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Prepaid Credit Cards Unleashed 
 
by Delores Williams August 25, 2005

Comparing Prepaid Credit Card Providers

  • Western Union: A cardholder can sign up online for the card with a MasterCard logo, and then take their card fee of $19 to a local western union. When the fee has been paid the card is sent. It is personalized, with no transaction fees. Loading is $3.95 with a minimum of $30 and a max of $950. WU has one of the highest load limits of a $950 load, with a $9,500 monthly max. Other fees range from cash withdrawal to overdraft. There is a monthly $4.95 maintenance fee.
  • Rush Card: Russell Simmons is the spearhead behind this debit card. The target audience is the black minority in urban areas. The card carries the Visa logo, and a $19.95 card activation fee. All purchases are charged a $1 transaction fee. Cardholders are charged $3 for ATM withdrawals, and $10 to replace a lost or stolen card. The good feature of this card is that the card is issued, and then you can decide if you want to activate the card. You are only charged a maintenance fee if the account is not used for a long while.
  • Visa Buxx: This is the card that is being targeted to parents of teenagers. It is direct from Visa. The fees vary according to which bank or service the parents choose. The average was $10 sign up fee. The parent must tie a credit card or bank account for easy reloading of the account. Parents have to have a separate account for each person they want to have a card. There are no transaction fees even for loading by bank account or ATM withdrawals. There is a $2.50 fee if a credit card is used to reload. There is a $2 fee is the account becomes inactive. They do seem to charge for customer service calls. The preferred method for this company is by Internet.
  • Greendotonline.com: this company carries both the MasterCard and Visa logo on a variety of products available around the country in retail stores. The card’s available for $10, at local retailers, such as Walgreen’s. To reload the card, it cost $4.95 at the store. Cardholders are charged $4.95 per month for maintenance. For variety, they do offer the most, but they do want everything handled online. Any calls to customer service are charged a fee by the minute.

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