Back-to-School – BillMyParents.com Spend Smart Card
By Audrey van Petegem, Senior Editor
Finally a spend-smart credit card for teenagers! When my son was 16 years old, he had an opportunity to go England and train with the coach of the Manchester United soccer team. Chase (my son, not the bank) had a bank account but due to under-18 age status, he was restricted with his ATM debit-only card which he could not use as a credit card. So, we nervously gave him cash to take with him. I bought several travel type garments (socks, money belts) in which he could hide the money. Not a great solution but the best we could come up with.
Now that airlines only take credit cards for purchases I always wonder how kids traveling alone pay for snacks? I was thrilled to discover the Billmyparents Spent Smart Card, which is a preloaded credit card specifically (and smartly) designed with both parents and teenagers needs in mind. The SpendSmart Card does not operate on credit, so it doesn't positively or negatively affect the credit score of parents or teens. If the money is in the account, the teen can spend it; when it's gone, it's gone, and the card is declined, until mom and dad reloads it. While teens get the freedom to make (reasonable) purchases, parents can track their spending, teach them responsibility, reload or lock the card when needed. Both parents and teens can instantly track spending and account balance by text alerts on their phones. If parents are seeing that their teen is not making smart purchasing choices then the card can be locked anytime by phone or computer. Or, if your teen looses the card it can be instantly locked and easily replaced.
Money can be sent instantaneously, so the teen will never be stuck without money in case of an emergency. Designed for the 13 year old and older, it is a great way to pay your younger teen their allowance. Plus, friends and family can load their special occasion monetary gift directly to the card.
The website has great tips on teaching our teens about spending, saving and budgeting. While Billmyparents Spend Smart Card is a super convenient tool for parents it's also a great way to give our teenagers some valuable life lessons about spending and managing their money. Now if I send my younger children (when they get a bit older) on a trip by themselves they (and we) will not have to sweat about their spending money.