Compare prepaid credit cards

Payment cards are increasingly essential in modern life but not all of us have easy access to them. Whether you're unable to get a credit card or you just don't want to get into debt, a pre pay credit card could be the ideal solution for you.

Below, compare prepaid cards:

Transaction Fees:
  • Purchases: Free
  • Cash Withdrawal: £1.75
  • ATM abroad: £2.25
Top up fees:
  • Internet Banking: Free
  • Standing order: Free
  • Debit card: Free
Card Purchase: £6.95    Monthly fee: £0.0   Apply Now
Transaction fees:
  • Purchases: 2.5%
  • Cash withdrawal: £1.50
Top up fees:
  • PayPoint: 3%
  • Post Office: 3%
  • Bank transfer: Free
Card Purchase: £5    Monthly fee: £0.0   Splash Plastic: Apply Now
Transaction fees:
  • UK Purchases: Free
  • Overseas Purchases: 2.95%
  • Cash Withdrawal: £1.50
  • ATM Abroad: £1.50
Top up fees:
  • Debit Card: Free
  • Post Office: Free
  • Bank transfer: Free
Card Purchase: £9.95    Monthly fee: £4.75   Apply Now
Transactions fees:
  • UK Purchases: 2.95%
  • Overseas Purchases: 3.5%
  • Cash Withdrawal: 2.95%
  • ATM Abroad: 3.5%
Top up fees:
  • Debit Card: Free
  • Post Office: Free
  • Bank transfer: Free
Card Purchase: £9.95    Monthly fee: £0.0   Apply Now
Transaction fees:
  • Purchases: £1.50
  • Cash Withdrawal: £1.50
  • ATM Abroad: £3
Top up fees:
  • Post Office: Free
  • Bank transfer: Free
Card Purchase: £9.95    Monthly fee: £0.0   Apply Now

Overview

A prepaid card is a form of pay as you go credit card onto which you deposit your money, then use it to pay for goods or services just like you would with a normal card. But unlike normal credit or debit cards, you can only spend the amount that you put on the card.

Pay as you go credit cards are available to people from all walks of life, and are ideal for teens who cannot legally obtain credit cards or anybody trying to avoid getting into debt. The requirements for approval are very basic; in some cases it is as simple as being a UK resident.

Advantages

  • It is easy to meet the requirements, most applicants are guaranteed to be approved provided they reside in the UK.
  • No credit check is done, therefore bad credit history will not affect your chances of approval.
  • Ideal for those who want an easy way to control their spending; you can only spend what you put on the card, therefore there is no risk of getting into debt.
  • They give access to those unable to obtain a normal credit card, this includes those under the age of 18 or people who’ve been denied because of bad credit history.
  • You are able to use the card in the same way as a normal credit or debit card; most of the cards on the market are backed by MasterCard, one of the big 2 payment processors, therefore whether its the high street, telephone or internet, your card will be accepted.
  • You will also be able to withdraw money from ATM cash machines in the UK and abroad; although this comes with some charges.
  • Some prepaid cards also have a credit building service which you can sign up for, this is ideal if you want to establish or repair your credit rating.

Disadvantages

  • No influence on credit rating

    By default a prepaid card has no influence on your credit rating because there's no borrowing involved. As a result, they will not help you to improve your credit rating. If your intentions are to improve your credit rating, your best option is to apply for a normal credit card.

    If you’re unable to qualify for a normal credit card, you can sign up for the credit building option offered on some prepaid cards; these will lend you a small amount of money strictly for this purpose, and as you pay it back in monthly instalments that will be reported to Credit Reference Agencies and thus improve your credit score.

  • Charges

    You can expect to pay various fees for card usage, the fees vary from issuer to issuer, below are some of those fees:

    • Application fees; most prepaid cards will incur an application fee, typically £5 - £10. The fee is the cost of making and personalising the card.
    • Monthly fees; some issuers will give you a choice between a pay as you go account and a pay monthly account, the pay monthly account is cheaper if you use the card regularly, however the charges continue even when you haven’t used the card in a long time.
    • Top-up fees; you may be charged each time you put money on the card. On most cards you can avoid this fee by topping up at the Post Office or by bank transfer.
    • Transaction fees; for every transaction carried out with the card, a small percentage fee will be applied, this also includes ATM cash withdrawal.


Alternatives

  • Basic bank account

    As the name suggests, a basic bank account is a bare essentials account that most banks in the UK offer, examples: Santander, Nationwide. They are designed for people who do not qualify for the standard current account for reasons including bad credit rating.

    With your account you can pay bills, direct debits and standing orders, there is no application fee or usage fees. You also get a card which you can use to withdraw money at ATM machines, although it won’t be accepted as a payment card in many places; it’s not back by Visa, MasterCard or other Payment Processing organisations.

  • Bad credit credit cards

    If you’re over the age of 18 and want to boost your credit rating, these are a better option than prepaid cards; you will boost your credit much faster, if used correctly. There are also no usage fees except the interest charged when you have an outstanding balance. The downside is that there will be a credit check when you apply, those with very bad credit will not qualify.