5 Best Prepaid Debit Cards for September 2022: Compare & Apply Online

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Reviewed by Marie Still, MBA
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Bluebird by American Express

Bluebird By American Express

Editor’s Choice

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5.0 stars

American Express Serve FREE Reloads

American Express Serve FREE Reloads

Best for Cash Users

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5.0 stars

Best for Walmart Shoppers

Walmart MoneyCard

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5.0 stars

A prepaid debit card is used to make purchases however, it works more like a gift card, where money is deposited on the card versus paid off over time like a credit card or tied to a bank account like a banking card. You may find such a card referred to as prepaid credit cards or prepaid cards. However, unlike credit cards, prepaid cards will not involve the borrowing of any money. This means that you will not need any credit checks.

The prepaid debit card is a nice alternative to credit cards since it helps you avoid racking up debt. You only get to spend what you have put on the card. With a prepaid debit card, users enjoy the convenience of not carrying around cash.

We looked at the best-prepaid debit cards that can help you spend your money responsibly and gain other benefits too. Use the guide below to find the best-prepaid debit card for your needs.

Top 5 Best Prepaid Debit Cards 2022

Prepaid Debit Cards vs. Regular Debit Cards

The main difference between a prepaid debit card and a standard debit card is a bank account. Where standard debit cards require a bank account, prepaid debit cards do not.

A prepaid debit card can easily be loaded and reloaded with a specific amount of money. However, regular debit cards are continually funded by the money in your bank account. 

Take note that a prepaid card will not help you build credit. You need secured credit cards for that. The purpose of this card is to limit your spending, avoid credit card debt, and offer the convenience of having a card without a bank account. If you are a parent, a prepaid debit card is a great way to teach your kids how to spend money responsibly. 

Bluebird by American Express

Bluebird by American Express

  • Has an impressive range of ATM reach 
  • Has no fees on foreign transactions 
  • It has no monthly fee
American Express Serve FREE Reloads

American Express Serve FREE Reloads

  • Offers free cash reloads 
  • Has no credit checks
  • Account opening is fast and free
Walmart MoneyCard

Walmart MoneyCard

  • You get several rewards on using it
  • Monthly fee can be waived 
  • Reloads are free
American Express Serve Cash Back

American Express Serve Cash Back

  • You get unlimited cashback rewards
  • Get protection from financial fraud 
  • No card fees for those who apply online
FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card

FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card

  • Great for teaching kids matters finance 
  • It comes with free trial 
  • It is easy to use in different stores

5 Best Prepaid Debit Cards for 2022: Compare & Apply Online

Bluebird By American Express

The American Express Bluebird prepaid debit card is a reloadable card with no annual fees. You can use it anywhere American Express is accepted. With no annual fees, and free loading at any Walmart it is a great choice.

  • No monthly fee 
  • Wide access to ATMs
  • No foreign transaction feesges
  • No rewardsy

With a simple, no-hassle prepaid debit card, users enjoy a lifetime of zero fees. Also, the cards are free when you sign up for them online. 

With a focus on convenience, the American Express Bluebird prepaid debit card can be used at over 30,000 ATMs. Adding money is easy and free with instant access at any Walmart, or you can transfer money via a direct deposit from a bank account. The maximum is $100,000 for each card. 

American Express Serve FREE Reloads

With free cash reloads available at over 45,0000 retail locations, this prepaid debit card makes it a simple card to manage your cash with.

  • Free cash reloads at over 45,000 retailers 
  • No credit check 
  • No fees for opening your account online
  • $6.95 monthly fee (no fee for Texas, New York and Vermont residents)

The Serve Cash Back from American Express and Serve FREE Reloads cards have many similarities, the main difference with this card is the free reloads. So if you are someone who plans to reload your prepaid debit card often, this is an excellent choice. 

With a maximum balance of $10,000 and FDIC protection, you can rest assured that your funds are safe. Obtaining a card is as simple as filling out an online form, with no credit check, the process is fast and easy. 

As mentioned, the free reloads at 45,000 retail locations are the main benefit to this card. You can also deposit funds from a bank account. There is no minimum balance required, so it delivers not only convenience but flexibility as well.

Walmart MoneyCard

For most people, having the chance to do away with monthly fees makes them want to pick this card over other options. Also, it is easy to get one for yourself or your family.

  • Available from Visa or MasterCard
  • Free card reloads 
  • Free withdrawals at Walmart
  • Rewards are capped at $75 each year

Anyone who regularly shops at Walmart should consider this card. The prepaid debit card will earn you cashback rewards each time you use it to shop at Walmart (including online, in-store, and Walmart fuel). The rewards will vary based on where you are using the card. At Walmart stores, you get 1% cashback, Walmart.com 3%, and 2% at Walmart fuel stations. 

As for the other purchases, you have $200 in overdraft protection. This is a feature you have to opt into. . Direct deposit from a bank account, whether it is a checking account or savings account, is also possible. As such, it is easy to use the card more often and reload whenever you want. 

There is a caveat to the monthly fee. If you load $500 or more each month, the fee is waived, if not there is a fee of $5.94 each month. That is some good news for those who want to save more on using prepaid credit cards. The age limit on the card is 13, so it is a great tool to educate your children on how to responsibly manage their money. 

American Express Serve Cash Back

Obtaining an American Express Serve Cash Back card is easy and fast. Additionally, the rewards make this card a great option for those looking to gain the benefits of a credit card without the worry of debt.

  • No limit on cash back earnings
  • No card fee for online applications 
  • Speedy signup process
  • High foreign transaction fees

This FDIC-backed prepaid debit card allows you to load up to $100,000. As a result, you will not experience so many limitations to how you can use the money. This prepaid card can be used at over 30,000 ATMs around the country, making it easy to access your money as you want. 

It is best known for its rewards or cashback system. The card offers unlimited 1% cash back on either online or in-store purchases. Keep in mind that ATM transactions will not give you any cashback rewards. Your rewards will reflect immediately once the transaction is complete. Giving you full visibility of your earned rewards. 

You also gain protection similar to a traditional debit card. This includes the ability to freeze the card and there are no responsibilities in the case of fraudulent charges. 

FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card

The FamZoo prepaid Visa card was built with families in mind. It is a great tool to teach kids how to manage their money.

  • Free cash reloads on this Visa prepaid card 
  • Free trial available
  • Earn incentives for reaching certain milestones
  • There is a daily limit of $2,500

If you are looking for a prepaid debit card that is designed for families, this is a great option. This card has many features to help parents manage their childrens’ funds while educating them on financial responsibility and money management. 

The Virtual Family Bank allows you to easily share and view your childrens’ funds and spending habits. They are given financial freedom, and you are given the visibility to track, manage, and step in when they need help or more education. 

It’s simple to load each card with money, through a direct deposit from your bank account. Additionally, you get several incentives for owning the card based on the financial milestone that you achieve. 

Do Prepaid Cards Come With Fees?

Before choosing a prepaid debit card, you should first understand that it may come with fees. The most popular type of fee you get with a prepaid debit card is the monthly fee. Some might be as high as $15, while other cards have the benefit of no monthly fee.

Most prepaid debit cards also have a fee for ATM withdrawals, reload fees and fees on foreign transactions. 

You might notice that some would have overdraft fees. Take note of such a fee before picking the debit card as they tend to be higher. 

Some cards will waive the fees depending on how much you reload or spend in a month. You can always capitalize on such incentives to save money.

Oftentimes the fees are shown directly upfront, so take your time to go through the features of a card before choosing one.

Where Can I Get A Prepaid Card?

The most convenient place to get a prepaid debit card is online. Most cards only require a simple form to be filled out and no credit check. Many retailers such as Walmart also have prepaid debit cards available in their stores.

How Do I Add Money To A Prepaid Card?

Depositing your money to the prepaid card is often easy. How and where you deposit money is card-dependent, and ranges from direct deposits from your bank account to in-stores at various retailers.  

If the card issuer has a mobile app, it can be easy to check its balance and proactively manage your finances. 

Who Should Get a Prepaid Debit Card?

Anyone who has a history of overspending money or poor credit should consider the prepaid card. A prepaid card limits your spending to only the amount that has been loaded on the card. 

Since you will incur overdraft fees, people quickly realize the importance of only spending what you have. Prepaid cards are a good tool to learn financial discipline. 

The prepaid debit cards are great for preparing your children with financial management education. . You can set daily limits with some cards that show children the importance of spending within your means.

Alternatives to Prepaid Debit Cards

There are a couple of options for you to consider rather than using prepaid debit cards. Here are some.

  • Alternative accounts. Such accounts come with check-writing options. Such include credit union and mutual fund accounts. 
  • Some companies offer employees payroll cards rather than paychecks or direct deposits. s. You can withdraw your cash at an ATM.
  • You can consider PayPal. This online account allows you to load it with cash and use tha account to pay for different services and products. Take note that it may have high fees. 
  • You have to consider cash too. It might be risky carrying a lot of cash around, but you will find it easier only to spend the cash you have. You never have to worry about the bank costs or electronic transaction fees. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should you look for in a prepaid debit card?

The main areas where prepaid debit cards differ are monthly/annual fees, fees and convenience for reloads, ATM access and fees, rewards, savings options, fraud protection, and mobile app availability.

How do you transfer your money from a debit card to a prepaid debit card?

Most cards offer the option to deposit money from a checking or savings account.

How does a prepaid card work?

It works the same as a traditional debit card, with the difference that the funds are not pulled from your bank account. You first have to add money to the card before using it.

Can prepaid cards be used online?

Yes. If a prepaid card is issued by a company such as a visa, American Express, or Mastercard, any retailer that accepts these forms of payment will also accept the prepaid card.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Billy Graham is a Highly skilled copywriter/editor with over 8+ years of experience working for content mills, direct clients, and SEO marketing agencies alike. Possesses extensive expertise in crafting unique copy, exceeding editorial goals, and delivering first-rate client-focused service in results-driven content production. Specialties include gaming, branded content, short-form to long-form copywriting, call-to-action, buying guides, how-to – articles, product reviews, and comparisons, copy editing, proofreading, complete QA, and in-depth research.

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Marie Still has 19 years in digital & brand marketing, fiction author with 3 books under traditional publishing contract, editor (fiction/nonfiction). She has an MBA in Marketing.

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  1. Prepaid debit cards and banking intention | Emerald Insight. (2021). International Journal of Bank Marketing. [online] Available at: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJBM-09-2021-0401/full/html [Accessed 21 Feb. 2022].