There’s no real magic involved in changing the way you pay with either debit or credit cards, but like a magic trick, it is ultimately the small, sometimes unnoticeable differences that can make the biggest impact.

Emburse did the math, evaluated the pros and cons, and upgraded all of our clients' cards from Prepaid Debit to “Pre-funded Credit Cards” (excuse the oxymoron).

This resulted in thousands of users having to switch cards.

We’ve previously addressed what Pre-funded Credit Cards are, but would like to take this moment to directly address the “why people switch cards in general?”


Why do people/businesses switch credit cards?

It’s often a balancing act between short-term pain vs. long-term gains.

Cons (Short-Term Pain):

  • Temporary outage - Credit card services may experience a temporary outage when a card update falls through your crack. - This is a relatively minor inconvenience and easily remedied once discovered.
  • Hassle of Signing-In - The hassle of having to sign into accounts and switch out card number. Once again, the inconvenience here is a bit of time and effort. If this has been a hassle to you, consider password managers like Dashlane and 1password to make shifts like this a lot easier in your future.

Pros (Long-Term Gains):

  • Better service - Service perks can include purchase protection -- especially important for larger purchases like electronics -- as well as protection against loss, fraud, and identity theft.
  • Better user experience - In addition to real-time support, having a website or mobile app with a good, easily understood and navigated interface can go a long way to making a positive card experience. The more you can control and monitor your activity, the better.
  • Better rewards - Depending on what your long term reward goal is, using a credit card can reward you with points towards flights, hotels, gift cards or even cash back on purchases.
  • Additional perks - Some credit cards allow users to have early access to concerts and reserved seating or, on the higher end, a dedicated representative to help them book their travel and events.
  • Overall acceptance rates - Where you can use your card matters and some cards are more widely accepted by retailers than others.

Ultimately, the upfront pain is a bit of time and effort, but, like most situations that require those elements, the pros can massively outweigh the benefits.


Beyond weighing the other pros and cons, for us, the switch to Pre-funded Credit Cards was most about acceptance rates.

Historically, we’ve seen numerous prepaid cards be declined by merchants like Uber/Lyft, important contributors to T&E, which is itself the largest category of card expenses.

Instacart was another vendor that often blocked prepaid debit cards and the healthy snacks (or sugar and caffeine, depending on your office) don’t just magically appear, even if you think they do.

We want to ensure that the card you have is the card that will be most useful. Any effort required to make that happen is well spent.


At Emburse, we are always working to find ways to improve our client experience, but we’re okay with you thinking that we’re just magically streamlining your accounting practices and ensuring that your money is properly tracked, distributed, and protected.

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