All Debit Cards Are Not Created Equal

January 2, 2013

In my recent post on Life Without Credit Cards, I discussed the advantages of using a debit card instead of relying on credit cards. If you choose to rely on a debit card, it is important to remember that all debit cards are not created equal.

Most banks issue debit cards to their account holders at no additional charge. However, some consumers are unable to open a traditional checking or savings account.

In this instance consumers may turn to the myriad of companies that offer prepaid debit cards. Some of these prepaid debit cards come with very high fees. Who wants to pay a fee just to confirm how much money you have? If you are considering a prepaid debit card, this is certainly a case of buyer beware.

Before choosing a prepaid debit card, it is critical to read the cardholder agreement. The cardholder agreement outlines the fees the company can charge.

Of the prepaid debit cards currently on the market, my favorite is the Bluebird Card offered by American Express. It is one of the few cards that does not charge a monthly service fee. There are other benefits such as Purchase Protection and Roadside Assistance.

For reviews and a comparison of popular prepaid debit cards, visit 2013 Best Prepaid Debit Cards Comparisons and Reviews.