Pre-payment cards: when anonymity is top priority

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Been reading stuff on this site for a long time, but this is my first post, so Hiya!

I was wondering what advice might be given when considering pre-pay "credit" cards - my top priority is avoiding being digitally tracked on the Internet, but I have no desire to be pideon-holed with drug-runners and money-launderers and terrorists.

I saw an earlier thread about one pre-pay card's charges being "scandalous" but I know that people at the bottom of the financial heap pay the most for their services. That's just the way the world is, and pre-pay cards operate in that sector... and I don't mind paying a few quid extra for privacy.

My spend per month would likely average out at £20 on gig tickets or CDs or whatever - so, if I am a money-launderer then clearly I'm screwing up somewhere. Perhaps I need a career move :D

Looking at this forum has warned me to watch out for non-use "leeching" charges, where if I leave my card in a drawer, monthly charges can kick in, and merrily roll onwards until all the available credit is devoured.

Are there any other delights in store for me?
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Comments

  • skyrider007
    skyrider007 Posts: 1,108 Forumite
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    I think they are some type of prepaid card that you could actually buy from a bookstore/supermarket. Maybe that's what you're after?
  • jasonwatkins
    jasonwatkins Posts: 2,420 Forumite
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    Well for what it's worth, I find the Virgin pre-pay Mastercard to be absolutely fantastic.

    Costs £9.95 and has no monthly fees and does not penalise you for non-use (to the best of my knowledge)

    Transaction fees are 2.95% - which includes cashpoint withdrawals - and top ups are free at the post office, although they do take about 2 working days to clear.

    If you top up using a paypoint, it's 2.75% of the amount.

    A few pre-pays offer you a pay monthly option, around an average £5 charge, and all transactions are free, so it's probably useful for heavy usage.

    I find that the fees on mine never get that high though, so I just use it as and when I need it.
  • HawklordPXR5
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    Thanx for that info... thing is, I want plastic where I don't have to show (or scan) a driving licence or passport, or quote a reference from a voting register.

    OK, now I'll brace myself for people telling me that "you don't always get what you want in life..." :)
  • normanmark
    normanmark Posts: 4,156 Forumite
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    Well i don't think you'll find a card where you don't have to show some ID.

    Just out of curiosity why the paranoia for being 'traced' ? Especially with the ID aspect for signing up?
  • jasonwatkins
    jasonwatkins Posts: 2,420 Forumite
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    Thanx for that info... thing is, I want plastic where I don't have to show (or scan) a driving licence or passport, or quote a reference from a voting register.

    Again, to the best of my knowledge, you don't have to show those documents when you buy a prepay - any prepay.

    I don't remember ever doing that for the Virgin card. I applied online, paid my £9.95 and that was that.

    I even think that you can pick up a pack, complete with card, in a supermarket now.

    And I must also confess to being curious as to your extreme paranoia :)
  • savagej
    savagej Posts: 1,158 Forumite
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    Google:-

    IDT prime

    I think it is exactly what you are looking for.
  • NickX
    NickX Posts: 3,046 Forumite
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    my top priority is avoiding being digitally tracked on the Internet, but I have no desire to be pideon-holed with drug-runners and money-launderers and terrorists.

    You have lost me here :confused:

    Why should you be "digitally tacked" or pidgeon holed as a drug dealer, money launderer or terrorist ?

    I think you may have been watching too much James Bond :rotfl:

    If you can get a standard Credit Card over a pre-paid card then do so, the pre-paid card charges are extortionate and I do feel sorry for people who have to use these because they cannot get the standard cards. IMO it is simply exploitation of those who may be financially disadvantaged.

    With proper Credit Cards, you can end up getting them to pay YOU to hold the card ;)
  • jasonwatkins
    jasonwatkins Posts: 2,420 Forumite
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    NickX wrote: »
    the pre-paid card charges are extortionate

    I would respectfully disagree - they're only extortionate if you're a heavy user.

    My average charge per transaction is between 20p-50p and i'm quite happy with that.
  • NickX
    NickX Posts: 3,046 Forumite
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    I would respectfully disagree - they're only extortionate if you're a heavy user.

    My average charge per transaction is between 20p-50p and i'm quite happy with that.

    Fair enough, and each to their own.

    I am fortunate enough to have never needed a pre-paid card, but its just that paying for a card sort of goes against the grain. For instance my Abbey Zero card has recently introduced a £10 dormancy fee and I will be making the occasional purchase with the card to avoid this fee. I would rather close the card down than pay the fee ;)
  • HawklordPXR5
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    normanmark wrote: »
    ...Just out of curiosity why the paranoia for being 'traced' ? Especially with the ID aspect for signing up?
    I'd have no problem with my bank knowing who I really was, if they'd let me have a pre-pay card in a false name... say, Captain Zero. A bit like email accounts, where you can have five specified (but disposable) 'personas' associated with the main account.

    It's just that I don't trust Internet sites very much, and I take the view that the less they know about me, the better I like it. IDT Prime does look promising.
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