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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.

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What happens if I have not used my prepaid card for a long period of time?


You may be charged an inactivity fee if you do not use your card for a certain period of time. 

Prepaid card providers generally charge either a monthly fee or an inactivity fee, but not both. Remember, if your provider charges a monthly fee, you will continue to be charged this fee even if you’re not using your card. 

Check your cardholder agreement to find out what fees you might have to pay. If you use your prepaid card often, a card with a monthly fee may be cheaper for you. If you don’t use your prepaid card often, you may want to shop for a card that charges a fee per transaction instead of a monthly fee, and doesn’t charge an inactivity fee. 

If you have not used your card for several years, it may have expired and some or all of the balance on your card may be turned over to the state as unclaimed property.  Check with your card provider to see if your card still has a balance left on it, and whether you are able to access those funds with the card you have. If your funds have been turned over to the state, contact your state treasurer’s office.

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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.