This page is all about applying and activating Prepaid Cards. Find out where you can find prepaid cards - online and offline - and how you can apply for a prepaid card and activate your card when you get it.
Simply click on the arrow symbol or question to expand and see the answer
How can I purchase a prepaid card
Simply visit our consumer prepaid card comparison section, find the kind of card you want whether it is a a travel card, a money share card, a gaming card, a payroll card or just a generic all purpose card and then apply for the card that you fancy. When you have found the right card, click to visit the prepaid card providers website, read the terms and conditions again and apply for the card. Thats it and a few clicks later, your card will be on its way!
How many prepaid cards can I own
Well, it depends on how many prepaid card issuer's exist and how many prepaid cards you want to buy! However, if you wish to buy more than one card from the same issuer, you should check the terms and conditions prior to purchase. Most issuers will have the facility to allow you to have a primary card and apply for additional/secondary cards. The number of additional cards varies from programme to programme and usually ranges between 1-10 additional cards. The best advice is to check the issuers terms and conditions prior to application.
Do I need to sign an agreement or accept any terms and conditions
Yes, you would need to sign an agreement electronically and accept terms and conditions as set out by the prepaid card provider. You can find these terms and conditions on the prepaid card providers website. Areas which you should look at carefully are
- Is the card free? If not, what is the cost?
- what is the Validity period of of the card?
- Is there a monthly service charge, and, if so, what exactly do you get for it?
- what are the fees for using your card
- What are the fees for loading your card
- what are the fees for contacting customer services
- Any clauses regarding restrictions on the usage of your card.
- Is there a charge for closing your account?
- Will you be charged for replacing the card, in the event that it is lost or stolen?
- Do you have to pay a fee each time the card is renewed (i.e. upon each expiry date)?
How can I pay for my prepaid card purchase
Most prepaid card providers give you the option to pay for prepaid card in a number of different ways depending on whether you apply online, over the phone or in person (depends if the provider has retail outlets where you can apply in person) Some of the methods you can use to pay for your prepaid card are as follows
- Cash by visiting an agent shop
- Credit/Debit Card at an agent shop, online or over the phone
- SMS Text Message - through your mobile
Can I get a prepaid card with my poor credit history
Yes you can as there are no credit history checks for those applying for a prepaid card. Whilst Prepaid cards may look and feel (an even taste) exactly like debit or credit cards, they are not. Since no “credit” is being advanced to the consumer, and there is no credit agreement to be signed, there is no necessity for a credit check to be performed. After all, its your own money being paid into the pre-paid account. Hence, when you apply for a prepaid card, the issuer only seek to verify your identity and address. You do not have to pass a credit check, so people with current or previous bad credit or CCJ ‘s are still approved for a prepaid card. Your identity and address are still verified during the application process, but you will not get declined for bad credit. If the issuer is unable to verify your details online, they will still make efforts to manually verify your documents. Failing all efforts, if your application is still declined, you could still be issued with a restricted product in some cases. Whatever, the case, your credit history is not subject to a credit check and your application, success or failure, does not leave a footprint on your credit history. Can a prepaid card help build my credit history There are a couple of prepaid card issuers out there which are currently offering those with a poor credit history the chance to build their credit history with a prepaid card. So these are definitely worth considering but do note that similar to any "credit agreement", should you want to opt out of that agreement before 12 months, your credit history could be negatively impacted as you would have broken your "credit agreement".
Do I need a bank account to get a prepaid card
No, you do not need to have or open a bank account to get a card. You do not have to pass a credit check or need a bank account. Hence, people with current or previous bad credit or CCJ ‘s are still approved for a prepaid card. The only thing that the prepaid card provider will need is verification of your identity and your address and these can be verified online or by sending the documents to the provider.
Will I require any ID to complete my card application
No, most prepaid card providers use the postal address database or third party agencies such as URU to confirm your identity and address details as provided by you. If these match, no further identification is necessary. Usually, when you apply for your card, you will be asked for your name, and full address with a valid postcode with history address dating back to about three years in some cases. This is necessary to verify your address and deliver your card to you. This is usually followed by an identity check online using your passport details (UK or International) or your driving license to verify your identity. However, most providers to do reserve the right to decline your application if the details you provide do not match the details on their postal address database or the URU database. In this case, most providers can either come back to you to request further identification documents to verify your ID and address or issue you with a restricted card which can be upgraded to a full card when you are able to manually verify your ID and address. Most prepaid card providers also use external verification agencies to confirm your address as part of their commitment to fraud prevention.
When will I receive my prepaid card
Upon verification of your application, your card is created and is posted out to you and should usually arrive within 15 days. You should check the prepaid card providers Terms and Conditions or FAQ section to find out the exact time period. Should your card not arrive within the time stipulated in those Terms and Conditions, you should contact the customer services team for that prepaid card provider.
Is my money secure if my card is lost in the mail
With most prepaid card providers, it is possible to load funds on to your card when you apply for the card. Hence, a number of consumers are worried sick by the thought of losing their card in the mail before they get it. Well, you should not be worried as if your card is lost or intercepted in the mail, your money is secure as no one can spend it until the card has been activated. The only person who can activate it is the person who has applied for the card - You. So yes, your money is secure. However, should your card not arrive within the time stipulated in the terms and conditions (usually 2-3 weeks), you should contact the customer services team for that prepaid card provider and ask them to issue you with a replacement card.
Do I need a PIN to use my prepaid card
Yes, you will need to use your 4 digit PIN when shopping on the high street as with all Chip & PIN cards as most prepaid card providers now provide Chip & PIN enabled prepaid cards. Your PIN will have been provided to you in the post in a PIN mailer envelope separate to your prepaid card usually 2-5 days after you have received your prepaid card. You should also note that a few retailers however may still use signature verification.
When will my prepaid card PIN arrive
With most prepaid card providers, you will receive your PIN number within five working days of your card arriving. You will need to activate your card and have your PIN before you can use your card. So if you are planning to use your card for a special trip, a gift for a special occasion or for any other purpose, you should apply for a prepaid card at least 3 weeks in advance
How can I activate my prepaid card
You can activate your prepaid card in a number of ways. Options provided by most providers including activating your card over the phone, online and via SMS. The best way to check the options available to you to activate your prepaid card would be to check the website of your prepaid card provider> There will usually be a section which talks about how to activate your prepaid card. The other option is to call the customer service number on the back of the card and quite simply ask them how to activate your card. Note: Some firms allow you to activate your prepaid card free of cost online using the internet but charge a small fee if you wish to activate your card over the phone or via SMS. Make sure you read your terms and conditions and are aware of any charges as such.