Sunday, March 24, 2013

How To Maximize Every Cent On A Prepaid Credit Card

I've gotten a lot of prepard credit cards over time (one place I used to work for would give them as gifts) and they have their quirks, but they also have their use.

In order to maximise their use, I have a few tips for you. Even though it's "free money" you can make the most of it to save you money.

1) Always Read The Fine Print!

They often have usage fees tagged on - some with each transaction, some with activation, some after a period of's important to figure out which you have because a simple $1.50 fee can easily eat up your balance in a few months.

2) Don't Use It to Overspend!

Let's say you get a $50 prepaid card. You go into a store to treat yourself. You start picking up all sorts of things, thinking the card will cover it, but then say to yourself, "oh, I'll just pay the difference." That's where the trouble lies! Next thing you know, you get to cash and use the full balance of your $50 card, plus you have to pay an extra $200 out of pocket. Oops! Did you really need that stuff?

3) Use It To The Max or Keep Close Tabs

You might know that any amount charged on the card over the amount of the balance will get automatically declined. Therefore, it's better to charge the full value of the card in one transaction. If you manage to come close, but have a few dollars left, keep an accurate tally so that the next time you use it, you can have the cashier enter the exact amount left on the card and use the full balance that way.

If you still have a few dollars left afterwards, I like to use them up to pay electronic parking meters. This is a great way to use a couple of dollars and not worry about identity theft with a personal card.

Don't forget you can also use these cards online, again, entering the exact value of the card. Then use another card as back up if there's a balance remaining.