DENVER (CBS4) – Prepaid charge cards are easy to buy, easy to use, and are a way some people avoid the interest rates on credit cards. But they sometimes come with hidden fees, and some lawmakers want to change that.
4 On Your Side Money Saver Suzanne McCarroll found out politicians want to get feedback on the issue.
“I was going to pick up some because I have a 13-year-old granddaughter and it’s impossible to figure out what she wants,” a woman said.
Consumers can grab a card, load it with money and they’re ready to start charging.
“If you put $50 on it, how much should you be able to spend? McCarroll asked one shopper. “Fifty dollars,” she replied.
But that’s not always the case. The cards often come with activation fees of nearly $5. Then there can be a $2 per month fee for those who don’t use their card during an allotted time period.
Jennie Sanford of BargainBlessings.com says she wouldn’t consider buying a card that comes with so many fees.
“So if you’re getting a $100 card, for example; by the time you end up using that — if you wait some time, by the time you pay the activation fee — that would end up with an only $90 value on it then. It ends up becoming a non-deal,” Sanford said.
That’s why the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to hear from consumers. The group is looking at regulating fees on the cards.
Before buying a card, read and reread the fine print.