Prepaid Debit cards are a great tool for budgeting, those of us without bank accounts, and for keeping money available and safer than carrying cash.

A prepaid debit card is a debit card that is purchased with a preset amount of money that is stored in an account and is available for access through the prepaid debit card.

What Are the Benefits of Prepaid Debit Cards?

1. Convenient Access - Most prepaid debit cards have a major credit card affiliation, such as Visa or Mastercard, and as such they can be used wherever debit cards are accepted. This gives prepaid debit cards users the ability to pay for things with the ease and convenience of a debit card. This also means that prepaid debit cards work with online transactions and transactions that are conducted over the phone. Prepaid debit cards can also be used to pay bills online. That means no more messing around with checks and envelopes! Need cash? Stop by a nearby ATM and swipe your prepaid debit card and withdraw the amount you need from the prepaid limit.

2. Safer Than Cash - Since prepaid debit cards work in a way that is similar to using cash, using prepaid debit cards allows a person to carry large sums of money in the form of a prepaid debit card. Not only does this make your money safer by not being as obvious, most prepaid debit cards, especially those purchased through Visa and Mastercard, come with some built in fraud protections. This means that if your prepaid debit card is stolen and used without your discretion, there are protections in place to help reimburse you and you are not liable for those purchases. Study this portion carefully when purchasing a prepaid debit card as this will vary from company to company.

3. Spending Limits - If you are budgeting and needing to limit your spending, loading up a prepaid debit card with a limited amount of money means that once the money is gone, it is gone until such time as you reload it. This can be very helpful for using a prepaid debit card to pay for groceries on a limited budget.

4. Monitor Your Spending - Some companies, especially the large ones, that offer prepaid debit cards may also have features that allow you to monitor your spending and transactions online. This allows for greater control over the money you have put onto your prepaid debit cards.

Considerations Before You Purchase a Prepaid Debit Card

You must be 18 years of age or older to buy prepaid debit cards and in most cases you have to have a valid ID. You don't have to qualify credit wise and you don't have to have a bank account to have prepaid debit cards.

Where Can I Buy Prepaid Debit Cards?

You can find many outlets for prepaid debit cards online, but I would stick to the bigger and better established companies like Visa and Mastercard. The reason for this is that these larger companies can offer more security for your prepaid debit cards and are well established in both reputation and time in business. That means you are less likely to run into prepaid debit card scams that are just out to take your money.

You can also check with your local bank. They may offer prepaid debit cards directly to their customers. Check with your branch for details about prepaid debit cards.

Prepaid debit cards are a safe, secure, and convenient way to store and use your hard earned money. Whether budgeting or just desiring more safety, prepaid debit cards are a great alternative to carrying cash in your pocket.