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Prepaid Credit Cards
Old 02-04-2016, 10:39 PM   #1
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Prepaid Credit Cards

The past two road trips DW and I took ended up with cloned credit cards. A real pain in the @ss! So, I began to wonder. What about a prepaid credit card? Put a couple of hundred bucks on it, reload when necessary and only use it at gas stations. Seems like this is the place it happens the most.

From what I understand, if it is cloned, you have the same protection as a regular card, and at the least only for the amount you loaded on the card. BBVA offers on with no fees, well a $4 fee for the first load, but no reload fee. AMEX has something called Bluebird.

My purpose is to protect my main credit card. I keep two. One is for bills, like Dish, Phone Co., Electric and such. Things that occur monthly. The second is all my other purchases. If on a trip and this card was compromised we would be back to using the monthly card. It's not that you loose any money, it is the pain in the @ss to replace them.

So my question: Does anyone here have any experience or recommendations for prepaid credit cards? Not interested in prepaid debit function.
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:52 PM   #2
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I think you're referring to a secured credit card, is that correct? A secured credit card is one that is issued based on what the holder of the cc has in a checking or savings account, and that amount is "frozen" by the bank. So if you wanted a cc with a $1,000 credit limit you'd have that amount in savings at the bank but you couldn't withdraw it unless you closed the secured credit card account.

These are often used to rebuild a credit score for someone with severely damaged credit, for example after a messy divorce. I had to get one after my divorce as my credit, while not severely damaged, was less than stellar because of the ex's handling funds badly. I reapplied for a regular card a few years later and they issued one readily.
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:12 PM   #3
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Some companies can issue a credit card number for a specific purpose. Like a temporary card, with a limited use number. Essentially, they give you a new card for a specific purpose. Once the number is used, it is no longer valid.

I am not sure if they can do it for a time frame, like a week. If they can, that is the ticket.

Or use Android pay, or some other phone pay system. It is not always accepted, but McDonalds take it.
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:23 PM   #4
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This might be helpful:

Best Prepaid Card Buying Guide - Consumer Reports

They like Bluebird, but it's an AmEx card which might limit it's acceptance.

The Chase liquid card (Visa) looks reasonable too.
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
Or use Android pay, or some other phone pay system. It is not always accepted, but McDonalds take it.
+1

Android Pay and Apple Pay are both very secure and excellent choices. BUT they aren't accepted widely yet. More places do each day, but it's taking a while.

Still, if offered, these are the best (and zero cost) option.
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Prepaid Credit Cards
Old 02-05-2016, 08:23 PM   #6
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Prepaid Credit Cards

I decided to try BBVA's Clearspend card. It cost $4 to set it up. You do not need a BBVA account. It has no other fees. No fee to me when I use it, and no fee to reload it. Well kind of. If you reload it from a BBVA branch, atm, or direct from another bank, no fees. You can go into Walmart and a bnch of other locations and reload it. They may charge a servos with fee, but it depends on the individual merchant. Not a problem as I plan on using a bank transfer, or going in. I believe it is a Visa card. It is not linked to any bank account. Has other protections associated with a Visa card.

mpeirce: While I have Apple Pay, I was looking for the convenience of paying at the pump. I have not seen many pumps set up for Android or Apple Pay, however, I really have not looked.


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Old 02-06-2016, 08:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
I decided to try BBVA's Clearspend card.

... I was looking for the convenience of paying at the pump.
Paying at the gas pump with a prepaid card places a 3 day hold on up to $100 of the remaining funds loaded to the card.

Quote:
8. Authorization Holds.

When a Card is used for certain kinds of transactions, the merchant accepting the Card may request advance authorization of that transaction, and may estimate the amount of the transaction. If we authorize a transaction on a Card, we may place a temporary hold on the funds available on your Card. An Authorization Hold is not payment for an authorized transaction, but it will reduce the funds available on your Card by the amount of the hold. An Authorization Hold generally will be released within three (3) business days after the date we authorized that transaction.

For example: If you elect to swipe your Card at a fuel pump, we will be asked to authorize a fixed amount established through Visa, which may be more than the cost of the fuel you plan to pump. To avoid an Authorization Hold that exceeds the amount of the actual purchase, do not swipe your Card at the fuel pump.
Reference: https://www.bbvacompass.com/disclosu...isclosures.jsp
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:04 PM   #8
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I have had the BBVA card for a couple of weeks. Observations:

It is really a debit card.

I have the ClearSpend app on my phone. Within seconds of buying gas I get a beep on the phone telling me the transaction went through. The remaining balance is available.

At the pump you select debit. There has been no hold on the card.

You do not have to have a BBVA bank account to transfer to the card.

If you set up an account, they give you another debit card linked to the new account, and you use that card to transfer to the ClearSpend card. (It made no since to do this) I would transfer from USAA to BBVA checking, then use the checking debit card to transfer the funds to the ClearSpend card. Only advantage I could see is the transfer from BBVA account to ClearSpend is almost instantanious, and transfer from USAA is not.

If I do a one time transfer from USAA it takes about four days for the transfer to happen. If I set up an automatic monthly transfer, it transfers on the date selected.

I have only used the card twice, and at two different gas stations. So far it is what I intended it to be. A universal card to pay for gas, or online payments without putting my primary bank accounts at risk.

It has all the safe guards of any debit card, without putting my main bank at risk.
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:23 PM   #9
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I've been looking into a AAA TravelMoney card for this purpose. It's a Visa card that is pre-loaded with money - like a card version of the old travelers' checks.

I'm traveling soon and plan to test one with $5K or so loaded on it.
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:36 PM   #10
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The BBVA has a $6,500 limit, and I got it online. Never had to enter the bank.
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