Credit Card News
Advertising Disclosure
Credit-Land.com is an independent, advertising-supported web site. Credit-Land.com 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. Credit-Land.com has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.
Credit Card Applications » News » Products » Prepaid Card Showdown as American Express Adds to its Arsenal

Prepaid Card Showdown as American Express Adds to its Arsenal

By
Add to Favorites:

Prepaid cards have never been more popular, it seems, with new ones popping up every week. The latest entry is from American Express, which is partnering with Barnes & Noble College Campus Bookstores to debut The American Express Campus Edition Personalized Card, designed for college students.

Students will be able to buy the card at Barnes & Noble college bookstores across the country for $4.95 and load it at the register with any amount from $25 to $500. Cards purchases at Barnes & Noble locations will be temporary cards; customers can order permanent, personalized cards online at no charge. In order to get the full benefits of the card, customers must order the permanent card at some point – they can trade in their temporary card and any money on it will be transferred over once the permanent card is activated.

Low-Fee Extravaganza

The card carries no fees for many actions that other prepaid cards charge for, such as card activation, reloading, monthly fees, and purchase fees. With the American Express Campus Edition card, the following are free:

  • No fee for purchases
  • No monthly use fee
  • No overdraft fee
  • No card activation fee
  • No annual fee

There is a fee for ATM withdrawals after the first one every month. One ATM withdrawal per month is provided for free, and after that a fee of two dollars per withdrawal will apply, in addition to any fee charged by the owner of the ATM.

How Much Money on Prepaid Cards?

If it seems that prepaid cards are everywhere these days, that`s because they are. In 2009, customers in the United States spent $28.6 billion on reloadable prepaid cards. By 2013, it`s projected that US consumers will spend more than six times that amount – a whopping $201.9 billion.

The market for prepaid cards just keeps growing, as people get fed up with high fees for checking accounts and banks look for new ways to draw disgruntled consumers back.

Why So Many Prepaid Cards?

With so many prepaid cards on the market now, people may wonder why there is such a proliferation of them, and what their benefits are. One of the main uses of prepaid cards is for students or other young people without a lot of credit history, or without income of their own. A parent who wants to provide an older child with allowance can give a prepaid card loaded with a set amount of money, knowing the child can use the card without fear of getting into debt or overdrawing an account.

Regarding the student population and the prepaid phenomenon, Michael Germanovsky, editor-in-chief of Credit-Land.com, gives his take: “The great thing about using a prepaid card is that students cannot become overdrawn or in debt to a bank. There are no overdrafts and no credit line attached to prepaid card, so students can only spend what is loaded on the card. Once its gone, it`s gone. Students have enough to worry about – from room and board to studying and buying books, not to mention an active social life – so it can be easy to lose track of finances. Prepaid cards are a great budgeting tool for students.”

Excellent American Express Benefits

The temporary prepaid cards will be able to be used anywhere in the US where American Express is accepted, and the permanent ones can be used globally wherever American Express is accepted. Funds will not expire, and with the permanent card, customers also get these great American Express benefits:

  • Purchase protection against theft of damage for 90 days, up to $1,000 per item or $50,000 per year
  • Roadside assistance such as battery jumps and flat tire changes
  • Trip planning services
  • 24/7 card member assistance
  • Access to special events and advance tickets
  • Email and text alerts to track personalized spending limits
  • Automatically schedule reloading of funds
Add to Favorites:

Related News:

American Express Serves Up a New Way for Students to Get Paid for Books

By Elizabeth Nelson, Posted: April 22, 2013

A new partnership between American Express and Chegglets college students sell their used textbooks at the end of the semester and get their money loaded on a Serve prepaid card. Continue reading
Best Buy Gets Chase Pay

By Dar Dowling, Posted: September 30, 2016

Best Buy carries everything from smartphones and TVs to computers and cameras – and now people who shop with them will be able to use Chase Pay when shopping online. Continue reading
Financial Optimism is Up, But So is Income Stress

By Dar Dowling, Posted: September 29, 2016

Are you feeling more hopeful, yet are still a bit worried about whether or not you're making enough money? Continue reading
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 12.24%-22.24% based upon your creditworthiness.
For Excellent/Good Credit
1% cash back on select purchases, terms apply
For Fair Credit
Guaranteed $500 Unsecured Credit Limit
For Bad Credit