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I got one last year for my son to take on holiday. Apart from the (1) Set up fee and the (2) Loading fee...that's a fee each time you put money on the card.. there is a (3) Monthly fee and worse...when you use it abroad they cane you with the exchange rate.
On £500, the total charges were just under £30 and the exchange rate robbed him of a further £40. So in £500 he effectively lost £70 or 14%. He got to spend £430
When he returned from holilday and we looked at the charges we decided to cut it up.
I see from the above reports that these cards are aimed at people with poor credit records or no bank accounts, but they are being used by immigrants on low wages as they are a convenient way of getting paid by certain employers.
It's ironic then that the people that can least afford them are the ones being charged the most.
Surely the credit card companies (that make millions of pounds of profit) could make an exception and encourage the use of these cards with minimal or even no charges.
If they do that, users of pre-paid cards will build up a credit record and then be able to apply for a regular credit card!
I think they are being a bit short-sighted with their high charges as it puts people off.
In my case I would have continued with the card for my son as it's a good way to teach him how to use a credit card.
But it's a better lesson to be able to show him how to avoid hidden charges!!
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