How to Check a Prepaid Balance

Checking the prepaid balance on cards and phones will help you avoid unexpected shortfalls.

Hundreds of things have prepaid balances: prepaid cellular phones, prepaid long-distance phone cards, prepaid electronic gift cards, prepaid debit cards. Checking the balance is important so you're not stuck unexpectedly in a situation where you come up short. For example, you might dine at a restaurant for which you have a prepaid gift card. Your balance could come up short when you don't have the cash to cover the difference.

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Step 1

Contact the retailer that issued the card or object. If you have a prepaid cellular phone, for example, contact Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint or any other carrier that issued the prepaid credit. If you have a prepaid debit card, contact Visa, MasterCard or Discover or any other issuer.

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Step 2

Ask the retailer how you can check your balance. Every retailer will have a unique policy and procedure, but most will allow you to do it by either dialing a specific phone number or by checking online.

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Step 3

Log into your user account on the merchant website. Most merchants have prepaid balances listed on your account main page.

Step 4

Dial a phone number given to you by the merchant or listed on the back of your prepaid card. This number will have a representative who will help you check your balance. Tell the representative the identification number on the back of your prepaid card.

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Step 5

Keep the receipt every time you use a portion of your prepaid card. Often the remaining balance will be printed at the bottom of the receipt.

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