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==== ==== Get a bank checking account and a mastercard without any verification. ==== ====

There are a lot of options for paying these days. There are the old stand-bys such as coins, dollar bills, and checks, but most people have evolved into carrying little plastic cards. With these little plastic cards, however, come several more choices. When you get down to it there are basically two types of cards to choose from: the ubiquitous credit card, and the debit card. Here's why you should choose prepaid debit cards over the other any day of the week. It's easy to acquire a card of your own There are no credit checks or bank accounts required. Open an account by depositing funds and you're good to go. US citizenship isn't even required to own your own prepaid debit card. Open your account and present either your foreign passport, foreign visa, foreign voter registration, foreign driver's license, or your matricula consular. Go ahead and try that out with a bank and see how far you get. Prepaid debit cards give users a high level of control and are a better alternative Unlike with credit cards and bank-issued debit cards, prepaid cards do not charge interest, don't bill overdraft fees, and don't create debt. The money you put in your account is the money you have available to you. This helps you create better spending habits by not allowing you to spend more than you have and you won't build up debt. What you spend today is what you pay and there will be no building interest or overdraft fees. Prepaid debit cards are easy to use Prepaid cards can be used to pay for gas, groceries, online bill pay, you name it. Most of them will be either Visa or Mastercard and can therefore be used wherever those two cards are accepted. And if ever you do need to draw actual cash, there will typically be ATM locations nearby where you can pull money out in a pinch. Prepaid cards are safer than carrying cash Misplace your wad of cash and you can pretty much kiss it goodbye. There is no safety net for losing your cash. But if your cash was deposited into your debit card account, you're protected from unauthorized transactions in the unfortunate case that your card is lost or stolen. As another layer of security, all prepaid debit cards also require a pin number to make transactions. Money doesn't grow on trees It does, however, grow in savings accounts. One prepaid debit card issuer, NetSpend, offers cardholders access to an exclusive 5.00% savings account option. The interest you earn can really add up.

Michael is currently a 4th year accounting student at the University of Texas at Austin. He is particularly interested in business finance and debt. Additionally, he is writing his thesis on prepaid cards, such as prepaid credit cards, distinguishing how young people learn the importance of handling their money only by hands on experience.

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==== ==== Get a bank checking account and a mastercard without any verification. ==== ====

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