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Prepaid Cards

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.


Press Releases

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Blog Posts

  • Watch Out for Payday Providers’ Prepaid Cards

    Gotcha fees and harmful practices make payday prepaid cards a bad deal for consumers                                         Prepaid cards provided by payday lenders for their customers to receive the proceeds of a payday loan are dangerous traps for Continue Reading

  • Who Uses Prepaid Cards? Studies Say Millennials

    The largest generation appears to be using prepaid cards. A spring survey by TD Bank found that one in three millennials uses a prepaid card, echoing the findings of an earlier study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Prepaid cards look and work much like traditional debit cards, but aren’t linked to a traditional Continue Reading

  • A Better Day for Mobile Pay? Google Wallet Adds FDIC Insurance

                  Good news for consumers who store funds directly in a Google Wallet: your funds are will soon be protected by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Insurance, according to press reports. In general terms, deposit insurance makes sure that consumers don’t lose money if the bank where their money Continue Reading

  • Consumer Reports Releases 2014 Prepaid Card Ratings

    Prepaid cards have rapidly become essential plastic. General purpose reloadable prepaid cards look and work like bank debit cards except no bank is required. Moreover, prepaid cards do not come with the federal consumer protections that consumers with bank debit cards enjoy. But consumers are choosing prepaid cards in ever growing numbers. Today, these cards are Continue Reading

  • 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

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