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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

Learn how the CFPB can help you

Can I be declined for a prepaid card?


In most cases, you won’t be declined for a prepaid card. 

In general, anyone can buy and use a prepaid card. Some providers require you to register your card when or after you purchase it by asking you to provide certain personal information.  

This personal information is used to verify your identity, which may be necessary before you can use certain card features, such as reloading money onto the card or using the card online or at an ATM. 

If the card provider can’t verify that you are who you say you are, you might not be able to register your card. You also may not be able to register your card if the card provider finds a record indicating your involvement in certain fraudulent activities. 

If you are unable to successfully register your card, the provider will either allow you to spend the remaining money left on the card or will mail you a check for the balance. Registering your card may be a different step from activating your card. Some cards require activation by calling or going online to provide the card number before you start using it. 

Some types of prepaid cards do not require or allow registration. These cards might not allow you to reload money or use them at an ATM.

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The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.