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For the Best Prepaid Card, Shop Carefully

Prepaid cards have become very popular. They may look like debit cards but they aren’t tied to a bank account. They can be used to pay bills, make purchases online and offline, and make withdrawals from an ATM. People use them for a variety of reasons, for example, to help with budgeting or to provide funds to teens or college students. Even though some cards have added features and reduced the fees, prepaid cards still have some drawbacks. If you don’t choose carefully, the fees—activation, monthly maintenance, reloading, ATM use—can mount up.

For more information about choosing a prepaid card, check out our report on Prepaid Debit Cards.

These Consumer Reports articles also provide additional information.

What you need to know about prepaid cards

Prepaid card buying guide