Consumer Reports Releases 2014 Prepaid Card Ratings

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We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Prepaid cards have rapidly become essential plastic. General purpose reloadable prepaid cards look and work like bank debit cards except no bank is required. Moreover, prepaid cards do not come with the federal consumer protections that consumers with bank debit cards enjoy. But consumers are choosing prepaid cards in ever growing numbers. Today, these cards are in the wallets of consumers both with and without bank accounts.

To help consumers choose among the numerous prepaid cards on the market, Consumer Reports started rating prepaid cards in 2013, and has done so again this year. What we found this year is that while the are some good prepaid card choices for consumers, the shopping experience can be difficult. Terms differ among providers and fees and charges are hard to find in the small print if they are there at all. We also remind consumers that although the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to issue preliminary rules covering prepaid cards late this year, consumers should carefully consider the lack of mandatory legal protections when using prepaid cards today.

You can find the full report – including the the Consumer Reports 2014 prepaid card ratings here.

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