Friday, August 14, 2009

Prepaid Cards & High Fees reports that prepaid card consumers should be careful, according to a new report conducted by Consumer Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports. Here's a break down of the fees that can be associated with prepaid cards.

Activation Fees. 17 of the 18 prepaid cards charged a fee for getting started. The Millenium Advantage Card, for example, charges $99.95 in application and initiation fees.

Monthly Fees. Although sometimes this fee can be waved (if, for instance, direct deposit is established), 15 of the 18 prepaid cards charged a monthly fee, some as high as $10. ATM or Cash Withdrawing Fees. All cards charge some fee for ATM use, sometimes as much as $2.50. 17 of the prepaid cards will also charge you up to $1 for balance inquiries, and these charges do not factor in the ATM owner's own fees.

Inactivity Fees. Eight of the pre-paid cards charge a fee when you don't use your card for a period of time. Not using your Exact card this month? That will be $9.95, please.

The Fees add up: According to the report, a new Rush Card user whose first month card use included three ATM withdrawals, two deposits, three bill payments and eight regular purchases would pay $43.75 in fees.

Prepaid Cards: Beware of High Fees

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