Have you ever wished that you could hand your teenager a prepaid card and use it to teach them fiscal responsibility?
Or have the desire to help out your college aged kid without handing them a full fledged credit card that could land you (and them) in a pot of hot water?
Or want to keep certain spending within limits?
Now you can.
American Express now offers prepaid cards. It’s not debit or credit, it’s prepaid. Which means, it won’t affect your credit score, and there are no overdraft fees.
The card is easy to sign up for via the American Express website. You can choose to link the card to your personal banking account, or not. If you do link it to your personal banking account, you can choose to have automatic deposits made to the card, or not.
I signed up for the American Express Prepaid Card because I wanted to give it a whirl. I tend to carry quite a few gift cards in my wallet, and honestly I get tired of having to sort through the gift cards to figure out which is which. By using the AmEx Prepaid Card, I can reduce the number of cards I have to carry AND stay within budget.
I chose to link the card to my personal banking account, so it did take a little bit of time to actually receive it. I ordered it on August 22nd and received it on September 6th, sixteen days later. When you link the card to your personal checking account, AmEx makes two small deposits to your personal banking account, and you have to record the amount of those deposits on the prepaid card site to verify the bank account. It took about 48 hours for the two deposits to show on my personal banking account online, and about 48 seconds to verify the account on the prepaid site once it had.
Once I received the card, I followed the activation instructions by calling the 866 number listed in the paperwork I received. That, too, was quick and painless.
I won’t actually be using it, but the card does allow one free ATM withdrawal per calendar month. Thereafter, a $2 fee is assessed against the card balance. Of course, the pin number is sent separately from the card, so it is secure. I can use my own banking card for ATM withdrawals without fees, so it wouldn’t behoove me to use the AmEx card as an ATM card. However, if I were giving the card to a teen, it would be nice if they could use it at the ATM without being charged any extra fees.
The cool thing about the American Express Prepaid Card for parents of teens (you can authorize someone who is 13 years of age or older to use the Card) or college students is that you can track their spending, set up the auto reloads (or not), and get email or text alerts when the card has a low balance. And you can have peace of mind knowing they can only spend what’s preloaded on the Card. Without having the auto reload feature scheduled, your teen can actually submit a reload request, which you can choose to supply (or not).
So, before you hand your teenager your credit card, consider the American Express Prepaid Card.
- NO ANNUAL FEES
- NO MONTHLY FEES
- NO CUSTOMER SERVICE FEES
- NO CREDIT CHECKS OR OVERDRAFT FEES
- NO TRANSACTION FEES
- ONE FREE ATM WITHDRAWAL MONTHLY
As I mentioned, I will be using mine to consolidate the cards in my wallet.
How would you use it?
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of American Express and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.