If the opportunity presents itself, I'd love to move back to the central part of Nebraska.
PD there is so much wrong with your statement, but I can appreciate it is your POV. You make assumptions about who or what I believe or my experiences that are no where near the truth.
Anyway, back to the topic - an interesting read on pre-paid credit cards/debit cards or store cards. In part
Hardekopf thinks the credit card discussion is part of a larger discussion that families need to have to help their kids become responsible adults.
"I think we do a great job training our kids,” he said. “We potty train them. We teach them how to ride a bike, to drive a car. But we do a bad job as parents training them how to handle money. And when you look at society, we don’t do a good job of talking about sex and money, two of biggest problems we all face."
When I was 12, my grandfather gave me a prepaid AmEx. The only complaint I had is that the card automatically deducts a service fee of $2 a month after 12 months. At 12, I was barely allowed to go to the mall by myself (there's no "walking to the mall" in Los Angeles), so I didn't spend the money that quickly, and I lost about $10 in service fees.
AmEx cards also cost $25 to buy the card (or something like that).
Either way, I loved the card. It was a really great entrée to the "big world" of spending money, and it was a lot safer than a debit card (because it wasn't linked to a bank account).
The only annoyance I've found with pre-paid credit cards is if you try to buy something for an amount more than the balance of the card. They may have fixed this flaw since, I remember trying to purchase, say, $60 worth of stuff and having a $50 pp card. The store's computer couldn't figure out to deduct $50 and then ask for another $10 from me -- it simply wouldn't work at all, unless the cashier manually punches in $50, then asks for the balance. That's bad enough if you have the full amount on the card, but if you've used it earlier to buy $12.31 worth of stuff, you have remember the balance, then tell the store cashier to apply only $37.69 to your purchase.
Yes, you can get the balance online and/or by phone, but still annoying.
The authorization hold lengths differ by transaction category. Most authorizations clear with 72 hours -- either a charge is settled or hold on the credit limit is cleared. Hotels are in a different category, and can keep the hold much longer, but not indefinitely. I've stayed in hotels for weeks at a time where I've had to settle my account when the bill reached a certain limit (India) or weekly (a B&B in Dublin).
"The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy
I used a permanent marker to record the balance on the card itself, so I knew what was left.