/ Money

What’s your experience of using prepaid cards?

Have you ever opted to use a prepaid card to spend money overseas or for any other reason? The Which? Money Helpline would like to hear your experiences.

Prepaid cards have become increasingly popular in the last decade or so. They’re used for a variety of reasons, but mainly as a means to withdraw cash and spend money overseas.

However, one downside to prepaid cards is that inactivity fees are widely charged.

This is particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office continuing to advise against all non-essential travel abroad, and the government announcing a 14-day quarantine period for travellers arriving in Britain.

Prepaid cards: your experiences

As an expert on the Which? Money Helpline, I often speak to Which? members who have queries about how prepaid cards work, and from those who have been caught out by unexpected fees and charges.

I’d be very interested to hear your experiences of using prepaid cards, especially if you’ve used one on holiday in the past or were planning to this year before the pandemic. I hope that the card providers will be flexible and understanding with those who are unable to use them.

Read all the latest COVID-19 news and advice on our dedicated hub

If you haven’t used your prepaid card for 12 months, you’ll often be charged £2 a month. And, if you want to get your money back off the card, you will get the exchange rate on the day, which may mean that you lose money when it is changed back into pounds.

Do you love your prepaid card, or have you been caught out by unexpected fees and charges? Let me know your experiences.

Helping our members

Did you know about Which? Money Helpline? It’s staffed by financial experts with more than 100 years’ experience in the financial services industry between them.

Members can ask us questions about a range of personal finance subjects, and there are no limits to the number of calls you and your family can make, or the length of time you can spend talking to us.

What the Which? Money Helpline can help you with
  • Banking
  • Borrowing – credit cards and loans
  • Car, home and travel insurance
  • Equity release
  • Investments
  • Long-term care
  • Mortgages
  • Pensions
  • Protection insurance
  • Savings and Isas
  • Tax
  • Wills/probate/trusts

(We do not offer regulated financial advice).

Which? members can call the helpline on 029 2267 0001.

Em says:
27 June 2020

Received by eMail this morning from FairFX:

“We have been advised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that they have temporarily suspended the regulated activities of one of our card issuers – Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd, the UK subsidiary of Wirecard AG.

This means that you cannot currently use your FairFX card.

As mentioned elsewhere, these types of cards do not have the same levels of protection as a debit or credit card. It should certainly not be your only source of emergency cash when travelling abroad and you should consider carefully how much money to hold on your card.