Prepaid MasterCards can be a potential solution for people who want to enjoy the ease of making credit purchases but who do not qualify for traditional credit cards. Prepaid cards are also a suitable option for people who want to carefully budget their spending.
About Prepaid MasterCards
Prepaid cards are funded by the purchaser. Unlike traditional credit cards, there is no revolving line of credit connected to these cards, prepaid cards featuring the MasterCard symbol can be used for purchases at any retailer accepting MasterCards. However, use is not limited solely to retail purchases. The cards can also be used to pay for services and to pay certain bills online. Some prepaid cards are designed to be purchased as gifts and cannot be reloaded. Others are designed to be used over and over again and their balances can be replenished countless times. Other special features available include cards designed specifically for students (usually funded by their parents) and cards that can be registered online so friends and family members can help replenish balances on behalf of the cardholder.
Getting a Prepaid Card
There is a large variety of prepaid cards available that feature the MasterCard logo. Obtain a card directly from your financial institution or by visiting retailers who offer this product. Whether the card is reloadable or becomes invalid when the balance is exhausted and whether there is a fee for originally obtaining the card will vary depending on where the card is sold and what type of card it is. For example, picking up a prepaid MasterCard in a kiosk display at a mass retailer will likely result in a one-time purchasing fee, while obtaining that same card online may be free of charge.
Here is a brief list of some of the online sources offering prepaid MasterCards:
Be sure to check the terms and conditions of the prepaid card before you buy it. Just because there is no credit line attached to the card does not mean that it will be free from monthly fees. Compare the various cards available by visiting the MasterCard website.
MasterCard Prepaid Solutions
The growing popularity of prepaid credit and debit cards has prompted MasterCard to offer prepaid cards that companies and government organizations can used in lieu of payroll and benefit checks. Companies can issue these cards to their employees and then fund the cards directly with payroll or benefits instead of issuing a check or directly depositing the funds into employee or beneficiary checking accounts.
Potential benefits of this method of utilizing prepaid MasterCards include:
- The funds are immediately available for use.
- Employees and beneficiaries are not required to open or maintain a checking account to receive funds.
- There is no chance of a check sent through the mail winding up lost.
- Cardholders can set up recurring debt payments directly through the same card that they use to receive funds.
- With no line of credit attached to the card, employees and beneficiaries will not fall into debt as a result of using the card.
- Prepaid cards featuring the MasterCard logo are protected by the MasterCard Zero Liability policy.
- Funding cards instead of utilizing other forms of recurring payments may save companies money in payroll processing expenses.
Prepaid MasterCards can also be used to store pre-tax healthcare dollars. They are also streamlined ways to provide government funds to residents affected by natural disasters or to other individuals requiring temporary financial assistance.