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6 tips for controlling prepaid card fees

Debit Cards » Best Prepaid Debit Cards » 6 Tips For Controlling Prepaid Card Fees

Steer clear of holds on your money
Steer clear of holds on your money © Andresr/Shutterstock.com

Although not actually a fee, the money on your prepaid card can be tied up when you use it at hotels, gas stations or on rental cars. A specific amount of money, usually more than you're actually spending, may be "held" for a period of time.

"These are transactions where you need preapproval, and funds are held in reserve because the final bill is uncertain," says Tami Farrow, senior vice president and head of retail deposit payments at TD Bank.

To avoid a hold at a service station, name the amount that you want to spend on gas instead of just filling up. It could be $40 or some other amount. You may want to use a credit card for hotels and rental cars because the hold amount would be removed before you received your credit card bill, Katz says. A hold may last up to a week until the final bill is resolved.

Farrow says these holds may be unavoidable, but make sure you have enough money loaded on your card or you could be charged a decline fee.

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