Prepaid cards both look and can be used like normal credit and debit cards which makes them a convenient means of spending both on and offline. What's more, many prepaid cards are backed by major payment service providers such as Visa and Mastercard and so can be used anywhere these payment methods are accepted both in the UK and overseas.
There are no credit checks carried out when you apply for a prepaid card and this makes them particularly suitable for individuals who have a poor credit history or find it difficult to get a regular debit or credit card elsewhere.
Prepaid cards aren't linked to a bank account or credit facility so there is no risk that you will spend more money than you have available. This means that it's impossible to go overdrawn or run up large bills unlike more traditional spending cards. Once your card has run out of credit, you simply won't be able to make any more transactions until you top up.
Because you can only spend the money you have loaded onto your prepaid card they are particularly useful if you need to stick to a budget. Most prepaid card providers offer online account management so you can keep an eye on your outstanding balance and purchase history too which makes keeping track of your finances simple.
Many prepaid cards allow you to make purchases and withdrawals both in the UK and overseas so they can be a convenient and more secure alternative to carrying foreign currency when you travel abroad. There are a number of specially designed prepaid travel card available and these tend to offer very competitive rates for spending and withdrawing cash overseas.
Most providers will be able to issue multiple cards for a single prepaid account and this makes for a convenient way to share money with friends and family without opening a joint bank account. For example, prepaid cards can be used by couples and flatmates to jointly budget and pay bills, by parents to help teach their children the value of money and monitor their spending, or to securely send money to those travelling overseas.
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