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

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 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 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:

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.

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?

The Allow Card charges additional fees:

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

A [color=red]monthly access fee of $3.50 per account [/color]– 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.

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?[/quote]

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.

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:

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.

Yes, I did. Lessons learned today: two cups of tea does not equal one cup of coffee. Aiiiii my head.

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.

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.

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 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).

Compulsive, where did you find those additional fees for the Allow card?

She’s too young.[/quote]

Can’t a parent co-sign?

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.

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.

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.

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[/quote]

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.

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.

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

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.)