In pop culture, 42 is a significant number. It's featured in Douglas Adams' comic sci-fi classic, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And it's the result delivered by Google when you search "the answer to life, the universe, and everything." (Try it; you'll see.)

But on a much lesser-known extent, 42 is also significant in the prepaid world. Why? It's the number of benefits that prepaid credit cards offer that you might not have known. Studies show that prepaid cards are widely preferred by consumers when they're received as a gift, reward, or incentive. But prepaid cards can also offer so much more. They could be the perfect solution for your business. You might just not know it yet.

Over the next few weeks, we'll look at the 42 benefits of prepaid cards that you might not be aware of. You'll learn how prepaid cards can make life easier for recipients and more efficient and cost-effective for businesses.

Let's kick things off by counting down the benefits, beginning with 42 through 30 so that we can help you understand why prepaid cards offer the broadest appeal.

42. Easy to use: The main reason for choosing prepaid cards is ease of use. They can be used to buy almost anything, anywhere, at any time.

41. Can be used overseas: Consumers can use Canadian prepaid cards virtually anywhere. Prepaid credit cards from major network brands like Visa and MasterCard are used and accepted around the world.

40. High level of protection: Prepaid credit cards offer the same security as all Visa and MasterCard credit card products, and fraud rates are extremely low.

39. Infinite choices in purchase: Unlike gift cards that can only be used in specific stores or shopping malls, prepaid cards can be used wherever credit and debit cards are accepted.

38. No hidden fees: Prepaid cards cannot have hidden fees, according to the Canadian Prepaid Products Regulations in Canada. You can read more about the regulations here.

37. What employees want: Research shows employees actually prefer prepaid over branded merchandise and other types of rewards.

36. Can be replaced: Unlike cheques or cash, lost or stolen prepaid cards can be replaced at your request, subject to request verification and a replacement fee.

35. No late fees: With prepaid cards, there are no monthly payments required so interest payments or overdraft charges are never a concern for users.

34. Easy to control and monitor spending: Activity and usage of a prepaid card can be tracked online. This makes it easy to control and monitor spending.

33. Promotes financial responsibility: Preset limits help consumers stick to budgets, and you can only use what funds are on the card.

32. Freedom from bank accounts: Users have the flexibility and convenience of a credit or debit card without the need for a bank account.

31. Anonymous: For store-bought prepaid cards, no user names are associated with the card, which provides new levels of payment privacy.

30. Poor credit history, no problem: Prepaid cards do not require a credit check and are therefore accessible to consumers with a low credit rating.

As you can see, prepaid cards offer a wealth of benefits to consumers. No wonder it's the reward Canadians prefer.

Next week, we'll count down the next ten business benefits of prepaid cards that you might not have known.

Specifically, we'll focus on how prepaid cards are being used in innovative ways by leading businesses - beyond employee recognition and customer appreciation. We hope that you will check back to see how prepaid cards can help your business.

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