Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ding Your Kids For Replacement Cards

Prepaid card left on sidewalk.

Kids lose stuff. That includes payment cards (which is one of the many reasons you don’t want kids running around with yours).

I ran some stats on our family finance site to see how common losing a card is. 5.7% of non-parent FamZoo cardholders have ordered at least one replacement card. The worst offender has ordered a grand total of 6 replacements. Doh!

So, if you plan to teach your youngster or teen how to manage money with a payment card, find one that allows you to:

  • Receive real-time alerts whenever there’s any activity on the card. That’s often your first clue that the card is no longer in your teen’s pocket.
  • Lock the card immediately from an app or web application as soon as it goes missing so nobody can use it in the meantime.
  • Transfer funds off the card immediately so you have access to the funds elsewhere — on another card or in another account.
  • Order free (or cheap) replacements with minimal hassle.

Sounds good, right?

Well, maybe.

But what if all of those conveniences make your kid cavalier about losing cards? Shouldn’t there be some consequences for being careless with money? Indeed.

So consider imposing a parent penalty for lost cards. Maybe even ratchet up the amount for repeat offenses. A warning on the first one, $5 for the second, double it for successive ones.

What do you do with the fees collected? Perhaps sweep the impounded funds into the family swear jar.

Also, before you rush to order that next replacement card, consider just locking it and waiting 24 hours instead. Many a FamZoo card has been found beneath a teen’s pile of dirty clothes.

Want to turn these tips into action? Check out

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