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Prepaid cards help consumers manage holiday shopping

Dec 02, 2012 Sean Albert

The holiday season can be a time of great joy and merriment. However, it can also create a certain amount of stress for shoppers with less than perfect consumer credit scores, who are tasked with buying the perfect gift. Many individuals are turning to alternative financial resources to help them finish their holiday shopping lists. Prepaid cards, which can be purchased online or in-store, are providing assistance to consumers operating on a tight budget. Prepaid cards allow individuals to operate outside of traditional financial institutions, avoiding the increasing number of fees on checking and other accounts. Additionally, the cards are allowing many shoppers to control their spending, as most prepaid cards will not allow users to go over their preset limit, Tulsa World reports. There are a few downsides to the financial tool, though. While the cards may help consumers avoid a great number of traditional fees, they often still come with their own, which may not be readily disclosed to users, the news source explains. More banks are beginning to embrace them. A recent survey by Mercator Advisory Group and the American Bankers Association found 85 percent perceive current demand for prepaid products as favorable or highly favorable.