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Old 06-11-2015, 11:29   #1
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Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

The sort you fill up before use, and can top up whenever you want.

Would one of these be useful in USA/Canada? Are they used there? I have no experience with these things (even cut up all my Credit Cards 20+ years ago, and haven't had any debt since). I don't really want another 'normal' CC, and one of these might just be handy.

Anybody use them? Any recommendations?
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:44   #2
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

They are loaded with fees. You would be much better off either using a credit card responsibly or opening a free account with a debit card.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:49   #3
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

I only have an AMEX and a Debit card now, but thought these pre-paid things would be good for cruising, I figured if there was only $500 in the thing, then worst case you could only lose $500?
I wanted a way to limit how much could be stolen
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:52   #4
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

With any credit card, I understand that you are protected against theft and fraud, so the most you could lose is nothing.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:58   #5
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
With any credit card, I understand that you are protected against theft and fraud, so the most you could lose is nothing.
You have 2 days to report a theft.

I use top up debit cards. Great idea.

I have Cash Passport, 2 accounts and $3600 on each.
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:02   #6
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
With any credit card, I understand that you are protected against theft and fraud, so the most you could lose is nothing.
You know with 47 pages of fine print, I think it may not be that simple.
Amex I feel secure with that, but it's not all that widely accepted as it has high fees for the merchant.
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:05   #7
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

Loaded with fees
Very poor to no customer service
Not universally accepted
Lots of places won't let you rent
a car,tools or even rent a hotel room
Get a regular cc
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:09   #8
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

Here is the law :

Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards | Consumer Information

Your liability is limited to $50 if you notify withing 2 days, $500 within 60 days. Edit : I think that's for ATM and debit cards.

Here's what it says about credit cards :

"Under the FCBA, your liability for unauthorized use of
your credit card tops out at $50. However, if you report the
loss before your credit card is used, the FCBA says you
are not responsible for any charges you didn’t authorize. If
your credit card number is stolen, but not the card, you are
not liable for unauthorized use."
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:10   #9
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
You know with 47 pages of fine print, I think it may not be that simple.
Amex I feel secure with that, but it's not all that widely accepted as it has high fees for the merchant.
The consumer law is quite simple, though.
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:10   #10
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
Loaded with fees
Very poor to no customer service
Not universally accepted
Lots of places won't let you rent
a car,tools or even rent a hotel room
Get a regular cc


For Europe this is not the case, or even Europeans in the USA.. Cash passport has replaced Travelers cheques.

I have Mastercards and never a problem in Any European country or the USA in 4 years.

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Old 06-11-2015, 12:10   #11
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

I thought they were indistinguishable from a regular credit card?

What fees? I have no idea, I have never had one, but thought there would be no fees, as they get the money first. I believe it's called "float money" these pre-paid things everything from gift cards etc., there is billions in "float" and since you pay first there is a bunch of money made off of that alone.
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:12   #12
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I thought they were indistinguishable from a regular credit card?

What fees? I have no idea, I have never had one, but thought there would be no fees, as they get the money first. I believe it's called "float money" these pre-paid things everything from gift cards etc., there is billions in "float" and since you pay first there is a bunch of money made off of that alone.
The only fee is to load the card and an ATM use fee. I did it today. Loaded 1k on the card and the fee was 2%

Your card and card company may be different.
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:27   #13
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

Interesting read

The 5 Best and Worst Prepaid Cards - US News
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Old 06-11-2015, 14:58   #14
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

Thanks for the insights all. I hadn't heard of the Cash Passport ones either.

Looks like there are some useful possibilities with no fees for overseas use. Look to be some restrictions on the amount able to be stored on them though, but still quite handy, especially with some of the security features available.
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Old 06-11-2015, 15:13   #15
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Re: Pre Pay 'Credit' Cards

Advice: Do not use a debit card for everyday transactions. A credit card has protections that a debit card does not. Some vendors won't accept debit cards anyway.

Forget Travelers Checks, can't use them most anywhere. This was your parents' way to take money while traveling.

I have never used the prepaid credit cards, but they sound as if they would be useful.

In the USA people use credit cards almost everywhere so very handy to have.
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