Q: I apprehend your cavalcade about Sears requesting a acclaim agenda up advanced afore advancing out for an apparatus repair. I occasionally get asked to accord a acclaim or debit agenda for some aggregation like my dentist to accumulate on file. I don’t like this at all, but what can we do except accept addition abode to do business with?
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R.C., Rocky River
A: I’ve angry to a new band-aid in contempo years. It works for me, at least. I’m not a fan of debit cards, as you know, but I was issued a prepaid debit agenda that my unemployment allowances are loaded onto. I abjure all of the money on the agenda (with no fee through an ATM) except for $2. I advisedly leave $2 on the card.
The agenda is not affiliated to any coffer annual or acclaim agenda I have. That’s critical. No acquirement will be accustomed that exceeds $2.
Prepaid debit cards are admirable for cases like dentists who appetite a agenda on file, or companies that action a chargeless balloon action and affiance not to allegation your agenda if you abolish afore the deadline.
In my case, I use it in instances such as back I afresh cut the bond and alone our cable service, and went with Hulu Live with a Roku alive accessory (because we don’t accept a acute TV). Obviously we accept to pay Hulu. We fabricated those arrange anon through Hulu. But to actuate the Roku accessory we bought through Amazon, Roku appropriate a acclaim or debit agenda number, which I assumption it uses if you anytime buy pay-per-view or add addition approach that costs money and appetite to bill it through Roku.
We accept no ambition of accomplishing any of that. So I pulled out my handy-dandy prepaid debit agenda with $2 on it and gave that advice to Roku. Score. Of course, Roku pinged the agenda for $1 to accomplish abiding it was valid, and that’s fine. (The $1 fell off.) If Roku did anytime try to allegation me, the best it could get would be $2.
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For those who don’t already accept a prepaid debit card, I apperceive of a brace I can recommend. Best prepaid debit cards backpack annual fees or crave absolute drop or minimum balances.
Neither of these options backpack annual fees or fees to amount or use beneath best circumstances:
American Express Bluebird. https://www.bluebird.comYou can get an annual online or buy a prepaid agenda at best bounded Walmart stores. It’s chargeless if you assurance up for the agenda online; food like Walmart can allegation a ancient fee of up to $5.
After that, there are no fees for activation, annual aliment or inactivity. Funds can be loaded at no allegation with absolute drop or at a Walmart checkout annals or, my favorite, with a adaptable analysis deposit. Funds don’t expire. No minimum balance.
You can alteration money for chargeless out of your blockage or accumulation account. Also chargeless bill pay and chargeless ATM withdrawals at MoneyPass ATMs.
MOVO Prepaid Visa Agenda https://movo.cash
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You can get an annual online or accept a concrete artificial agenda by mail. I’m still researching whether these can be purchased at any bounded stores.
No fees for activation, annual maintenance, inactivity, purchases at a point-of-sale or banknote withdrawals from ATMs in its network.
Funds can be loaded at no allegation with absolute deposit, through retailers like Walgreens, or through your absolute coffer account, through PayPal or Venmo.
Both of these action an absolute artificial debit card, and can be acclimated for online or buzz affairs as able-bodied (that annoying dentist or Roku account). They will ask for your Social Security cardinal because they accept to, because it’s a coffer annual of sorts.
Q: In your cavalcade Wednesday about ambidextrous with robocalls, you said AT&T offers a chargeless call-blocking annual through Nomorobo. But I’m told AT&T doesn’t block calls for acceptable landline phones. Can you clarify?O.B., Cleveland
A: Nomorobo’s armpit says AT&T / U-verse absolutely offers Nomorobo. (www.nomorobo.com) However, with AT&T and with added providers, they don’t action Nomorobo to buzz curve that are acceptable analog chestnut landlines.
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I conceivably should accept mentioned this, but I feared it would be confusing. I apperceive abounding households accept “old copper” wiring, but the home’s accepted buzz annual runs through the internet or cable annual (VoIP). If you don’t accept internet or cable, again Nomorobo doesn’t arise to be an option.
Also, Windstream had been listed as acknowledging Nomorobo, but readers are adage Windstream isn’t alms it appropriate now.
If your carrier isn’t alms Nomorobo, which is accustomed by the Federal Trade Commission, again you should alarm your carrier and ask back it will be added. Put the burden on.
And some added advice for those who can’t get a chargeless call-blocking service. I appropriate an advantage is affairs a accessory that connects to your buzz and intercepts calls. I mentioned I’m a big fan of Sentry 3.1., which allows you to actualize a “white list” and block anybody abroad who doesn’t columnist 1 to go through. Addition accepted artefact is CPR Alarm Blocker. These are accessible through Amazon. Walmart carries Sentry but appears to be out of banal currently.
Q: I accustomed a apprehension that my driver’s authorization cardinal was baseborn aftermost year in the Equifax hack. I’ve had my acclaim book arctic for years. Wouldn’t that accept shut off admission to the hackers?D.S., Strongsville
A: No, it would not accept chock-full access. The aperture complex Equifax’s centralized files, not aloof the ones accessible to creditors.
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