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
- Richmond’s Prepaid Card: Consumers May Do Better Elsewhere
Last week, the city of Richmond, California, launched an identification card that comes with an optional prepaid card feature. It’s run by the same company behind the Oakland City ID-prepaid card hybrid that launched last year. We were critical of the original Oakland ID-prepaid card because the prepaid card was loaded with fees, making it Continue Reading
- No Overdraft Checking Account Coming To Walmart
Green Dot’s mobile bank account, GoBank, will soon be available at Walmart stores. We think this is good news for consumers, as GoBank offers transparent, low-fee, no-overdraft, fully-federally protected checking accounts. Recently a number of banks, including Bank of America, Key Bank and Citi, have begun to offer low-fee, no overdraft accounts. As with GoBank, Continue Reading
- Banks Fight Claims They Have “Secretive” Contracts with College Campuses
Are you or someone you know preparing to go to college? If so, you many find banks and other financial firms offering you student accounts for getting your financial aid or managing your money. That’s because more and more colleges are entering into agreements with these firms to sell products to students on campus. The Continue Reading
- Some Californians’ Prepaid Cards Getting New Legal Protections
Is it a sign of good things to come from the CFPB? Some California consumers receiving child support deposited to prepaid cards are getting new protections thanks to a bill recently signed by California Governor Jerry Brown. For some consumers, a California state agency collects child support then directs it to the recipient’s account. AB Continue Reading
- Prepaid Card or Pawn Complaint? The CFPB Is Ready to Help
Since it began accepting consumer complaints in July 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has helped hundreds of thousands of consumers resolve issues with loans, bank accounts, and other financial products. Now, it’s ready to help consumers with prepaid cards and non-bank financial products, such as pawn and car title loans, and credit repair Continue Reading
- Let the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Continue To Do Its Job
(Cross-posted from Consumer Reports Online in an article by Stephen Saltzman) On July 21, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will mark its fourth anniversary. The consumer financial watchdog, created by Congress in the wake of the financial crisis caused by shady mortgage lenders and Wall Street abuses, has done a lot for consumers in just Continue Reading
- Suze Orman’s Prepaid Card Is Going Away July 1, 2014
What Cardholders Should Do Now Launched to great, um, fanfare, not more than 36 months ago, Suze Orman’s prepaid card, the Approved Card, is closing up shop. While the personal finance guru has been silent about this development, cardholders report receiving letters that say that the Approved Card will no longer work after July 1, Continue Reading
- 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