Have you heard about pre-paid credit cards? You probably never even considered it as an option. Here are some reasons that you might want to look into this and the new offer that Chase has just come out with!
Daily Finance states…
Tens of millions of Americans with limited access to banking services turned to payday lenders and prepaid cards during tax season, much to the delight of Walmart (WMT), which offers a check-cashing service via a partnership with prepaid card specialist Green Dot (GDOT).
But now JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is pitching a new prepaid card — Chase Liquid — as something more than a last-ditch option for the underbanked.
McInerney is saying, even if you have the option to open a checking account, a prepaid card might be a better bet for you.
3 Big Questions to Ask
Chase isn’t just dipping its toe into the prepaid card business. It’s going all in by linking Liquid to its national retail and ATM network for simple reloading and cash access. That’s an important point of differentiation: Traditionally, reloading prepaid cards takes effort and involves extra fees.
Checking accounts, meanwhile, aren’t as free today as they were a few years ago. According to MoneyRates.com, only 34.3% of traditional checking accounts are free of fees and minimum balance requirements. A prepaid card that keeps costs low while preserving convenience might be a surprisingly smart choice for most consumers.
Still, don’t shred your checkbook until you consider the answers to these three questions.
1. How much does it cost? All cards — prepaid or no — are only as good as the value they deliver for the price. Here’s a closer look at what three of the more popular prepaid options charge right now, and what consumers can expect in return:
|Attribute||Chase Liquid||Amex PASS||Green Dot Prepaid|
|Minimum initial deposit||$25||$25||$10|
|Card purchase fee||None||None||Up to $4.95 for purchase or reload at a retail location|
|Account fees||$4.95 per month||None||$5.95 per month; waived for those who make 30 purchases or load $1,000 to the card|
|ATM withdrawal fees||None at Chase ATMs; $2.00 per at non-Chase ATMs plus host bank fees||One transaction per month free; $2.00 per thereafter||None at MoneyPass ATMs; $2.50 per transaction otherwise|
Sources: Chase, American Express, and Green Dot.
How does your checking account compare? Do you get slammed with ATM fees? What about online bill paying and debit card access? Add up the fees and cross-compare. If there are savings to be had, grab them.
Get the entire article at Daily Finance!
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