The Current Card by Discover is a card marketed exclusively for teens. The Discover website proclaims this card as a card designed for teens– but tailored for parents (who are responsible for paying teenagers’ bills). This card is characteristic of a debit card. It can pay bills through electronic debit machine, at an online store, or used to withdraw money directly through an ATM. The account can be set up online and then used immediately. It is easy to add money to the account and customize controls for the card. Read this Current by Discover Teen Prepaid Debit Card review to see if this is the best credit card for your needs or use our free credit card finder to compare other cards.
Why is the Current by Discover Card Useful to Teens?
Teenagers across America have been using the Current Card for a variety of circumstances, including living expenses, large or small purchases, direct deposit to your job, easy transferability (so mom and dad can send additional credit for earning those high grades) and theft protection. If a card is lost or stolen, the card can be temporarily disabled. There are also online financial education tips and tools to help youngsters plan their future.
Like any Discover credit card, the Current Card is accepted nationwide at many stores, restaurants and even online websites. There are seven designs that teens can choose from, including light blue, psychedelic green, artsy green, Goth grey, urban brown and two shades of black, one with a purple skull and the other with fantasy “dragon” design.
Two factors set this card apart from a traditional debit card: the ability teens have to track their purchases online, through email, or via text messaging, as well as the ability to set spending limits. Let’s first consider the tracking feature. Teens can customize their accounts to receive text messages (or email) alerting them to when they are paid or when additional funds arrive into their account. They can also check their balance and history of purchases online.
Spending Limits and “Parental Controls”
Teens or parents may find it useful to set spending limits on a credit card account, given that teens are usually the most impulsive of buyers. Parents or teens can better manage their money by setting spending limits by the day, the week or the month. While this type of provision may be thought of as restrictive to some teens, for other families, this is an effective strategy. This can help students to save up their own money, or parents to control monthly family spending.
Parents also have additional features for teen protection beyond spending limits. For example, card spending can be blocked in specific locations: like bars or liquor stores, hotel rooms and even ATMs. This is method of managing qualified spending. Teens will have access to daily necessities or even medical or circumstantial emergencies. However, splurging and underage “vice” spending, can be disqualified. That may not be an attractive feature to a teen, but to a worried mom that is one advantageous card!
Teens, God bless them, also have the tendency to lose things. Not that forgetfulness gets better with age, but honestly, how many times has your teenager lost money or misplaced an important card? The Discover Current Card allows temporary freezing of all funds in the event of card loss. This is a much safer situation than allowing teen to walk around town with a wad of cash.
Parents also have access to the Current Card account and can check and see what kind of purchases are being made and how much money is being spent. Parents can even be instantly “alerted” through text or email, just as sons and daughters can. This card definitely gives parents peace of mind…it is possibly more advantageous to parents than it is to teens.
Disadvantages of the Discover Teen Debit Card
Are there any disadvantages to using this card? First off, the Current Card is a debit card, which means there is no credit to work with. Teens can only spend the money they have. Though this arrangement could be considered a disadvantage to a teen, this is probably on the plus side for an adult who does not want to worry about massive credit card debt. Since the card is considered a debit card and not an instrument of credit, this card will not have positive or negative effect on your teen’s credit history.
The Current Card is only designed for use within the United States, so if your teen is traveling to Mexico, it will be better to use a credit card or hard cash. In fact, teens may be frustrated to learn that not all U.S.-based stores accept Discover Card, not when compared to other products by Visa or Mastercard.
Discover Teen Prepaid Debit Card Fees and Charges
There is a participation fee of $5.00 a month, which only approaches $60.00 a year. ATM withdraw fees are only .50 cents per transaction. (The first four withdraws cost nothing) The fee to replace a stolen or lost card is only $3.00. However, the printed card statement can be a nuisance at $5.00 a month. You might be better off checking for updates online. There are no extra fees for inactivity.
Special Discover Current Card Benefits
There is a $0 liability guarantee that protects young consumers from identity theft and other fraudulent charges. Teens who frequently use the card can also enjoy in-store or online discounts at notable retailers. There are also online coupons and printable coupons available. This card does lack the extra “sweet” benefits of the typical rewards programs you find with adult credit cards.
Though teens may not appreciate the card’s restrictive nature (indeed it is the only card on the market offering “parental controls) the advantages the card offers over cash purchasing, regular debt account and borrowing credit cards for parents, are substantial. This card is ideal for families with more than one child in the household, because up to three accounts per family are allowed. Flexibility and control are this card’s greatest features.
Click on the orange apply button above to apply for the Current by Discover Teen Prepaid Debit Card or use our free credit card finder to compare all cards!
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