A prepaid cash card allows you to make purchases online, over the phone or in a store like you would when using a credit or debit card. However, instead of debiting your bank account or credit card balance, a prepaid cash card deducts your purchases from the money you have previously loaded onto the card. While you usually cannot transfer money directly from a credit card to a prepaid card, you can obtain cash from your credit card and use it to reload your prepaid cash card.
Credit Card Check Cash Advance
Use the cash advance checks that came with your credit card to deposit funds onto your prepaid card. Make a check out to yourself, cash it and load the cash on your card at a retail store or check cashing institution. Some retail stores allow you to make out a cash advance check to the business, and the customer service representative will then deposit the funds onto your prepaid card. This method may save you money, as you will not have to pay personal check cashing fees along with prepaid card loading fees.
Credit Card Cash Advance
Withdraw cash from your credit card at an automated teller machine or bank, and load the cash onto your prepaid card at a retail store or check cashing business. To withdraw cash from your credit card at an ATM, you will need a personal identification number, and the ATM will generally charge a fee. Some banks may process a cash advance from your credit card without a PIN or a fee, but some require you to have a bank account at the institution to do it for free.
Varying Fees and Regulations
Prepaid cards and credit card cash advances often include expensive processing fees. Prepaid card companies may charge fees for opening, loading or using the card; taking out cash at an ATM; checking the card balance; and account maintenance. Credit card companies may charge initiation fees for cash advances as well as interest, and the interest charge for cash advances is often higher than the interest charge for purchases. Retail stores and cash checking establishments also charge fees for cashing checks and loading prepaid cards. Fees and regulations vary widely based on the type of card, company or store.
Another option is to load your prepaid card by transferring money from your bank or from an online money service, such as PayPal. These options may save you money, as you won't be subject to both cash advance and prepaid card fees.
- Pinnacle Pictures/Photodisc/Getty Images