Prepaid debit cards are most certainly on a growth trajectory, and the good news for consumers is that many of the higher fee cards that had traditionally characterized the space have been marginalized or discontinued entirely.
Some of the fee-latent celebrity cards for example, have really fallen by the wayside in recent years, and what's come to market instead are offers that have a much more transparent fee structure and just overall a better value proposition for the consumer.
Prepaid debit cards are favored by people who either can't get or don't want a checking account, by college students, by kids who are going off to summer camp, or families who are going on vacation who want to set boundaries around their spending.
And then there's using these to teach teens about financial responsibility by setting boundaries around their spending. Also, more employers may be using these as payroll cards, loading the paycheck directly onto the card that can then be used at various outlets.
Bankrate.com recently surveyed over 30 prepaid debit cards, and what we find is that the type of fees, the amount of fees, and the ways that you can avoid those fees vary widely. So it's best to assess how you plan to use the card before you choose a card. To see the particulars on all of the cards that are in the survey, be sure to check out Bankrate.com.
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