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How Many Types of Prepaid Cards Are There?

In general, there is a variety of prepaid card types including1:

  • Opened-Loop Prepaid Card: A card with a network logo on it (E.g Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). These can be used at the stores accept them.
  • Closed-Loop Prepaid Card: A card we are merely able to use at some certain places. In other words, they could be only used at a specific store or retail chain. Most of the closed-loop cards do not have a logo on them.
  • Reloadable Prepaid Card: A card which allows its cardholder reload money onto it for use. It can be sometimes called General-Purpose Reloadable card.
  • Non-reloadable Prepaid Card: Cardholders cannot reload money onto for use.
  • Payroll Card: A card employers use to transfer salaries to their employees
  • Government Benefit Card: A card used by a government agency to pay certain government benefits (e.g unemployment insurance, disability living allowance, etc.).
  • Gift Card: Issued by a bank or a retailer to be used as an alternative to cash for purchases made at a selected store.
  • College ID Card: A closed-loop card used by some colleges aims to purchase goods or services on campus.
  • Health Saving Account Card: Tax-Advantaged medical savings account available to taxpayers in the United States who are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan.

1Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (2016, October 28). What are some types of prepaid cards? [Blog post].

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