We found a couple of cards marketed specifically for parents to use to help teach children about money management. The fees were ridiculous and ever-present.
Prepaid cards are the newest plastic payment cards. They look like debit cards with a logo from a major card network. Consumers are likely to purchase these cards for a fee, and often pay additional fees to use the prepaid funds loaded onto the card to make purchases or pay bills. These cards function much like a debit card linked to a bank account, but do not have the same guaranteed consumer protections. Gift cards issued by a retailer have different laws. Click here to learn more.
- CU Urges Dept. of Education to Protect College Students Using Campus Debit Cards
This memo explains the varying protections that apply to debit and prepaid cards, and urges the Department of Education to provide strong protections to students using “campus debit cards” to access their financial aid. Read full memo here.
- Prepaid cards: How they rate
Prepaid cards are mainstream financial products, widely used and relied upon by consumers. Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports has tracked the prepaid marketplace as it has matured.
- Consumer Tips for Using Prepaid Cards
What is a prepaid card? A prepaid card is a plastic card that you “load” with money that you can then spend at stores and online. When you buy the card, you load money onto it. Then, when you use the card, you spend the money. You can add money to the card and keep Continue Reading
- CU letter to the National League of Cities on hybrid municipal prepaid cards
CU is concerned that some prepaid cards issued recently by cities do not provide consumers with the kind of fair deal consumers deserve
- CU letter to the International City/County Management Association on hybrid municipal prepaid cards
CU is concerned that some prepaid cards issued recently by cities do not provide consumers with the kind of fair deal consumers deserve.
- Comments to the CFPB on Prepaid Cards
FINAL Cmt ANPR Prepaid 7.23.12
- CU Comment on electronic payments for federal financial aid
- Prepaid Cards: Loaded with Fees, Weak on Protections
Prepaid Cards: Loaded with Fees, Weak on Protections
- CU comments to the proposed Department of Treasury’s Interim Rule allowing federal payments to be deposited onto prepaid cards
The National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients as well as the Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union, submit these comments regarding the Interim Final Rule allowing federal payments to be deposited on prepaid cards. We particularly commend the Treasury Department for the new consumer protections required to be provided to Continue Reading
- Adding It All Up: How Prepaid Card Fees Compare to Checking Account Fees
Adding It All Up: How Prepaid Card Fees Compare to Checking Account Fees Prepaid cards are reloadable cards that can be used just like checking account-linked debit cards and are becoming the foundation of a second tier banking system used by a growing number of consumers. While prepaid cards are becoming increasingly popular, consumers who Continue Reading
- Consumer Reports rates prepaid cards for value, convenience, safety & disclosure of fees
July 30, 2013 Consumer Reports Rates Prepaid Cards For Value, Convenience, Safety & Disclosure of Fees Many Cards Have Dropped Fees & Offer Convenient Features But Fee Disclosure Is Still Poor and Consumers Lack Important Legal Safeguards Compared to Debit Cards YONKERS, NY – For the first time ever, Consumer Reports has ranked the best and worst Continue Reading
- Consumers Union urges cities to avoid unfair prepaid card practices
CU raises concerns about high fees and weak protections as cities begin issuing prepaid cards
- CFPB considering new prepaid card protections
Financial watchdog announces plan to develop better fee disclosure and other protections for consumers
- Prepaid cards: Loaded with fees, weak protections
Consumer Reports finds prepaid card fees can add up and consumers lacking strong protections
- CFPB urged to enact prepaid card protections
CU: Consumers need the same protections for prepaid cards that come with traiditonal debit cards
- Prepaid cards costlier than basic checking accounts
Consumers Union finds checking accounts are cheaper and provide stronger protections than prepaid cards.
- Kardashian sisters back out of prepaid card deal
Consumers Union calls for stronger prepaid card protections for consumers
- Kardashian Kard: Weak protections and fees
Consumers Union highlights the downsides of prepaid cards and offers tips to consumers.
- Report: Prepaid cards come with long list of fees
CU report finds prepaid cards come with multiple fees and offer weak consumer protections
- Feds propose end to checks for benefit recipients
CU urges Feds to let consumers continue receiving benefits by check and to improve electronic payment options
- Data Breaches Driving You Crazy? California DMV gives consumers new reason to worry.
Uh, oh. It’s happened again: another data breach. Consumers who used the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) online credit card payment system may find their credit card information is at risk. The California DMV’s Public Information Officer, Armando Botello, says that the DMV was “alerted by law enforcement authorities to a potential security issue Continue Reading
- A Selfie for Your Checks? What You Should Know about Remote Deposit Capture
by guest blogger Caitlin Watkins Too busy to go to the bank? Hate waiting in lines? I sure do. That’s why I tried Mobile Remote Deposit Capture (mRDC), which is basically like taking a selfie of all of your checks to be deposited straight to your bank account or prepaid card. Awesome, right? Even the Continue Reading
- THINK GLOBAL, SPEND LOCAL: CITIES OFFERING NEW FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
Thanks to J.B. Wogan over at Governing magazine, we’ve heard about a new product: a municipal gift card. According to Mr. Wogan’s story, New Haven, Connecticut, is launching the “New Haven Shop-Dine-Park” gift card. Gift cards are different from the city-backed prepaid cards we’ve written about here. With the exception of gift cards for time at Continue Reading
- Why The CFPB Is The Best Thing To Happen To Americans Since J.Law
Jennifer Lawrence is pretty awesome, right? For several years now she’s excelled at playing characters that excite the American imagination- they’re young, vibrant, and struggle against difficult odds or crafty opponents. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) is also young, rather vibrant, and also goes to battle with powerful forces but, despite all this, the Continue Reading
- Transaction Monitoring and Credit Monitoring in Light of the Target Breach
Target has begun to offer security breach victims free credit monitoring for a year now that approximately 110 million Americans may have had their data compromised due to a security breach. We’ve advised consumers to conduct regular transaction monitoring to prevent fraud, and now some consumers have been asking us, “What’s the difference between transaction Continue Reading
- Scam Watch: MoneyPak Scams Draining Consumers’ Wallets
by guest blogger Caitlin Watkins Warning: there are a number of different scams out there that utilize Green Dot MoneyPaks. MoneyPaks, found at corner stores and big retailers alike, are commonly used to reload prepaid cards, add money to Serve or PayPal accounts, or pay bills. Scammers have caught on to these relatively anonymous payment Continue Reading
- Best Prepaid Cards Are Versatile, Safe, Transparent & Reasonable
A prepaid card is a plastic card that you “load” with money. Prepaid cards are available online, in stories and even from banks. Some prepaid cards can be expensive to use and not all prepaid cards have the same functionality. To help sort things out, we’ve rated prepaid cards for Value, Convenience, Safety and Fee Transparency. The overall best Continue Reading
- Payroll Card Tips
There has been a lot of news regarding payroll cards lately. So, I’ve decided to provide some tips and questions for payroll cardholders: 1. Can you avoid fees? Figure out if there are ways to avoid fees for all the ways you would use a payroll card. Visits to ATMs, buying things at stores or Continue Reading
- City Of Oakland Takes A Step In Right Direction
The City of Oakland is one of the first municipalities in the country to issue a combination identification card with a prepaid card feature and unfortunately did so without any input from consumer advocates. As a result, the card had many anti-consumer features and was loaded with fees. At first, the City of Oakland resisted Continue Reading
- Oakland City ID Cards – Great Idea, Bad Fees
In an effort to provide Oaklandites with city identification cards, officials fell short with respect to the prepaid aspect of the card. Unfortunately, the fees associated with the card come fast and often. The SF Chronicle did a great investigative piece that cited CU’s Michelle Jun analysis. The organization, which has examined a variety of prepaid cards for several Continue Reading