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How to use a reloadable prepaid card

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Want to keep track of your spending but don’t want to carry cash? A prepaid card could be just what you’re looking for. Valid to use everywhere you’d use a standard bank card, prepaid cards let you load cash onto your card so you can only spend what’s available and no more. No unplanned overdraft fees or high interest rates, just a clear idea of what you’ve got to spend (and when you need to stop).

Using prepaid cards online

Prepaid cards can be used anywhere you’d use a standard bank card, and most are supported by Visa, Mastercard or American Express. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re spending in a store or online – as long as there’s cash on your card, you can shop.

Using a reloadable prepaid card is a great way to help you budget as you can only spend what’s loaded on your card. You can’t go into your overdraft or spend more than you’d expected so they’re a great way to limit your spending. Find out more about how prepaid cards work with our guide.

They’re great if you’ve been given some cash as a birthday or Christmas gift but want to be able to spend it at your favorite online store, or if you don’t have a bank account and need to order online.

The only limit will be if an online store doesn’t accept a particular provider like Discovery or American Express, though you’d have that same issue with a standard debit or credit card too.

Using prepaid cards for in-store purchases

Prepaid cards are a great way to save up for big purchases or little treats you’d otherwise buy without thinking. As they can be used anywhere you’d used a standard debit card, there’s no limit to the kind of thing you can use it to buy.

Saving up for something special like a new TV or an outfit for a special occasion? You could load spare cash onto your card until you reach the amount you need to buy that special item in store.

Want to limit yourself to how much you spend on luxuries like cosmetics or set a budget for a night out? A prepaid debit card is a great way to keep your spending in check. There’s no danger of sneaking that new lipstick or expensive video games into your cart if you know you’ve only got enough credit to cover what you originally went in for.

Whatever you find yourself spending on in store, a prepaid card encourages you to ask yourself if you really need that thing, stopping you from spending more than you have.

Using reloadable prepaid cards for bill payment

If you want to make sure you’ve got enough cash to cover essential bills every month, a prepaid card is a great way to divide up your spending.  If you work out your regular outgoings, you can add that amount of cash to your card so you’re not tempted to spend it elsewhere.

You can either use your prepaid card to pay a bill direct to your biller or pay them in person through a third party like Money Services. Paying in store means you can get help and support from cashiers, keep a record of your payment and pay multiple billers in one visit. Plus, with Money Services within the Kroger Family of Stores, you can pay your household bills while you’re picking up groceries.

If you don’t have a checking account or want to switch your cash into digital credit, loading cash onto a prepaid card is a great way to automate more of your household finances and make sure your bills are paid on time. Learn more about how to organize your bills.

Using reloadable prepaid cards to buy groceries

Finding you’re blowing the budget with impulse buys and forgotten items from your list at the grocery store? Loading how much you want to spend on groceries each month onto a prepaid card each month is a great way to make sure you stick to your budget and keep your household finances on track

First, you’ll want to decide how much you need (and that’s what you really need, not all the little treats that sneak into your cart and blow the budget). You might need to track your spending over a few weeks to get a good idea of this amount. Maybe add a little extra just to be safe – and for the occasional treat - then add the cash to your prepaid card at the start of every week or month. You can even load cash on to your card at Money Services, so no need to make two journeys to plan your grocery budget and shopping.

Planning your grocery shopping as a fixed budget might also mean you make better food choices and plan your meals in advance, so you spend less time going to the store and fewer nights ordering takeout.

How do prepaid cards work?

Prepaid cards work just like standard cards but without having to have a checking account to link it to. They can help you budget, let you pay bills and buy online anywhere that takes Visa, Mastercard or American Express, with no risk of ever going over your spending limit.

You can buy them and load them up in store, use them to take cash out of an ATM and even get cash back at the checkout, just like standard bank cards, To find out how reloadable prepaid cards could work for you, read our guide to prepaid cards.

Whether you don’t have a checking account or want to be able to balance your budget better, prepaid cards can be a great choice.

From buying online to paying bills, shopping in store or drawing cash out of the ATM, a prepaid card gives you all the convenience of a credit or bank card without the temptation to overspend. Perfect for when you want to keep your finances on track.

Want to know more about reloadable prepaid cards or loading cash onto your card? Find your local store and start managing your spending today.

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