I was contacted recently by Pockit and asked to trial their pre-paid chip and pin card. They sent me a card pre-loaded with a little credit and asked me to go shopping - how could I refuse?!
You can use it in shops in exactly the same way as you'd use a credit or debit card by using chip and pin technology. You can also withdraw cash from ATMs (a fee applies). I used it in several stores including a large supermarket and smaller independent retailers with no problems at all.
How does it work?
Pockit offer two methods, so you choose the one that's right for you. You can either pay a one-off £5 application fee and then 'pay-as-you-go' topping up credit via your bank or debit card for free (there are other top-up methods, but there are costs associated). Or you can opt for the monthly payment for £3 per month with no top-up fees and no application fee.
Who could benefit from it?
After having my purse stolen on a night out and all the aggro cancelling cards, I think the Pockit card would be perfect for taking out with you allowing you to leave your credit and debit cards safely at home.
Although card holders must be at least 18, you can add secondary holders under that age making it perfect to use for pocket money for older children or for grown up children away at university.
There are no credit checks required, so if you've been refused a credit card but want the freedom and flexibility of a chip and pin card then this could be for you.
If you are on a budget then pre-loading your spending money for the week could be a good way of avoiding over-spending. Unlike bank or credit cards, there's no overdraft so once it's gone it's gone!
You can use it to give money to others and avoid expensive cash transfer fees.
Any additional benefits?
By shopping with your Pockit card you can earn up to 10% cashback from participating retailers.
There are also exclusive member offers on days out; insurance; utilities and various other benefits.
As with any financial product, check out the terms and conditions fully first.
Make sure you are aware of any fees that apply - for example if you withdraw at an ATM with a pay as you go card, you are charged a £1.50 fee.
Disclosure: I was sent a pre-loaded card for the purposes of this review. However, the views expressed here are my own and are honest opinions.