Prepaid card for a teen

Old Jun 5th, 2020, 05:51 AM
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Prepaid card for a teen

Hey everybody! My daughter is planning to go to Roma to see her penpal in September ( I hope it would be possible by that time) Could you advise any good card which she can use in EU without extra fees and which can be linked to my account so i can control her spendings. No credit cards please, otherwise we will go bankrupt )
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Old Jun 5th, 2020, 09:59 AM
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The thing about prepaid cards are it will most likely be in dollars and your daughter would have to know how much she has left and the conversion rates. You can load them from the US. Years ago, I gave my kids a AAA prepaid visa. I think AAA offered one in Euros? You have to check. It looks like the travelex will be in Euros.

You can also get a card linked to your account in her name for emergencies only. You can cancel it if it's lost or stolen. If she loses the prepaid card,, then she has no card at all. Not sure what the protocol is for getting a new prepaid card, but I imagine if someone drains the funds, then they are gone? It would be something to ask about. Amex is not as widely accepted in Europe. Visa or mastercard are best.

She should have more than one source to get money. And remember getting cash from any credit card is a cash advance and you will be charged for that. Wells Fargo can give her a student debit card checking that is usable in Europe. You can load the account as needed and it is a debit card and can be charged as a visa too. That may be your best bet.

Last edited by girlonthego; Jun 5th, 2020 at 10:01 AM.
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Old Jun 5th, 2020, 10:08 AM
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Unless that is your only option - a pre-paid card is usually not a great idea. There are often fees to load it, fees to use it, and even fees to close it out.

Perhaps a better idea - if you don't want her to have access to your main account(s) would be to open a small-ish checking account in both your names so you and she can access it from anywhere (or a special student debit card as girlonthego describes) and also to add her name to one of your credit card accounts. As girlonthego mentions - it is important to have at least two sources
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Old Jun 6th, 2020, 07:50 AM
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Agreeing with all points above. She needs more than one way to get money. A pre-paid cash card (besides the extra fees as janisj mentions) is like cash, so lose it, it's gone. Different than an ATM/debit card which could be replaced.

Why not go ahead and open a checking account in her own name, with a debit card attached to it that she can use at ATM machines? per the last sentence from girlonthego. You can control how much money is in that account (do not link it to your own account).

And I would suggest to order some Euro online so she has a small stash of cash to use as well (a few hundred dollars-worth). Plus another $200 in USD, as a third small emergency fund.

Last edited by suze; Jun 6th, 2020 at 07:53 AM.
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Old Jun 6th, 2020, 08:02 AM
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When our kids did their study abroad terms, we opened joint accounts so that we could add money when needed and if there were any issues, we could take care of it here in the states. The kids had a checking account as well as a credit card. Thankfully they never had any issues.

My husband and I do sort of the same thing now. We have specific travel checking accounts so that we can take those and not worry about our main joint account being affected.
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Old Jun 6th, 2020, 12:56 PM
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Follow mms recommendations to the letter. That is exactly what I was going to post. If she is older enough to travel on her own to Europe then she is old enough to start setting up credit and debit cards. It is time she learns how to handle this. Both our sons had credit cards with strict limits and control in high school so that they learned how these things worked. Prepaid cards tend to be expensive with hidden fees and some times limited acceptance.

Last edited by fmpden; Jun 6th, 2020 at 12:59 PM.
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