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The Truth About Pre-Paid Debit Cards: Part Two, Protecting Yourself

Previously we talked about the advantages, and they are many, of pre-paid debit cards. Now, we need to think about cautions regarding the cards: How can you use a pre-paid debit card and protect yourself and your money?

How to Protect Yourself

Make sure you know what fees, if any, are involved.

Is it cheaper to have funds direct deposited onto the card? Is there a fee for a customer service call? Or a fee for paper documents or to check your balance? Is there a monthly service fee, and how can you avoid that? Compare set-up or activation fees. Be sure to review and know your card’s fee structure, and account for those fees when thinking about your card’s available balance.

Where to go if you have a problem? Frequently there may be a fee to call customer service. Can you talk to someone in person to avoid that fee? Or where would you send a letter?

Know what ATMs you can use without incurring a fee.

Your pre-paid debit card will not necessarily establish your good credit, although credit bureaus are looking at adding that information in the future.

Remember that a pre-paid debit card is essentially the same as cash, and can be stolen. Take care of it as you would actual cash or a credit card.

Use a strong password and keep it safe. When you key it in, be aware of your surroundings and shield the keypad.

Track your debit card spending. This will keep you within your budget, help you avoid unnecessary fees, and let you anticipate expenses.

Be cautious if your pre-paid debit card automatically draws from your savings account—you don’t want to unknowingly start draining your savings! With PayDayHawaii’s pre-paid debit cards, you are eligible for a NetSpend Savings Account: No minimum deposit, and it pays 5.00% interest (Annual Percentage Yield)—one of the highest interest rates in the country. Load your card with funds from your savings account, or use it to deposit funds. And it’s FDIC insured.

For help in understanding the ins-and-outs of pre-paid debit cards, what card programs offered at PayDayHawaii, and how pre-paid debit cards could fit into your life, visit us here, call 808-822-5115, or visit one of our handy locations.

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