The High Cost of Prepaid Cards

July 18, 2013, Written By Bill Hardekopf

Prepaid cards have been growing in popularity since 2008, and the prepaid industry is expected to grow to $168.4 billion by 2015. According to a recent 2013 Prepaid Card Report, this growth isn’t the only change that has happened with these cards.

Here are some key findings from this report on prepaid cards:

  • Celebrity endorsed prepaid cards are up to 36% more expensive than other prepaid cards.
  • The average prepaid card carries 10 different kinds of fees.
  • Prepaid cards from large banks are up to 200% more affordable than those of small banks.
  • Close to 62% of prepaid cards lack basic features consumers need.
  • The annual cost of using a prepaid card is up to $360 a year.
  • The best checking account alternatives are Green Dot Gold Visa and American Express Serve. The worst is Account Now Visa Classic.
  • The best cash checking tool is Chase Liquid, and the worst is Account Now from Visa.

As the prepaid market continues to expand, even more changes will come in the future. If you have a prepaid card or plan to get one in the near future, make sure you shop around for the prepaid card that best meets your needs. Carefully analyze the terms and the fees of each card you are considering.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of July 18, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.