Avoiding prepaid card fees over the holiday weekend

MASON CITY, Iowa (KIMT) — Those traveling Memorial Day weekend might not want to carry a wad of cash around, and that’s where prepaid debit cards come in.

Around 12 million people in our country use them each month. Research showed people use the prepaid cards to prevent the hassle that comes with a bank account, but sometimes the prepaid cards can have hidden fees.

North Iowa Community Credit Union branch manager Jamie Smith said people need to be aware each card company is different and depending on how cards are being used, money can run out quick, especially with third party fees. “Whether it’s a withdraw fee, a balance inquiry fee, a cash advance fee, point of sales fee, any fees that are related to the card should be disclosed in a disclosure when you purchase cards.”

“It can cost more to do the balance inquiry at the ATM versus calling their customer service to get a balance inquiry,” said Smith.

John Ruan of Clear Lake said he buys the cards for his family for birthdays and holidays. “(It’s) probably better than sending them a check because sometimes they don’t cash the check, but if they got the card until it runs out of money, they’ve got it.”

Ruan said he was unaware that fees may come with a prepaid debit card, but he’s glad his bank doesn’t have prepaid card fees.

“Some banks may or may not charge fees, ours doesn’t,” said Ruan.

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