Q:

What major retailers accept the American Express prepaid debit card?

A:

Quick Answer

Because American Express prepaid cards are associated with the parent card network, users can use them practically anywhere that accepts American Express cards, including Sears and Amazon.com. However, businesses may restrict the use of prepaid cards, so Amazon, for example, does not allow them for Prime membership signup.

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Full Answer

While the prepaid debit card looks and acts like a credit card at checkout, it is very different. Instead of borrowing money on a credit card, each transaction on the debit card reduces the amount of money in the consumer's account. The consumer deposits more money into the account, much like adding more funds to a checking account.

Because American Express and other credit card companies are not lending money to the client, prepaid debit cards are much easier to obtain than a standard credit card. The consumer purchases the card, loads a deposit and spends it at retailers that accept American Express Cards. Most of the time, he has the option of asking for cash back from the transaction, just as with any card. If the transaction creates a negative balance, most card companies decline the request.

Since the prepaid cards do not charge interest on the money the consumer uses, most prepaid card companies make money by charging the consumer fees.

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