No, I haven’t lost my mind. I’m still a big fan of rewards credit cards for my normal use. But I was asked if I’d like to review Kaiku, and I have been pleasantly surprised.
Why a Prepaid Debt Card?
I was thinking that for people who have a hard time managing credit cards, but cash also flows out of their wallet like water, a prepaid debit card may be a solid idea. You can’t spend what isn’t there.
Or if a person has poor credit and can’t get a credit card or even bank account, but they do want a place to have their paychecks directly deposited, a solid prepaid debit card could solve that issue. This is also good for people who can’t get credit cards but do want to save money by shopping online (within their budget, of course).
Here are the reasons I will suggest Kaiku specifically to anyone in the future who is looking for a prepaid debit card:
1. One monthly fee of $3. No other fees for loading or using your card as usual.
2. If you don’t have a remaining balance of $3 when that monthly fee is due, they will take your balance in the negative as necessary that month and then pause all fees until you reload your card. That means at worst, you will owe $2.99 when you decide to reload your card if you can’t pay the monthly fee. Most prepaid debit cards seem to have a gazillion fees and always seemed off-putting to me.
3. It was easy to use. I have been using my Kaiku card for about a month and haven’t had any problems using it for fast food, restaurants, stores like the Dollar Tree, and even online.
4. I could pick my card color. I really like the teal one.
The Only Negatives I Noticed
Here are some negatives that I noticed:
1. Gas stations will put a $100-$150 pending charge on your card for about 2-4 business days until the actual amount you paid is debited. They do it on my credit cards too, but my credit lines are high enough that it didn’t make me pause paying my bills for 3 days. Since my remaining balance was just under the gas station hold amount, I wasn’t able to use my Kaiku card while I waited for the actual charge to go through.
2. If you enter your PIN to use the card, you will only see the address of where you spent the money when you look at your records. It has to be swiped at somewhere like a restaurant or fast food place, somewhere that they waive using the PIN, to show up by name in the spending records.
3. No rewards. If I spent $300 on my CapitalOne Visa, I would have received about $4.50 in cash back. With Kaiku, there is a $3 monthly charge instead. That’s still probably better than other prepaid debit cards, but I will still whine about it.
Overall, if I ever was in a position to need to use a prepaid debit card regularly, I would choose Kaiku.
Have you used a prepaid debit card for your daily spending? What did/do you think about them?