Prepaid credit cards are becoming an increasingly popular way to pay bills and manage finances. You can load money onto these cards in a variety of ways, including direct deposit of your paycheck and cash at authorised locations. You can also use mobile apps to electronically load a check or money order onto your card and have the money available in a matter of minutes.
Part 1 Choosing a Prepaid Card
1. Determine the function of this card. Prepaid credit cards can be used for a variety of purposes, depending on the user’s requirements. Some people use them if they have bad credit and are unable to obtain a credit card, while others use them to teach financial responsibility to teenagers. By determining your card’s purpose, you can make a more informed decision about which card to use.
2. Take a look at the fees involved. Almost all prepaid cards have fees, but they are not all the same. When selecting a credit card, read the fine print to find out what fees the card will charge you. To determine which card is best for you, add up all associated fees.
Determine which fees are avoidable and which are not. You can avoid high ATM fees, for example, by not withdrawing money frequently. However, you cannot avoid paying a monthly fee to keep the card open.
3. Examine the card’s features. Cards have different fees, and they also have different features and services. You’ll be able to decide which features are necessary and which aren’t if you narrow down what’s important to you. Prepaid cards typically have the following characteristics:
Direct deposit of your paycheck.
Connection to a bank account.
Theft and fraud protections.
4. Determine whether a card is compatible with mobile banking apps. Apps are the fastest way to electronically load checks and money orders onto your card. You won’t be able to deposit money orders electronically if your card isn’t compatible with mobile apps.
5. Make use of a side-by-side comparison tool. Some websites provide comparisons of the various prepaid cards available. You can answer a few questions about what you’re looking for in a prepaid card, and the site will recommend a few cards that would be a good fit for your needs. If you’re not sure which prepaid card to get, try one of these.
Part 2 Loading a Money Order onto Your Card
1. Install a mobile banking app. You can photograph checks and money orders and load them onto your prepaid card using some apps. You’ll need this ability to load money orders onto your card electronically. Search the app store for one of these apps and download it to your smartphone.
The most popular of these apps is Ingo. It can be linked to the majority of major prepaid cards.
2. Connect your credit card to the mobile app. Once you’ve downloaded the app, it’s usually as simple as entering the card number into the app. It is then synced to your card, and you can load checks and money orders electronically.
3. Obtain a money order. Money orders are available at US Post Offices, banks, credit unions, retail stores such as Walmart, and some grocery stores. Depending on the value of the money order, the fee is usually between $1 and $2.
Money orders, like checks, have a section where you can write who the money is for. In this case, you would write it to yourself, so fill in all of the required information. Fill in the blanks as neatly and clearly as possible.
Money orders can only be purchased in cash or with a debit card. Credit cards are almost never accepted.
For more information on purchasing and filling out a money order, see Get a Money Order.
4. Take a picture of the money order. You can use a mobile app to photograph checks and money orders and instantly load them onto your card.
Lay the money order on a flat, well-lit surface.
Line up the money order with your smartphone camera. Then photograph the front and back of it.
Submit the photo.
5. Wait a few moments. The app must approve the photo and load it onto your card after you submit it. This usually only takes a few moments. Check your balance before making any purchases to ensure that the money was successfully loaded onto the card, then proceed to use your card normally.
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