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Prepaid Credit Cards

Are you looking for a credit card or way to use credit without worrying about your past credit history or racking up high amounts of interest with un-budgeted spending? Perhaps you’ve applied for credit cards before but have never been approved. Or maybe you’re a parent of teens and would like to give your teens some controlled financial independence. Then consider getting a prepaid credit card.

A prepaid credit card, despite its name, is actually not a credit card, but it is used like a credit card and can be used anywhere that credit cards are accepted. Credit card processing machines handle these cards exactly the same, just with out the risk of getting into debt on your end.

You first of all apply for and pay for a prepaid credit card—a setup fee can cost anywhere from $5 to $50—and then set up an account.

In your account you “load” a set amount of money to your card, which becomes, in essence, your “credit limit”—and then you’re ready to use your card. Most prepaid credit cards can be loaded online, over the phone, or at a participating branch. You determine your credit line based on how much you can afford to put on your card.

There are many advantages to using a prepaid credit card as opposed to a standard credit card. First of all, there are normally no finance fees or interest charges with a prepaid credit card. Further, having and using a prepaid credit card can help you avoid debt as all purchases you make with a prepaid credit card are essentially paid for beforehand.

Your limit is predetermined based on how much you loaded on your prepaid credit card. In this way, you can avoid the high interest and resulting incurred debt typical of most credit cards. Having a prepaid credit card also makes budgeting much easier.

A prepaid credit card is also a great idea for teens. Prepaid credit cards allow teens some freedom and spending power while at the same time teach them, practically, about finances. Parents can also be kept informed and are able to exert some control over their teens’ spending.

Some potential customers may not initially understand the point of using a prepaid credit card if it’s not actually “credit,” but prepaid—by you. However, a prepaid credit card allows you or your teens to do all the things standard credit cards can: for example, make purchases online, rent a car, collect points and rewards, give a deposit, make travel reservations, and make payments online.

Many financing and credit card companies offer prepaid credit cards, including Western Union and Visa. You can apply for a Western Union Prepaid MasterCard online at www.westernunion.com.

Getting a prepaid credit card with Western Union is relatively simple and hassle-free as there are no credit checks, no long application process, no bank account required and a setup fee of only $9.95. You can use your Western Union prepaid credit card anywhere MasterCard is accepted. In order to reload cash on your card, simply go to your local participating Western Union branch.

Visa offers many different types of prepaid credit cards and other prepaid cards. Visa refers to most of these as “debit” cards rather than credit cards, which include the Visa Gift Card, the Visa TravelMoney, the Visa Payroll and the Visa Buxx. The Visa Buxx card is the Visa prepaid card specifically designed for teens.

It offers teens freedom, flexibility, responsibility and some financial independence, while keeping parents informed and in control, allowing them to monitor their spending habits. It’s also convenient for teens and safer than cash, and is widely accepted wherever Visa debit cards are. The money you load onto the card can be your money, your teens’ money, or a combination of both.

There are many other prepaid credit cards available in addition to what is offered by Western Union and Visa. It’s essential to do your research when determining which prepaid credit card will best suit your needs and preferences, whether you’re looking for a card for yourself or for your teens. Make sure you take the time to understand all the terms and conditions of each prepaid credit card before you make your final decision.