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Secured Credit Cards Vs Prepaid Cards

Prepaid credit cards are now offered by several issuers on and offline. Their essential advantage is the convenience of being able to use plastic for important activities such as hotel stays, car reservations and so on where cash transactions are not preferred and where the consumer would rather not be concerned about debt and interest payments associated with regular credit cards.

An alternative to this is offered by secured credit cards, which are not quite as readily obtained, but then are not that much more difficult to acquire. Most issuers require consumers to open savings accounts with them to act as security for secured credit cards to be issued. Although this adds a small level of difficulty, it's worthwhile for long term credit profile health.

Secured credit cards allow you to build a history. Issuers report to the credit reporting bureaus regularly and if you maintain your account and make your payments on time, this is of great value. Many issuers offer credit limit increases which are an upward trending percentage of the security deposit made.

Prepaid cards -also known as stored value cards- have further disadvantages, particularly in the area of protections offered to holders. Fraud protection and refund eligibility is a gray area which requires anyone seeking such a card to investigate precisely what is offered by the issuer. By contrast, secured cards come with the standard protections of regular credit cards.

Further Helpful Information:
From the FTC:
Secured Credit Card Marketing Scams


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