Prepaid debit cards provide an alternative to credit cards or traditional debit cards issued by a financial institution for making purchases.
Unlike a traditional debit card, a prepaid card is not linked to a bank account.
Getting a regular checking account with a debit card attached is not guaranteed. A poor credit history, issues with previous bank accounts, and problems verifying your ID could result in the bank denying your application. Prepaid debit cards are an option if you cannot open a bank account.
Unfortunately, the list of fees prepaid card issuers charge is long. Fees you might encounter include activation fees, a monthly maintenance fee, cash reload fees, and fees for out-of-network ATM withdrawals
Federal deposit insurance covers many prepaid cards, which means your money is protected if a card issuer goes bankrupt. Prepaid cards also have the same liability and fraud protections as traditional debit cards.
Some prepaid cards offer rewards such as cashback on purchases, referral programs that pay you for each person you refer, and sign-up bonuses. Some will waive fees if you sign up for a direct deposit or meet monthly minimum balance requirements.