Hidden Fees in Pre-Paid Cards - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Hidden Fees in Pre-Paid Cards

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA, Ga. -

Pre-paid Cards are gaining popularity. They're easy to use, but there's often a catch. A new government survey finds too many hidden fees wrapped up in these pre-paid cards.

First, let's explain why so many folks are picking this kind of plastic. Not everyone has a bank account. With a pre-paid card you sign up, get the card, load it with money, then use it as a debit, credit or gift card. When it's out of money you toss it or reload it.

Also, people learning to budget often use them as a tool for staying on track. These are all good reasons, but there are pitfalls.

The Massachusetts Consumer Affairs Office conducted a survey. The Department looked at 11 pre-paid cards and their fees, and what stood out is how confusing it was to figure out how the fee structures worked.

One card had 14 different fees. One had a $25 cancellation fee. That was the most expensive one they found. And, six of the cards, according to the survey, charged the user a fee for every single transaction.

Check out the links below to the study and a press release. There is lots of interesting information there if you rely on pre-paid cards. For example: There is actually a card that charges you to use your own pin.

There is a place for pre-paid cards in the market, but you need to find one that is affordable and only charges you reasonable fees for using it. Don't get gouged. It's up to you to do your homework.

Read further: Office of Consumer Affairs Reports Prepaid Cards a Costly Alternative to Bank Accounts

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Legal ethics expert: Crisis of Public Confidence

    Legal ethics expert: Crisis of Public Confidence

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:43:53 GMT
    The Georgia State Professor of Law and Ethics says Georgia citizens are facing a crisis of public confidence due to the unfolding drama at the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.
    The Georgia State Professor of Law and Ethics says Georgia citizens are facing a crisis of public confidence due to the unfolding drama at the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.
  • Credit Cards v Charge Cards

    Credit Cards v Charge Cards

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-23 11:48:23 GMT
    You always hear that it's a great idea to get rid of your credit cards, but sometimes it really is the best way to pay. So here's another option: charge cards.
    You always hear that it's a great idea to get rid of your credit cards, but sometimes it really is the best way to pay. So here's another option: charge cards.
  • FOX 5 I-Team Investigates

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Monday, July 21 2014 8:09 AM EDT2014-07-21 12:09:54 GMT
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices