Prepaid cards vs. debit cards:
A prepaid card is not linked to a checking account. Instead, it is pre-loaded with a balance of funds. Then each purchase you make is deducted from that balance.
In most cases, you can’t spend more money than you have already loaded onto your prepaid card. Overspending or overdrafts can occur in some cases where a prepaid card may be linked with a checking. And while Visa Prepaid cards are protected by Visa’s Zero Liability policy,* some prepaid cards have fewer consumer protections than debit cards, including those that apply if the card is lost, stolen, or other unauthorized charges appear.
Prepaid cards vs. credit cards:
When you use a credit card you are borrowing money and building up a balance of debt you owe. With prepaid cards, you’re spending money that has already been loaded onto the card. Unlike credit cards, prepaid cards don’t incur interest charges and don’t require a credit check to obtain.
*Visa's Zero Liability policy does not apply to certain commercial card and anonymous prepaid card transactions or transactions not processed by Visa.