Fee, fi, fo, fum: Prepaid card fees gobble your cash

Cash machine
Cash machine

Everyone's hating on the banks these days for their debit cards with outrageous overdraft fees, but the alternative is no great shakes. Prepaid debit cards have stepped into the market for consumers who can't get a credit card, don't have a bank account and want the convenience (or the status) of whipping out a card.

These cards are branded with the logo of major issuers like Visa, MasterCard and Discover and can be used wherever those cards are accepted. Customers buy the card and load cash onto it. With cute names like Rushcard and offered by friendly-sounding companies like Green Dot Corporation, these cards are pitched as an alternative, a way to avoid those big, bad banks and their overdraft fees.