What Type of Prepaid Cards do Consumers Purchase/Receive?


Prepaid cards are rapidly gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional credit and debit cards. Unlike debit cards, which are tied to a bank account, they can be loaded with a specific amount of money and used anywhere that accepts card payments. They are also a safer option for those who do not have a credit history or want to avoid overspending. With these cards, there are no overdraft fees, credit checks, or interest charges. They are ideal for budgeting, travel, or online shopping. They have evolved to offer a range of benefits and features, including cashback rewards, fraud protection, and mobile apps for managing your spending.

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Data for today’s episode is provided by Javelin Strategy & Research’s Report:19th Annual U.S. Open-Loop Prepaid Card Market Forecast

5 Top Prepaid Cards Purchased or Received

  • 63% In-Store Retailer Gift Cards
  • 40% Online Merchant-Specific Gift Cards
  • 36% Card Network Prepaid/Gift Cards
  • 15% Prepaid Phone Cards
  • 14% Prepaid Gas Cards

About Report

Javelin Strategy & Research continues its annual series on market trends in the open-loop prepaid market. Javelin expects a robust environment for the prepaid ecosystem, with the largest segments; general purpose open-loop gift and financial services cards trending strong. Consistent with past years, economic conditions play a large role in the outlook of individual products. Budgetary and inflationary pressure should advance unemployment and benefit cards, and items stressing budgetary constraint, while travel, business cards, and other items representing discretionary spending will have a more negative outlook.

Javelin research indicates American buyers show positive outlook on the market as a whole, but the benefits will be less visible in open-loop categories. The research highlights healthy spending patterns in these cards as well as frequency of purchases, with ancillary benefits to retailers when consumers spend beyond their card balance, extending revenue opportunities because of the use of a prepaid card.


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