Bank accounts are important, in fact in the queries received by Tax Free Today it´s one of the topics we are always asked about and always pay attention to.  However, we don´t always need a bank account in the classic sense of the word.

In todays article you will find a brief introduction to the topic of pre-paid international cards, a relatively new type of card and different from your usual credit or debit cards.

I will also give you a comparison between the most important suppliers. For this comparison I only considered the online accounts that the pre-paid card offers.

Who might be interested in an international pre-paid card?

In general, anybody can use this type of card.

Contrary to what happens with banks, accounts and prepaid cards are obtained after the simple and typical process of personal identification (KYC), no further inquiries are carried out.

In other words, they do not take into account lists of defaulters or similar, which also makes these cards suitable for people in debt.

The cards can be ordered  through the internet without any complications, they are sent to any corner of the world and can be used worldwide. All this makes them a great option as insurance, in the case that your usual card doesn´t work.

The cards usually take 1-2 weeks to arrive by post and are activated by entering a PIN in the open account, so that security is assured.  Thanks to the online banking system we can reload the card and control our balance at all times.

According to the supplier, it´s possible to charge other credit cards or make transfers to other bank accounts.

The accounts listed here are not suitable for the use of foreign currencies (with the exception of Revolut), nor for buying from online shops with warranties (since you can not request a chargeback, that is, the cancellation or reversal of the transaction), or to hide large sums of money.

Although these types of financial service providers are not subject to the automatic exchange of information on bank accounts, within the EU they are subject to the EU FATCA.  Moreover, each one  has to decide how much money they want deposited in the accounts of these poorly regulated entities.

In order to identify yourself you must present a copy of your passport and proof of residence, which usually consists of a utility bill (telephone, electricity, etc) in which the customers information appears.

In the case of pre-paid cards, you often only need a previous bank statement or your credit card bill.

For verification it´s essential to have an email address and, if possible, a mobile or cell phone number that allows authentication in only two steps. You will also need to be in posession of a bank card with which to pay the cards fees.

Depending on the case, especially in the case of large sums of money, they may also request additional documents.

What is a pre-paid card for?

Many people will tell you, if I don´t have debts and I already have a currunt account and credit or debit cards, why should I get a prepaid card?

On one hand, you will be able to make online purchases without notifying others of your credit card number.  On the other hand, you can use the card in unsafe places or countries without worrying about the seller making a copy of your card and then having to cancel it.

In the case of traders or players (gambling), prepaid cards give you direct access to your money without depending on any bank, entities that are not usually impressed with these types of activities.

The independence of banks allows you to improve your personal credit rating, it better protects your privacy (bank accounts are already fully open to the Public Administration) and makes it difficult to seize your money.

Moreover, when the financial crash arrives, you can access your money and, if you also have some money in a foreign or offshore account, you will be able to leave the country in time to establish yourself in another place and continue with your life.

The advantages of pre-paid cards are clear, in my case, I already have more than 10 in my purse, of course to also be able to make this comparison.

Anonymous credit cards and anonymous pre-paid cards

You have to be very careful with so-called “anonymous credit cards“, what type of bank (or person) would believe someone they don´t know anything about?

It´s true that some of the suppliers that we show here, such as Advcash, offer anonymous pre-paid cards.  Of course, they are limited to a maximum of a thousand euros, which limits their usefulness somewhat.

However, in theory (I haven´t tried it), paying 5 euros each time, you could ask to be sent a new card each day with this thousand euro limit.  Since you can recharge the card through Bitcoin, it´s a good option to hide small payments.

Virtual payment cards

Virtual payment cards can also be an interesting bonus. This type of payment card can only be used online, but they are perfect for environments in which we may not be as trusting or sectors in which we find many scammers.

Therefore, it can be interesting to use a virtual card (it doesn´t usually cost more than $1) for payments of services as a subsciber or when subscribing to something that has very unclear conditions or that are not easy to cancel.  These cards can be topped-up from your online account or through Bitcoin.

Characteristics of the online accounts of the comparison

The online accounts that we analysed can sometimes also have some nasty surprises for those that aren´t careful.  It´s important to look carefuly at the fees for withdrawl of cash and those for paying with card.

We mustn´t forget either the fees for recharging the card, or the fees for transfers to other accounts, as well as the commissions for currency exchange or the surcharges for inactivity of the account.

To make your life easier we have found the most important characteristics in this comparison.

Apart from the basic features, you will also find a section with the advantages and disadvantages that certain platforms have over others.

In general it is interesting to opt for an online account with it´s own IBAN.  Many of the suppliers listed here use common IBAN accounts, so that the sender has to use the correct reference number in order for everything to work.

It is also essential to know that if the online account offers the possibility to open business accounts, meaning, if the account allows you to receive payments from your clients.

Other factors that also differentiate some accounts from others is their compatability with Paypal, the option to make mass payments or to top up your balance with Bitcoin.

Here is our final comparison of pre-paid cards. If you know another interesting supplier, don´t hesitate to contact me, either in the comments or by email.

Comparison of the best pre-paid card accounts

Note: keep in mind that the conditions may have changed since we found this information, so make sure to double check before deciding on one service or another.

 

I-ACCOUNT (Hong-Kong)

What it offers
Currency card: $/€
Account in: EUR/USD
Options: –

Costs
Cost of the card: 0
Monthly rate: 1,5€/6.5€ Business
In case of inactivity: –
External account re-charge: 5€
External card recharge: –
Transfer: 5€
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: 3€
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 3€
Withdraw money: 2%, min. 3-max. 5,5€
Online payments: 1.5
Currency exchange rates: 3%

Limitations
More expensive with payments

Advantages
Great flexibility for businessmen, allows them to receive from from their clients.

 

Revolut (United Kingdom)

What it offers
Currency card: $/€/+
Account in: USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CAD, NZD, CHF, JPY, SEK, HKD, NOK, SGD, DKK, PLN

Options: Premium account for 7€

Costs
Cost of the card: 5/0 Premium
Monthly rates: 0/7,99€
In case of inactivity: External account re-charge: External card recharge: Free debit, credit 1%, 3/4% if its in USD
Transfer: 6€/0
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: 0
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: 200€ free/400€ free, from there 2%
Online payments  0
Currency exchange rates: On weekends the commission for foreign exchange rises by 1,5%

Advantages
During the week the currency exchange es extremely good
Business Account possible

 

VIABUY (Germany)

What it offers
Currency card: €
Account in: Options: IBAN, Paypal account

Costs
Cost of the card: 89,7€ for 3 years
Monthly rates: 0
In case of inactivity 10€/month after 12 months
External account recharge: 0
External card recharge: 1,75%
Transfer: 0
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: 0
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: 5€
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 2,75%

Limitations
Transfers may appear by the name of “PPRO Financial LTD”

Advantages
In the long run, it´s the cheapest card if you use it often
Registration is fast and simple
Rechargeable using other cards
Allows charges to Paypal

 

PAYONEER (USA)

What it offers
Currency card: $/€/+
Account in: EUR/USD/GBP/JPY/CNY
Options: IBAN, Paypal account

Costs
Cost of the card: 0
Monthly rate: 0/7,99€
In case of inactivity: External account re-charge: 0 (1% in USA)
Top-up external card: 3%
Transfer: 0
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: 0
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: 3,15$ or 2,5€
Online payments: 1.5
Currency exchange rates: 3%

Limitations
Only clients can put money in the account, not the owner

Advantages
Huge flexibility for businessmen, as it allows them to receive money from clients
Individual account in € (Germany), $ (USA), £ (UK), ¥ (Japan), Yuan (China).
The european account allows charges to Paypal (it doesn´t happen like that in the USA)

 

PAYSERA (Lithuania)

What it offers
Currency card: €
Account in: EUR, USD, CHF,+
Options: IBAN, Paypal account

Costs
Cost of the card: €3
Monthly rate: €0,45/month
In case of inactivity: External account re-charge: 0
External card recharge: Transfer: 0-0,15 Euros
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: 0
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: €1/1,5
Online payments: Currency exchange rates: 2%
High fees for transferring in foreign currencies or sending money outside of the EU

Advantages
Low fees for withdrawing money from an ATM
Cards accepted almost everywhere in the world, including offshore
As well as the account and card being compatible with Paypal

 

LEUPAY (Malta)

What it offers
Currency card: €
Account in: EUR
Options: IBAN, Paypal account

Costs
Cost of the card: 0
Monthly rate: 0In case of inactivity: External account re-charge: 0
External card recharge: h1% EU/2% outside of the EU
Transfer: €3 SEPA/€35-200
Re-charge of any card: Internal transfers: €0,1
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: €2 EU/€3 international 0
Currency exchange rates:-

Limitations
High fees for transfers outside of the EU

Advantages
Low maintenance costs
Widely accepted, including offshore
As well as the account and card being compatible with Paypal

 

MISTERTANGO (Lithuania)

What it offers
Currency card: €
Account in: EUR, USD
Options: IBAN, Paypal and Bitcoin account,

Costs
Cost of the card: 0
Monthly rate: 0
In case of inactivity: N/A
Re-charge external account: €0/5 outside of the EU, SWIFT 10€
Recharge external card: Transfer: €0/5 outside of the EU, SWIFT 0,5%, min. €50
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: 0
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: 200€ free/400€ free, from there 2%
Online payments 1.5
Currency exchange rates: 1.5

Limitations
Although it also offers the service to people outside of the EU, in this case the fees are higher

Advantages
The costs are very low for individual customers in the EU
It also works offshore, but with very high costs
Both the account and the card are compatible with PayPal

 

SOGEXIA (France)

What it offers
Currency card: €
Account in: EUR
Options: IBAN account

Costs
Cost of the card: €9,9
Monthly rate: 0
In case of inactivity: €3/month after 9 months
Re-charge external account: 2%
External card recharge: 1,75%Transfer: 0
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: 0
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: €1
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 3%

Limitations
You have to pay 2% on money income

Advantages
The fees for withdrawing cash are very low

 

BUNQ (Holland)

What it offers
Currency card: €
Account in: EUR
Options: IBAN, Paypal account

Costs
Cost of the card: 0
Monthly rate: €1
In case of inactivity: External account re-charge: 0
External card recharge: Transfer: 0 SEPA
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: 0
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: €0,80 EU/€2,25 outside Online payments: €0 in the EU/ €0,04 outside
Currency exchange rates: 1,2%

Limitations
In the SEPA area only payments in Euros are permitted

Advantages
Very low costs
Both the account and card are compatible with Paypal

 

MONESE (United Kingdom)

What it offers
Currency card: €, GBP
Account in: EUR, GBP
Options: Paypal

Costs
Cost of the card: 0
Monthly rate: €5
In case of inactivity: External account re-charge: 0
External card recharge: –
Transfer: 0/0.5% if not –GBP
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: 0
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: 10 times for free/month, after €0.5//0.5% if not -GBP
Online payments: 1.5
Currency exchange rates: 1.5

Limitations
It doesn´t allow you to receive money from others (only from the cardholder)

Advantages
The prices are good and they are clearly explained to you

 

WORLDFIRST (United Kingdom)

What it offers
Currency card: €, $
Account in: EUR, USD
Options: –

Costs
Cost of the card: 0
Monthly rate: 0
In case of inactivity: –
External account re-charge: 0
External card recharge: 2.25%
Transfer: 0 SEPA
Recharge of any card: –
Internal transfers: 0
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: 1.5€
Online payments: 1.5
Currency exchange rates: 1.5

Limitations
More suitable for transferring money rather than receiving it

Advantages
Really low maintenance costs

 

SKRILL (United Kingdom)

What it offers
Currency card: €/$/£/+
Account in: EUR/USD/GBP/+
Options: –

Costs
Cost of the card: €10 the first year
Monthly rate: €10/year
In case of inactivity: €1 month after 12 months of inactivity
Re-charge extrernal account: 0
External card recharge: 1,9-2,25%
Transfer: €3.95
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: 1% (max. €10)
Recharge card from E-wallet 0
Withdraw money: 1.75%
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 2,49%
Limitations
The commissions increase with time

Advantages
You can top-up the Maestro card for free

 

AP WILSON (Dubai)

What it offers
Currency card: €/$/
Account in: EUR/USD

Costs
Cost of the card: €10
Monthly rate: 0
In case of inactivity: €5 after 1 month
Re-charge extrernal account: €3,5
External card recharge: Transfer: €4.5 SEPA/€12.5
Re-charge of any card: 0
Internal transferencias:  €0.25
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: 3,5+0,25% SEPA/5+0,5%
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 3%

Limitations
High costs in case of inactivity

Advantages
You can get an account for virtually any country, as they ask little questions

 

PAYMIX (Malta)

What it offers
Currency card: €
Account in: EUR
Options: –

Costs
Cost of the card: €12
Monthly rate: €1
In case of inactivity: External account re-charge: 0 (€4 from €10.000)
External card recharge: 3% (min. €1,5
Transfer: 1-3,€5
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: €0,5
Recharge card from E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: €5
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 3%

Limitations
€15 and €25 of fees for expanding services
The minimum amount for a transaction is €10

Advantages
You can be charged with another account

 

EPAYMENTS (United Kingdom)

What it offers
Currency card: €/$
Account in: EUR, USD, RUB
Options: Bitcoin

Costs
Cost of the card: €5
Monthly rate: €2.4/month (0 from €300 of monthly expenses)
In case of inactivity: €8/month after 6 months
Re-charge extrernal account: 0
External card recharge: 2.6%
Transfer: €85 – €135
Re-charge of any card: 3,5%
Internal transfers  0
Recharge pre-paid card through E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: €2.4
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 2,6%

Limitations
It doesn´t have SEPA transfers

Advantages
It offers the lowest fee for topping up with an external card, only 3.5%

 

WORLDCORE (Czech Rep.)

What it offers
Currency card: €
Account in: EUR, USD
Options: Bitcoin

Costs
Cost of the card: €20
Monthly rate: 0
In case of inactivity: External account re-charge: 0/1,75%
External card recharge: Transfer: 0,75% (min. €40/max. €70)
Recharge of any card: 2% + €6
Internal transfers: 0
Recharge pre-paid card through E-Wallet: €0,99
Withdraw money: €2,25
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 2%

Limitations
Transfer fees are very high

Advantages
Fixed rate for withdrawl of cash for large sums

 

ADVCASH (Belize)

What it offers
Currency card: €/$
Account in: EUR, USD, GBP, RUB
Options: Virtual credit card, anonymous, Bitcoin

Costs
Cost of the card: €5/virtual €1
Monthly rate: 0
In case of inactivity: External account re-charge: 0/1,5%
External card recharge: Transfer:
Recharge of any card: € 6+ 1%
Internal transfers: 0
Recharge pre-paid card through E-Wallet: €1/$1
Withdraw money: €2/$ – €3
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 2%

Limitations
It doesn´t allow transfers

Advantages
Huge flexibility when transferring to other E-Wallets

 

PAYEER (Georgia)

What it offers
Currency card: €/$
Account in: EUR, USD, RUB
Options: Bitcoin

Costs
Cost of the card: $10
Monthly rate: 0
In case of inactivity: –
External account re-charge: 0
External card recharge: 6,2% + 0,5$*
Transfer: 5€
Recharge of any card: 3,1% + $6
Internal transfers: 1%
Recharge pre-paid card through E-Wallet: 2,5% + $1
Withdraw money: 0
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 2%

Limitations
You can only charge from VISA cards

Advantages
It has the highest cash withdrawl limit of all: 5 x €1000/day

 

OKPAY (Cyprus)

What it offers
Currency card: $/€/+
Account in: EUR, USD
Options: Virtual card

Costs
Cost of the card: $15
Monthly rate: 0,5%/month
In case of inactivity: €5/month after 12 months
Re-charge extrernal account: €1
External card recharge: 4%
Transfer: 1% + €50
Re-charge of any card: 4% + €7
Internal transfers: 0,5% (max.€3)
Recharge pre-paid card through E-Wallet: $3
Withdraw money: 2% ($3 – $15)
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 2%

Limitations
Few options for transfers

Advantages
You can top-up through the payment service provider QIWI

 

I-CARD (Bulgaria)

What it offers
Currency card: €/$/£/+
Account in: EUR/USD/GBP/+

Costs
Cost of the card: 0
Monthly rate: €10/year
In case of inactivity: €1 month after 12 months
Re-charge extrernal account: 0
External card recharge: 1% EU/2,5%
Transfer: €3.95
Recharge of any card: Internal transfers: €0,1
Recharge pre-paid card through E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: €3
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 2%

Limitations
Unclear conditions

Advantages
Fixed rate for withdrawing cash

 

BREDER SUASSO (New Zealand)

What it offers
Currency card: €, $
Account in: EUR, USD, CHF,+

Costs
Cost of the card: €410 private/€590 business + €100 in case of remote opening
Monthly fees: €15/€25
In case of inactivity: External account re-charge: €7-150
External card recharge: Transfer: €60-€260
Recharge of any card: 0
Internal transfers: 0,1%, min. €9
Recharge pre-paid card through E-Wallet: 0
Withdraw money: €5  +1%
Online payments: 0
Currency exchange rates: 0

Limitations
Extremely high fees

Advantages
Widely accepted, also offshore
Discretion

 

And here ends the comparison of 22 online accounts with prepaid cards As we said previously, if you know of any provider with prepaid cards that is worth including on the list, you can get in contact with us by email or in the comments.

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