7 On Your Side: Prepaid Cards - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/21/06

7 On Your Side: Prepaid Cards

Construction worker Matthew Goodrum says his hard earned cash flies out of his hands the minute he cashes his paycheck! 

"I get the money; I'm going to spend it because it's accessible," says Matthew. To help stop the bleeding, Matthew decided to try a reloadable, prepaid debit card. It looks just like a traditional debit card but it's not linked to a bank account.

His limit is based on the amount of money he loads onto the card. "I can use it just like a credit card, pay my bills," explains Matthew. 

In fact, you can use the prepaid plastic anywhere debit or credit cards are accepted. These cards are issued by banks and private companies. They're branded with Visa and Mastercard logos and carry the same protections as their traditional debit and credit cards.

You can pick one up and load it at a variety of retail and financial locations nationwide. "So if you bought a card in say in Austin, Texas, and you're traveling to California, most likely there's a convenient location near you in that state," says Bertrand Sosa with Netspend.

While the prepaid cards may be convenient, the fees tacked onto them can really add up! Most banks we visited in Tyler offer these cards in the form of a gift card. There are activations fees and fees if you get a refund on any unused value.

Also expect to pay if you haven't used your card within a certain period of time. Matthew paid $9.95 to activate his card and shells out another $9.95 per month for unlimited transactions. There may also be reload fees, ATM fees, and postage fees.

It's important to do your homework!  "If you do qualify for a bank account, you might compare the cost of this product to the cost of a bank account and see how much it's going to cost for you," suggests Gail Hillebrand with Consumers Union. But for those who don't qualify, like Matthew, a prepaid debit card can be a cheap and easy solution. "Everybody I know pretty much uses them because it's convenient," says Matthew.

When it comes to reloading, or adding more money to your card, 7 On Your Side found, the cards offered at local banks, do not allow you to reload. They're typically a one-time use after your money runs out.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

  • NewsMore>>

  • Kitchen fire displaces four people in Longview

    Kitchen fire displaces four people in Longview

    Monday, July 24 2017 10:30 AM EDT2017-07-24 14:30:44 GMT

    The Longview Fire Department responded to a report of a kitchen fire in Longview, Friday. 

    More >>

    The Longview Fire Department responded to a report of a kitchen fire in Longview, Friday. 

    More >>
  • Camp Coverage: Jones and Garrett comment on Elliott's status

    Camp Coverage: Jones and Garrett comment on Elliott's status

    Sunday, July 23 2017 11:19 PM EDT2017-07-24 03:19:36 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff
    Of the 6 players on the Dallas Cowboys facing a possible suspension or legal problems, Ezekiel Elliott is the biggest name. The NFL is still investigating an alleged domestic violence incident involving Elliott last July. The league has been looking into the matter for 13 months now, despite the fact that the 2nd year running back was never arrested or charged. Elliott's name came up numerous times during today's opening press conference, and while owner Jerry Jo...More >>
    Of the 6 players on the Dallas Cowboys facing a possible suspension or legal problems, Ezekiel Elliott is the biggest name. The NFL is still investigating an alleged domestic violence incident involving Elliott last July. The league has been looking into the matter for 13 months now, despite the fact that the 2nd year running back was never arrested or charged. Elliott's name came up numerous times during today's opening press conference, and while owner Jerry Jo...More >>
  • Camp Coverage: State of the Team address main topic deals with off the field issues

    Camp Coverage: State of the Team address main topic deals with off the field issues

    Sunday, July 23 2017 11:08 PM EDT2017-07-24 03:08:06 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff
    Despite coming off a 13 win campaign and claiming the NFC East Title, there has been little talk about football and the excitement for the upcoming season. That's because 6 players are currently dealing with off the field issues. Questions about character and the type of guys on the Cowboys roster dominated the opening press conference of training camp here in Oxnard.. Owner Jerry Jones and Head Coach Jason Garrett acknowledged the problem, but remain confident the issues ...More >>
    Despite coming off a 13 win campaign and claiming the NFC East Title, there has been little talk about football and the excitement for the upcoming season. That's because 6 players are currently dealing with off the field issues. Questions about character and the type of guys on the Cowboys roster dominated the opening press conference of training camp here in Oxnard.. Owner Jerry Jones and Head Coach Jason Garrett acknowledged the problem, but remain confident the issues ...More >>
Powered by Frankly