible to go overdrawn which means you should never find yourself in a financial mess. MasterCard , Visa and Maestro all offer prepaid cards which are accepted by retailers and banks around the world. You can use prepaid cards online to buy goods and services.
The main benefits of using a prepaid card is the convenience of use, they are safe and secure and they offer you control over your spending. You can use a prepaid card at most cash machine but some cash machines will charge a handling fee up to £2.50. It is possible for anyone to have a card from a child to a pensioner. They are available for anyone with a bad credit rating who is unable to have a normal credit card or a bank account.
Prepaid credit cards can be cancelled or blocked if stolen or lost by simply notifying the provider immediately. It cannot be used with out a PIN number and signature. If stolen the most that could be stolen from your account is the amount remaining on the account at the time of theft. The thief cannot run up a huge debt on your account. Unlike credit and debit cards you don’t have the same protection provided against fraud.
Be aware that some prepaid cards are free whilst others can cost £5 to £10 to purchase and the provider will charge a fee of 2% to 3% each time you transfer money to your account. Beware some providers charge a monthly fee for having a card and phone calls to their customer services may be expensive. They do not pay interest for money that is on the cards.
Whilst these cards can be expensive they can provide you the convenience of knowing that you have access to some funds for an emergency and for backup.
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