Do Prepaid Cards Work for Netflix?

Do Prepaid Cards Work for Netflix?

November 13, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Streaming channels put the power of what you watch in your hands. Hulu and Netflix are two of the biggies, but many others have joined them over the years. There are streaming channels for Broadway enthusiasts, fans of British TV, movie buffs, sports fans, and many others. When it comes to paying for these monthly subscriptions, what are your options?  You need to read the fine print and make sure you qualify for a prepaid card to avoid frustration. You may have to give up your first choice, but you’ll find the right prepaid debit card and apply online.

You don’t have a credit card and think that means you can’t have a Netflix subscription. That’s not the case. Netflix offers several payment methods to make it easy. You can use a credit card, but you can also use virtual cards, gift cards, and PayPal. If you have Comcast Xfinity or Cox, you can discuss having Netflix payments added to your cable bill.

Yes, Netflix accepts prepaid cards, too. Prepaid cards are required to have an American Express, Discover, Mastercard, or Visa logo. That covers a great range, so it’s unlikely that you’ll have a hard time paying for Netflix.

Featured Prepaid Card

Top Features:

No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card it is a prepaid card.

Why Stream?

Why would you stream? That’s easy. It’s cheaper than a cable subscription. You need internet service, but most households pay for the internet anyway.

Video streaming started in 2007. Netflix’s Watch Now debuted on computers and allowed people to watch up to 18 hours of videos per month. It helped end the need to drive to a movie rental store and drive back in time to return it without late fees. Netflix was already a leader in that game by being the first to offer mail-order movie rentals that came in postage-paid mailers.

By 2020, almost half of all U.S. adults were subscribed to at least one streaming service. Streaming TV shows, movies, and music allows you to customize what you listen to or watch. Instead of paying for channels you never watch, you pick your preferred subscriptions knowing there are shows and/or movies you’re interested in.

Today, people pay a monthly fee and watch unlimited hours of movies, documentaries, and TV shows. Netflix has many of its own movie and television productions, too. Thanks to Netflix, there’s been a technological revolution where people drop expensive cable TV service and customize their viewing habits to match their tastes.

Netflix may have started the “Cut the Cable” trend. Since then, dozens of other companies have joined the list of streaming channels. Some, such as Acorn or Britbox, specialize in shows from a specific country. Others, such as Sling, offer programming from several channels for one price. There are streaming channels for sports, reality shows, musicals, etc.

What About Payment Methods for Other Streaming Services?

Netflix welcomes prepaid cards, but what other about services? What do they take? If you’re using a prepaid card, you’ll be happy to know that they work with many other services. Services like the Roku Channel and TubiTV are free and never require payment. Some offer free trials for a week or two before you pay. Others require you to pay a monthly or annual fee straight away.

Most streaming services take prepaid cards, but the cards have to allow recurring payments. Usually, a prepaid card from a major credit card issuer like Mastercard or Visa works well. These are the preferred payment methods for a large range of streaming services.

  • Acorn – If you sign up directly through Acorn.TV, credit and debit cards are accepted. If you signed up through Roku or iTunes, you must use the payment methods those sites allow.
  • Apple TV+ (Movies, TV shows, and pay-per-view options)– PayPal, some prepaid cards, and most debit and credit cards are accepted.
  • BritBox (British shows, documentaries, and movies) – Prepaid cards are not always allowed. You must call and make sure the card issuer allows recurring payments.
  • Disney+ (Disney, Pixar, National Geographic, and Marvel programming) – Disney takes credit and debit cards from American Express, Discover, Diners Club, Mastercard, and Visa. U.S. subscribers can use PayPal, too.
  • HBO (Movies and shows) – HBO Max, HBO Now, and other HBO streaming services do not take PayPal. You need to use a credit or debit card from one of the main issuers, such as Mastercard or Visa. You may get the streaming service free if you’re an Xfinity or AT&T customer.
  • Hulu (TV shows, movies, and documentaries) – Mobile phone users can pay for Hulu with Venmo. PayPal, credit, and debit cards are also available.
  • Showtime (Movies and shows) – Debit and credit cards carrying the American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa logos are accepted. PayPal is also accepted.
  • Sling TV (Programming from channels like A&E, CNN, HGTV, TBS, and dozens of others) – Use a credit card or debit card from American Express, Discover, Mastercard, or Visa. No other options are available.
  • Starz (Movies and shows) – Use a debit or credit card from Discover, Mastercard, or Visa. Gift and prepaid cards are allowed, but you need to make sure enough funds are remaining before the monthly charge is processed.

These are just a handful of your streaming options. Just remember that most prefer debit and credit cards from Mastercard and Visa. Prepaid cards are usually allowed if they will approve recurring payments. If not, you could use the prepaid card to purchase a year’s gift subscription to the streaming service.

Featured Prepaid Card

Top Features:

No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card it is a prepaid card.

How Do You Use a Prepaid Card on Netflix or Another Streaming Service?

Enter it the same way you would a credit card. You’ll have a card number, expiration date, and CVV number with a Mastercard or Visa prepaid debit card. Remember that the monthly or yearly fee will be charged on the specified day. You need to make sure there are funds on the card. If not, the charge will be denied.

Make sure your address matches with the streaming service and information you’ve entered with the prepaid card. If there are discrepancies, it could cause your charge to get declined.

The Best Prepaid Cards for Netflix and Streaming Service Subscriptions

If you’re looking for a new prepaid card, which is the best for Netflix subscriptions? As Netflix accepts Mastercard and Visa cards, these are three of the best prepaid cards for streaming services.

NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card

The NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card is a great choice for a prepaid card with no interest charges, no late fees, and very low monthly fees ranging from $0 to $9.95, depending on how you use and fund the card. The card performs no credit background check, it has no minimum balance requirement, and no activation fee.  Applying is fast, easy, and secure.

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®

Sign up for a PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® and find out how convenient a prepaid card is. PayPal is accepted almost anywhere and offers cash back rewards each month. Once you realize how great the prepaid Mastercard is for daily purchases and subscriptions, refer your friends and receive rewards.

Control ™ Prepaid Mastercard®

The Control ™ Prepaid Mastercard® gives you control over your spending and experience. Start with a prepaid card that you design yourself. You’re not stuck with a card that the credit card issuer picks if you want something unique. You’re welcome to join the Cash Back Rewards program and get money back when you make qualifying purchases.

Open an optional savings account attached to the card and earn interest on any balance you build up. Another card benefit is the $10 Purchase Cushion that covers up to $10 extra if you’re a little short on cash. With this perk, your purchase is approved and you add the funds to cover it after the fact.

How Do You Apply?

Apply and have an answer in minutes. As a prepaid card is funded before you use it, it’s unlikely your application will be denied. If you are, it’s usually that you gave incorrect information. Double-check your answers to questions before you submit your application. Pay close attention to your SSN or ITIN as you don’t want them looking up the wrong tax ID number by accident. When you fill out the online prepaid debit card application. You’ll be asked to provide your:

  • Full legal name
  • Mailing address
  • Date of Birth
  • Contact number
  • SSN or ITIN

You’ll be given a choice if you want to use your prepaid card to get direct deposits for your pay, tax refunds, or government benefits. You do not have to take advantage of direct deposit if you want to opt-out. You’ll also have the option of getting cash back rewards and overdraft protection. If there’s a choice of card designs, that’s your final step. Sit back, see if you’re approved, and wait for your new prepaid debit card to arrive in the mail.

Prepaid cards suit people with bad credit but are also a great choice for people looking to organize their finances onto different cards or even trying to isolate their charges onto a dedicated card. Apply online and have approval in minutes. You load the card with funds at a store, participating business, or online. A prepaid card is convenient and widely accepted including for Netflix!

Featured Prepaid Card

Top Features:

No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card it is a prepaid card.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 13, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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bill-hardekopf

About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.