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Additional Credit Card Options: Secured Cards, Debit Cards, And Prepaid Cards
Consumers are able to take advantage of credit cards that behave like credit cards. Each of these additional options have pros and cons of their own.
A secured credit card requires you to make a deposit into a savings account to obtain a credit limit with the credit card. This deposit is held as a security for the amount you purchase using the credit card. In the event that you fail to make your credit card payment for whatever reason, the deposit covers your payment.
Secured credit cards are good for those who have bad credit or no credit at all. It is a way to begin rebuilding your credit by demonstrating that you can make timely payments. From the creditor’s perspective, the deposit you pay decreases your credit risk, so the credit feels comfortable extending credit to you.
A debit card is directly linked to your checking account. When you use your debit card to make purchases, it is similar to using a check. The amount of the purchase will be deducted from your checking account within one to three days.
There are two kinds of debit cards: direct and deferred. A direct debit card requires a personal identification number (PIN) to be used when you make purchases. Purchases made with a direct debit card are subtracted from your checking account almost immediately. A deferred debit has a Visa or Mastercard logo and requires a signature for purchases. In many cases, both the direct and the deferred debit functions are present on the same account.
Prepaid Credit Cards
A prepaid credit card is a hybrid of the secured credit card and the debit card. With a prepaid credit card, you load a certain amount of money onto the credit card. Normally, this is anywhere between $10 and $1,500. The amount of money you load onto the account is the amount you are able to spend. Each time you spend money using a prepaid card, your available amount is reduced by the amount you have spent. For example, if you have $1,500 on your prepaid credit card and you spend $100, you then have $1400 available to spend.
One of the benefits of a prepaid credit card is that there is no interest rate on purchases you make. Since you are spending money that you’ve loaded onto the card, the card issuer has not extended credit to you. It is also easy to manage a prepaid card because you cannot spend more than you have put onto the card.
Prepaid credit cards also have their drawbacks in hefty fees charged for the credit card. Application fees, monthly maintenance charges, fees for adding and withdrawing money, and overdraft charges, are just a few of the charges that come along with using a prepaid card.
Each of these kinds of cards has their advantages and disadvantages. If you are shopping around for a card, weigh the pros and cons to make the best decision for your purchasing habits.
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