MasterCard Gift Cards

MasterCard gift cards allow you to give a special someone a little bit of spending money wherever MasterCards are taken. While they aren’t a debit or credit card, a MasterCard gift card does have some unique benefits in its security, usability, and versatility.

Here are a few great uses:
Gifts – A great way to hit the spot at any store and for any shopper. A MasterCard gift card is unique in that it can be spent almost anywhere, even online, making it great for younger shoppers who don’t have access to a debit or credit card account.

Security – MasterCard gift cards are insured against loss for fraudulent transactions. The amount of money on the card is kept safe, and should your account number be compromised it will never be your loss for bad transactions.

Trackability – A MasterCard gift card can be a great trainer card for teens who need a little extra attention from Mom and Dad. With a MasterCard gift card, purchases can be tracked online, and you’ll know exactly where each dollar was spent and when. Plus, with a MasterCard gift card, the limit is how much is on the card – not how much is in your bank account, or available on a credit card.

The MasterCard Selection
MasterCard is a processing company in that it is mostly dedicated to making sure the cards work, not issuing them. Some of the more popular MasterCard gift cards are:

Capital One PrePaid MasterCard – Both a gift card or reusable prepaid MasterCard, the Capital One card is great for any use. The Capital One PrePaid MasterCard does come with a few fees, however. The company charges a monthly maintenance fee of $4.95 unless more than $500 is loaded on a card, plus $1.95 for each ATM withdrawal past the monthly limit of one withdrawal. Additionally, reloading the card may cost $4.95 from retailers; however the company has a unique deal with Western Union to allow free additional deposits for free.

MasterCard Gift Cards – Local bank issue the MasterCard gift cards under their own private label. Such cards usually retail for $2-$4.95 over the amount deposited plus a small fee for future deposits, bill pay, or account balance checks. These prices do vary, however, for one time use cards it’s hard to beat a MasterCard Gift Card as PrePaid MasterCards tend to be more expensive with larger monthly fees.

Ready Card – The ReadyCard is one of the most popular MasterCards because it is reloadable and built for long term use. The product comes with a $4.95 annual fee, but is geared more toward people who cannot already access a checking account, or who have irregularities in their income and expenses. The best part about a Ready Card, like other MasterCards, is that the minimum account balance is always zero. You cannot, under any circumstances, overdraft on a PrePaid MasterCard unless you have signed up for a credit card, not a prepaid card.

Terms and Conditions
A careful list of terms and conditions should come with any prepaid MasterCard – reloadable or not. These terms and conditions will spell out the fees and expenses that come with each debit card, as well as any rebate offers or special promotions that come with an initial purchase. As always, prepaid cards do not require a credit check, nor do they require an existing bank account. Instead, these products are intended as a middle ground between a new checking account plus a debit card and a simple cash-only card for online and offline purchases.

Always read the terms and conditions carefully before purchase. Realize that a minimum account balance may be required, and monthly fees quickly add up even on unused accounts. Ideally, seek out a MasterCard with which you know you can use it enough to trigger a free pass on monthly fees. With some cards, such as the Capital One MasterCard, this limit is $500 per month. Others may vary.