A prepaid Visa card functions in a similar way to debit cards, but it allows you to use it for more online purchases, since it has become very popular within e-commerces.
Although their user fees tend to be more expensive, prepaid cards are lifesavers for those who cannot have bank accounts; these are very helpful when booking hotels, renting vehicles, among other services.
So, in this article, we will show you some ways to use this type of card and how to be cautious to avoid high fees.
Steps before using the card
Check the balance
This card functions with the money that has been charged to it; therefore, you need to check the available balance before buying something.
This step is important because even if a prepaid Visa card cannot generate overdraft, they still charge monthly maintenance fees, which can reduce your balance.
We recommend you to check it through the official website, because it is common that applications, text messages, phone calls, and even ATMs generate extra fees just for this.
Click here to get more information about the different types o prepaid cards that Visa has to offer.
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Choose online sites where you can use it
When it comes to shopping, a prepaid card has the same functionality as any other type of credit card. You can buy in online stores and pay bills, but always checking that you do not exceed the amount you have available.
A great advantage over regular credit cards is that they do not need to be linked to your private data; for example, it is not necessary to provide your Social Security Number.
Without this information, hackers cannot steal your identity and, therefore, you have more protection.
Things you can book online with a prepaid card
Rent a car
These cards are more limited when it comes to car rentals, unless you decide to buy insurance. Many agencies even deny the rent of the newer and more expensive models under this modality.
In this case, it is recommended to rent in advance; it is often required to reserve 4 or 6 days before.
Also, you will probably have to pay an extra deposit to cover the expenses of any inconvenience.
Register at a Hotel
The case for hotels is more favorable; most of them accept online room reservation with prepaid cards.
The only significant difference to common credit cards is that some hotels will ask you to make a deposit equal to the nights you will stay in there.
Purchase travel tickets
Unlike hotels and car rentals, the purchase of air, sea or train tickets do not have incidental charges, so you can pay for them through the website of any travel or transportation service.
Note that some airlines require to purchase the ticket six days in advance if you are using a prepaid card.
How to charge your prepaid Visa card
Deposit by check
This type of card has a routing number and an account number that makes it able to receive money through checks, such as any other bank account.
This is the traditional way to charge your card, and it is very fast since the money will be deposited the same day.
Also, most cards do not charge fees for this transaction.
Transfer money from another account
You can transfer money to your prepaid VISA card from an online bank account or personally at the bank. In this case, banks may charge a fee for the transaction.
Adding money through PayPal is free in most cases, and your payment will be effective between 2 and 3 business days.
You must register in PayPal by entering your email address, telephone number and address, and then associate your card to the account.
Charge in a store
These cards can also be charged at supermarkets, pharmacies, service stations, and retail stores that are affiliated with VISA services; the cashier receives the cash or check and adds the amount to your card.
More than half of Americans acquired a prepaid card in 2015, making this form of payment one of the most popular.
Prepaid cards are more secure and discreet since they are not associated with personal information.
Additionally, in this link you can find more information about the benefits of using VISA: https://usa.visa.com/pay-with-visa/cards/prepaid-cards.html.
On the other hand, here are three final recommendations when using these cards:
- Check the website or an authorized ATM to know the maximum limit of your card.
- When purchasing your VISA prepaid card, be aware of how long you should wait to use it.
- If you want to deactivate your account, you can do it by phone call or email, then cut the card and throw it away.