Owning pre-paid cash cards is something that has many benefits, which is why they remain such a popular finance option. From taking them on holiday to using them to manage your money, there are numerous reasons why you may consider getting one.
Open to all
When you don't have a bank account or financial problems in the past have left you with a poor credit rating, obtaining plastic cards can be something of an ordeal. A failed credit check is likely to mean you will be unable to take out a credit or standard debit card, while not having a bank account can also cause difficulties.
Of course, you could just rely on cash, but this is not the most secure option as if it is stolen it is unlikely you will be able to claim it back. It also means you have to know exactly how much money you will need at any one time and won't leave room for manoeuvre in the event something unexpected comes up.
However, with many pre-paid cards, the most you will go through is an identity and residency check. You often do not require a bank account and because you are not taking out credit, your rating will not be examined either. This really takes the stress out of the whole process.
You can load your card with money and use this to pay for your shopping, meals out or trips - whatever you fancy. Best of all, it is your cash you are spending so it's easy to keep track of your finances and you do not need to worry about paying anything back at a later date.
Great for families
Some pre-paid card providers allow you to pay one amount for your plastic and then take others out for your family at a reduced rate. If you are a parent and have children at university, this can be a great option.
Having a student in the family can be an expensive business, but you want to know they have money in case of an emergency. You can give them their own pre-paid card and top it up with cash - either on a regular basis or when they require it. The money you top the card up with and what they spend will all be kept track of and you will receive a regular statement and balance so you can keep an eye on their finances. Plus, they never have to worry if they have a textbook they need to pay for or are running out of food.
As mentioned before, a pre-paid card is a good item to have at your disposal if you are concerned about the security of your finances. If a thief steals your debit card, they have the potential to clean out your entire bank account, leaving you with nothing. Should your credit card go missing, you could even find yourself owing your provider money - along with any retailers the thief makes purchases from using your card.
Of course, you can cancel your cards to ensure your finances are safe, but this can be a hassle, particularly if it takes you a while to realise your plastic is missing. With a pre-paid card, a thief only has access to the cash loaded on to it and the rest of your money is safe.
As mentioned before, prepaid cards are often a viable option if you have failed a credit check in the past. Overcoming financial problems can feel like an uphill battle but the key to getting back in the black is often to keep a tight rein on your cash going forwards.
With a pre-paid card, this is often easier than with other forms of plastic. You only have to top it up with the amount you can afford and you then know exactly how much you have available to spend and don't have to worry about going over your limit.
Going abroad is probably the most popular reason to take out a pre-paid card. Travellers' cheques are not as popular as they once were, while carrying all your holiday money in cash is a risk as it could be lost or stolen and leave you with nothing. Meanwhile, providers often charge you for using a debit or credit card abroad.
By searching for a pre-paid card, you can top it up with cash and have a safe and secure source of money with you on your travels. They can often be used in multiple countries - making them a good choice if you are travelling - and the fee for using them is frequently less than that attached to other forms of plastic.