Monday, 4 July 2011

American Express Prepaid Credit Cards Review

American Express Prepaid Credit Cards Review

In this post, I wanted to take a look at American Express Prepaid credit cards and offer a review of my experiences since I spent a long, long time shopping for the best prepaid credit card. Prepaid credit cards are obviously becoming more popular as they can be a gateway back into the world of positive credit. Obviously they're needed when getting a traditional credit card isn't an option for any number of reasons. I used to have bad credit personally from a delinquent student loan. It's important to understand the differences in the prepaid cards. Being an educated consumer is wise plan especially when credit card companies vary widely in what they offer so here's what you should look for in a prepaid card. I have seen minimum balances in the $1000s for some prepaid cards and $40/month monthly fees for usage while no restrictions on other cards. Make sure you're getting a good deal.

Prepaid credit card factors 

It's important to be mindful of these prepaid credit card factors whether looking at Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, etc.:

  • Low start up fee
  • Little or no monthly fee
  • Little or no transaction fees
  • Versatile and able to be used anywhere
  • Easy to load up with funds
  • No credit check
  • No interest or late fees
  • No fear about lost or stolen cash
  • No standing in line to pay bills
The majority of those are self explanatory. Many prepaid credit cards have come a long way in terms of how they widely they are accepted so while it's less of an issue although it's not something to ignore altogether. In the past few months, I have probably sorted through at least 25 different prepaid cards when looking for the best offer in my situation. I just didn't want to get eaten alive with fees and I'm sure you don't either.

    The American Express Prepaid Credit Cards Verdict

    american express prepaid credit card
    While they're fairly easy to get, I just found personally that the fees are higher than average and the features are pretty average. Thus, I wouldn't endorse it but you're welcome to make your own informed decision. There are better options to American Express prepaid credit cards such as the netspend Visa which I fully endorse. It has the lowest overall fee structure for anyone who is planning to use their card. For starters, there are no finance charges, no credit card debt, no minimum balance, no credit bureau check and more importantly, no surprises.The card is also FDIC insured against any theft or loss. In a prepaid card, protection against being lost or stolen is that much more important. Some American Express cards (though not all) are not insured and that is partly why they are not recommended. The last thing you want is to lose your card and then lose the money on it too.

    The netspend Visa also has a few different fee structures so there is actually some choice available to you up front which is not typical in a prepaid credit card. Flexibility is a big plus. It also happens to work with paypal and unlike most prepaid cards, you an in fact use to rent a car though there are restrictions (you have 15% more than the required deposit). Most prepaid cards don't allow any sort of deposit-based transactions. Government checks can be automatically deposited onto the card as well. There are a lot of features you won't find on other cards and it has a lower fee structure.

    It takes about 10 days to arrive which is one average thing about the card but then it is ready to use. Simply activate it and add money. Follow the printed instructions that arrive with your card.

    American Express prepaid credit cards alternatives

    America Express prepaid credit cards are still a better idea than doing nothing about poor credit or no credit. However, there are better cards available online. If you're looking for a prepaid credit card, I'd highly recommend you apply for the Netspend prepaid visa. You won't find a better prepaid credit card deal.