I’m still trying to figure out this prepaid Visa card thing. In our household, prepaid Visa cards for students makes no sense. My bet is that it is the same for you, too.
My bank (Chase) offers students in our household free checking accounts that come with a free debit card. We just don’t order checks – we ordered deposit slips instead (a lesson about putting more in than taking out). No overdrafts are approved – if the kids don’t have the cash, the transaction is declined. $25 was all that was needed to open the account.
Adding money to the account is easy – just make a deposit at one of their 5100 branches (mom or dad can link their account for “emergencies”). Plus the kids get FREE Online Banking and Bill Pay, FREE Mobile banking, FREE Account Alerts, plus FREE Access to more than 15,000 Chase ATMs.
In other words, the free Chase Student Checking account does everything – and more – than these “store-bought” prepaid Visa Cards. Plus, it is free and far more convenient.
I’m sure every bank in the country has a similar program.
Our conclusion: Overpriced prepaid Visa debit cards from these on-line banks and Walmart are best set aside for folks who got kicked out of the bank for too many overdrafts or have deeply tarnished credit. Our kids don’t need them. Neither do yours.