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Q: I’m interested in buying a prepaid debit card. Can I purchase one of these with a credit card?
A: No, mostly because of the way prepaid debit cards work.
When you apply for a prepaid debit card, you’ll also have to funnel a certain amount of money into your cardholder account. The balance on your prepaid debit card is equal to the amount of money that you have input into this account. This money must come from somewhere — usually an existing bank account. The issuers of prepaid debit cards won’t allow you to rely on your other credit cards to provide these funds.
Prepaid debit cards, often called loadable debit cards, are usually used to pay recurring fees. For instance, if you subscribe to an online stock photography service, the service might offer its own prepaid debit cards. Your monthly subscription fee will then be taken out of this card on a regular basis.
It’s best to only apply for a prepaid debit card if you know that you’re going to have the funds available to back up any purchase that you’ll make. Some prepaid cards won’t allow you to complete a purchase if it will push you over the remaining balance in the card’s account. Some, though, will allow you to overspend, and will then charge you a hefty overdraft fee.