The weekly trip to a check cashing store takes time and gas.For those that can’t get a checking account or simply don’t want one, there is a no cost, convenient, and safe alternative to check cashing stores–a prepaid credit card with no fees or low fees.

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So here are the top free prepaid cards and low fee prepaid cards to consider.

A prepaid credit card works very similar to a bank debit or ATM card.

You can add money to the prepaid card and use it anywhere Visa or Master Card debit cards are accepted.

Time Magazine wrote about this phenomenon, which costs consumers $10 billion a year in fees charged by check cashing stores, payday loan providers, and others.

It’s not at all uncommon for consumers to spend 3% or more to get a paycheck cashed.

In addition to high cost, check cashing stores present several other problems to consumers. Taking your paycheck to a check cashing store and walking out with hundreds of dollars in cash is like wearing a bulls eye on your back.

Second, there is simply the question of inconvenience.

t is estimated that about 40 million Americans do not have a bank account. For many, they are unable to qualify for a bank account because of past bounced checks.

Bounce too many checks, and you’ll find yourself in the Chexsystems, which many banks use to evaluate potential new banking customers.