Are Prepaid credit cards for teenagers the best solution?
Pre-paid cards are popular with under 18’s for a wide range of uses
Are you trying to teach your teenagers the real value of money? A practical demonstration can often go much further than a lecture or discipline when they get it wrong. The majority of teens learn nothing about the real world from schools, but there are still plenty of ways to start teaching kids how to handle money. One of the most common ways that parents use is to purchase a pre-paid credit card. These cards are designed to allow the user to spend only the sum allowed on the card, and no more. By restricting spending, and helping your children to balance their wants and how much money they have, teenagers can learn about financial responsibility and budgeting.
How does a prepaid card work?
The pre-paid card works by having someone put money onto the card before it is used. They then work in the same way as credit or debit cards, allowing the user to spend as much as they want without exceeding the limit. Prepaid cards can be used in shops on the high-street, or online, and rather than having your kids borrow your credit card and go wild, they are limited to the money which you have put on the card. You might put in £50, for example, or £100, but the teen can’t spend any more than that.
What are the benefits of a prepaid card?
Prepaid top up cards for students
Prepaid cards are good for teaching children about the limits and responsibilities of money, but they are also useful in very specific, practical ways. For example, the cards can be used online, a prime hunting ground for hackers and thieves. If you are nervous about your teenager using a card online, particularly if they are unsupervised, then the prepaid card could be the ideal solution. They are particularly useful because even if the card number is copied and re-used, only the money on the card can be used, and there won’t be too much of a loss to worry about.
Prepaid cards also offer teenagers a real-world card using experience, which they might not have had with other forms of money. For example, most cards will allow the child to view their account online, so they can keep track of their spending. They may also be able to top the card up themselves using their phone.
What are the downsides to the card?
As with all financial programs for teenagers, the main problems with the card revolve around the parental responsibility for the card, and the amount of interest, withdrawal fees and other charges that are applied to the card. Parental responsibility is something that parents can easily forget about, and even if they buy the card and allow the child to use it, the parents are still liable for its use, the purchases made by the card, and other issues revolving around use of the card. The charges can also be a problem, particularly if children see that they put money into an account, and then it is taken away by the card company. Charges can be very high, even if the card is not used for months, and these can easily mount up into a significant debt.