GUEST POST by Consumers Union’s Michelle Jun.
Prepaid cards are everywhere and now gamers can get their favorite Capcom character emblazoned on a Visa prepaid card. Capcom has made their card attractive to gamers by providing perks like discounts on games and VIP status at events.
But before signing up, know what all those perks will cost you. I will admit that I have very little knowledge of the gaming world, but I do know about prepaid card fees.
Capcom’s card may seem attractive since you can flash a card with Resident Evil 5 emblazoned on it when you’re at the checkout, but it really is no different from other prepaid cards. The Capcom.com site for the card clearly states this is NOT a credit card , nor is it a debit card. It’s a prepaid cash card, chock full of fees.
To purchase the card, it’s $9.95. Then there’s a monthly fee of $4.95. If you want to put more money on the card, you have to pay the reload fee (a fee you would pay on any VISA cash card, including this one)–which is about $4.95 at participating retailers.
When you actually use the money on the card, you have to pay too, unless you only make signature based debit transactions…when you ask for credit after you swipe your card and sign for purchases. Otherwise, it’s another $0.25 when you put in your PIN. To get money from the ATM, it’s $1.50 (and maybe more if the ATM owner also charges you a fee).
You are charged if your card is declined or when you want to find out how much money is on the card. If the card is declined when you try to make a purchase or take money out at the ATM, it’s another $0.50.
You even get charged fees when you call customer service, $0.25 to call an automated line and $1.50 to speak with a representative.
What happens when there isn’t any money in your account, but the transaction went through? You’re on the hook for the amount spent and also $10 for every overdraft.
As boring as it may be, sticking with your blander current payment card might not be such a bad idea after all.