Frequently Asked Questions

Advertising Disclosure is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from many credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » Questions » FAQs » MasterCard Offers » How does a prepaid mastercard differ from a traditional card?

How does a prepaid mastercard differ from a traditional card?

Answered by , at
Add to Favorites:

Travelling abroad for short periods of time requires you to carry some form of monetary instrument. You cannot open a bank account in a foreign country if you are going there as a tourist or on business. Many countries will allow you to do so, but it is just too much of a hassle if you are just going to stay there for a month or two. Hence there is a need for something like the prepaid MasterCard.

A prepaid mastercard is like a credit or debit card in operation. But it differs in a number of ways. Firstly, you cannot withdraw more cash than the amount you have deposited. All you have to do is to load cash into the card when you first buy it. You can get a card at any bank in your town or city. Your personal bank will be more than happy to design a card which will suit your needs. A few cards will also have overdraft options which will allow you remove more money than what you have deposited. For these sort of cards, you will need to undergo a credit check before getting them. The cards are also protected by a personal identity number or PIN code which only you will know. Many cards will also offer online facilities which will let you fill up the card while abroad. So in case you spend more than what you have deposited, all you have to do is go to your online bank account and transfer more money into the card.

The second difference is that using the card while abroad will not cost you anything. Normal credit or debit cards will charge you an extra overseas charge or unknown ATM fee. You will also be charged a money exchange fee whenever you conduct a transaction in a currency which is not the same as the one where you got the credit or debit card. the difference with a prepaid MasterCard is that you would have deposited money in the currency of the country to which you are travelling.

Thirdly, the use of a prepaid MasterCard is that you can use it anywhere you go in the foreign country to which you are travelling. If you have a MasterCard prepaid card, you can use it all the locations which show a MasterCard logo. Other cards can include visa or union pay cards. Remember, you can use your card only at those ATM’s and stores which have the logo on their machines. If your card is lot or stolen, you can always call the customer service station and get it blocked to prevent the funds from being accessed by unscrupulous agents.

Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the APR will be 13.24%-23.24% based upon your creditworthiness.*
For Excellent/Good Credit
Applying is quick and easy with our fast decision process
For Fair / Good Credit
Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
For Fair/Bad Credit

Other Questions in
MasterCard Offers