Friday, July 22, 2016

Teach Teens How To Use Prepaid Cards At The Pump

Prepaid At A Pump

“Dad, the gas station just stole all the money off my prepaid card, and now I’m stranded. Help!”

Uh, oh. The old gas station preauthorization aggravation situation!

  • Your teen swipes a prepaid card with $22.96 on it at the pump.
  • Not knowing how much gas will be pumped, the card reader device tries to preauthorize a healthy sum — often $75 — on the card.
  • The attempted purchase is declined because $75 exceeds the current balance.
  • An authorization hold for the $75 lingers on the card.
  • Boom! Your teen is out the funds for up to 30 days!

Yes, it’s outrageous. But that’s how the scenario often goes down. Huge bummer.

It’s easy to avoid though. Teach your teen to take the prepaid card into the gas station attendant and say:

“Please charge my card exactly $20 dollars for gas on pump number 7.”

In other words, make sure your teen knows to treat a prepaid card just like cash when at the pump.

That way, you won’t get that panicked call. You also won’t get talked into loaning your credit card to your teen for gas — which means your teen won’t be pumping money out of you either.

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