How do I top up a Prepaid Card?
Topping up or reloading your prepaid card is when you need to add more funds to your prepaid account because you have spent everything on it and now the balance on your card is zero. Since there is no overdraft available with a prepaid card, you can no longer use it when the account is empty. So whether you’re using your prepaid card for travelling, your children or because you want to manage your budget, you will need to top it up each time you run out of funds.
Reloading the card works very similar to a pay-as-you-go phone. You can top up the funds on your account using an ATM, via the Internet, through text message or by phoning your card provider. Additionally, you may be able to top up your prepaid card in outlets or PayPoints such as the post office. Always see the terms and conditions of the card provider to find out how you can top up your card.
Fees for topping up cards
The cost of reloading your card is generally free from an ATM or bank transfer. However, if you wish to pay at a PayPoint such as a post office or petrol station, a fee of up to 4% of how much you prepay may apply.
Tips for topping up
Keep an eye on how much money you are putting in a prepaid card account. If you put too much money in and don’t spend it, your money sits in the account without earning interest and may be forgotten. This is typical with prepaid gift cards where you might receive £20 but only spend £10 at the store, meaning that £10 ends up sitting on the card in your wallet for years to come. It might be better to prepay small amounts and top up more regularly so at least you know how much money is in your account. A good way to keep track is to check your balance on an ATM regularly.
Always keep an eye out for new deals with other prepaid card providers. Some card companies offer great incentives for joining such as cash back and air miles. Other companies may offer better rates and it may be more cost-effective to use a different type of prepaid card.