Can You Purchase a Prepaid Credit Card Under the Age of 18?

by Chris Brantley ; Updated April 16, 2018
Shop online anywhere credit cards are accepted with a prepaid credit card.

If you don’t have a checking account or credit card, prepaid credit cards can offer you a convenient way to shop. But you do have to be 18 to open an account. This is also the minimum age requirement to open a bank account or get a regular credit card, unless your parents agree to authorize the account and add you as a registered user. Your parents can normally do this over the phone when activating the account.

What's a Prepaid Card?

A prepaid credit card is normally issued by credit card companies, such as Visa, Mastecard or American Express. It enables you to deposit a certain amount of money in the account and use that amount to make purchases wherever credit cards are accepted. For example, if you deposit $500, you get a $500 credit limit. Many prepaid cards also charge fees monthly, when you use the card, when you add money to it, when you get a balance inquiry and when you use an ATM. Normally, consumers get prepaid credit cards if they can't qualify for a credit card due to bad credit.

Gift Cards

Some consumers confuse prepaid gift cards issued by Visa, MasterCard or AMEX with prepaid credit cards, but these are not the same thing. You can purchase the gift cards at a grocery or other store at any age and use them wherever Visa, MasterCard or AMEX are accepted. These gift cards, which aren't reloadable, usually carry an activation fee along the lines of $4.95 for every $50 increment. You usually find them in denominations of $25, $50 or $100.

Reporting to Credit Bureaus

Most prepaid cards don't report to the credit bureau, so having the card does not impact your credit. If you need to improve your credit, you may be able to find a card that does report or that will report if you request it. Typically, it costs the card issuer a fee to submit your information to the credit report agencies, so not all card issuers will be willing to do so. But it never hurts to ask.

Use Responsibly

The Card Act, which protects regular credit card users, does not cover prepaid credit cards. This allows some issuers to charge excessive fees. So be sure you understand all the fees associated with a card before you set up an account. Most credit experts advise consumers to get a checking account instead of a prepaid credit card if possible. But, many also agree that the card can be a short-term solution until you can open an account or get approved for a credit card.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by

References

About the Author

Chris Brantley began writing professionally for a financial analysis firm in 1997. From 2000 to 2004, he worked as a financial advisor, specializing in retirement planning and earned his Series 7, Series 66 and insurance licenses. Brantley started his full-time writing career in 2012 and has written for a variety of financial websites, including insurance, real estate, loan and investment sites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
Cite this Article | raiffeisen-cards.ru A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

Related pages


buying on credit 1920s definitionshort term notes payable on balance sheetsale of depreciable asset income taxny capital gains taxhow many car payments can i miss before they repoget my e filing pinwarrant in debt virginiaus money order trackingletter template to cancel gym membershipach net chkgwhat grocery stores accept ebt cardsmarines delayed entry programscottrade margin rateprepaid phones with at&talabama residency lawshawaii homeownership centerif you overdraw your checking accountbk of am crd ach paybyphonevertical analysis of income statement interpretationsallie mae collections numberhow to calculate rrsp contribution roomimportance of market capitalizationlouisvillecraigslistwhat does fica stand forusing paypal on craigslistcost of optifast programcheck walmart visa gift card balancehow to remove a debt from credit reportbarn restoration michiganinvestment banker vs stock brokerinterest rate with 700 credit scoreseries 7 license expirationincome limits for food stamps in idahobelks department store credit cardequifax fraud alert removalira inheritance rulestransfer vs rolloverssi disability benefits for children of disabled parentbank of america atm machinesrite aid pay stubsstock market basics for beginnersproperty coinsurancesallie mae loan forgiveness programssuntrust complete enrollmentfixed asset capitalizationdifference between dental hmo and ppois alimony based on gross or net incomewhen must a currency transaction report be filedcitimortgage biweeklygeorgia tenant eviction lawsblack alliance for educational options scholarshipshow long does nicotine stay in blood life insurancepsersatt add minutes to phonewells fargo account typeswww.myflorida.com accessflorida recertificationkohls.com charge cardreit taxationscottrade joint accountwhat is the meaning of pe ratio in stock marketcigna predetermination formlandlord tenant law mainetarget charitable donation requestunit trust mutual fund differencemortgage cost per thousanddwp pay billsale of rental property irs formw2 form box 14 codeshow to calculate real gdp per capitarecycle crutchesguidance counselor bulletin board ideashow to add money to metrocardhomeless shelter in tampabreaking a lease in virginia