Term Definition
Gift Card If you've used a gift card before, you've used a prepaid card. Of course, many cards are good only at a certain store or restaurant. And once the money is spent, the card is useless.
General Purpose Reloadable (GPR) Aka, prepaid debit cards. These are good generally everywhere that debit cards are accepted, including ATM's.
What are the pros of using GPR? Convenience – Shop online, pay bills, and avoid carrying around lots of cash. No overspending – Your spending is limited to the amount loaded onto the card. Limited Losses – No drained bank account or damaged credit if the card disappears.
What are the pros of using GPR (continued)? You only lose the money left on the card. Of course, if you set up automatic transfers to reload the card, you'll need to stop those transfers if the cards lost or stolen.
What are the pros of using GPR (continued)? Good luck comparison shopping – The absence of laws governing prepaid cards means card issuers aren't required to disclose all fees to card users before a card is purchased.
What are the pros of using GPR (continued)? GPR cards have an account number to permanently link that card to you. And when the balance hits zero, you can reload the card by adding money to the balance.
What are the cons of using GPR? Spotty FDIC protected. Few prepaid cards offer FDIC insurance. Doesn't help your credit rating. A prepaid card is not used for borrowing money, so your responsible use of the card won't help you build a credit rating.
What are the cons of using GPR (continued)? Shakey consumer protection. Prepaid cards do not have the same protections as debit and credit cards. There is no guarantee to investigate unauthorized charges to other fraud.
Money Orders Are checks minus the checking account. You pay the full amount up front with cash or a debit card withdrawal. The clerk prints a money order certificate made out to the business or person you designated as the payee.
Money Orders (continued) Money orders are available at a post office, banks, or grocery stores.
What are the pros of using money order? Check-like convenience – Money orders are safer to mail than cash and they're accepted by many businesses. Proof Payment – When you purchase a money order, you're provided with a tracking number you can use to find out if a recipient has cashed the $.
What are the pros of using money order (continued)? No Overdrafts – B/c its already paid in full money order can't bounce or overdraw your account. Low, one-time fee – It shouldn't cost as much per order, and many places charge less than $1.
What are the pros of using money order (continued)? Replaceable – Unlike with prepaid cards, lost or stolen money orders will be replaced if you show your receipt.
What are the cons of using GPR? Limited Funding Options – You can't use a credit card to buy a money order. Sellers accept cash or debit card withdrawal only. Tracking Your $ – You are responsible for keeping track of the $ order info. The details of a $ order are not reported.
Payment Portal (ex. Paypal) Payment method of choice of many online shopping sites. You register your credit card debit card, or bank account info. at the portals secure website.
Payment Portal (ex. Paypal) (continued) You then can direct your payment through your portal account to the portal accounts of other people, organizations, and businesses. No need to provide financial info. each time.
What are the pros of using a payment portal? Extra Barrier of Security – You check out through the portal, so the recipient never views or stores your payment info. Free to You – You pay nothing to use the portal for online purchases.
What are the pros of using a payment portal (continued)? Fees for money transfers within the U.S. are free if funded with your bank account. International Transfers – You can send $ to payment portal users in other countries. The fees may be less than the cost of a wiretapper.
What are the pros of using a payment portal (continued)? Easy – For purchases, just select the payment portal from among the options offered at the check account. To send $ to someone else, all you need is the person's email.
What are the pros of using a payment portal (continued)? Consumer protections – Payment portals are not banks. But they are subject to many of the same consumer protection laws as banks. Portals must investigate and restore the funds for any unauthorized transactions or errors if you report within 60 days.
What are the cons of using payment portal? Delayed $ Transferring to and from your bank account can take 3 business days. Limited Stores – Obviously, you can use a specific portal only at stores that offer it as a payment option.