View Full Version : Pre paid visa cards?

GA girl
06-29-2009, 09:23 PM
My daughter is going on a trip with my sister for 10 days. What is the best way for me to send money with her? I don't really want to give her cash. I was thinking about the prepaid visa card that you can get from Wal-Mart. However, I have never purchased one and was wondering if they are easy to use or if she would have a problem accessing the money?
I don't really want to get travellers checks for her, and my bank does not have a prepaid debit card available.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

06-30-2009, 11:16 AM
Can't you just send your sister a check for the amount and let her dole out the money to your daughter?

I ask this because I've found Visa and Amex prepaid cards a real hassle. It's a big scam that the credit card companies came up with. Frequently there is a fee just to get the card. I think that Amex charges you $4.95 just to buy a card. Then there are the fees when you check your balance on the phone. And if you don't use the card up entirely, they start charging a monthly fee after 12 months (some sooner).

There are certain types of stores where you can't use them at all (gas stations are one, but not that your daughter would use them there). Many retailers have systems that can't handle the transaction if you have to split payment methods when there is not enough on the card to cover the amount of the purchase. Some do, but a lot don't. Their system will go after the entire purchase amount and get rejected because purchase amount is over the card amount.

And some people at the cash register may not get the concept of a split sale or be able to do the math for one. I'm not knocking cashiers, as many of them are great. But many vacation areas have seasonal help, frequently teens, who can't add or subtract. Heck, I have to teach basic math to my two interns, such as when you subtract a negative number, it's basically the same thing as adding a positive number. And they're 30 and 45 years old. :bang:

My SIL would give these to me and my DH at Christmas and birthdays and we finally asked her to stop and either give us cash or make a donation to a charity if she doesn't know what to get us.

Magic Smiles
06-30-2009, 10:05 PM
Good to hear about these prepaid VISA cards. I had been thinking about getting one instead of travellers cheques for our upcoming trip. Think I will stick to travellers cheques and pass on the preparid visa card.

06-30-2009, 10:17 PM
We gave my dd an AMEX card. Yes we did pay $4.95 to purchase it but it had some advantages. We could track purchases online for free, she didn't have to run to us whenever she needed cash, we could buy it online with her name printed on it so no one else could use it and if it ever got lost or stolen we could call and a replacement would be sent out for the amount remaining on the card.

GA girl
06-30-2009, 10:38 PM
Thanks for the replys.
I think I will just give cash to my sister and let her give her what she needs when she needs it.
They leave next Wednesday and will be gone for 10 days.

06-30-2009, 11:08 PM
Is your daughter old enough to have her own debit card attached to a checking account? You can still monitor spending online and if she has her own account it's a good opportunity to start her thinking about saving and spending responsibly ... and there's no fee for usage and if there's an emergency you can add funds immediately...