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 piece is seventy-five minutes long...[l]ong enough for an idea to be developed, but not so long that one starts to measure the number of seats to the exits with desperation if the thing doesn’t work" -- Marina Harss
I used a permanent marker to record the balance on the card itself, so I knew what was left.