Ditch your checking account and save
An alternative -- a low- or no-fee prepaid card -- is essentially a checking account without the ability to write paper checks.
This post comes from Odysseas Papadimitriou of Card Hub.
Traditional checking accounts are progressively getting more expensive with higher fees and minimum-balance requirements. Prepaid debit cards, the fastest-growing method of payment over the past two years, are becoming increasingly rewarding as a result of recent legislative changes.
So, if it will save you money, why not replace your checking account with a prepaid card?
Prepaid cards are essentially checking accounts without the ability to write paper checks. They allow online account management and bill pay, direct deposit and ATM withdrawals -- basically all the functionality most people need from a checking account. They even provide an opportunity to lead your children by example, since providing your child's allowance via prepaid card is a great way to teach the principles of fiscal responsibility.
Post continues below.
Most importantly, the right prepaid card can be cheap to use. A recent Card Hub report showed exactly how inexpensive a prepaid card can be for a consumer who deposits a paycheck of at least $1,000 each month and only uses in-network ATMs. More specifically, by using a GreenDot prepaid card and tapping into the company's 18,000 in-network ATMs, one could escape fees entirely and essentially have a free checking account.
Seeing as major banks -- such as Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, SunTrust and Citi -- are beginning to implement monthly fees of $3 to $25 for various checking account offerings to compensate for the loss of revenue resulting from legislative and regulatory changes, free certainly sounds appealing.
Though financial-reform laws have done a lot to increase transparency within the credit card industry, prepaid cards have not yet come under the microscope of such regulatory attention. Now, this doesn't mean prepaid cards should be ruled out completely; it simply means that most cards have complex fee structures that need to be evaluated carefully.
The inability to write physical checks therefore becomes the only real drawback, but as more and more of your financial life goes online, that becomes less important.
More on MSN Money:
I don't think I will give any credance to an article written about plastic cards by the Founder and CEO of a company that is trying to market plastic cards.
Also, Fiscal Responsibility has nothing to do with plastic cards, it has to do with understanding enough to know that if you have $100.00 available to spend, you cannot go out and spend $1,000.00, no matter if it is with a check, plastic card, or any other means.
I'll keep my checking account, Thank You.
what BS is this ? Like so many I have had free checking over 10 years with out any fees .
Who ever wrote this clearly hasn't a clue which shows don't believe everything you read on the internet
Pre-paid credit cards are what high-interest credit card issuers offer to people with zero or minimal credit history. Using one of these cards brands you as a so high a credit risk that the bank demands that you put up your own risk capital, risk that the bank won't put up. And, you bet the bank has the use of your money and you don't get squat for it.
Pre-paid cards are for suckers--period.
DH & I both have accounts for people over 55. We have no fees, we get free checks, there is no minimum balance requirement and they are interest bearing....small interest but still interest!
It is a small community bank....NOT one of those big messes!
If you can't pay cash for it, shop elsewhere. For those that disagree more power to you. On the other hand I am the only person I know that hasn't been ****ed over in the last 4 years................
Like everyone else has.
Pre-paid debit cards would not work for me, because many of the bills I pay require a payment from a checking account and do not accept credit/debit cards.
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