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What is a Prepaid Card or Prepaid Debit Card? A Simple Explanation for Kids

What is a Prepaid Card / Prepaid Debit Card? Credit Cards 101: Easy Peasy Finance for Kids Beginners

Introduction to a Prepaid Card for Kids and Teens

This video explains the concept of a Prepaid Card in a simple, concise way for kids and beginners. It could be used by kids & teens to learn about a prepaid debit card, or used as a money & personal finance resource by parents and teachers as part of a Financial Literacy course or K-12 curriculum.

What is a Prepaid Card or Prepaid Debit Card - A Simple Explanation for Kids Teens Beginners
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Suitable for students from grade levels:

  • Kindergarten
  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
  • High School

The topics covered are:

What is a prepaid card?

Prepaid Debit Card or Prepaid Card for Kids Teens Beginners
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A prepaid card is a type of cashless payment option where you can only spend money that is loaded on that card. This aspect makes them similar to gift cards – but unlike gift cards, they are not limited to just one store.

You can get a prepaid card at convenience stores, pharmacies, many retailers or directly from the card issuer.

Prepaid cards are often called prepaid debit cards, since they work like a debit card where you spend your own money and don’t borrow like with credit cards.

But they are slightly different from regular debit cards, as they are not linked to a bank account.

How can I load money onto the prepaid debit card? What happens when I use up the money?

There are many ways to load money onto a prepaid card – it can be done by using cash at certain retail locations, or by transferring money using credit or debit cards, mobile apps, or a bank account.

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Once you use up the money that is loaded on the card, you can simply reload your prepaid card using any of these methods.

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Where can a prepaid card be used?

It can be used for all online or physical transactions where credit or debit cards are accepted, like making purchases, transferring or receiving payments, withdrawing cash from ATMs, etc.

What are the advantages of prepaid debit cards?

Prepaid Debit Card for Kids Teens Beginners - Advantages Pros
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The main advantage of a prepaid card is that it is not linked to your bank account – making it impossible to overspend and completely drain your bank account, since you can only spend money that’s on the card.

This also makes them an attractive option for travel, where there is a possibility of the card getting lost or stolen.

Another advantage is that anyone can get a prepaid debit card – even if they don’t have a bank account!

Are there any disadvantages of prepaid cards?

Prepaid Card for Kids Teens Beginners - Disadvantages Cons
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One big disadvantage of prepaid debit cards is their fees. You may be charged a multitude of fees including monthly fees, transaction fees, fees for loading money, fees for checking your balance, etc.

Also, you would not be able to use it in an emergency if you didn’t already load money onto it.

In addition, prepaid cards don’t help with building a credit history as the transactions are not reported to credit bureaus.

Should I use a prepaid debit card?

If you don’t have access to a regular debit card, overspend frequently, or want to avoid credit card debt, then a prepaid debit card might be a good option.

However, if you think you will be responsible with a regular debit card or credit card, then it’s best to avoid prepaid cards.

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Do you use a prepaid card? What has been your experience? What kind of fees are you paying?

Let us know through the comments!

Download Transcript: Ideal for Use by Teachers in their Lesson Plan to Teach Kids & Teens

Podcast: Prepaid Card

What is a Prepaid Card or Prepaid Debit Card
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