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GinAndPlatonic

Pre Paid Cards ?

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I see a lots of ads for pre paid cards as a way of paying for bills and used as any debit card would be,but they are not credit cards. They have to be loaded before hand with cash or via a bank account.

I can see this as one way of avoiding using bank accounts for many things,

Does anyone use these and are there any downsides, such as fees or lack of accountability if hacked into.

Such as this card under the master card scheme: http://www.pockit.com/ppc/brand/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=brand&term=pockit

I can also see people using these as a way of avoiding banking cash and so indirectly informing HMRC of their true earnings.

I do not see any obvious way yet of HMRC tracking day to day deposits on these cards and so not being able to check for compliance on earnings if (say) one is self employed, or anyone claiming WTC, or just using cash from under the mattress.

Banks have refused to give 6 MILLION Brits accounts in the last two years http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/banks-refused-give-6-million-7927536

edit Sorry mods! should have been in the off topic...

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I thought of this but you need formal identity checks if you want to load it beyond some quite low introductory amount. It's all just bits on someone's computer so I can't see how it would be more or less stealthy than any other retail bank account.

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I have a Revolut card for foreign money. It has zero fees and interbank rates when used abroad.

Other than loading it, I see no difference than a debit card. And yes I had to be identity checked.

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I use one for most of my card payments in shops, also for some online stores if I haven't used them before.

It's very convenient - you can load via a mobile app. More and more places take contactless payment so it's quicker than cash for small purchases. Also handy as an emergency fallback on a night out drinking in case you run out of cash or manage to lose your wallet (you can recover the balance when you order a new card if one is lost, though there is a replacement card fee).

No real drawbacks vs a regular debit card other than you potentially lose any credit on the card if it gets compromised. To counteract that, just don't leave loads of credit on it and load as needed. I never have much more than about £50 which is normally the limit for physical cash that I'll carry around in my wallet too.

I prefer using it to regular credit or debit cards as it's one more thing for TPTB to try to keep track of and collate. Supposedly it doesn't have any impact on credit ratings either, which implies that it's not being tracked by that particular database unlike any credit cards you may have.

Best to use a mix of cash, debit and credit cards depending on circumstance. That covers just about any eventuality and it's hard for someone to collect all of your different payment patterns into one database.

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Interesting views thanks. I can see me starting to use one as they seem to be one step up from having a debit or credit card issued by a high street bank, in terms of the freedom that is given as to when and where you use these, and also not having to keep all your dosh in one place.

I`m really a cash man and only use a card when buying on Amazon or suchlike. I always pay for fuel with cash and never use a card in a pub or a shop ever, but I could see me using a prepaid card on holiday and also to stay below the HMRC radar.!

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