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9 best prepaid debit cards

Explore prepaid cards featuring online bill pay, budgeting and cash reloads.

Prepaid debit cards are best for those who can’t open a bank account, want to keep track of their budget or are looking for a way to let their kids have some spending cash.

Prepaid cards often come with fees like reload fees, monthly service fees and inactivity fees. If you intend on frequently using the card, it’s vital to find one with low fees or one that lacks excessive fees altogether.

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Compare prepaids cards from our partners

Narrow down top prepaid debit cards by monthly fee, withdrawal fees and features. Select Compare on up to four providers to see their features side by side.

1 - 7 of 19
Name Product Fee ATM withdrawal Features
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
$4.99 per month
  • Automate allowance & instantly send money to your child
  • Optional parent-paid savings interest
  • Spending controls & limits
  • $4.99/month after Finder exclusive free trial
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Finder Award
$4.99 per month
  • Spend, save & invest
  • Chores & allowance tools
  • Spending controls & limits
  • Instantly send money to your child
  • Up to 5% savings rewards
Finder Rating: 3.6 / 5: ★★★★★
$5.99 per month
  • Parent-paid interest
  • No foreign fees
  • Real-time cash requests
Netspend Prepaid Mastercard, WWE partner
Netspend Prepaid Mastercard, WWE partner
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit, or $0 with pay-as-you-go)
  • Customize your card
  • Cash back
  • Get paid up to two days faster
  • Comprehensive mobile app
  • Several reload options
Netspend® All-Access® Account
Netspend® All-Access® Account
$5 per month
  • Earn cash back on everyday purchases
  • Earn up to 6% APY with an optional Savings Account
  • Receive your paycheck up to 2 days earlier with Direct Deposit
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®
$4.95 per month
  • Faster access to deposits
  • PayPal Prepaid mobile app
  • Open a savings account
  • PayPal Payback Rewards
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
$5.95 per month
  • Set up allowance and chores
  • Real-time spending notifications
  • Instantly lock and unlock your child’s card
  • Quizzes, videos and games teach kids about money
  • Earn redeemable rewards points

Best overall


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Most prepaid debit cards come with a monthly fee, but Bluebird by American Express stands out as an exception. Its services come with minimal fees, making it the best prepaid card overall and a great choice for those seeking a card without a monthly fee. Bluebird lets you reload cash for free at Family Dollar locations, shop online, set up bill pay, access early direct deposit and use MoneyPass ATMs for free withdrawals. You can also send money for someone to pick up at select Walmart stores. The card is great for families, allowing account holders to create Bluebird subaccounts, set spending limits and ATM withdrawal limits. But if you don’t have a Family Dollar location near you, you’ll pay up to $3.95 for cash reload anywhere else, and there’s a one-time $5 signup fee. And since this is an Amex card, it’s not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard.

Best for kids

Finder Award Greenlight


Finder score

Get the first 30 days for free. After your one-month trial, plans start at just $4.99/month for the whole family. Includes up to five kids.
Go to site Read review
A top kids’ banking app made for ages nine to 14 years old, Greenlight is ideal for parents who want to start teaching their children financial literacy and give them access to funds. The $4.99 monthly core plan comes with five debit cards, games with educational features, chore and allowance tracking, savings rewards, store-level parental controls and more. There are no reload fees, ATM withdrawal fees, international fees or purchasing fees. If you want more features, Greenlight’s other plans are $9.98 or $14.98 per month, but you’ll get more features like cell phone coverage, cashback rewards, higher saving bonuses and identity theft protection. But like most prepaid cards, there’s no way to avoid the monthly fee after the free trial.

Best for Paypal users

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®

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PayPal is widely accepted, making this prepaid debit card ideal for existing PayPal account holders. The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard accepts direct deposit, allows you to send funds from your PayPal account and add money with over 130,000 NetSpend reload locations. Aside from the convenience, this card also has special offers and cashback rewards with select retailers, and you can open an optional savings account earning up to 4.30% APY. There’s also a companion app to check your balance, remotely deposit checks, find reload stations and get alerts. On the downside, there’s a monthly fee of $4.95, a $2.50 withdrawal fee, a high 5% foreign transaction fee and you may face a cash reload fee of up to $3.95 at NetSpend locations.

Best for family budgeting



Finder score

One month free trial. After your one-month trial, plans start at just $5.99/month for the whole family. First 4 prepaid cards free.
Go to site Read review
Famzoo is built for families, offering over 15 features designed for budgeting. Parents can create accounts for family members of any age, whereas most kids’ debit cards require ages 13 and up. Parents can create chore lists, track family spending, create mock loans to teach kids about borrowing, set up automated bill pay for family contributions, create subaccounts for savings and much more. It also features an account just for envelope budgeting. On the downside, Famzoo charges at least $5.99 per month but is less expensive if you pay in advance. There’s also no phone support, but that’s on par for online banking apps and debit cards, and parents can’t set store-level spending limits.

Best for international travel

ECARD prepaid card

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Designed for global acceptance, the ECARD prepaid debit card has the largest payment card network in the world. It’s accepted in 177 countries, and you can withdraw over 100 currencies. Even sweeter, this card has no monthly fee, no purchase fees, no overdraft fees and no ATM withdrawal fees within its network. There is a cash reload fee of up to $5.95, a $1 ATM balance inquiry fee and an inactivity fee of $9.99 after 90 days. Since this card is better suited for frequent travelers, know that there’s an international transaction currency conversion fee of 1.49%.

Best for couples

Honeydue Joint Banking

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While often referred to as a joint bank account, Honeydue Joint Banking is actually a prepaid Visa card designed for two. Honeydue is a mobile app with no monthly fees, no ATM fees within its 55,000 ATM network and no international fees. Each cardholder can control who sees what, so you can choose to hide or allow your partner to view all balances and transactions. Couples can set joint budgets and set up spending notifications. Plus, the card is compatible with Apple and Google Pay. On the downside, you can’t access your account without the app or perform remote check deposits, and there’s no online bill pay feature.

Best for contactless payments


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This unique prepaid debit card is meant to be worn — it’s a waterproof, battery-less bracelet designed for contactless payments. It’s a prepaid Mastercard with an EMV chip in a bracelet that’s nine inches in length. You can reload the Purewrist from your existing credit or debit cards for free, and it has a companion app to check transactions and balances and can be used wherever Mastercard contactless payments are accepted. This watch is also designed with teens in mind, offering parents a way to send their kids money before they carry a wallet. The watch isn’t free, costing $25 for the bracelet with a $4.99 activation fee. You’ll also have to pay a $4.95 monthly maintenance fee, but you can avoid it if you spend at least $250 per month.

Best for cash reloads

American Express Serve FREE Reloads

One of the most expensive parts of prepaid debit cards is the reload fees, especially if you intend to use it frequently. The American Express Serve Free Reloads card offers free cash reloads at over 45,000 retail locations — a rarity among prepaid debit cards. You can also fund the card with a linked bank account for free. The account has a $6.95 monthly fee, which isn’t unusual for prepaid debit cards, but it’s still a downside to consider. Online bill pay is available, and you can enjoy American Express Card Membership benefits.

Best for Walmart shoppers

Walmart MoneyCard

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Designed for the frequent Walmart shopper, the MoneyCard has a $5.94 monthly fee but a lot of perks. If you direct deposit at least $500 per month, you can waive the $5.94 monthly fee. One of the best perks with this card is the cashback rewards: 3% when you shop at, 2% at Walmart fuel stations and 1% at Walmart stores. Cashback rewards are capped at $75 per year, but for a prepaid card, it’s a solid program as most checking accounts don’t offer cash back. The card also accepts direct deposit, offers early paycheck access, and you can create subaccounts for family members. You can also explore the optional savings account with a 2% APY. There’s an optional overdraft protection service, but we wouldn’t recommend it due to the excessive fees.

Methodology: How we choose the best prepaid debit cards

Finder’s banking experts compare over 45 prepaid debit cards to find the best in the current market. We compare availability, account features and how easy it is to access your money. All prepaid cards must meet these minimum requirements to be considered one of the best:

  • Monthly fee under $7
  • Reload fee $4 and under
  • $0 for overdrafts or overdraft protection feature
  • ATM fees at or below $2.50 or a free ATM network

How do prepaid debit cards work?

Prepaid debit cards work by adding money to the card, then using it to make purchases online and in person — just like other cards. Once the balance on the card is gone, you reload it with either ACH transfers through an existing bank account, ATM deposits, at select reload locations or online.

A prepaid debit card can be a safe alternative to cash. Or a way to get a debit card without needing to qualify for a deposit account, like a checking account.

How do prepaid debit cards work?

Prepaid debit cards work by adding money to the card, then using it to make purchases online and in person — just like other cards. Once the balance on the card is gone, you reload it with either ACH transfers through an existing bank account, ATM deposits, at select reload locations or online.

A prepaid debit card can be a safe alternative to cash. Or a way to get a debit card without needing to qualify for a deposit account, like a checking account.

Prepaid debit cards are good for those who want more control over their spending and budgeting, because you can only spend what’s loaded on the card.

Online tax preparation software companies may also let you get your tax refund via a prepaid card, which is a good option if you don’t have a bank account but still want to get your refund direct deposited. For example, H&R Block uses the Emerald Prepaid Mastercard and others use Netspend prepaid card.

Prepaid cards are also great for families, giving parents a way to offer their kids spending cash with a set limit before they’re ready for a full-fledged bank account.

Where can I get a prepaid card?

Most prepaid cards can be purchased online or from major stores like Walmart or CVS. There’s no application process, though you may be able to register your card online to get a card with your name on it and to receive additional features.

But choosing a card in-store at the register may not give you time to digest all the fine print. Shopping online for a prepaid card allows you to check the fees and terms of each card. While the terms may be confusing, it’s important to read through them so you understand what charges you’ll potentially face with the card and how you can avoid as many fees as possible.

Are prepaid cards safe?

In some ways, prepaid cards are safer than debit cards. Your bank account information isn’t tied to your prepaid card, so if it gets lost or stolen, you’re only at risk of losing the available balance on the card. But to make sure all your bases are covered, look for a prepaid card that has these two non-negotiables:

  • FDIC insurance. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) covers bank account deposits up to $250,000, but this doesn’t automatically include prepaid cards. Make sure you choose a card with FDIC insurance so you get your money back if the bank that issued your card fails.
  • Fraud protection. Make sure your prepaid card has fraud protection to safeguard your money from theft, damaged orders or billing errors. Not all prepaid cards offer this protection, so choose one that protects your funds from any fraudulent or unauthorized transactions.

Prepaid debit card pros and cons

Prepaid cards have notable downsides — especially fees, when compared to checking accounts.


  • No credit check. You can get a prepaid card regardless of your credit history. There’s no credit check and having a new card won’t impact your credit score.
  • Most lack overdraft fees. Most don’t have overdraft fees because they’ll decline transactions that would create a negative balance.
  • Great for travel. When traveling internationally, you can load funds onto a prepaid card so you don’t put your debit or credit card at risk of fraud or theft.
  • Help with budgeting. Knowing you can only spend what’s available on your prepaid card can force you to keep your spending under control.


  • Doesn’t build credit or banking history. Similar to regular debit cards, prepaid debit card activity isn’t reported to the credit bureaus. But unlike checking accounts, prepaid debit cards don’t add to your banking history.
  • Many fees. You may be charged for buying the card, maintaining the account, reloading and inactivity, which could make prepaid cards costly over time.
  • Not accepted everywhere. Some hotels and car rental agencies don’t accept prepaid cards, as many require a credit card.

6 common fees to expect with prepaid debit cards

You could spend hundreds of dollars each year in fees if you’re not careful about how you use your prepaid card. The most common fees include:

  1. Card purchase fee. You’ll pay an initial purchase fee, particularly if you purchase the card from a retail location. Some cards are free when you order online.
  2. Monthly fee. Most prepaid cards charge a monthly fee simply for having the card. You may be able to avoid the fee if you meet certain criteria, like making a certain number of transactions on the card or setting up direct deposits.
  3. Reload fee. Adding money to your prepaid card isn’t free. You’ll typically pay a fee when you add cash to your prepaid card. Electronic deposits and direct deposits may be free.
  4. ATM fee. Some come with a free in-network ATM, while others don’t have any in-network machines and charge a fee for every withdrawal.
  5. Balance inquiry fee. You may have to pay if you check your card balance at an ATM. Avoid the fee by checking your balance online or via the mobile app.
  6. Statement fee. If you need to receive a paper statement, you’ll have to pay a fee for the convenience. Monitoring your transactions online is typically free.

Are there any free prepaid cards?

A few select providers offer prepaid debit cards without a monthly fee, such as:

Prepaid debit card alternatives

If a prepaid card isn’t right for you, consider these alternatives:

  • Checking accounts. Offered by nearly every financial institution, like banks, credit unions and fintechs. These accounts offer a debit card linked to the account balance, and many skip the monthly fee.
  • Money apps. These can include peer-to-peer apps or digital accounts, like PayPal, Venmo and Cash App. These apps often allow you to fund the account with a linked bank account, and some accept direct deposit.
  • Second-chance accounts. Designed for those lacking a banking history, second-chance checking accounts often come with a monthly fee but a higher chance of qualifying.
  • Money market accounts. Often thought of as a savings and checking account in one, money market accounts are interest-bearing and offer access to funds with a debit card.

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10 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    KerryAugust 12, 2019

    I lost my card

      Default Gravatar
      nikkiangcoAugust 12, 2019

      Hi Kerry,

      Thanks for getting in touch! Sorry to hear you lost your card, it would be best to contact your bank immediately to report this incident and request for a replacement card.

      Hope this helped. Feel free to reach back out for further assistance.


    Default Gravatar
    JamesMay 12, 2019

    I already have a visa money network card from Bank of America through my employer. Can I have the loan put directly to my card I already have?

      MaiMay 12, 2019Finder

      Hi James,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      There are some lenders who will allow you to receive your funds to a prepaid debit card while some don’t. In most cases, payday loans allows it.

      You may need to check with the lender if they will allow to have the loan put directly to your Visa Money Network card.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      Kind Regards,

    Default Gravatar
    CynthiaApril 5, 2019

    Can I get a cash advance on my prepaid Mastercard when I’m disabled and need to make a mortgage payment?

      JoshuaApril 8, 2019Finder

      Hi Cynthia,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      I’m afraid you can’t get a cash advance on your prepaid Mastercard since it is a prepaid card and not a credit card. If you need to make a cash advance, you would need a credit card. If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, it would be a good idea to speak to your lender to discuss your situation. They would be able to offer a repayment plan that could help.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    LisaJune 28, 2018

    When I’m in Europe, which of the cards will work best.

      Default Gravatar
      nikkiangcoJune 29, 2018

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      European sim cards work equally well as they have good cell service. You can opt to get a sim card that is prepaid (no ID’s required) and make sure your handset is unlocked to make sure the sim card works.

      You can go to this page to see the line-up of Prepaid sim card providers in Europe.

      Hope this helps.


    Default Gravatar
    JerquesiaApril 6, 2017

    I was wondering if I could receieve some on my prepaid card?

      HaroldJuly 10, 2017Finder

      Hi Jerquesia,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Your approval may vary depending on the lender. What you can do next is to review the offers under section “Comparison of prepaid card offers”. Then choose the lender that will best fit your personal requirements and send your application.

      I hope this information has helped.


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