American Express Prepaid Card – What You Should Know About Prepaid Cards

The American Express prepaid card confers the “stature” of being an American Express Card holder. The prepaid card is honored by merchants that accept American Express. But there are also concerns.

Fraudulent charges. Immediate credits might be issued in some cases. However, cardholders are more often informed that it takes about eight weeks before a final decision is made, and they will not receive a credit during this process. Don’t expect to speak with an American representative when you phone. Call centers for the prepaid card are based overseas. The operators who answer, including “supervisors,” have little or no authority in these matters.

Card number vulnerability. According to the credit manager of a company that suffered high losses from “credit card fraud gangs,” the magnetic strip on the back of the American Express prepaid card seems to be less secure than the strip on the back of MasterCard and Visa cards (prepaid and paid).  “The prepaid card never left my possession,” insisted an American Express prepaid cardholder. “Yet, it was used to purchase gas in another state. An American Express prepaid operator insisted that I was present when the charge was made – in a location I’ve never visited in my life. I called the gas station where the fraudulent charge was made, and they have cameras operating 24/7.  I’m still waiting for my credit after several months.”

Linked to your bank account. Once you link the card to your bank account, there is no way to remove that information, except to replace the entry with another bank account number (real or not) and/or cancel the card. There is no option for “remove  bank account number.”  Prepaid cards can be refilled by other means. Therefore, the option to remove the number should be made available.

Since the American Express prepaid card is relatively new, the company is likely to address such issues in the near future.  Let’s hope!