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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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When I use a prepaid card, should I choose "debit" or "credit"?

Answer:

Either option will allow you to pay using your prepaid card. Your selection just determines how the payment is processed.  

When you pay with a prepaid card at a retail location with a PIN pad, you may have the option to choose whether to run the card as “credit” or “debit.” 

If you choose “debit,” you enter the PIN you created when you registered your card. If you did not create a PIN, choose “credit.” If you choose “credit,” you only need to sign your name.

Some prepaid cards charge you a fee, or different fees, if you choose debit or credit, so check your cardholder agreement to learn about any applicable fees.  

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