Sometimes, when we think that we know everything there is to know in the world of finance, there comes along a new trend or concept that completely leaves us floored. Pre-paid debit cards are something that can do just that, because they’re often nothing like what you would expect.

Here’s a little background on pre-paid debit cards — they’ve actually been around for a while. Many people like to be able to go online and shop for items with much lower prices than what they find in the stores, but very few people actually want to put their normal bank card on the line. This is because you can end up getting badly burned if a transaction goes sour. Even though you’re entitled to your money back, your bank can put a hold on the funds for a long time until their investigation is actually concluded. This would leave you without access to your money for a long time — all for the love of getting something at 75% off what you would pay in the actual stores.

However, this is also where a pre-paid debit card comes in, since you can only spend the amount that’s on the card. Instead of feeling like you won’t be able to avoid unauthorized charges if you shop online, you can now shop with confidence knowing that you’re covered.

You might think at this point hat pre-paid cards aren’t an option for you because you already have a credit card. This is something that occurs to a lot of people, but you actually might want to rethink that — the reality is that you actually want to get a pre-paid debit card because it still protects you against extra charges. You won’t have to worry about over the limit fees, late charges, or any interest. Instead of giving the credit card companies extra money, you can save money by getting a paid debit card.

Does this mean that pre paid debit cards aren’t without their own fees? No — you will still need to pay money to load the card as well as deal with a transaction fee or a subscription fee. However, these fees pale in comparison to what you would experience with overdraft fees or extra credit card fees.

Overall, when you know that you really need to curb your spending and get a grip on your finances, one thing is clear: you just don’t want to skip out on pre-paid debit cards!

By Jasmina