What Is a Prepaid Mastercard? [A Simplified Guide] What Is a Prepaid Mastercard? [A Simplified Guide]

What Is a Prepaid Mastercard? [A Simplified Guide]

What Is a Prepaid Mastercard, and How Do You Use It?

You may have noticed a bunch of prepaid Mastercards displayed by the checkout lanes in supermarkets, right beside the gift card racks. If the first question that pops in your head is “What is a prepaid Mastercard?”—you’re in the right place!

Before using a prepaid Mastercard, it’s essential that you learn about its core features and usage terms. This easy-to-follow manual will help you understand the complete nitty-gritty of this card.

We’ll also introduce you to Mode Mobile’s products that can help you earn free prepaid Mastercards and gift cards by doing fun activities on your phone!

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Is a Prepaid Mastercard a Credit Card or a Debit Card?

Prepaid Mastercards are stored-value payment cards sold by various retailers across the U.S. You can buy them directly from stores for cash, without the hassle of providing identification documents or verifying your signature. You basically get a ready-to-spend card without getting the banks involved.

It’s normal to confuse prepaid Mastercards with debit and credit cards. They look the same, and physical or online payment portals don’t distinguish between them, but that’s where the similarities end. A prepaid card is more like a wallet—you preload it with cash and cannot spend more than the value it holds. Debit and credit cards usually let you spend more than you have because of overdraft or credit extension options.

The table below will help you map out the primary differences between these financial instruments:


Prepaid Card

Debit Card

Credit Card

Fund linking

Not linked to a source of funds as you load the card with cash

Linked to a bank account

Linked to a line of credit or a bank account


Not required

Identification check is necessary

Credit standing is reviewed for approval


No interest is charged as the card is preloaded with money

Interest is charged only on overdrafts

Interest is charged if you don’t pay the billed amount in full

Payment mode

Pay now, buy later

Buy now, pay later

Buy now, pay later

While these technical differences are not hard to work out, people mostly struggle to choose the right option.

What Can I Use a Prepaid Mastercard For?

A prepaid Mastercard is an ideal choice when you are on a budget or don’t trust yourself with a credit card. Its limited-balance structure helps you control your spending and avoid piling up debt. Besides budgeting, you can consider using a prepaid card when you:

  • Want an alternative to cash—If you are not too keen on carrying a wad of dollar bills around, transferring your spending cash to a prepaid card is a viable solution
  • Have no access to a bank account—According to a source from 2019, about 25% of households in the U.S. are unbanked or underbanked due to the lack of sufficient credit or income, so prepaid cards can be perfect spending tools for them
  • Need an extra layer of security for online shopping—Unlike traditional cards, prepaid Mastercards don’t carry excessive info about your identity. You can choose them if you’re not okay with sharing your credit or debit card details online
  • Teach financial hygiene to kids—Many parents let their kids learn about managing finances through a low-risk prepaid card before letting them move on to debit or credit cards
  • Collect tax refunds—Prepaid cards like the Emerald Prepaid Mastercard help you get tax refunds in an effortless manner

Source: Adeniji Abdullahi A

When To Avoid Using Prepaid Mastercards

Prepaid Mastercards won’t be suitable for you if you want to:

  • Save your money—If you are looking to save your money, storing your cash on prepaid cards isn’t viable. These cards have a complicated fee structure, and you may lose a considerable portion of your savings in charges like:
    • Purchase and activation fee
    • Transaction fee
    • Inactivity fee
    • Reload fee
    • Monthly fee
    • ATM withdrawal fee
    • Balance inquiry fee
  • Improve your credit score—Prepaid cards are credit-neutral and won’t help you build credit standing as credit cards do
  • Enjoy fund protection—Since there’s no bank or financial institution backing the money on a prepaid card, you don’t get much protection or recovery support in case of stolen funds

To sum it up, prepaid cards are good for safe spending but not recommended if you wish to store the money.

Get Free Prepaid Mastercards With the Mode Earn App!

The Mode Earn App is available for free at Google Play and holds a rating of 4.4 after more than 30 million verified downloads. You don’t have to subscribe to anything—start earning right after installing the app.

Compared to other reward-based apps, we lay out a relaxed earning model and a wider pool of rewards. You don’t always have to be actively involved to score—you can easily bundle up points by listening to your favorite songs while doing the dishes or going for a walk. The best part is that you can redeem the accumulated points for rewards of your choice. Whether you’d like straight cash or gift cards, we got it all! Here’s a little sneak peek of our earning and redemption options:

How To Earn Points

Ways To Redeem Points

  • Playing mobile games
  • Using the music player or the radio
  • Charging the phone
  • Locking and unlocking your device
  • Shopping
  • Surfing the internet
  • Inviting friends
  • Using your phone to track fitness goals
  • Completing surveys
  • Checking the news and the weather
  • Trying new apps
  • Watching short videos
  • Exchange the points for:
    • Prepaid Mastercards
    • PayPal cash
  • Grab free gift cards from the best retailers, such as:
  • Win game cards for your favorite games, such as Mobile Legends, Fortnite, PUBG, etc.
  • Get crypto and stocks
  • Trade points for electronics and other goods
  • Collect airtime

To discover other exciting earning and redemption alternatives, start using the Mode Earn App today!

Source: Google Play

How Does a Prepaid Mastercard Work?

From an operational point of view, think of prepaid cards as similar to Visa or Mastercard gift cards. You can strictly spend within the amount loaded on the card—the only difference is that prepaid cards are reloadable.

Once you exhaust the balance on a prepaid Mastercard, you can take it back to the retailer and ask a cashier to top it up with cash. The reload fee can be between $3 and $5, depending on the individual terms and conditions of using the card. You can also add funds by:

  • Sending money from your bank to your prepaid card
  • Transferring money from one prepaid card to another
  • Depositing a check to the card through selected ATMs
  • Asking your employer to send your paycheck to your prepaid card

Prepaid Mastercards have an expiry date, usually printed on the front of the card. If your card expires and there’s no money left on it, you can destroy and discard the instrument. In case there’s some balance on the card, reach out to Mastercard Consumer Support Services to get a new card issued for the balance.

Source: Pixabay

How To Use a Prepaid Mastercard—Top Questions Answered

Consult the following Q&A table to clarify some common operational queries related to prepaid Mastercards:



Where can I buy a prepaid Mastercard?

You can purchase a prepaid card from:

  • Retail stores (including grocery and drug stores)
  • Certain financial institutions
  • Mastercard (via website and call center)

Where can I use my prepaid Mastercard?

Prepaid Mastercards are open-loop cards and can be used anywhere in the U.S. where Visa or Mastercards are accepted. Certain cards, like prepaid Mastercard plastic and digital gift cards, also allow international usage. These gift cards have personalized designs and can be used both online and at stores

How can I pay with a prepaid Mastercard?

You can pay with a prepaid Mastercard:

  1. At physical stores—Swipe or insert the card at the payment terminal
  2. Online—Enter the card number, the PIN, and the expiry date to complete a payment

What is the card number on a prepaid Mastercard?

The card number on a prepaid Mastercard is the numeric sequence (usually 16 digits) on the front of the card. The expiry date is also often printed on the front, while the PIN is on the back strip

Can you take money out of a prepaid Mastercard?

Most Mastercard prepaid and gift cards have cash-out options. You can use its balance to:

If you have technical queries, dial the customer service number printed on your card.

Source: Andrea Piacquadio

Why Buy Prepaid Mastercards When You Can Get Them for Free

Prepaid Mastercards and gift cards are one of the best spending tools in the market right now. They are more convenient than carrying cash and can be easily used for bill payments and online shopping.

Mode Mobile gives you a one-of-a-kind opportunity to grab free prepaid Mastercards for your versatile shopping needs. All you have to do is use your phone to complete everyday tasks such as streaming music, reading the news, and even charging your phone!

Mode Mobile is a company with one sacred mission—to empower people by helping them earn supplemental income through their regular phone usage. We offer two unique products that will assist you in achieving that:

  1. Mode Earn App—The Mode Earn App is a reward-based platform that compensates you with redeemable reward points for completing various earning tasks
  2. Mode Earn Phone—The Mode Earn Phone is designed to amplify your supplemental earning experience. Our revolutionary budget-friendly Android smartphone packs ultra-modern specs and earns you twice as much as the Mode Earn App alone!

Our products currently allow users to earn hundreds of dollars in cash and rewards, including virtual prepaid Mastercards!

Source: yang miao

How Much Can I Earn With the Mode Earn App?

You can earn up to $600 in a year with our app’s current earning options. Make the most of our app by using our booster deals that are tailored to your individual preferences. For example, while playing games that earn you points, keep an eye out for game-based challenges. You may occasionally find bonuses for completing a certain level or starting a new game! Similarly, if you love shopping, we partner with the best retailers to bring you the most lucrative offers!

Use the Mode Earn App every day to ensure you don’t miss out on the best deals—but if you want to double your earning rate, the Mode Earn Phone is a boon you shouldn’t miss!

Multiply Your Rewards—Go Big With The Mode Earn Phone!

You can earn even higher supplemental income with the Mode Earn Phone because it doubles your earning rate. It is an Android-based device with a pre-installed Mode Earn App, allowing you to earn twice as many points as the app alone. The widget on our phone offers you 16 earning modes in total to accumulate points. Use the Mode Earn Phone every day, and you have a chance to win $1,200 worth of cash, gift cards, prepaid Mastercards, and other rewards in a year!

The Mode Earn Phone does more than earn you idle cash. Our latest device—the Mode Earn Phone MEP2—is fully equipped with the best specs. Be it high-end performance, crisp triple-camera shots, or expandable storage, you get the most sought-after features for an enviable price, far more than what you get from average phones.

Source: Mode Mobile

How To Get My Own Mode Earn Phone

Give your income a boost by buying or subscribing to a Mode Earn Phone today. You can get our phone via:

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Price is hardly a concern with our phones as most users recover the device’s full cost in less than three months. Grab your Mode Earn Phone today and start getting paid for your everyday phone usage!

Featured image source: AltumCode

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