Activating your card can cost you
With some prepaid cards, the first purchase may cost a bit more than you expect. Bankrate's 2014 Prepaid Debit Card Survey shows that 53 percent of cards charge an activation fee that ranges from $2.95 to $9.95.
"There is a lot of variation at retail locations," McBride says. "The activation charge can cost more, depending on where you purchase the card."
Even if you find a card you like that carries an activation fee, shopping online may be able to eliminate it.
"An activation fee is very easy to avoid," McBride says. "In some cases, the activation fee can be avoided if you purchase the card online."