Prepaid debit cards can be an alternative for consumers who have had trouble establishing or improving credit. Bankrate’s 2012 survey offers a rundown of the card’s many variables, including fees, restrictions and factors that may affect a consumer’s decision in choosing a prepaid debit card.
|Monthly maintenance fee||$5.95|
|Can the monthly fee be avoided?||Yes, see notes.|
|Prepaid debit card activation fee||$4.95|
|Prepaid card issuer’s ATM withdrawal fee||None|
|Nonissuer’s ATM withdrawal fee, not including any bank||$2.50|
|ATM balance inquiry fee||$0.50|
|Fees for point-of-sale transactions||None|
|Fees for signature transactions||None|
|Paper statement fee||None|
|Bill payment fee||None|
|Fee for customer service by phone||None|
|Declined transaction fee||None|
|Inactivity fee||None; the monthly service fee will only be charged for two months if there is no activity.|
Notes: The monthly service fee is waived with a $1,000 load per month or 30 purchase transactions per month. The reload fee at retailers varies up to $4.95.
Bankrate.com surveyed 18 prepaid debit card offers from March 19-23, 2012. These are the resulting fees, restrictions and other card provisions.