Michael Feight takes care of almost all his financial transactions with his Green Dot prepaid card. Michael Feight "It's convenient. It's accepted everywhere Visa is accepted." Feight is very careful how he uses the card and says he's able to avoid almost all fees. But Consumer Reports Money Adviser's investigation of 26 prepaid cards finds many carry hefty charges. "You can be charged an activation fee, a 'swipe fee' every time the card is used, a monthly maintenance fee, and even a 'dormancy' fee for not using the card often enough." Consumer Reports says some of the highest fees are on the AccountNow Gold Visa Prepaid Card. It charges 9.95 per month, as much as 4.95 to load money onto the card, and 2.50 for every ATM withdrawal. And with the NetSpend Prepaid Visa Pay as You Go card, you're charged every time you use the card. Margot Gilman "For a daily user of the NetSpend Pay as You Go card, the 'swipe' fees could add up to hundreds of dollars a year." The worst prepaid card in Consumer Reports' ratings is the American Express for Target. Margot Gilman "You can only reload it at a Target store unless you have a bank account or direct deposit. To get cash from an ATM almost always incurs a fee. And the card isn't FDIC insured." But Consumer Reports did find some cards offer good value and convenience. They include the Emerald card from H & R Block and the Bluebird card with direct deposit. The Green Dot Card is another good choice. As Michael Feight has found, almost all fees can be avoided if you use it 30 times a month and reload with direct deposit. ."
More On Your Side Stories
- Netflix vs. Amazon which is the better choice?
- How Rent-to-Own "deals" can bust your budget
- Consumer Reports tested dozens of grills -- and has found some real winners
- "Can you Hear me now"?
- Consumer Reports has just tested of Samsung's latest smartphone, the Galaxy S6
- Sunscreen is essential to guard against sunburn, skin damage and cancer
- Is Online Gift Wrap Worth It?
- Best Lawn Mowers
- Should You Buy a Mattress Online ?
- Safer Cars for Teens