December 5, 2023

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Prepaid Debit Cards: The Solution to Sticking to a Budget?  |  My guide

Prepaid Debit Cards: The Solution to Sticking to a Budget? | My guide

Spaargids.beUsing a credit card, you can in principle pay and withdraw money anywhere in the world. It is very easy when traveling. Important note: The settlement won’t take place for a few weeks… so it may come as a bit of a shock if you use your credit card more than you planned while travelling. Isn’t that why you’re better off with a prepaid alternative? Analyzes plus and minus points.

Written by Tom DeJong, in collaboration with


What is a prepaid card?

Well, the name says it all: a card where you put a certain amount of money and then spend it. You can then use it to pay and withdraw money around the world, but not more than the amount you have deposited. The maximum balance allowed is usually five thousand euros. In principle, you should always confirm the payment using your secret code.

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What are the pros and cons?

With a prepaid card, you can pay in many more places than using your debit card, but not just everywhere you can go with a regular credit card. Your payment amount must be verifiable online. Therefore you may not be able to pay a fee in France using your prepaid card, you may not be able to pay for a ticket at a machine in a public car park and you may not be able to rent a car. The beneficiary cannot “hold” an amount on the card. He does not know how much you will end up spending and whether the amount on the card will be enough.

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In addition, prepaid cards do not provide insurance, like credit cards. While there are certainly – often – costs associated with a prepaid card. To start, in most cases you pay an annual fee to use the card.

Loading or unloading funds on the card usually costs nothing, unless you load the funds with cash, for example. Payments within and outside the Eurozone are also free. On the other hand, fees are charged for cash withdrawals inside and outside the Eurozone in the vast majority of cases.

With some cards, you’ll also pay a monthly fee if you don’t use the card for a while. Once it comes to foreign currency, you also pay the exchange rate commission.

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Interesting in certain situations

Ultimately, such a prepaid card is usually no more interesting than a regular debit card with the Maestro function. Except when you are an adult and traveling to a country outside the Eurozone, where your regular debit card will not work.

Or, for example, if your son or daughter is traveling abroad and you want to give him or her a budget on the card. You can then quickly deposit an additional amount onto the card to cover additional or unexpected costs.

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Do you want to obtain a prepaid card?

A few years ago, almost all major banks offered prepaid debit cards, but that is no longer the case today. Today you can still find prepaid cards from Belfius, KBC and bpost (without bank account). It is useful that anyone can apply for this card, without having to meet financial requirements. After all, do not enter into a credit contract.

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Are you looking for a (free) prepaid card? Or rather a traditional credit card? You can compare different formulas quickly and easily using the comparison tool.


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