Prepaid cards can be purchased in a number of places. Most credit card companies have their own version of gift cards that can be bought through their Web sites, like Visa’s and MasterCard’s prepaid cards. They can also be found in real-life stores scattered among the other types of gift cards to restaurants, online gaming sites or phone cards. Look around at your grocery store, convince store or gas station and you are sure to soon find a prepaid card from a recognizable credit card company.
These types of cards, the ones with a physical presence, are sometimes called ATM cards since they can potentially be used at any cash machine. Another type of prepaid card exists called a virtual card. These are as easy to use and as real as any other prepaid card – except there is no actual card. Some of these can be a one-time-use type of card and can be loaded through a Web site or obtained through your bank. People who add money to these “cards” get a credit card-like number to be entered at any Web site, but after using it the number is retired and useless to anyone who tries to hack into it.
The other type of virtual card is similar to an e-wallet account. Here a person will sign up for an account, add money to the card and then be able to make purchases online just as if they are entering a credit card number.
Some of the best places to look for prepaid debit cards include Web sites like NetSpend where people can get a personalized Visa or MasterCard, or Green Dot which also includes Visa or MasterCard backed cards with the added bonus of being able to check the balance through text or mobile apps. One of the most popular prepaid cards is the Visa-backed Wired Plastic. It helps that this account features a reward points program similar to certain credit cards. For every 200 points earned, the card holder has $1 toward the purchase of a discounted prepaid phone card from carriers like TracPhone and AT&T. This is a handy solution for anyone looking for a deal on all their prepaid accounts.