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Prepaid credit card and debit card options

Prepaid credit and debit cards are secure, convenient and less risky than carrying cash. Here’s how to find the right one for you.

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Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Initial Load Fee Reload fee
Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard
AUD,USD,CAD,EUR,GBP,HKD,JPY,NZD,SGD,THB,AED
USD $2.50, EUR €2.50, GBP £2.00, NZD $3.50, THB ฿80.00, CAD $3.50, HKD $18.00, JPY ¥260.00, SGD $3.50, AUD $3.50, AED 10.00
$0
$5
Up to 11 currencies on 1 card locked in exchange rates and no load fees.
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What is a prepaid card?

A prepaid card gives you a way to load and spend your money in Australia, online and around the world. Although they're often referred to as prepaid credit cards, they don't offer a line of credit or give you a way to borrow money. They also don't charge interest or impact your credit history.

In Australia, you have the choice of reloadable, multi-currency and single-use Visa or Mastercard prepaid cards. You can load and reload these prepaid cards with money from your bank account. Some of these cards are also designed for travelling and can be loaded with international currencies.

Prepaid cards work in a similar way to debit cards, and can be useful to keep your spending under control as you can only spend what you've preloaded onto your card.

What features and benefits come with prepaid cards?

Some of the popular features and benefits you can get with a prepaid card include the following:

  • The ability to load and top up your balance with cash
  • Access to multiple currencies
  • Lower fees and charges than credit cards
  • No interest rates
  • Usually available to people at least 16 years old
  • Some earn rewards points
  • Money tracking tools
  • Security against theft, loss and fraud

What types of prepaid cards are available in Australia?

  1. Everyday prepaid cards. These cards offer convenience for day-to-day spending and could include tap-and-go payments, balance-tracking features and fast, easy money loading options.
  2. Prepaid travel cards. You can use prepaid travel cards to load Australian dollars and convert them some supported foreign currencies at a locked-in exchange rate. This means you can access your own funds overseas without the cost of a currency conversion fee.
  3. Gift cards. Prepaid credit cards can be gifted and loaded with a nominated amount or purchased with a set amount already on the card. These gift cards are typically branded and can be used at specific stores.
  4. Money transfer cards. Money transfer cards allow multiple people in different countries to access the funds in a single account. These accounts come with 2 cards. A person deposits money in the account and someone with the other card in a different country can access the funds as soon as they clear in the account.
  5. Reward cards. Some prepaid cards are also linked to reward programs and earn points as you spend. The Qantas Travel Money and Velocity Global Wallet are examples of cards that you can preload and earn points with.

Are there any prepaid cards for teenagers?

While there are debit cards and bank accounts designed especially for teenagers and some for younger children, you could also consider a prepaid card to help a teenager learn how to manage their money on plastic by limiting the temptation to overspend. A prepaid card could also be useful when they are travelling and to help keep online or gaming transactions in check. There are no specific prepaid cards for teens, but they could be eligible to apply for most options as the minimum age limit ranges from 14 to 16 years.

How to compare prepaid cards

Considering the following features will help you find a prepaid card that is right for you.

Prepaid card

Preloaded vs. reloadable

Some prepaid cards such as gift cards have a fixed amount of money to use. Meanwhile, travel cards and other reloadable cards allow you to top up your balance.

Global icon

Card acceptance

Most reloadable prepaid cards are Mastercard or Visa cards that can be used in Australia and worldwide. Some places may not accept prepaid cards (such as some hotels), so check if your card is eligible or prepare more than 1 option if you're travelling overseas.

fees icon

Fees

Prepaid cards may have fees, including purchasing or set-up, loading and currency conversion fees. Other fees and costs could be for inactivity, card replacement, cancellation, declined transactions and ATM withdrawals.

Currencies

Supported currencies

Most prepaid travel cards in Australia support up to 10 international currencies. This may include USD, GBP, EUR, NZD and more. When you spend in a local currency supported by and loaded on your card, you can avoid foreign currency conversion fees. Check if the local currency you'll be spending in is supported by the travel card before you use it.

Load limit

Load limits

Prepaid cards usually have a maximum amount of money you can carry on the card at a time. Check these details before you apply to make sure these limits don't restrict the way you use the card.

Rewards badge

Rewards

If you want to reward your spending, consider using a frequent flyer travel card such as the Qantas Travel Money Mastercard.

Remember that every prepaid card is different. Checking individual details now will help you make a more informed decision when choosing the right option for you.

Compare prepaid credit and debit cards

Provider and cardTypeReloadableMinimum and maximum load (AUD)Issue feeWhere to get it
Australia Post Travel Platinum MastercardMastercardYes$100 – $100,000 (or foreign currency equivalent)$0Order online or in selected Post Offices
CommBank Travel Money CardMastercardYes$1 – $100,000$15Order online
Cash Passport Platinum MastercardMastercardYes$100 – $100,000$0Order online
Qantas Travel MoneyMastercardYes$50 – $20,000$0Order online
Travelex Money CardMastercardYesOrder online
Velocity Global WalletVisaYes$1 – $25,000$0Order online
Westpac Worldwide WalletMastercardYesMaximum available balance of $50,000$0Online or in-branch

How can I get a prepaid credit card?

Depending on the prepaid credit card you choose, you may apply online or in person at participating retailers and bank branches. While the application details are different for each card, here are the common requirements to get a prepaid credit card:

  • Age. Some prepaid credit cards specify a minimum age for cardholders or will limit the available balance. For example, you must be at least 14 years old to get the CommBank Travel Money Card. Similarly, the Velocity Global Wallet card requires you to be over 18 years of age to use it.
  • Personal details. You may need to provide personal details such as your full name, residential address, contact phone number and date of birth to help verify your identity.
  • Initial load amount. Some cards require you to load a minimum amount onto the card when you first get it.
  • Card activation. You need to activate the card before you can use it. This may be done in person, over the phone or online.
  • PIN. Prepaid credit cards may come with an assigned PIN, or require you to choose a PIN when you activate the card.
  • Signing the card. Make sure you sign the card once you receive and activate it. This step is necessary to validate the zero liability policy that helps protect you against any unauthorised transactions.

If you apply in person, you should receive your card and be able to use it straight away. If you apply online, you will have to wait for the card to arrive in the post, which takes up to 5–10 working days in most cases.

Want to compare a wider range of credit cards? Check out the latest offers for rewards, low rates and more on Finder. You can also check out our top picks for the best credit cards.

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