credit cards

Downsides to prepaid debit cards

 

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A prepaid debit card may look like the debit card from your bank, but there are some key differences. And they could cost you. I'm Clark Palmer with your bankrate.com personal finance minute.

Don't be surprised if your card comes with a slew of fees. Whether it's for activation, withdrawals, overdrafts, paper statements or balance inquiries. Fees vary widely from card to card. Plus, you may have a hard time finding a fee schedule. It's not listed in the packaging. It's best to make a list of ways you want to use a prepaid card and compare fees.

And don't let your card get lost or stolen. You may lose your money because you don't have the same protections as traditional debit cards. Zero-liability protection is limited with prepaid cards. You could also have trouble challenging fraudulent charges.

Prepaid cards won't help build your credit history either. Many card companies claim they will report your history to the credit bureaus but end up not doing it.

Prepaid debit cards can also come and go very quickly. The Kardashian prepaid MasterCard was pulled from the market in November after bad press.

For more information on credit cards, visit Bankrate.com. I'm Clark Palmer.

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