Jonathan Halloway

Experly compared by Jonathan Halloway

Products Updated April 20, 2018

Pay As You Go Cards

We’ve listed and compared our panel of prepaid PAYG cards that can be used to “top up” funds as and when they are required. These cards are perfect for a whole range of uses and have a guaranteed acceptance for most applicants. Simply choose a card and click through to apply direct with the card issuer.

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All credit types
Rated 4.8/ 5

Pockit Why?
Why?

This provider is our Expert’s Choice in its category as it won tops marks for the following.

  • TRUST
  • VALUE
  • EXPERTISE & KNOWLEDGE
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE

Learn more about how we review and assess the providers here on Lending Expert.

Admin Fee
99p Per Month

Transaction Fees
Free

ATM Fees
Free

Load Charges
Debit Card & Paypoint 99p
Bank Transfers are Free

Pockit believe that accounts should be available to all types of people, regardless of their income or credit rating. They believe that fees should be simple, fair and without any nasty surprises.

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All credit types
Rated 4.8/ 5

U Account

Admin Fee
Free

Transaction Fees
Free

ATM Fees
£1

Load Charges
Free Bank Transfers

With the U Account you can get all the features of a bank account plus a whole lot more. Manage your money on the go, view your spending, and even organise your funds into different accounts.

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All credit types
Rated 4.7/ 5

goHenry

Admin Fee
£2.99 per month

Transaction Fees
Free

ATM Fees
£0.50

Load Charges
Free Bank Transfers

goHenry is a Pre-paid Card and App with unique parental controls which are ideal for younger people and teenagers aged 6 to 18. You can join today and try goHenry FREE for a whole month without obligation. No credit card required.

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All credit types
Rated 4.8/ 5

WeSwap

Admin Fee
Free

Transaction Fees
Free

ATM Fees
Free

Load Charges
Bank Transfers are Free
Debit Cards are Free

We Swap is a British Bank Award Winner for Best Travel Money Provider in 2018. Get the best rates on your foreign currency with our travel card and app. WeSwap is up to 10 times cheaper than banks and bureaus.

FAQ's

What are these pay as you go cards?

If you have been turned down for a credit card, or don't want to run the risk of using a debit or credit card online or in shops, then you might want to consider the benefits of a pay as you go prepaid card. These cards are designed to help borrowers who have bad credit, who want to control their spending, or who want to allow teenagers to use a card online without racking up tons of debt. There are several different varieties of cards available to the user, depending on your needs and what type of card you are looking for. A little research can help you to find the card you need, even if you don't know exactly what you want the card for.

Why use one?

There are several advantages to using one of these pay as you go cards, not least the fact that some are specially designed to benefit you when you have a poor credit rating. Another significant advantage is that they can be used almost anywhere, being accepted online by most of the major retaillers, and those with the Visa or Mastercard brands will be accepted almost anywhere that a traditional credit card can be used. If you want to find a card that has these advantages, then you should look for those with a Mastercard or Visa logo on the front when doing your research.

These cards are also very useful for parents who want to give their children the freedom of being able to use a credit card online, while still protecting them from hackers, and protecting your account from overspending. Some cards have no lower-limit to the user's age, so they can be set up to handle pocket money, or used to teach kids about handling money. In addition, special kid's cards are available which allow parents to restrict the card from being used to buy age-limited products, or to prevent children from going into age-restricted sites online. They are perfect for students too, allowing parents to top up the card when needed, but preventing teens from spending too wildly.

The cards are also ideal for those who want to keep a tighter rein on their own spending. After the financial crisis, many people started to restrict the way that they spent their money, but started to struggle after a few months. It is easy to fall into temptation when you have lots of money available, or easy-access credit, but with a prepaid card, you can't spend as freely. With no credit available on the card, you'll not get into debt and you won't be able to spend more than you planned.

Prepaid cards are also more secure than cash or credit cards, whether you are shopping online or in your local supermarket. The card is safer than having cash, since if you lose the card you can simply cancel it and replace it with a new one (for a small fee), and you won't have lost any money and no-one else will have access to it. There is also less chance of online fraud and identity theft with a prepaid card. The card doesn't carry information about your bank account, so thieves can't access your details. There is no access to your main wage account or to any credit or overdrafts that might come with your bank account. All of this makes it easy to get more control over your money, online or in person.

What are the disadvantages?

The main disadvantage to your prepaid card are the fees. With standard credit or debit cards, there are no fees, but prepaid cards carry charges for almost all transactions. You might have to pay to set up the card, to top up or withdraw cash, to use the card online, or simply on a monthly basis. Researching the cards before you select the one you want can help you to pick the one with the best charges and fees.

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Rating: 4.6 / 5 with 25 votes

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Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems.
For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk