Debit Cards & Prepaid Cards

Strict about your budget? Prepaid and debit cards can help you control your spending by setting your balance up front. Note that prepaid and debit cards are not the same as credit cards. If you're looking for a credit card but are concerned about a low credit score, check out these card offers from our partners.

See offers from our partners below.

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Need your money now? Get paid up to 2 days earlier with Direct Deposit.
  • With qualifying Direct Deposit, make no-fee cash withdrawals up to $300 a day at ACE locations.
  • Manage your money on the move - ACE Elite mobile app available on Google Play and Apple App Store.
  • Transfer funds to other ACE Elite Cardholders for no fee.
  • Earn up to 5.00% annual percentage yield on balances up to $1,000.00 with our optional savings account.
  • Get Payback RewardsSM for using your card on some of your everyday purchases.
  • Enjoy ACE Cash Express customer service at over 1,000 locations nationwide.
Apply Now at Ace Cash Express's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Variable Monthly Fees
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

24k Prepaid Visa® RushCard

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Needed
  • Enroll in Direct Deposit and get your pay up to two days early.* Certain restrictions apply. See card site for details.
  • Real time activity alerts to let you know when a deposit goes through or if your balance is running low.
  • Your funds are FDIC-Insured through MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card accounts are subject to ID Verification.
  • Approval upon successful ID verification.* No credit check* or minimum balance required.
  • Your funds are protected if your card is lost or stolen thanks to the Visa Zero Liability policy.* See card site for details.
  • Easy Online Bill Pay to practically anyone — pay your rent, utilities or a friend.
  • Click on "Apply Now" to learn more about 24k Prepaid Visa RushCard.*
Apply Now at RushCard's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Variable Monthly Fees
Credit Needed
No Credit Needed

Purple ACE Elite™ Visa® Prepaid Debit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Need your money now? Get paid up to 2 days earlier with Direct Deposit.
  • With qualifying Direct Deposit, make no-fee cash withdrawals up to $300 a day at ACE locations.
  • Manage your money on the move - ACE Elite mobile app available on Google Play and Apple App Store.
  • Transfer funds to other ACE Elite Cardholders for no fee.
  • Earn up to 5.00% annual percentage yield on balances up to $1,000.00 with our optional savings account.
  • Get Payback RewardsSM for using your card on some of your everyday purchases.
  • Enjoy ACE Cash Express customer service at over 1,000 locations nationwide.
Apply Now at Ace Cash Express's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Variable Monthly Fees
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

Pink ACE Elite™ Visa® Prepaid Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Need your money now? Get paid up to 2 days earlier with Direct Deposit.
  • Helping Women Now - official sponsor of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).
  • Since 2006, purchases made with the Pink ACE Elite Card have contributed over $3 million towards NBCF's early detection and support services.
  • Manage your money on the move - ACE Elite mobile app available on Google Play and Apple App Store.
  • Transfer funds to other ACE Elite Prepaid Cardholders for no fee.
  • Earn up to 5.00% annual percentage yield on balances up to $1,000.00 with our optional savings account.
  • Get Payback RewardsSM for using your card on some of your everyday purchases.
  • Enjoy ACE Cash Express customer service at over 1,000 locations nationwide.
Apply Now at Ace Cash Express's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Variable Monthly Fees
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

Western Union® NetSpend® Prepaid Mastercard®

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Send and Receive WU® money transfers, shop online or pay bills.
  • With Western Union Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster* than a paper check.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Get your tax refund direct deposited to your Card Account and no more waiting in line to cash your check!
  • *Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted. "Apply Now" for full details. See additional Western Union Prepaid Mastercard® Details.
Apply Now at NetSpend's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Up-to $9.95 monthly*
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

Brink's Prepaid Mastercard®

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Brink's gives you the peace of mind you deserve. Securing cash and valuables since 1859.
  • With Brink's Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster* than a paper check.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Use the Brink's Money Prepaid Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply.)
  • Get your tax refund direct deposited to your Card Account and no more waiting in line to cash your check!
  • *Card issued by BofI Federal Bank, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Mastercard Debit cards are accepted. "Apply Now" for full details.
  • See additional Brink's Prepaid Mastercard® Details.
Apply Now at NetSpend's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Variable Monthly Fees
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

Blue NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • With Netspend Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Use the NetSpend Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply).
  • Get your tax refund direct deposited to your account and no more waiting in line to cash your check!
  • Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. "Apply Now" for full details.
Apply Now at NetSpend's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Variable Monthly Fee
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

NetSpend® Prepaid Mastercard®

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • With Netspend Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check
  • Take Advantage of Netspend Payback Rewards and earn cash back on qualified purchases.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Use the NetSpend Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply).
  • Get your tax refund direct deposited to your account and no more waiting in line to cash your check!
  • Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Mastercard Debit cards are accepted. "Apply Now" for full details.
Apply Now at NetSpend's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Up-to $9.95 monthly*
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

ACE Elite™ Blue Visa® Prepaid Debit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Need your money now? Get paid up to 2 days earlier with Direct Deposit.
  • With qualifying Direct Deposit, make no-fee cash withdrawals up to $300 a day at ACE locations.
  • Manage your money on the move - ACE Elite mobile app available on Google Play and Apple App Store.
  • Transfer funds to other ACE Elite Cardholders for no fee.
  • Earn up to 5.00% annual percentage yield on balances up to $1,000.00 with our optional savings account.
  • Get Payback RewardsSM for using your card on some of your everyday purchases.
  • Enjoy ACE Cash Express customer service at over 1,000 locations nationwide.
Apply Now at Ace Cash Express's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
0% (Fixed)
Annual Fee
Variable Monthly Fees
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

Brink's Money Prepaid Mastercard®

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Brink's gives you the peace of mind you deserve. Securing cash and valuables since 1859.
  • With Brink's Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster* than a paper check.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Use the Brink's Money Prepaid Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply.)
  • Get your tax refund direct deposited to your Card Account and no more waiting in line to cash your check!
  • *Card issued by BofI Federal Bank, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Mastercard Debit cards are accepted. "Apply Now" for full details.
  • See additional Brink's Prepaid Mastercard® Details.
Apply Now at NetSpend's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Varilable Monthly Fees
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

Comparing Prepaid Card Offers

Updated: January 25, 2018

A prepaid card is a great tool for someone who needs a little help budgeting, doesn’t have the best of credit or prefers the convenience of not always pulling out cash. But they aren’t the same as credit cards and they don’t enjoy credit cards’ greatest advantage – the ability to build your credit. That said, there are plenty of reasons to get a prepaid card. Here we look at:

  • Favorite places to buy prepaid cards
  • Why should I have a prepaid card?
  • Who should use a prepaid card?
  • Are prepaid cards safe?
  • How does a prepaid card work?
  • Is a prepaid card a bank account?

We look at who can benefit from a prepaid card, how they work and what they aren’t.

Favorite places to buy prepaid cards

Most common locations to buy prepaid cards

Source: Synergistics

Why should I have a prepaid card?

Top 4 reasons why Americans have prepaid cards:

  1. Buy things online
  2. Avoid credit card debt
  3. Avoid spending more money than they have
  4. Avoid overdrafts

Source: Pew Charitable Trusts

Who should use a prepaid card?

People who use prepaid cards:

  • Some 5% of adults use the cards at least once a month.
  • Some 7 of 8 have or have had a checking account.
  • Some 2 in 3 have or have had a credit card.
  • The average household income is about $30,000.
  • Some 2 in 5 have closed or lost an account due to overdraft fees.

Are prepaid cards safe?

Prepaid cards are not credit cards, but they still have protections. For example, they usually enjoy federal deposit insurance because the accounts are frequently held by a bank or credit union, according to the CFPB. Also, prepaid cards in a payment network such as Mastercard or Visa might enjoy zero liability protections.

How does a prepaid card work?

  • It’s not a credit card. A prepaid card is more like a debit card – once you’ve spent the money on the card, you’re done. With a credit card, you are essentially borrowing money that you will pay back later.
  • It’s not tied to a bank account. Unlike a debit card, a prepaid card isn’t tied to a checking or savings account. However, it can have routing and account numbers that you can use to auto-debit or deposit funds.
  • A prepaid card has protections. Although it’s not a credit card, as part of a payment network, it has some protections similar to a credit card.
  • You can buy it at a variety of places. From grocery stores to minute markets, there are a variety of locations where you can buy a prepaid card. Simply load it with the amount of cash you want, and you’re ready to go!
  • It can be used for budgeting. You can load it for a specific type or purchase, such as groceries. Then, when your card runs out of money, you simply stop spending on that item.
  • Watch out for fees. There are sometimes hidden fees in a prepaid card, unlike a credit card, which must clearly display fees, so watch out.
  • You can’t build credit with a prepaid card. For that, you’ll need a credit card. Start with a secured credit card or an unsecured card for someone with bad or no credit.

Is a prepaid card a bank account?

No. A prepaid card is a standalone financial product that you load with money, then it eventually runs out of money unless you reload more. A bank account’s card is called a debit card – it operates in a similar way, but it is tied to the account’s funds. Neither is a credit card, which basically provides short-term loans to the cardholder. A prepaid card can have similar features to a bank account, however. For example, you can use it to deposit your paycheck or auto-debit bills. This is because routing and account numbers can be assigned to the card.

Join the Discussion

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The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by the card issuers or advertisers. Additionally, the card issuer or advertiser does not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

See the online credit card applications for details about the terms and conditions of an offer. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's web site.

* For additional rates, fees and costs see issuer's website for detailed pricing and terms.