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A pre-paid MaterCard
At last the financial folk are coming up with some straight forward sensible, responsible, workable ideas. For far too long the banks have been trying to scam the public. Tell them it's free and then charge them behind the scenes. Trick them with fantastic looking deals and the suckers will fall for it.
But now they come up with the Eclipse Card.
It's simple - It's a pre-paid MASTERCARD. You put your money on the card and then you can spend it. It's obvious really. And they don't mess around trying to hide the fees. You can choose. A monthly fee (£4.45 at October 2009) and then all transactions are free or Pay-As-You-Go where each transaction costs a fixed amount (75p at October 2009). If you want to withdraw cash at an ATM (Automated Teller Machine or cash point to some) they charge a fee for each withdrawal (£1.50 at October 2009). That's it!
The transaction fee is little more than the old fashioned cheque used to cost and the monthly plan is in the region of £50 per annum which is not a huge sum if you are going to use the card regularly. But the really nice thing about this card is that the safeguards to your financial well being are built in to the way it works rather than the credit cards which rely on encouraging people to spend more than they can afford. It has more potential for encouraging people to be measured and responsible with their budget.
In addition this card is available for any (and only) UK residence of any nationality with no credit checking and you don't need a bank account to apply. Check up the fine print because there are conditions like you have to be over 18 or 13 with parental consent. Also there are restricted and non-restricted versions which have some limitations on how much you can use the card per annum etc. but you can easily find the details on their information pages. For most people (especially people with debt difficulties) this is an ideal way to get access to products only available over the internet with plastic and the like. It is a good budgeting discipline too.
There are also some additional benefits such as the cashback scheme which you can join for free and get up to 15% cashback whenever you shop at their "love cashback" website which has over 1,500 major retailers from supermarkets to electronic and travel companies. Just a few examples are Tesco, Dixons, Halfords, Asda, M&S, Dell, Carphone Warehouse, PC World, American Express, BT, The Link, HMV, Butlins, British Gas, AOL, Boots & Opodo.
|Available only in the UK.|