The prepaid credit card is a popular choice for consumers that need the convenience without the risk of getting into serious debt. They are also an excellent choice for people who have not established a stable credit history, not to mention people with poor credit or the unemployed. The American Express prepaid card is one of the best options if you fall into one of these categories.
There are no restrictions on who can get one. Given that you are funding it with your own money, the issuer does not face any risk. Consequently, you do not have to pass a credit check. If you have been declined for a regular credit card, the American Express prepaid card is a good option.
Are There Any Charges?
Although there are no finance charges, there are other fees that most of us have to pay for a prepaid card. These include the monthly service and deposit fees. The good news is that there is no longer a $4.95 monthly fee for the American Express prepaid card. You will have to pay a $2.00 charge if you decide to withdraw any money from an ATM, but you are permitted one free withdrawal each month. However, ATM companies may charge you, but you will be informed if this is the case.
There is no fee for activating it. Also, if you decide to travel outside of America, you will not have to pay a foreign transaction fee. You will find that issuers usually cash in on overseas transactions, but American Express understands that avoiding these charges matters to its customers. This card has some of the lowest charges in the industry.
You can deposit your wages directly onto your prepaid card. This can be a convenient option if you intend to pay all of your bills from your card. You can always withdraw money from an ATM for $2.00 if you need some emergency cash.
You may prefer to schedule an automatic bank transfer directly to your American Express prepaid card. Alternatively, you can perform a manual transfer. The funds will reach your account within five business days, so you need to plan your spending in advance.
Your card can also be loaded with cash using Green Dot MoneyPack from Walmart for $4.95. Other options include Rite Aid, 7-Eleven and CVS. A further option is the Vanilla Reload Network; you will be able to load up to $500 for a $3.95 service fee.
American Express offers 24/7 customer service that is available 365 days per year.
Other exclusive benefits include fraud protection, purchase protection and roadside assistance. These are all offered to you for free. If anything you buy with the card is damaged, lost or stolen within 90 days, it will be replaced by AMEX for no charge.
There are also some exclusive offers and discounts for shopping, entertainment and travel that are available only to members of American Express.
What Are The Disadvantages?
One of the problems with the AMEX prepaid credit card is that it will do nothing to fix your credit. American Express does not report to any of the three credit bureaus. If you want to improve your credit history, you will be better off choosing a secured credit card.
The maximum amount of money that you can put on your card is capped at $2,500. This could be an issue if you are planning to make one or more large purchases. However, you can add money to your card at any time, although it will take 5 business days for the cash to be available to spend.
In summary, the advantages of the AMEX prepaid card far outweigh the disadvantages. The low fees and range of benefits that are available are quite exceptional. If you are unemployed, do not have a credit history, have bad credit or want to avoid debt, this card is ideal for your requirements.