VISA cards.. you're no better than drug dealars.. asswipes!

Have you seen the new commercials for VISABUXX? It’s a kind of prepaid debit card for your teenagers. So, just giving your kid the cash isn’t good enough anymore. If your sprog can’t handle cash money, you think he/she can handle a (psuedo) credit card; GMAFB! At least with cash they know when the money is dwindling.

They claim it will foster responsiblilty in spending for your child!?

BULLSHIT, it is only a means to get your child hooked on credit cards…

Don’t fall for it.

VISA, you can kiss my ass.

Debit cards make a lot of sense to me. They are like credit cards , but you can’t rack up huge debts on them.

**At least with cash they know when the money is dwindling. **

…but you don’t know where it went. (I have a daughter who has no idea where her money goes - she just knows that it goes.) I believe that you get statements at the end of the month with debit cards, just as with credit cards, that tell you exactly where you spent your money. That’s something that you don’t get with cash.

Hell, it could be that the kids want to buy stuff on the Internet (I know that I do) and need a credit card number. It could be a college student who periodically needs large infusions of cash for books and supplies. This would also make a record of purchases, should a product fail to perform adequately. Heck, I think it’s a good idea.

I like them, too. Credit card companies these days, in my opinion, give out credit cards far too easily. The worst thing about with a teen getting a card (and all they really need is a good, steady job, it seems) would be the credit limit. If the company gives a Visa Gold to a working teen and sets the limit at, say, $5000, then so much for fiscal responsibility!

But with these debit cards, the whole thing’s in the parent’s name, which means the bill goes to them, not to the kid. Which means they can see what the kid’s spending the money on. Which also means that the parent can limit the kid’s spending. See? It’s even better than cash, because if you give your kid $20, who the heck knows where it went - and next week she or he is back looking for another $20!

So, IMO these new cards are better than cash because you can see what the kid’s buying and are better than typical credit cards because the limit’s set by the parents, meaning that they can change the limit depending on their own opinion of the kid’s responsibility. Set it initially at, say, $100, then up it if the kid is proving his or her maturity.

I owe my soul to the Demon Lord Visa. I tremble at its dark presence.

Two things to remember:

  1. Drug dealers and their ilk don’t usually honour debit cards.

  2. These cards are a good way to make kids understand that a card doesn’t mean unlimited spending. It has a limit. This will be an important concept to understand when they do get a real credit card.

They are like drug dealers!

It’s not the debit cards they’re offering I have a problem with. Hell, it’s no different than the bank debit/ATM card. What irks me is they way they invade college campuses every freakin’ fall and cluster around the Student Union offering free t-shirts and other goddies just for filling out an application. I’ve heard their schpeels, inticing students across the walk. “Just apply. You don’t need a credit history or rating. No, we don’t look at your parents credit histories. Oh, it’s easy for students to get them! Come apply…”

I swear I can almost hear the hiss of of the serpent in Eden when they talk.

Then they go through the application and fine print agreement too fast for many of the kids to understand if English isn’t their first language. I’ve seen them do it. Bastards.

Damned if 98% of those that apply don’t get them. I feel even worse for the international students who are suddenly the wide eyed holders of 5 different shiny new credit cards with $5000.000 limits which may well exceed their family’s annual income back home and have no idea how to use the damned things responsibly. I finally had to sit down with a friend of mine who was an international student and had racked up a huge amount of debt on her cards and explain how the system worked when I realized she had no idea that the minimum payment for her Bank America Visa was just for that Visa. She still had to pay that on all 5 cards every month.

The vendors who hawk them should be forced to wear their “Visa’s Soul Stealer of the Month” badge everywhere they go.

Good points, Arden - but note that everyone else is/was talking specifically about debit cards.

Yes, I know, WGFF. But I just had a run in with the damned credit card hawkers who were working the SU for Spring semester when I was trying to buy my books and just had to get it off my chest.

I humbly apologize to Origato for inadvertantly hijaking their thread. I kinda saw red when the word “Visa” came into view. :slight_smile:

Hey…I think it’s a great idea. Drug dealers don’t take Visa, last time I checked. :slight_smile:

And the point is, there is no point!

What’s the diff between giving your kid $100 or putting the same amount into a debit account (plus 5-10 dollars fee)?

If you want to track their spending, that’s OK, just don’t pawn it off as a a way of teaching responsibility. I’m 42 years old and I’ve been sucked into the credit maelstrom.

I just don’t think 16 year olds have a chance…

How about some personal responsibility. If you’re old enough to vote or enter into a contract you are responsible for the consequences.

Ya, blame the credit companies. It’s all their fault that Johnny just blew $5000 on pizza and beer.

Gimme a break!

The difference is that if you give him cash and he spends it, he has no real incentive to pay it back (except for you, of course). If that same $100 is from his debit card, then he has to answer to two authorities: you and the omnipotent credit card company. Since you’ve been ‘sucked into the credit maelstrom,’ you know how relentless those companies can be. (I’m in a similar situation.) They don’t just keep your balance on there so you can pay when you want, they send letter after letter and place phone call after phone call.

You mentioned a ‘5-10 dollars fee.’ I have a regular debit card now, and the only fee I encounter is an overcredit fee. You’re right, with cash you wouldn’t encounter this at all, but you’re the parent - you can determine what a reasonable limit would be that would not incur that fee. If you are skeptical about his spending abilitiy, make the limit very low. If he still goes over his limit, you pay that fee once and either get rid of the debit card complelely or lower the limit. You have all the control in the world - much more than you would over a normal credit card and not much less than you would over cash itself.

See, to me (and you certainly may disagree) simply giving your kid cash teaches them nothing - except that you’re a handy ATM. Giving them a credit card does teach them responsibility, but the consequences (as you noted) can be dire. Those companies do drag you in and never let you go. A debit card, in my estimation, teaches your kid responsibility while giving you the control of cash (and the paper trail to back up your words, and an additional authority - the cred company - to harass your kid into paying back his debt.)

I think you’re misunderstanding the Visa Buxx. There is no debt. It’s kind of like a gift card from a store or a phone card.You send Visa some amount of money (say $100)and they put that amount minus their fee ( I think it’s around $5)in the account. If there’s a $95 balance, that’s what can be spent. No debt.You pay in advance.

Ok, sorry about that - I might have misunderstood the purpose. It’s not a debit card, but more like a gift card? Then that’s even better. So you give Visa the money, they take out 5 whole dollars for their fee, and that’s that - then the kid can use it for online purchases. I don’t know why that would be a problem for parents. But since I’m not a parent… :slight_smile: It actually seems to foster some responsibility. Aside from the $5, there’s no other fee? So you put on, say $100 and the kid has $95 to spend. Since he knows he has a set amount to work with, he will have to do some minor budgeting. I wish I had that back in the day! I can’t budget now worth a damn. :slight_smile:

Thanks for clearing up my misconception, doreen!


I remember when I got my first piece of mail that said ‘here is ten reasons why your teenager needs a credit card’. I laughed. My college now sets up debit accounts at the bookstore, I suppose so that one’s precious son or daughter doesn’t spend all that ‘book’ money on beer. But this sneaky little idea takes the cake.

I think that is a horrible idea. I dont think it is good to learn early on that plastic is analogous to cash. If you give your kids cash, they see that they are spending actual money that someone worked hard for. If you put money directly into a debit account, it looks like money that magically appeared out of no where and carries no responsibility.

Plus, I hate to see plastic be hip. I know that we need credit cards to survive in this world, but I think we need to delay the onset of credit card ownership as long as possible. Young people get into big trouble with credit cards, trouble that can haunt them for decades. Why do we want to give them this first introduction to them? Even though these aren’t credit cards, they still teach kids that it’s a hip and valid to use a card to manage all your finances. When they graduate to a real credit card, they will continue that habit, exept this time it’s for reals.

And no, these are not like an ATM card. With an ATM card, you see the twenty. Your spend the twenty. You watch that twenty dwindle and slip through your hands. You know that twenty is gone forever. With an card like the one proposed, you never see the twenty. You never feel the pain of losing the twenty. You just swipe the twenty and get magic free goods.

These cards are like giving crack to a three year old. It is a great way to hook kids early and well. Remeber, these companies arn’t out there to make your job as a parent easier, they are out there to make sure your kids soon give them a lot of cash. These cards are there to ensure that your kids become life long slaves.

. I dont think it is good to learn early on that plastic is analogous to cash

OK, I’ll rise to the bait. :slight_smile:

Plastic isn’t analogous to cash - it’s a lot better if you know how to handle the responsibility. Further, it’s the wave of the future. “Cash”, on the other hand, is going the way of pieces-of-eight and gold bullion. If you doubt this, just try to rent a car or hotel room today using cash.

Teaching your kids the proper way to handle plastic by starting out with debit cards that keep them from getting into trouble is an excellent idea. It’s like teaching them how to drive by making them get a learner’s permit and have a licensed driver in the car with them at all times first.

… Or would you prefer that they learn about the downside of consumer credit the hard way?

I don’t think there is anything wrong with the idea of using plastic instead of cash. I hardly ever use cash–I think that it is silly to carry around any large amount of money that can so easily be lost. Furthermore, I think it cuts down on impulse purchases–I mighgt buy a coke and a candy ba if I have a couple dollors in my pocket, but I won’t bother if I am going to have to pull out the card. Furthermore, being able to see at the end of the month where all your money went can be very informative. You can spend 20 bucks each weekend in a bar and it not seem like much, but when yu realize at he end of the month that you are having to write a $100 check to cover it all, you see how it adds up.

For what it’s worth, I carried one of my partent’s credit cards all through high school and into college. (This was before debit cards, but they used it like one, paying off the balence every month) It was for emergencies and for authorized purchases (clothes, say. I hated to shop and I never went shoping with anyone after I could drive). At one point it was for gas.

I agree that credit card companys are evil, and I agree that marketing credit cards to demographic groups because those demographic groups are established to be cash cows in terms of late fees and interest charges is especially evil, the fact is that credit is used responsibly by many poeple and that it can be a very good thing–when someone across the contry dies and you need a plane ticket, or your hot water heater has to be replaced, it is useful to have purchasing power, and worth the charges you incur.

The good thing about a card is that they can’t lie about what and where and when the money went. If the kid is getting a 100% free ride from the parents, it is IMO well to give some playtime money. If they are working or using money earned in the past, that can go partly to play time.

If your kid is perfect, it does not make any difference what you do, they’ll never cause you trouble… LOL yeah, right !

The bigger trick it to not bail them out when they are 21 and made a bad decision… That is the precedent that needs to be avoided IMO.

People are saying that this debit card idea can be used to help parents teach kids about how to handle money. Evidently the idea is that the parents can track how their kids spend the money that the parents gave them in the first place.

What is the value of learning how to spend other people’s money? Seems to me that any lessons about managing money would be dwarfed by the lesson that money is something that magically appears in an account. I submit that the only way to get someone to truly appreciate the value of money is to force him/her to work for it.