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View Full Version : OT: Which would you choose for your teenager? (update)


madametj
01-18-2007, 04:50 PM
While I was online today I came across something called an "Allow Card" (link below). Its a debit card designed especially for teens so that their parents can put their allowance directly on their debit card and not worry about credit card over-spending. As I read about it, I remembered the telling me about something very similar at my bank called "Mpower" (link below). My mom says that she's ok with me getting a debit card and I like both of these but I really can't decide.

Which one do you like the most? Even better, which one would you get for YOUR teenager?

-The Allow Card (http://www.allowcard.com/students.asp) by MasterCard. Parents load money on to my card from their credit/debit or checking account. Financial lessons available on the website. ($20 registration fee) edit: this card has no risk of overdraft charges since it is not linked to any account.

-The Mpower Account (http://mpower.redfcu.org/index2.html) by Visa. Debit card/checking account linked to my already-existing bank account. ($2 one-time membership fee)

Both seem like they would make a good choice. Help me out, pleeeease :hug:

brendajos
01-18-2007, 04:54 PM
uuuh $2 vs $20? i would take the $2. Check them for monthly fees though and any traps that may only be buried in the fine print.

Chrissie
01-18-2007, 04:54 PM
Can't you just get a debit card through your own bank? I got a visa check card when I opened a bank account and I didn't have pay a fee or anything...I'd probably go with the MPower account, though, if that was the only choice.

Stiney
01-18-2007, 04:56 PM
Can't you just get a debit card through your own bank? I got a visa check card when I opened a bank account and I didn't have pay a fee or anything...I'd probably go with the MPower account, though, if that was the only choice.

She's too young.

Hm. Visa is accepted more place, and it's through your bank. BUT if it's linked to your account, you could overdraw your account instead of just having it declined.

Is the MPower registration fee for the card, or the classes?

Compulsive
01-18-2007, 05:02 PM
The Allow Card charges additional fees:

A one-time activation fee of $19.95 plus $3.95 shipping will cover the application process, identity verification, account set-up, card issuance and shipping.

A monthly access fee of $3.50 per account a small price to pay for 24-hour access, NO OVERDRAFT FEES and the convenience of providing teen with a secured allowance and the ability to learn lifelong lessons.

The MPOwer account is actually a checking account with a Visa logo debit card. BUT your credit union does not charge any monthly fees.

madametj
01-18-2007, 05:05 PM
Can't you just get a debit card through your own bank? I got a visa check card when I opened a bank account and I didn't have pay a fee or anything...I'd probably go with the MPower account, though, if that was the only choice.

She's too young.

Hm. Visa is accepted more place, and it's through your bank. BUT if it's linked to your account, you could overdraw your account instead of just having it declined.

Is the MPower registration fee for the card, or the classes?

I think you're talking about the $20 one, which is allow. The fee is for the card. The lessons are free on the website (at least i think they are...) for members only.

Jan in CA
01-18-2007, 05:05 PM
To be honest I'm not sure. I've never even heard of these. I think the Allow Card makes more sense for a young teen because it is NOT tied to their bank account.. or so it seems based on what you wrote. It might be easier to learn to budget and save for a rainy day and not worry about blowing an entire bank account which is entirely possible with young teens.

And the difference between $2 and $20 is not that big a deal in the whole scheme of things. It's the card itself that's important in the long run. :shrug:

madametj
01-18-2007, 05:11 PM
The Allow Card charges additional fees:

A one-time activation fee of $19.95 plus $3.95 shipping will cover the application process, identity verification, account set-up, card issuance and shipping.

A monthly access fee of $3.50 per account a small price to pay for 24-hour access, NO OVERDRAFT FEES and the convenience of providing teen with a secured allowance and the ability to learn lifelong lessons.

AHA! i had a feeling they were hiding extra charges somewhere. I didn't even see the $20 fee on their website i read about it somewhere else!

I am reeally starting to lean towards the Mpower one. The bank is right down the street. All i have to do is ask my mom to upgrade my account for $2 and I'll be on my merry way. On the other hand, with the Allow Card its looking like $30+ in additional fees, an online registration and having to wait for the card to come in the mail. Plus Visa as cawtheraven said, Visa is accepted more than MasterCard.

Stiney
01-18-2007, 05:14 PM
Yes, I did. Lessons learned today: two cups of tea does not equal one cup of coffee. Aiiiii my head.

To be honest I'm not sure. I've never even heard of these. I think the Allow Card makes more sense for a young teen because it is NOT tied to their bank account.. or so it seems based on what you wrote. It might be easier to learn to budget and save for a rainy day and not worry about blowing an entire bank account which is entirely possible with young teens.

Or in the case of my brother, older teams. :roll: He's 19 and has to have a line of credit on his account because he's overdrawn so many times.

I would do a LOT of research about both of these if I were you, because I've never heard of either of them.

Jax3303
01-18-2007, 05:15 PM
Quite frankly, I wouldn't allow either of those. I wouldn't want a teenager shopping online, which is the only reason I can see a teenager needing a debit card for (or just wanting to look 'cool' which is a stupid reason to get a debit card). Kids can go to a real brick & mortar store and use cash if they want to buy something. I just don't see the need for a debit card for children.

nadja la claire
01-18-2007, 05:28 PM
uuuh $2 vs $20? i would take the $2. Check them for monthly fees though and any traps that may only be buried in the fine print.

Definately check the fine print!!!!!!!!!!! Are there over draft fees for the MPower Account? If there are then I'd play it safe and get the Allow Card.

:muah: :hug:

Nadja xxx

madametj
01-18-2007, 05:35 PM
Quite frankly, I wouldn't allow either of those. I wouldn't want a teenager shopping online, which is the only reason I can see a teenager needing a debit card for (or just wanting to look 'cool' which is a stupid reason to get a debit card). Kids can go to a real brick & mortar store and use cash if they want to buy something. I just don't see the need for a debit card for children.

I understand what you mean, I do plan on buying things online from time to time, but not w/o asking my parents. I could care less about looking "cool." My other reasons are really just the convenience of a debit card vs. cash. Also, I think it might be quicker and safer for me to use debit at the gas station (I should have my liscence in a couple of months).

madametj
01-18-2007, 05:37 PM
Compulsive, where did you find those additional fees for the Allow card?

janelanespaintbrush
01-18-2007, 05:38 PM
Can't you just get a debit card through your own bank? I got a visa check card when I opened a bank account and I didn't have pay a fee or anything...I'd probably go with the MPower account, though, if that was the only choice.

She's too young.

Can't a parent co-sign?

auburnchick
01-18-2007, 05:48 PM
Here are the thoughts of a mom with a very nearly 15yo daughter.

I believe that in today's world, it's imperative that we teach our children how to responsibly use credit cards -- BEFORE they go off to college and get one for "emergency" purposes only. Yeah, right.

There are MANY times that teens need something other than cash, which can be cumbersome to carry. Another practical use...your child goes to the mall with friends. Stick some money in their account and tell them to get that pair of shoes they need while they're there. It's sometimes hard to figure out enough to give them, and most of us adults don't carry enough cash to give to our kids anyhow.

I really don't see this as being the "cool" thing to do. It really is necessary these days.

I really think you ought to get a card through your bank. Forget the other cards. You mentioned your mom upgrading your account. That's what I would do. Either that or open another account just for this purpose and opt for a debit card to be issued. If your parents have an account at the bank, they should be able to transfer your allowance from their account into your's (even online, if you have online banking). Talk to the bank about what your overdraft options are. They deal with this stuff every day. If you don't like the options your bank has, visit other banks.

Storytime: DD went w/soccer team to out-of-town game. Team stopped for lunch at Cracker Barrel instead of McD's. She only had enough money for fast food (bad parents...ran out of cash and couldn't get to the bank before she left that morning). What to do?? I had to call the manager and explain the situation and ask if they could punch in my credit card # at the register so she could pay (I asked before she ordered so she wouldn't be embarrased if they said no). If she had her own card, this could have been prevented.

auburnchick
01-18-2007, 05:50 PM
I do plan on buying things online from time to time,

Once again, this is part of today's world. My dd buys songs online. I would love for her to pay for this out of her own account instead of paying me back with cash.

BTW, I'm going to open her account as soon as she gets her permit and had official ID.

iza
01-18-2007, 05:53 PM
I think getting used to debit and start learning about budgeting is very important. It's a good thing you are starting this now, 16 is not too young IMHO. I know people in their fourties/fifties that still don't get it. :teehee:
I think it's a good idea too in case of an emergency.

madametj
01-18-2007, 06:03 PM
uuuh $2 vs $20? i would take the $2. Check them for monthly fees though and any traps that may only be buried in the fine print.

Definately check the fine print!!!!!!!!!!! Are there over draft fees for the MPower Account? If there are then I'd play it safe and get the Allow Card.

:muah: :hug:

Nadja xxx

I haven't seen anything about it, but they probably do. Over drafts are only when you spend more than whats on the card right? I remember my mom telling me about that. I hope the fee isn't too high, but it shouldn't really matter cus i plan on keeping track of how much is on the card at all times.

PurpleMittens
01-18-2007, 08:18 PM
I think you can get an actual debit card through your bank at 16. When i was a teenager (I'm 23 now, so this is not ancient), my bank account was linked to my mother's somehow - she could access mine and such, but I could not do the reverse. I think it was in both of our names to allow that to happen. Anyway, the result was, I had my own bank account that I used for money from my jobs, and she could watch it and control it if need be. She could read the statement online and see what I had used the account for, etc.

Through this account, I had a debit card. I don;t see why you could not do the same thing. The advantage to it was, i could certainly be dumb and spend all of my money, but the worst thing I could do is run up one or two overdrafts. That's $50 to be sure, and not minor, however, there was no way I could run up a credit card, or tap into my mother's money, so I was not able to get into financial trouble, just "guess what? you're grounded" trouble :teehee: It was a good learning tool, and I have not done anything majorly stupid with a card then or since. I highly recomend it. Gas station people are weird. Paying at the pump totally beats walking in to pre-pay.

Stiney
01-18-2007, 09:23 PM
I think you can get an actual debit card through your bank at 16.

This varies state to state. But you should look into it, Joy.

Gas station people are weird. Paying at the pump totally beats walking in to pre-pay.

Why don't you just give it to the nice person who pumps your gas? I don't understand why you would need to get out of your car and go inside? :??

(Man, I love living in NJ.)

madametj
01-18-2007, 09:59 PM
Why don't you just give it to the nice person who pumps your gas? I don't understand why you would need to get out of your car and go inside?


haha, unfortunetly those of us unluckies who must use self-service pumps have to get out and deal w/ weirdos :zombie:

hunterjenn
01-19-2007, 01:37 AM
As someone who, when I went to college, made a total mess of all things financial, I definitely think there's merit to learning about spending and budgeting. Learning things the hard way, and without a parent's supervision, can turn out pretty badly.

The debit card plan sounds like a winner to me--especially if your parents can shuttle money over to you in emergency situations. As silly as it sometimes seems to see teenagers with cards and cell phones, as a parent of future teens, I see some serious benefits to both!

i'd rather be knitting
01-19-2007, 01:40 AM
In WA state, you can't have a debit card (with a VISA or MC) logo or even a checking account. You can have a savings account only.
I went through this twice when my girls were old enough to drive. Both had jobs and couldn't get a debit card since it was a legal contract with a creditor and minor's are not able to sign a legal document. The only other thing we can do is get a debit card on my account but the card would have my name and she would only be able to use it with a pin number.
I think Credit Union's are a bit more lenient but my bank and several other major banks wouldn't go for it.

md21
01-19-2007, 02:11 AM
This is the card I was looking at. It's called the Visa Buxx card. It's a prepaid card that your parent has to actually call and have money put on, or I think you can even set up an allowance that is automatically transfered to the card. Also, I think there is only a one time set up fee, but you might want to check into that too. I didn't read up too much on your other uptions, but I just thought I'd suggest this one.
Check it out:
http://usa.visa.com/personal/cards/prepaid/visa_buxx.html

terujoan
01-19-2007, 09:14 AM
Well I live in the U.K. and I got a debit card when I was 13 I think or maybe 12. Can't really remember! :oops: I'm 14 now. It's called a Halifax Expresscash account. It's just my main account, I put all my savings in there and if I need to buy something I can just use my card...
It's not a credit card and has no overdraft. It's all controlled by me and not linked to my parents in any way. I don't know if the debit card age is different in different countries. :shrug:

horve1
01-19-2007, 10:18 AM
My kids have had Wachovia VisaBuxx cards for years with zero problems, very few fees. I would check them out.

mwedzi
01-19-2007, 10:31 AM
I also got my first checking account when I was 16 (in CA). often for youth/students it is free or cheap, so I'd definitely look into that.

I am also one who screwed up the credit card thing when I went to college.

Kaydee
01-19-2007, 11:00 AM
I got my checking account (with debit card) when I was 14 (in CT), but it was also linked to my parents, so they could transfer money in or out, but I could not access their account. I really think this is the best way to go because then you also learn about writing checks (ok, well I didn't write many checks at this age, but there was a few things I used them for like if I wanted to get a magazine subscription or something) which is good because I'm 22 and I know people who don't really know how to write a check or manage their checkbook, which is easy if you're told how.

Stiney
01-19-2007, 11:48 AM
I'm 23 and I almost never write checks. ONLINE PAYMENTS WOOOO! :rofl:

Kaydee
01-19-2007, 11:55 AM
I'm 22 and I write lots of checks: rent, student loans, magazine subscriptions. Even if you don't its something that you need to know how to do.

brownishcoat
01-19-2007, 11:55 AM
I left 2 of my bills at work on Friday and one of them was due Monday, which was a holiday in my facility. It pushed me to finally get around to setting it up online (car insurance). I'd been meaning to do it, but I'd forgotten my user name and password and had to call them.

When I got back to work on Tuesday, I saw that the other bill (water) has online payment available now, too! I guess I'll be setting that up next. :teehee:

I just went from writing 3 checks a month to one a month. My stamps and checkbooks are going to last even longer now! :happydance:

jberry16
01-19-2007, 12:17 PM
Why don't you just give it to the nice person who pumps your gas? I don't understand why you would need to get out of your car and go inside? :??

(Man, I love living in NJ.)
You mean people still pump your gas??? They haven't done that in Albuquerque, NM in probably 10-15 years. I've always had to pump my own gas (unless I get my dh to do it now) but I got a debit card when I was 16 for gas purposes and for whatever else. I just knew that it was tied to my account. I had a savings and checking account in my name and if I overdrafted it was pulled from my savings. ouch. Anyway I'd look into a plain ol' debit card. There's no fees that way.

Stiney
01-19-2007, 12:22 PM
Why don't you just give it to the nice person who pumps your gas? I don't understand why you would need to get out of your car and go inside? :??

(Man, I love living in NJ.)
You mean people still pump your gas??? They haven't done that in Albuquerque, NM in probably 10-15 years. I've always had to pump my own gas (unless I get my dh to do it now) but I got a debit card when I was 16 for gas purposes and for whatever else. I just knew that it was tied to my account. I had a savings and checking account in my name and if I overdrafted it was pulled from my savings. ouch. Anyway I'd look into a plain ol' debit card. There's no fees that way.

Yes, it's wonderful. I don't have to get out of my car when it's cold and snowing or hot and humid. :heart: It's a state law that there must be gas station attendants. And we have cheaper gas prices than all of our neighboring, self-serve states.

md21
01-20-2007, 03:47 AM
Why don't you just give it to the nice person who pumps your gas? I don't understand why you would need to get out of your car and go inside? :??

(Man, I love living in NJ.)
You mean people still pump your gas??? They haven't done that in Albuquerque, NM in probably 10-15 years. I've always had to pump my own gas (unless I get my dh to do it now) but I got a debit card when I was 16 for gas purposes and for whatever else. I just knew that it was tied to my account. I had a savings and checking account in my name and if I overdrafted it was pulled from my savings. ouch. Anyway I'd look into a plain ol' debit card. There's no fees that way.

Yes, it's wonderful. I don't have to get out of my car when it's cold and snowing or hot and humid. :heart: It's a state law that there must be gas station attendants. And we have cheaper gas prices than all of our neighboring, self-serve states.

It's illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon as well! I love it, except if it get's busy. Then you have to wait forever while one guy pumps 10 cars' gas :wall:

PurpleMittens
01-20-2007, 04:29 AM
I remember someone pumping gas for my mom when i was fairly young... but my introduction to driving was hunkering against the cold in the winter, watching the pump tick toward the joyous re-entry into the warm car. I have not seen a station attendant pumping gas for someone in a good long time. I do remember accidentally pulling into a full service station a few years ago though and the guy came out to pump my gas and i was like, lol i would pay you to do this? No!

Mama Bear
01-20-2007, 08:24 PM
Some states that don't allow a minor to have their own checking account, may allow for custodial accounts.

In these cases a parent is also a signer on the account. When my children turned 13, they were given a custodial account. The checks had their names on them and the debit card was in their name, but I was a signer on the account and had financial responsibility for the account.

They also spent a few months writing the checks for the household bills. Once they wrote the checks (on my account), their father or I would check for accuracy and mail them off. Doing this we could teach them both bill paying information as well as giving them some idea of the cost of living on their own.

We don't use debit cards for accounts with more than a few hundred in them. There is just too much risk, as debit cards generally do not provide the protections that credit cards do.

Mama Bear

madametj
01-25-2007, 07:46 PM
in case anyone would like to know which one i got and how it turned out: I upgraded to the Mpower account this afternoon. :happydance:

The debit card will come in the mail in about a week, and my mom showed me how to write a check. they didn't give me any checks though. aren't you supposed to get a few free check when you open a checking account? oh well, i guess i'll have to order some on the phone, or on the internet with my debit card :eyebrow: (haha, i know, this is where u start worrying about me running up the card and getting overdraft fees; don't worry i'm not the irresponisble type, i won't spend a lot, and i'll always keep track of how much money is on the card, i promise :hug: )

brendajos
01-25-2007, 08:10 PM
eh the free checks are usually worthless anyway. most places won't take them anymore.

There was a time waaaaaaaay back when that you could walk up to just about any cashier and ask for a "counter check" and they would hand some to you. They were blank checks with no bank information or anything on it and all you had to do was fill in your bank info. They would actually take it like it was a good check. Yeah they are smarter than that now...lol.


I am happy to say I am only old enough to remember the END of the counter check era! :teehee: