FAQ

For questions about your personal account information, please contact the card provider who issued your card. (Tip: Their contact information is usually on the back of your card.)

Getting started

What is a Visa Prepaid card?

The Visa Prepaid card is a smart and cost-effective alternative to carrying cash and paying check-cashing fees. Because it is a pre-funded card, you only spend what money you load on it and you can typically get it without a credit check or bank account. Simply purchase the Visa Prepaid card from one of our online issuers or at a store near you, load it with the cash amount you choose and enjoy the purchasing power of Visa. You can use it to make purchases and pay bills anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted, including in stores, online or over the phone.

How do I get a Visa Prepaid card?

It's easy to get a Visa Prepaid Debit card - buy one right now online, from participating bank branches or retail locations near you.

How does my Visa Prepaid card work?

Your card carries the Visa logo, so you can use it anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted – in stores, online or over the phone. Because it is a prepaid card, spending is limited to the amount of money you load on the card. Each time you use your card, the purchase amount is automatically deducted from your card balance.

You can add money to your card through Visa ReadyLink, at the retail location where you purchased the card or through the direct deposit of your wages, tax refunds, or other disbursements, such as social security, child support, welfare or other payments. For details about adding money to your card, please contact the provider that issued your card (via the toll-free number or web site information that came with your card or card materials).

Do I need to activate my Visa Prepaid card?

Yes. Review the materials that came with your card for details. The activation process varies, depending on the provider that issued your card; however, all program providers are required to collect specific cardholder information prior to card activation.

How do I get cash at an ATM with my Visa Prepaid card?

To get cash at the ATM, insert your card into the machine and enter your PIN. Select "checking" to make a withdrawal and enter the amount of cash you want to withdraw. Then take your cash, card, and receipt to keep track of your balance.

What should I do if my Visa Prepaid card is lost or stolen?

Report lost or stolen cards immediately to the provider that issued your card by calling the toll-free number listed on the back of the card or in the card materials. Visa recommends making a note of this toll-free number and keeping it in a safe place in case both your card and the accompanying materials are lost or stolen.

How much are the card fees?

Card fees vary, so be sure to check details on the provider’s website before you choose a card.

Where to use my card

Where can I use my Visa Prepaid card?

You can use your card online, over the phone and at the millions of places that accept Visa debit cards—including supermarkets, pharmacies, clothing stores, drug stores, gas stations, and more. There are some guidelines for special transactions that you should be aware of before you shop - refer to the next two questions for more information.

Are there any special types of transactions I should know about before I shop?

Some transactions are handled differently, so please keep these scenarios in mind.

Gas Stations - Paying at the pump may cause a hold of up to $75; consider paying inside with the attendant for the exact amount and signing the receipt instead.

Restaurants - Restaurants may verify you have enough money on your card for the dining bill. Make sure you have enough funds to cover any added tip.

Hotels - Hotels may put a "hold" on the amount of your estimated bill, making that amount unavailable for other purchases. When you check out, that hold may take a few days to be removed.

Auto Rentals - You may use your card for final payment of a rental car bill, but a credit card may be necessary to reserve a rental car.

Returning Purchases - Store return policies may vary. You may receive a credit to your card, a cash refund or even a store credit, depending on the particular store. A credit to your account may take up to one week to process before it's available for use.

Paying Bills – You can use your card to pay just about any one-time or recurring bill.

Loading and adding money to my card

Is there a limit to the amount of money I can add to my Visa Prepaid card?

There are typically maximum card values that are established by the provider who issued your card. For more information, contact the card provider (through the web site information or phone number that appears on the back of your card or listed on the materials that came with your card).

What should I do when I've spent the original amount I put on the card?

In most cases, you can simply add more money to your card. It's called "reloading" your card and you can do it where you originally purchased the card or through Visa ReadyLink. You can also add value to the card by using it for direct deposit of your wages, tax refunds, or other disbursements, such as social security, child support, welfare or other payments. Check with the provider who issued your card for specific directions for loading additional money to your card.

Make sure you keep your card even after the balance is depleted and you decide not to add additional money to it. You’ll need it in case you’re asked to present the card when returning items purchased with the card.

Making a purchase with my card

How do I make a purchase with my Visa Prepaid card?

Be sure to know your card balance before you shop as most merchants can not determine it for you. At the time of purchase, give the card to the cashier and ask to sign the purchase receipt. Or, swipe the card through the keypad and push the “credit” button, then sign the receipt. Each time you use your card, the purchase amount is automatically deducted from your card.

To get cash back when making a purchase, swipe your card and choose the "debit" button, then select the cash back amount you want from the screen options, enter your PIN, and take your cash and receipt to keep track of your balance.

How do I know the balance on my Visa Prepaid card?

You can check the card balance at your card provider's web site or by calling them directly. Keeping track of your balance is a sure way to know how much you have to spend.

The provider issuing your card may also allow you to check your balance at ATMs or other locations. Contact your specific provider to learn about the balance-checking options they offer.

What if I want to purchase an item that costs more than the balance on my Visa Prepaid card?

To make a purchase greater than the balance on your card, you will need to use a second payment method—cash, check, or credit card—to cover the difference. When making your purchase, you must tell the cashier in advance how much to deduct from your card and how much you will pay with the second payment method. However, not all merchants can handle these “split tender” transactions; and, if you try to purchase an item of greater value than your card balance, your card will be declined.

What should I do if my Visa Prepaid card is declined?

If a transaction is declined, the merchant will let you know. To help prevent this, keep track of your balance by visiting the web site or phone number provided with your card.

What if I change my mind and want to cancel a purchase?

If the merchant cancels a transaction at your request, it may take three to seven days for the authorization hold to be removed from your card. Contact your provider for specific details about authorization holds.

What if I need to return an item that I purchased with my Visa Prepaid card?

Present your Visa Prepaid card at the time of a merchandise return. If the merchant’s return policy allows it, the merchant will credit the amount of the purchase back onto your card.

Remember to save your purchase receipts and your card even after the funds have been depleted, in case you have merchandise returns. When returning an item purchased online, have your card number available in order to process the return. The merchandise value will be credited back to your card within three to seven business days.

How long can I use my Visa Prepaid card?

You can make purchases using your Visa Prepaid card until the expiration date shown on the card, or until the value of the card has been depleted. Once your balance on your card has been deleted, you can add more money to your card at the retail location where you purchased the card, through Visa ReadyLink, or through the direct deposit of your wages, tax refunds, or other disbursements. For details about adding money to your card, please contact the provider that issued your card (via the toll-free number or website information provided with the materials that came with the card).

* The Visa Prepaid Card is a reloadable card. Certain fees and conditions may apply. For details, check with your card provider.

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