The specific fee structures for prepaid debit cards have been found to vary considerably, according to survey by Bankrate.com on 30 prepaid cards issued by major firms.
Some of the fees that are collected by issuers include monthly service fees, activation fees, ATM withdrawal fees, ATM balance enquiry fees, point-of-sale fees, monthly statement fees, customer service fees, declined transition fees, inactivity fees and bill payment fees.
The survey found that 83% of prepaid cards charge monthly fees, but 33% waive them, and 53 have an activation fee ranging from $2.95 to $9.95.
Around 77% of cards charge a fee between $0.45 and $3 for ATM balance enquiry, while only 17% charge a fee ranging from $0.95 to $2 for PIN-based transactions.
Though all the 30 surveyed cards collect a fee ranging from $1.95 to $3 for withdrawals outside the ATM network; however, 64% of cards do not charge for in-network withdrawals.
Bankrate.com chief financial analyst, Greg McBride, said not all prepaid cards are created equal.
"Some have many fees, some have few; some will waive or reduce monthly fees, others won’t; some permit free in-network ATM withdrawals, others don’t," McBride added.