Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Current by Discover Card Teen Debit Card

Growing up, I was never really taught about money. My mom was the kind of mom that could not say no. Within reason, if I wanted something I got it. When I hit middle school, I would only wear name brand clothes, my mom actually took out a loan from the house to buy my clothes at Hudson's. She did similar things for my brother with his ever changing fads, etc. I started working at 16 at a clothing store in the mall. I mall was not the place to work when you love clothes and do not know how manage money let me tell you. I did start buying my own clothes, but I also started opening credit card accounts at 17. I did pretty good on my own for awhile, but since I was never taught about saving, when I lost my job at 18 due to the store closing I had no way to pay all my bills. That started my downward spiral into bad credit.

I've made it a goal of mine, not to let that happen with my girls. I openly talk to them about money. When we don't have it, we don't have it and they know. I of course don't go into detail, etc, but they do know our situations over the years. My mom totally disagrees with me on this one, I guess we will see how my girls turn out financially.

With the economic crisis, hitting extra hard in Michigan money gets pretty tight for us. When Mom Central emailed me about Discovers new card, I happily agreed to tell my readers about it.

To help us balance the desire of our kids with the balance in our checking accounts, Discover Card came up with a truly innovative debit card called Current by Discover Card, designed especially for kids ages 13 to 18. The Current Card helps us teach our kids born in a digital age how to manage spending. Like car companies that allow you to set the maximum speed limit on your teen's car, Current by Discover Card puts moms in control by letting you set (daily, weekly, monthly) spending limits, block certain merchant categories (like ATMs and liquor stores) and track your teen's spending online or through email and text message alerts. Plus, because it's a debit card product, the card stops working when the limit is reached without incurring any additional fees, which protects your teens from overspending. { I love this feature because normal bank debit cards usually allow you to go negative and then charge tons of fees }

Current features include:

  • Helpful Account Management Features: Parents can set spending limits, restrict merchant categories and track their teen’s spending through online statements, e-mail and text message alerts. They also enjoy the convenience of free, flexible loading options. Teens also can load their paychecks onto the card through direct deposit.

  • Advanced Security Features: Current is protected by Discover’s $0 fraud liability, which means cardmembers are never responsible for unauthorized charges – online, offline, anytime, anywhere. Current cards that are lost or stolen will be temporarily suspended or deactivated, and cardmembers will be eligible for an emergency replacement.

  • Financial Education Resources: Teens can learn how to spend smarter by logging onto the Account Center at CurrentbyDiscover.com. There they can view helpful articles on topics such as basic financial concepts, protecting yourself from identify theft, starting a savings program, and making your money go further.

    In addition, Current by Discover Card also is sponsoring a financial literacy program across high schools nationwide through its Money Smarts Program, designed to help educate high school juniors and seniors on basic money management skills. The Money Smarts Program covers the basic concepts of financial literacy and correlates with national academic standards set fourth by the National Endowment for Financial Education.

  • Meaningful Rewards: Teens are eligible for members-only in-store coupons and online discounts when they use their card at select restaurants, movie theaters and teen-friendly merchants. What’s more, parents earn Discover Cashback Bonus or Miles when they load their teen’s Current Card using their Discover Card.

  • Low Pricing: Cardmembers pay a $5 monthly charge for each card, or save $10 by paying an annual fee of $50. Fees include four free ATM withdrawals per card per month.
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I feel it is important to teach our kids about money, budgeting, spending wisely, etc. Not just about those things though ~ we have to face facts, it is a digital age. Kids need to also learn how to use checking accounts, debit and credit cards. Most schools do not teach these important life lessons. It is up to us as parents to teach these skills.

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