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Prepaid Credit/Debit card
Old 12-06-2013, 05:13 PM   #1
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Prepaid Credit/Debit card

USAA has a prepaid card, no fees. Balance can be $10 to $1,000. Recently my primary card was cloned. I was thinking about using one of these for certain online purchases, gas, and some restaurants.

While the card appears to be set up for a child, from the user agreement it appears it can be used this way. Keeping a couple of hundred as a balance would be all it takes.

The pain in the cloned card was not monetary but all the crap to get the new account recognized by different utilities that auto charge it, and set up in Quicken. On vacation it should be easy to manage the amount via their mobile app.

Just looking for comments before I do this.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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I would just use a regular credit card. I do not understand the point of prepaying for anything. Might as well pay at the time you get something (cash) or even a little later (credit card).
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:27 PM   #3
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It seems you would lose a lot of benefits by doing this. My card gives me 2% back, doubles the warranty on products, provides theft/damage protection, travel insurance, recourse if you're not satisfied with a merchant. I suspect a debit card offers virtually none of this.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:35 AM   #4
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I keep a couple of thousand dollars in my checking account so having a couple hundred of that in a prepaid seems to be the same thing. Just another way of accessing cash.

The card is a credit card with all the rights and protection of a credit card. I do not believe it has cash back or travel insurance but its primary purpose is for use at gas stations and restaurants where the card leaves my being. My primary card has cash back and has all the other protections.

I had not given this much until my card was cloned. A quick google search brought up some disturbing data. Like one master key will open most gas pumps. In 2010, over 190 pumps were found with skimmers inside the pumps, undetectable from the outside. That a skimmer can be installed in less than 30 seconds.

So it just seemed like finding a safer way to pay cash was appropriate. Seems to me something like google authentication for my credit card would be ideal.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:22 AM   #5
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Unfortunately, you can't "manufacture spending," if you know what I mean. According to the FAQ's:

How do card managers add money to the card?.....
Credit Cards: Select "Fund with Credit Card" from the right hand navigation bar. Then, select a USAA credit card from the drop-down menu or add a non-USAA credit card. These transactions are processed as a cash advance...
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:05 AM   #6
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https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/faq_...kredirect=true

It appears from the link above you can add cash from your USAA checking account.
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:09 PM   #7
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If you are worried about giving out your card number online, a number of credit cards offer one-time numbers that are valid for only one transaction.

One of our cards offers this and it is fairly easy to use - you have to log into their web site to get the one use number. But seems worth the effort when dealing with a new merchant that I haven't deal with before.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:49 PM   #8
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Consider AMEX Bluebird

https://www.bluebird.com/
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Consider AMEX Bluebird

https://www.bluebird.com/
exactly the two words for those wanting off the grid

blue bird
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:21 AM   #10
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If USAA does not work, Bluebird sounds like a valid option.
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