I'm confused with prepaid card, prepaid debit card and debit card, can anyone tell me the difference among these three cards?

2 Answers 2


Prepaid card and Prepaid debit card mean the same.
One need to load money [deposit money on the card account] for a fixed sum. Say 1000.
One can then use this 1000 where ever required. One cannot use more than 1000. If say after some usage, the money left comes to around 500, one can top up / load more money on the card when ever required. So if you loose your card or someone hacks into it; the Maximum loss is the amount of money stored on it.

Debit Card are linked to a Bank Account. So there is no need to load any money, whatever is the balance in your Bank account can be used. The moment you use the card, the balance in the Bank Account goes down. If there is additional deposit in your Bank Account, salary etc, it can be used.
So if you loose your card or someone hacks into it; the Maximun loss is the amount of money in your Bank Account.

  • Then why so many Americans choose to use prepaid card instead of debit card? Is there any advantage of prepaid card? Because whether it is prepaid card or debit card, you are using your own money, I see no difference here. Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 8:25
  • The key difference is Risk and limiting spend. If I want to give my child a card, i would better give him a prepaid card. If I am travelling frequently and using card in different places, I would use a prepaid card, so even if its hacked, I just loose 1000. Where as my bank account may have 100,000 and all of it could vanish.
    – Dheer
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 9:21
  • @JianbinYin the prepaid cards can also be given as a gift card, some are re-loadable others aren't. Prepaid cards can also be tied to a specific vendor such as a coffee shop, city subway, or college campus. This limits how they can be used, that way a child won't spend your money in ways you don't want. Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 10:06

The difference between prepaid debit card and non-prepaid debit card is that with the case of non-prepaid card, the charge goes through to the linked bank account, while with prepaid card - the charge is deducted from the prepaid balance, and no need to link a bank account.

Prepaid card is by default a debit card, there's no other way.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .