Discover Prepaid Debit Card Gives Parents More Control
Are you a parent looking to give your teen access to money while still maintaining spending limits and control? Do you want a card that can help your teen learn how to be responsible with money? There’s a new debit card by Discover that can help with just that — The Discover Current Debit Card.
These types of teen cards are becoming more popular as it is becoming apparent how important it is to help get a young person off on the right foot when learning about money. We all want our children to avoid bad spending habits, rack up debt, and learn how to manage money properly, but it can be tough for parents to keep up with everything.
That’s where these teen-based cards can really help make it easier on parents. Cards like the Discover Current card come with a lot of features that give parents the control they need while still allowing teens to access money as they would if it was their own account.
The Discover Current Debit Card
Introducing the Current card by Discover, a new kind of debit card for teens with built-in parental controls. With Current Card, parents can add money easily to a card for their teens, set spending limits and e-mail or text message activity alerts, track purchases and access exclusive discounts online. Teens can choose from one of seven unique teen card designs and have access to the following features and benefits:
- Debit Card for Teens with built-in parental controls
- Set daily, weekly, and monthly spending limits
- Restrict teen card use in unwanted shopping categories (e.g. liquor stores, tobacco stores, hotels, etc.)
- Free Direct Deposit for parents & teens
- Free deposits from any credit card or bank account
- $0 fraud liability guarantee
- Withdraw cash at ATMs
- Get exclusive discounts at teen’s favorite merchants
- Free e-mail and text message activity alerts
- No minimum balances, loading fees, or credit check
Since this is a debit card and not a credit card, there’s no credit check and all you need is a bank account to fund the card. If you’re looking to establish a credit history for your teen, then it’s important to note that this won’t accomplish that. At the same time, this also means your teen is guaranteed to get a card even if they don’t have a credit history or you don’t want to co-sign a credit card for them.
How Much Does it Cost?
When you open your teen card account you will deposit an initial amount of at least $20 to each card. You also choose a plan for each card and pay the first month’s membership fee of $5-or choose a $50 annual membership (at a savings of $10). Once you choose the plan, the fee will be assessed for each card at account opening. Other card fees are listed below:
- Add money to the card – FREE
- Four free ATM transactions per month per card (each additional ATM usage is 50 cents)
- $3 for a new card design or replacement lost/stolen card
- Online print-ready statements – FREE
- Copies of statements by mail $5
- $0 inactivity or “dormancy” fee
Do It Yourself and Other Options
For the do-it-yourself parents, you can probably find a way to structure some accounts for your teen that accomplishes many of the same tasks for less. Unfortunately, that also means you probably have to set up an account at the bank for your teen, may not have the ability to set automated spending limits, etc. So if you’re looking for simplicity, easy online control and reports, and the other unique features, a few bucks a month is probably not a big deal and makes the Discover Current Debit Card a good deal.
There may be some concern regarding the fact that it’s a Discover card and it isn’t as widely accepted as say Visa or Mastercard. It is worth checking to ensure that the card is accepted where your teen might use it, but in most cases there shouldn’t be a problem. There’s also another teen card out there by Visa called the Visa Buxx. Unfortunately, this card has more restrictions and fees for many users. For this card you have to sign up through a select group of banks, and if you don’t have an account with the bank, you are typically faced with a fee each time you deposit money on the prepaid card.
So, if you’re looking for a simple way to give your teen access to money using a card while still maintaining total control, I think this card is one of the best options available yet.
Apply for the Discover Current Debit Card today!
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.