#which credit card is best
Best Prepaid Debit Cards of 2015
Amex Serve, Paypal Prepaid, and KAIKU offer the most flexibility
While prepaid cards were once a last resort for those who couldn t qualify for a traditional bank account, new features have moved some of the best prepaid cards into the mainstream. According to a Nilson report, prepaid cards with the top 50 U.S. Banks and credit unions accounted for $118.09 billion in spending at merchants in 2013, a 6.1 percent increase from the year before. A recent study from Pew Charitable Trusts also reported that the vast majority of prepaid card owners use them as a complement to their regular checking account, not an alternative. But why?
For many users of prepaid cards, the move seems to be one of convenience. Unlike with traditional checking accounts, prepaid users can make deposits at a wide range of retailers including convenience stores. And unlike traditional banks, prepaid cards usually belong to a large network of ATMs that allow users to withdraw cash for free.
But that convenience comes at a cost. In most cases, prepaid cards come with higher fees than traditional checking accounts, and those fees can add up quick. Of course, all prepaid cards are not created equal and some come with lower fees and more reasonable terms. In order to find the best prepaid card out there, you need to be able to compare their features and fees side by side. That’s why we created this guide once you are armed with the right information, you can choose the best card for you.
The Simple Dollar s Top Prepaid Card Picks
Here are the 6 best prepaid cards of 2015:
What Makes These the Best?
Prepaid cards come in all shapes and sizes, but there are certain features that help some of them stand out. When you re looking for a prepaid card, these are the characteristics you should look for:
- Convenient card loading options
- Flexible ways to spend and pay bills
- Minimal monthly fees
- Free direct deposit
- Retail networks or online connections
- Widely accepted
- Ability to send money to friends and family online or via mobile device
Although new prepaid cards come on the market every year, some have stood the test of time. As you read through the details on each card we ve highlighted, consider how each card would work with your personal spending habits. Then consider the fees associated with each card to see how they stack up.
American Express Serve®
The American Express Serve® may be the best prepaid card because it is low cost and provides easy ways to avoid fees and add cash. The $1 monthly fee is already very low, but the fee is waived if you use direct deposit or load just $500 onto your card each month.
Moreover, you can load cash for free at CVS and 7-Eleven stores. Most other cards offer large retail networks but those retail partners often charge their own fees to add cash at their locations.
This card is also great for families. You can set up sub-accounts for your kids and set spending limits for them. The card also has a reserve function, so you can set aside money each month for a large purchase or family vacation.
American Express Serve® Snapshot
- Get a $50 credit after receiving $250+ twice via Direct Deposit by 6/30/14.* Enroll in Direct Deposit to get your paycheck in your American Express Serve Account on payday.
- Enjoy American Express service and security 24/7. Shop online or off and get access to membership benefits like Purchase Protection.
- Add cash for free across 15,000 CVS/pharmacy® stores and participating 7-ELEVEN® locations.
- Free ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 ATMs nationwide.
- Use the Mobile App* to deposit checks on-the-go, manage your money, easily pay bills and more. *Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.
Comparing American Express Serve® Options
In 2015, American Express Serve® also began offering two alternate serve cards with their own unique benefits the American Express Serve® with free reloads and the American Express Serve® Cash Back. Both options charge a monthly fee, but offer their own set of perks. This chart can help you compare options: