Over the past months the issue of prepaid debit cards has become more popular and, here in the month of June, there are indications that more consumers are turning from lines of credit, like credit cards or even debit cards associated with a checking account and simply opting to use prepaid debit cards as there are numerous offers and options that are available to a wide variety of consumers at the present time. However, there are some issues related to these prepaid cards that many feel needs attention, as there are some benefits that these prepaid cards offer consumers, but since there have been issues in recent months related to this type of card, questions over whether further regulations need to be made or consumers must simply be more cautious have arisen.
Obviously, popular uses of prepaid credit cards are for younger individuals or those who may be entering into college since a parent, for example, can give their child a prepaid debit card which can be used to make purchases, all the while that parent can track their spending and refill the account associated with the card, and avoid problems that cardholders may have with credit cards or checking accounts. Consumers who keep most of their funds in a checking account, as an example, will obviously run into problems if they fall victim to identity theft and the problems associated with credit cards for younger men and women, particularly those in college, have been well documented.
Yet, does this mean that parents should rush out and get a prepaid debit card for their child or should a student use this particular type of card for their financial needs? As with any card, consumers must do a heavy amount of research on what a particular lender will require of their cardholder, as there are some problems which have been seen over the past months with excessive fees and other charges, but of course this will differ from one lender to another. There are some cards that will charge fees for activation, everyday use, or if the card remains inactive for a set period of time, and there are also problems which have been related to overdraft issues, as some cards will allow cardholders to spend beyond their balance, while others may charge fees when this occurs.
While prepaid debit cards may be becoming more popular for some consumers, there are still those who feel that, particularly for young consumers, a traditional checking account that offers a debit card can be more helpful as it will also offer the opportunity to teach about fiscal responsibility. Students or young cardholders who may be able to get a checking account from a local bank or credit union will obviously have more access to information concerning how much is in their account, and could be less likely to be drawn into certain prepaid debit cards which may feature unnecessary perks or advertising campaigns which are merely there to draw consumers in and may not be a beneficial card.
While the option to use this type of card will ultimately come down to the consumer, but when men and women actually begin researching what these cards entail, like fees for using an ATM, monthly fees and activation fees, it may become clear that certain prepaid debit cards are simply not worth what many feel to be the convenience that could also come with responsible use of a credit card or simply acquiring a debit card associated with a traditional checking account.