Contactless Orange prepaid card - is it worth it?Orange Cash card is good if you use it right

21 February 2011

Orange logo

Orange to sell 3g mobile phones in HMV shops

Mobile giant Orange has launched ‘Orange Cash’, the UK’s first major contactless prepaid card. Which? Money experts give their initial impressions.

The new prepaid card operates on the MasterCard network, so is widely accepted. Purchases of £15 or under can be made using the in-built contactless technology.

The positive aspects of the Orange Cash prepaid card

  • Orange Cash customers earn points as they spend, which are redeemable against rewards including Pay As You Go Orange texts, airtime, credit or Orange shop vouchers. The card rewards one point for every pound spent on the card. 200 points can, for example, be redeemed against 50 free minutes or 500 texts
  • The card is free to load by bank transfer, debit card or in Orange shops
  • There is no monthly fee
  • There is no transaction fee to use the card in UK shops or online, except for online gambling sites where a charge of £1.50 per transaction is levied

The downside of the Orange Cash prepaid card

  • The card costs £5 to buy and there is a loading fee of £1.50 to load cash onto the card at the Post Office or in other outlets. Loading the card using a credit card incurs a hefty 4% charge
  • There is a £5 fee if you want to cancel the card or get your money back off it. In most cases, you'd be better off spending whatever cash you have left and then cutting up the card
  • Withdrawals from a cash machine cost 2.95%. Using the card overseas costs 2.75% on top of this.

The Which? Money verdict

Martyn Saville, Which? credit expert, commented: 'If you're looking for a prepaid card to use for purchases in the UK, Orange Cash offers good value. However, charges make it unsuitable for using abroad, for withdrawing cash or for online gambling. And be careful how you load it - it's only free to load by debit card, bank transfer or in an Orange shop.'

To compare the Orange Cash card with other prepaid cards, read our prepaid card reviews.

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