Secured cards and prepaid cards have striking similarities but they are different in many ways. When considering either card, please examine fees carefully.

Secured cards vs. prepaid cards

Secured cards Prepaid cards
Allows you to spend only the amount of money that backs your card. ? ?
Payments are reported to credit bureaus so these can help you build or re-establish credit. ?
Card payments aren’t reported to credit bureaus. ?
Offers the same legal protections as regular credit cards, such as zero liability for fraud.* ?
May have annual or monthly fees. ?
May have higher interest rates. ?
Comes with extra fees (customer fees or point-of-sale fees). ?

* For now, most prepaid cards aren’t covered by federal laws.

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