Curious about prepaid cards but concerned about fees?

Eva Song Margolis advises finding answers to the following questions. Margolis is the director of the Eastside Financial Center, which provides financial counseling and other services to residents of St. Paul's east side, including some who are unbanked. The center is in the process of developing its own prepaid debit card.

Margolis says many fees can be avoided through careful planning. One tip she uses herself is to ask for cash back from retailers when she uses her card, a service that's often free.

• Are there monthly fees?

• Is there an activation fee?

• Do you charge for ATM use?

• Are balance inquiries free?

• Are there fees for each transaction?

• Does it cost to transfer money from one card to another?

• Are the perks you feature on the card an additional cost?

• Is the card FDIC insured?

• What happens if my card is stolen? Will I get my money back?

• How can I access my money?