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.

Netspend® Small Business Prepaid Mastercard®

Apply Now Credit Needed
None
  • Separate Business from Personal Expenses
  • No credit card debt or late fees because this is not a credit card.
  • Simplify tax preparation and business expense tracking with transaction exporting
  • Manage Employee Spending with Complete Control
  • Accept credit card payments with ProPay®
  • *Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Terms & conditions apply. Click "Apply Now" for full details.
Apply Now at NetSpend's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
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Credit Needed
None

American Express Serve® Cash Back

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Your Full Service Prepaid Debit Account with 1% Cash Back on purchases. (American Express Serve is not a credit card.)
  • No credit check. No minimum balance. No hidden fees.
  • Earn 1% Cash Back added to your Account when you spend, for use on future purchases. (1)
  • Free Direct Deposit gets you access to your money up to 2 days faster. (2)
  • Free ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 MoneyPass® ATMs nationwide. (3)
  • Enjoy American Express service and security 24/7. Shop online and off and enjoy Card Membership benefits like Purchase Protection*.
  • *Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Subject to additional terms, conditions, and exclusions.
Apply Now at American Express's
secure site
Terms Apply
Purchases Intro APR
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Annual Fee
$5.95 Monthly Fee (No fee in TX, NY, VT)
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

Gloss Prepaid Visa® RushCard

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Needed
  • Stay connected — keep track of your money on your mobile phone with the free RushCard app.
  • Get your government benefits up to two days early with Direct Deposit.* Certain restrictions apply. See card site for details.
  • Safer than carrying cash. With the Visa Zero Liability policy your funds are protected if your card is lost or stolen.* See card site for details.
  • Real time activity alerts sent to your mobile phone via text or email.* Standard text message and data rates, fees, and charges may apply.
  • Your funds are protected if your card is lost or stolen thanks to the Visa Zero Liability policy.* See card site for details.
  • Your funds are FDIC-Insured through MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card accounts are subject to ID Verification.
  • Click on "Apply Now" to learn more about Gloss Prepaid Visa RushCard.*
Apply Now at RushCard's
secure site
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Credit Needed
No Credit Needed

Pink 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
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Variable Monthly Fee
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

Sequin KLS Prepaid Visa® RushCard

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Needed
  • Get your government benefits up to two days early with Direct Deposit.* Certain restrictions apply. See card site for details.
  • Access to over 23,000 fee-free MoneyPass® ATMs from coast-to-coast. Get cash or check your balance at no additional cost.
  • Shop online and in stores - everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
  • Your funds are protected if your card is lost or stolen thanks to the Visa Zero Liability policy.* See card site for details.
  • Check your balance, view transactions, and even transfer money with the RushCard mobile app.
  • Your funds are FDIC-Insured through MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card accounts are subject to ID Verification.
  • Click on "Apply Now" to learn more about Sequin Prepaid Visa RushCard.*
Apply Now at RushCard's
secure site
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Credit Needed
No Credit Needed

Midnight Prepaid Visa® RushCard

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Needed
  • Easy to sign up. Set up your secure PIN and load money to your card with cash or checks or enroll in Direct Deposit.*
  • Enroll in Direct Deposit and get your pay up to two days early.* Certain restrictions apply. See card site for details.
  • Easy Online Bill Pay to practically anyone — pay your rent, utilities or a friend.
  • Shop online and in stores - everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
  • Your funds are FDIC-Insured through MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card accounts are subject to ID Verification.
  • Access to over 23,000 fee-free MoneyPass® ATMs from coast-to-coast. Get cash or check your balance at no additional cost.
  • Click on "Apply Now" to learn more about Midnight Prepaid Visa RushCard.*
Apply Now at RushCard's
secure site
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No Credit Needed

Walmart MoneyCard® MasterCard®

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • The Walmart MoneyCard® MasterCard® Card allows you to earn cash-back rewards by shopping at Walmart and Walmart.com, and now offers Prize Savings when you use the MoneyCard Vault to save up for the future.
  • Earn 3% cash-back at Walmart.com, 2% cash back at Murphy USA and Walmart Fuel Stations, and 1% cash-back at Walmart, up to $75 in cash-back rewards per year
  • No credit check to get a card, no overdraft fees, no bank account required. Use it for purchases everywhere Debit MasterCard cards are accepted in the U.S.
  • Use the card to quickly and easily pay your cell phone, cable, internet, and most other utility bills. Limits apply. Track your money 24/7, view transactions, and find ATMs near you with the mobile app
  • Get access to your money up to 2 days early with Free Direct Deposit, depending on your payment provider's process and timing
  • Send money for Free to another participating card issued by Green Dot Bank, including Walmart MoneyCard. Limits apply.
  • Get cash off your card for Free at any Walmart Customer Service Desk or MoneyCenter, up to $1,000 per transaction. No purchase required.
  • $0 online purchase fee. Other fees and limits apply. Subject to successful ID verification. See Cardholder Agreement for details.
Apply Now at Walmart MoneyCard's
secure site
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Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

MileagePlus® GO Visa® Prepaid Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Earn miles on qualifying signature purchases, up to 2,500 miles each month.
  • No Credit Check
  • No interest payments
  • Use Anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted
  • Reload money for repeat use
  • Great option to manage expenses and spending
  • *Card issued by Republic Bank & Trust Company, Member FDIC. "Apply Now" for full details.
Apply Now at NetSpend's
secure site
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Annual Fee
$5.95 monthly fee option
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

Self Lender — Credit Builder Account

Apply Now Credit Needed
See Terms
  • The first nationwide savings plan that builds credit
  • Savings plans start at $25/month and includes credit monitoring
  • Reports to all 3 credit bureaus. No hard credit pull and no credit history required
  • Self Lender helps you get a small loan that you save in a CD for 12 or 24 months (FDIC-insured certificate of deposit bank account)
  • At the end of account term you've built credit history and your CD savings unlocks
Apply Now at Self Lender Credit Builder's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
See Terms
Balance Transfers Intro APR
See Terms
Regular APR
See Terms
Annual Fee
See Terms
Credit Needed
See Terms

Bronze 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
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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.