WHITING, Ind., June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As prepaid debit cards grow in popularity, many U.S. adults reveal they aren't familiar with the fees associated with using them. According to a new survey from CouponCabin.com, nearly six-in-ten (58 percent) U.S. adults said they are not aware of fees associated with prepaid debit card use. In addition, more than one-quarter (27 percent) of U.S. adults agree they are more likely to use a prepaid debit card now than before the recession. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin from May 16th – 18th, 2012, among 2,159 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.
Prepaid debit card use is common, as more than four-in-ten (42 percent) U.S. adults have purchased or received a prepaid debit card for personal use. When asked how they have used their prepaid debit cards, U.S. adults who have purchased or received one said the following:
- For everyday purchases – 69 percent
- To make purchases online – 36 percent
- To use instead of cash or credit when I travel – 19 percent
- To take out money from an ATM – 10 percent
- Other – 10 percent
"More consumers are using prepaid debit cards these days, but like with any financial decision, users need to be aware of the pros and cons of using these cards," said Jackie Warrick, President and Chief Savings Officer at CouponCabin.com. "Even as new consumer protections are sought, users need to do their homework to ensure that prepaid debit cards are a good fit for their personal budget and lifestyle."
When it comes to opinions on prepaid debit cards, U.S. adults are evenly split. Forty-four percent have a negative opinion of the cards, while 43 percent view the cards positively. Of those who have a positive opinion, they report they like prepaid debit cards because:
- Safer than cash – 23 percent
- Help me budget and not overspend since they are pre-loaded with a specific amount – 19 percent
- Don't make me worry about overdraft fees – 19 percent
- Help me to not accumulate credit card debt – 18 percent
- Cheaper than a high-fee checking account – 10 percent
On the flip side, of the 44 percent of U.S. adults who have a negative opinion of prepaid debit cards, the following reasons were cited:
- Don't help me build a strong credit score – 25 percent
- There are too many fees – 24 percent
- Don't have the security protection of a bank-issued debit card – 17 percent
Warrick offers the following tips for those interested in using prepaid debit cards:
- Do your research: Before you select a prepaid debit card, look into all the fees, deadlines, contracts and more before you sign up. The fees and fee schedule can vary greatly from card to card, so make sure to pick one that best fits your lifestyle and budget.
- Keep your credit cards active: Even if you're using a prepaid debit card for almost all your expenses, don't cancel your credit card accounts. Prepaid debit cards don't build credit, so you'll still need an open credit account to maintain your credit score.
- Stay on track: Overages on prepaid debit cards can be costly. Check to see if there is an online account that you can use to track your purchases, or keep a detailed spreadsheet on your own.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin from May 16th – 18th, 2012, among 2,159 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact: Allison Nawoj, [email protected].
CouponCabin.com is a leading online destination for coupons including online coupon codes, printables, grocery coupons and more. Shoppers have saved nearly $250 million since 2003 and with the largest selection of coupons guaranteed to work, CouponCabin is the best place to start searching for savings. The average user saves $19 in just 80 seconds on the site. With customized email newsletters, browser savings alerts, new coupon alerts and more, shoppers will never miss out on a great deal with CouponCabin. For more information, please visit http://www.CouponCabin.com.