Special credit card

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nomad, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Need the help of fellow warrier....moms in the trenches.

    I APOLOGIZE profusely if I have asked this before. The last six months have been too busy in my household and things have slippled through the cracks. :redface:

    difficult child has from time to time gotten credit cards (twice I believe) and has no way of paying these things back. One time, it was via an account of hers at the bank and DHs name was on the account. The bill was not hideous (not good either though!) and we ended up paying it.

    husband talked to the bank president, took his name off the account, told them she should NEVER be given a credit card and left it at that. A month later they gave her a CC....and the story repeated itself, except we are no longer liable for the money and have no intention of paying off the balance. The CC is closed/dead (whatever the terminology is....)

    husband and I have been travelling. He does worry about her. He is wondering if there is some sort of super duper ultra SAFE credit card he can give difficult child where he can put a small amount of money on the card prior to when we travel or add to the card in case of legitimate emegency....IN other words, if we are out of the state, we could put money on the card via computer? Could we add to the card, BUT difficult child could NOT use this card to overdraft, open accounts, get access to our account, etc.....anything creative/abuse, etc.

    Bottom line: we don't want her to use the card to overdraft, use it to get other credit, use it to open an account somewhere...no ABUSES....simply for use when we are out of town in case of emergency.

    Who here has had good luck using a very safe, secure, ultra secure credit card, with little or no fees, that you can add to, that doesn't allow difficult children to ABUSE???????

    Can I get names and specifics? Thank you. Again, I suspect I asked something like this before...my apologies.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    It sounds like you are talking about re-loadable gift cards with a Mastercard or Visa symbol.

    You can purchase these in many locations (try your grocery store!) and because they say "Mastercard" or "Visa" they can be used anywhere credit cards are accepted.

    Because they are gift cards instead of credit cards, you have to oad money onto the card - BUT there is absolutely no possibility of overdrafts.

    Sounds like a good idea! I hope it works!
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    One option is to open an additional bank account with a corresponding credit card that is NOT attached to your regular checking/savings accounts. Keep no money in the account once you've opened it. At any time, you can log onto the bank and simply transfer funds into that account without difficult child being able to go over the allotted amount or dip into any other accounts. If you do this, be EXPLICIT with the bank that in NO WAY IS THIS ACCOUNT TO BE TIED TO ANY OTHER ACCOUNTS - explain the situation and make certain they understand its purpose.

    Another option is to do as DF said and get a prepaid Visa/MC and load money onto it. I don't know, however, if there is a way to load money onto it via the internet.

    And the only other solution I could think of is for you and difficult child each to open a PayPal account. From your paypal account, you can deposit a set amount of money into her paypal account. What can be a double edged sword type of situation is that the transaction can take up to 3 business days. On the one hand, you'd be able to really determing if it is a true emergency. on the other hand, if she needs the money asap, it may be too long of a wait.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Ditto what H&R said, open an account in your name only, keep $10 in it to keep it active, and you can transfer to it IF needed. Except I wouldn't put a debit card on it. I'd strictly put an ATM card on it.

    Even in this day and age, it takes time for those debit card transactions to hit the account, and she could go over the amount in a short amount of time.

    The other thing I would do? I'd do this all silently. I'd bring that atm card home and freeze it in the middle of a tupperware container of ice and mark it "fish bait" or something (put ice in the bottom, then the card, then cover with ice and water to freeze it all together). Then if she truly calls and ever needs it, she can thaw it out, but otherwise won't even know it exists.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There used to be prepaid credit cards, but the gift cards do pretty much the same thing. However, not sure if you can add to them via a computer while out of town.
  6. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Check out the teen upside visa cards. Adults can get them for themselves to "help them budget", but they can only spend what is already on the card. You might be able to make it work with her name on the card, but you supplying the money.

    Parents can load money onto the card online as needed or have money come from their checking accounts on a schedule.

    There is a small monthly fee and a $10 start up fee.

    I'm in the process of getting this card for my 14 year old but haven't used it yet.
  7. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would stick to a refillable Visa gift card; they do exist. Many banks sell them (Wachovia does). I've seen them at grocery stores/drug stores, but I haven't read the fine print to see if those are refillable, to be sure you check if you buy one there. I would *not* do any type of actual account at a bank, even a small one, because of the risk of overdraft charges, plus I woudln't want my name anywhere on any account my difficult child was associated with.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Walmart has refillable cards so obviously you can get to a walmart most anywhere. Even online at walmart.com
  9. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Ditto, Ditto, Ditto!

    ATM machines have to be balanced daily so there is a period of time every day that the balance on an account can't be read and it is not uncommon for accounts to be overdrawn during these periods.

  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We used one of the prepaid Visa cards at a point when husband just couldn't keep track of his spending and kept causing real problems by overspending. It ended up being a total PITA. It cost $5 every time you put $$ on it, had a monthly fee of $3, and they would let you a certain amount over the balance if you didn't spend the entire balance on it for 3 months. He had NO idea about the amount they let you overspend until I realized that he had used it for more than he should have been able to afford. Part of the reason we wanted it was to keep track of gas costs (he drove about 80 miles each way to work) on one card, but it was not worth the hassle.

    Many emergencies can be handled at Walmart or Sams, and they are in almost every area. It would be pretty easy to put $$ on a gift card if she needed it. Many medical places will treat you and send a bill later (our ER has stopped asking for copays if you have insurance. For people who are out of work they sometimes even drop the copay and just take what the insurance pays because so many people just cannot pay the copays and the cost of COBRA.) if you are hurt. They will also take a credit card over the phone or even online if they have a website.

    Be incredibly careful if you give her a credit card tied to you in ANY way. Anything she does to damage her own credit report will also damage yours. My mom has taken over paying my bro's utility bills and put him on a line on her phone account and just called it all rent because she and Dad own his property and he was getting his power cut off on a regular basis. She found out when she went to open an account to switch her credit cards over for a lower rate. her credit was perfect previously and suddenly had gone down quite a lot. It really upset her and she now has to be responsible for his monthly bills as well as hers and dads. He couldn't even get a cell phone other than a prepaid one and those are "ripoffs" according to him. After about a month of hearing him rant and having to go get my niece because gfgbro couldn't be reached she put another line on her phone bill and now shares minutes with him.

    It took her over a year to repair her credit, even giving the companies that do the ratings letters explaining the problem.

    Paypal would be a good idea if she has her own bank account that you are not on in any way. There are ways to send $$ instantly via paypal. If the person has a balance on paypal they can send $$ that will be available within minutes. If the person sending the $$ has it set up to take funds directly from their bank account instead of going through an echeck or a credit card, then the $$ will transfer immediately. I tested it with my mom. She sent me $50 via bank transfer on her end, to my paypal account on my end. I then sent the funds directly to my bank account and was able to go get the cash from my bank within an hour. We both use the same bank, but I don't think that played into it. What I do on paypal has absolutely no bearing on her bank or paypal account unless I send her money or she sends me money.
  11. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I think it sounds like the safest and cheapest (fees) way to do this is a ATM card, something set up with your bank with no balance held on the account beyond what you allow access to. If it is like here in Canada, you can not overdraft even for ATM dispensing fees. So if you have $20 in there and try to take out $20, add the $1.50 dispensing fee, making it $21.50 and the ATM will tell you insufficient funds. The upside, the $20 can still be used as direct pay at a cash register so it isn't trapped in the account. I would guess this would be simple enough to do with your own bank and thus you avoid any problem of over spending. Also, this would enable you to use internet banking from wherever you are and immediatly transfer money to her if you needed to. You can also then access the records online to see what she's been doing with the money you do deposit (always nice if trust is a factor)
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Thank you...read fast...will re-read all the replies later.
    Anyway here of a 'green dot' card?
  13. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    We used currentbydiscover.com. It's a teen card designed for exactly what you describe and served us very well. You have so many controls at your fingertips via computer. You can change as much and as often as you want. Changes are effective instantly. You can tranfer money to the card or even FROM the card. For example, if difficult child owes you money, you can go into the account and zap the funds right back to your account. I loved this card. I found no way you could ever find yourself in a liability issue over it. It can't be overdrawn. The only misuse I can think of would be if a difficult child was able to get "cash back" where a purchase was made or make a trade with a friend to buy their stuff in exchange for cash. I simply demanded receipts though. No receipt? Then just click to suspend the card. You can block ATM use if you want to. You can also set spending limits for daily, weekly, monthly as well as have some control over the types of businesses where the card can be used. You can view on the computer in "real time" when and where the card is used as well as how much was spent at the location. Therefore, I was able to use it even to track difficult child's whereabouts to some extent. The card is accepted wherever Discover is accepted.
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Thank you everyone.
    You can NOT open an account that has your name on it 'cause that is what we did the first go around and difficult child was able to get a credit card via this manner....even with- an average balance of a couple of dollars and no job.
    I have heard recently that the law (s) are being changed in this regard. Of course, it is the fault of difficult children who do this. (Get cc with- no job, over charge, can't pay it back, don't even try to pay it back, etc.) HOWEVER, these banks are almost going out of their way to invite this type of behavior. It wasn't too many years ago that the banks would NOT give a cc to a person who was not employed or at least greatly limited spending. IT is obviously a ploy to cause great debt....great over draft charges...I suppose they figure in due time they will get some of that money (if not all of it).
    We'll check the ideas here...we are being ultra careful. Thank you again.
  15. I'm reminded of my first credit card application... "free steak knives with application" I was a HS senior. I remember thinking "they won't give it to me!" but they did. Banks love collecting that interest payment... every way they can!!!!!
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I will say this much. We gave Onyxx a Visa Buxx card. Through my bank, but in HER name. NOT attached to my account, though I could transfer funds to and from it.


    The number was used at a vending machine (I wish we had those!) at a rest area in New Jersey - and overdrafted it. So they charged the card $10 extra. They wouldn't speak to me about it, or husband - it had to be Onyxx - though she was not-quite 14 at the time. But then they told her she was underage, her legal guardian had to call. And round and round. Finally they agreed to close the account. But did we get back the disputed $10? Nope.

    See, it had $10.50 - it was used for $11.75 - used, not declined. So instead of closing the account and sending us a check for $10.50 after they agreed we did not make the purchase? They just closed the account and took the money.

    There aren't protections on some of these. Read the fine print. The bank told me that since it was under $100, too bad. And of course Onyxx lost the paperwork, so I couldn't read the fine print.

    Visa/MasterCard/Discover/AmEx gift cards are infinitely better. And the freezer idea is awesome. Just be prepared to pay a one-time activation fee - probably around $3.