DEFINITION of 'Prepaid Credit Card'

A card issued by a financial institution that is preloaded with funds and is used like a normal credit card. A prepaid credit card works in the opposite way of a normal credit card, because instead of buying something with borrowed funds (through credit), you buy things with funds that have already been paid. This card functions like a gift card.

BREAKING DOWN 'Prepaid Credit Card'

A prepaid credit card allows a person the convenience of a credit card without going into debt. You can use them to purchase items online or in person, but since you must load them with funds before using them, you never spend more money than you have. These can be effective tools to teach kids about credit cards without allowing them to irresponsibly rack up charges that they can't afford, or for those that have a hard time managing their finances and end up with tremendous amounts of credit card debt.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between a prepaid credit card and a gift card?

    Although prepaid and gift cards are used in the same manner, a prepaid credit card can be used repeatedly, while a gift card ... Read Answer >>
  2. What transactions cannot be made using prepaid credit cards?

    Find out about the transactions that are restricted when you use a prepaid credit card, and find out about other ways to ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why should I register a prepaid credit card?

    Explore reasons why registering a prepaid credit card is a good idea. Learn about protection if the card is lost or stolen ... Read Answer >>
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