As banking is well established in Singapore and a wide range of credit cards are available to suit everyone’s needs, prepaid credit cards are not very popular here. As on date only two prepaid cards- the MatchMove MasterCard and the Fevo MasterCard are in use in Singapore.
Use this guide to learn about the different features of prepaid credit cards, how to compare them and where you can get one so that you can decide if this type of card is right for you.
What is a prepaid credit card?
A prepaid credit card lets you load and use your own money to make payments at the checkout or online. This is different to normal credit cards, which allow you to draw money from your credit limit and pay it off over time (usually with interest charges).
While a prepaid credit card can be used to make payments in the same ways as a regular credit card, using your own money means that there is no debt or interest charges. A prepaid credit card also has no impact on your credit history.
What features and benefits come with prepaid cards?
Similar to credit cards, the features of prepaid cards vary depending on the one you choose. But some of the most popular features and benefits you can get with a prepaid card include:
- More control over the balance or the amount of money on the card
- An alternative to a credit card for someone who may not be eligible for a normal credit card, for example even students under the age of 18
- No interest rate
- Money tracking tools
- Security against theft, loss and fraud
- No minimum income requirement
- No credit checks
Comparing prepaid credit cards based on the features that interest you will help you find the right card for your needs.
What types of prepaid credit cards are available?
In Singapore most prepaid cards have been weeded out except the following two:
FEVO is a 2-in-1 card that combines a Prepaid MasterCard and an ez-link transit card. It allows the cardholder to make purchases and payments at any outlet that accepts MasterCard.
FEVO can be used internationally, including online and mobile transactions. Its ez-link transit function allows you to use your card on local public transport and make payments at EZ-Link merchants island-wide.
It is possible to personalize your FEVO card with a gallery image or your own picture. You can also choose between a corporate FEVO card, a Special Edition Card or a NFC (Near Field Communication) Card that allow contactless payments at any MasterCard payment outlet.
MatchMove MasterCard is a digital, prepaid card that allows you to make online transactions including international payments such as accounts transfers, cash-pickups, transfers using MoneySend and HomeSend network. Using the mobile NFC technology, it allows you to make purchases at contactless MasterCard payment terminals.
For every individual transaction, a dynamic CVC code is generated, thus making transactions completely safe. MatchMove is supported by 600 top-up outlets across the island and allows cash withdrawal at a fee.
Only Singaporeans with a local address and phone number are eligible to apply for the card.
How to compare prepaid credit cards
Considering the following features will help you find a prepaid credit card that is right for you.
- Pre-loaded vs. reloadable. Some prepaid cards come with a fixed amount of money to use, while others allow you to load money on an ongoing basis. If you’re planning to use the card more than once, consider a reloadable card.
- Purchasing or set up fee. Prepaid cards may come with a one-off fee when you buy them or register for them. Some cards may charge an additional amount for personalization.
- Loading fees.
- Inactivity or Dormancy Fees-Some prepaid cards charge an inactivity fee in case the card is not in use for a continuous period. For example, if you do not use your FEVO Card for a period of 3 months, a dormancy fee will be deducted from the remaining stored value on your Card and thereafter for every month for which the Card remains inactive.
- Other fees. Prepaid debit cards can include a number of other fees including card replacement fees, cancellation fees, declined transaction fees and ATM withdrawal fees. Check these charges before you apply to find an affordable prepaid card for your needs.
- Load limits. Prepaid cards usually have a maximum amount of money you can carry on the card at one time. For example, the MatchMove MasterCard has a wallet limit of S$1,000 and allows monthly top-ups of up to S$3,000. Check these details before you apply to make sure these limits don’t restrict the way you use the card.
Remember, every prepaid credit card is different, so checking individual details now will help you make a more informed decision when choosing the right option for you.
How can I get a prepaid credit card?
Depending on the prepaid credit card you choose, you will be able to apply online or in person at participating retailers and bank branches. While the application details are different for each card, here are the most common requirements you need to meet to get a prepaid credit card:
- Age. Some prepaid credit cards specify a minimum age for cardholders or will limit the available balance if a person is under a certain age.
- Personal details. You may need to provide personal details such as your full name, residential address, contact phone number and date of birth to help verify your identity.
- Initial load amount. Some cards may require you to load a minimum amount onto the card when you first get it.
- Card activation. You will need to activate the card before you can use it. This can be done in person, over the phone or online depending on the card.
- PIN. Prepaid credit cards may come with an assigned PIN, or require you to choose a PIN when you activate the card.
- Signing the card. Make sure you sign the card once you receive and activate it. This step is necessary to validate the zero liability policy that helps protect you against any unauthorised transactions.
You can also check with the prepaid credit card provider to find out about specific card requirements before you apply.
Prepaid credit cards combine flexibility and affordability by letting you load and spend your own money in a range of different ways.