Guide discussion: Cards for under-18s

edited 10 May 2017 at 2:02PM in Savings & Investments
30 replies 38.7K views
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  • A1234A1234 Forumite
    4 Posts
    GoHenry cards (and other cards with a teen chip in) are frequently blocked at convenience stores and cafes where the retailer have their payment machine set as an 'over 18' retailer.
    It is embarrassing to have it declined so depending where you will be using it you would be better off with a debit card from your own bank. (If you're over 11)
    I contacted GoHenry who said it was the retailers fault and although I asked for a refund of my monthly charges they refused. (I have only had this card for a few months)
    So in summary don't use GoHenry due to poor customer service! and if GoHenry are reading this, make sure your customers are warned why your card will be declined.
  • I went into Barclays yesterday to open accounts for my 11&13 year olds & was told they couldn’t have debit cards, and that was the same with all banks???? Are you sure you’re information is correct?
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    Rach3l123 wrote: »
    I went into Barclays yesterday to open accounts for my 11&13 year olds & was told they couldn’t have debit cards, and that was the same with all banks???? Are you sure you’re information is correct?

    Debit cards are linked to credit facilities. Normally it will be 18 but some banks may offer them at 16 if the parents are of good standing with the bank.

    This thead is not about debit cards but pre-paid cards.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • jimjamesjimjames Forumite
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    Rach3l123 wrote: »
    I went into Barclays yesterday to open accounts for my 11&13 year olds & was told they couldn’t have debit cards, and that was the same with all banks???? Are you sure you’re information is correct?

    No it's not correct. My kids had debit cards with Natwest since age 11. Limited to being able to spend what's in the account so not contactless and couldn't be used in certain situations I recall
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    Are we perhaps getting terminology/jargon issues here?

    A bank that doesnt offer a pre-paid card and has someone approach them asking for a debit card for an 11 year old is going to get told they are too young.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • If you read the article and look at what the banks provide, they will almost all let children have debit cards. Some have a choice between a charge card or a debit card.

    The 'Prepaid card' providers (Osper, GoHenry etc) only provide pre-paid cards, but have the advantage of allowing the parent to monitor the spending and potentially control the cards.

    My kids travel by train from an unmanned station, without a ticket machine. On trains, it seems that the ticket machines rarely accept pre-paid cards - perhaps they're unable to check there's cash on them reliably?

    I'd really like a 'halfway house' a kids bank account, but with apps for both the child and parent to monitor spending. Maybe with some controls for the parent, but I'm not even too worried about that. Doesn't seem to difficult, but equally, doesn't seem to exist.

    Perhaps a gaping hole for one of the more 'agile' banks to fill and potentially corner the market in kids bank accounts - at least until the others catch up?!
  • DuddDudd Forumite
    3 Posts
    Nimbl is no longer £15 per year, so please revisit your recommendations as they are now out of date.
  • I am looking to change my daughters card after using osper for several years, mainly as they just tripled the yearly charge for me.
    My 14 year old daughter frequently travels abroad, often without us accompanying her so I am looking for an alternative to osper that will give me the least fees for overseas spending. Osper never charged her any fees on overseas spending and exchange rate was ok.
    What accounts/ cards would you recommended?
  • LucyeffLucyeff Forumite
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    It would be great if this info could be updated please. We're looking to swap our children's accounts from GoHenry due to some customer service issues, also the charges have really rocketed since last year. We'd have to be rich to keep them going!

    Does anyone have any good/bad experiences with the others please? :)
  • LucyeffLucyeff Forumite
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    I've been using GoHenry for at least a couple of years with my children. It's OK but I have a number of annoyances.
    Charging 50p per top-up, in addition to the monthly fee, feels opportunistic to me. The message says "we're charging 50p which we have to add". (No you don't.)
    Spending limits can be set weekly, or a single spend limit, and then there's an ATM limit. There have been a number of times when this hasn't worked for us and I've had to increase the limit to a much higher value. It's too hard to change, which means I don't.
    In general their approach to user experience is poor. For example, for some time the app has allowed comments associated with a transfer but the web app didn't (I see that's been updated).
    While checking my children's statement today I see that there has been an update and was met by the reassuring message "we've updated the site ... if you experience any glitches [...] let us know". I started Live Chat with Ross who apparently messaged "Hello. How may I help you?" and then .... silence. (I don't believe "Ross" actually typed that.)
    The updated statements seem to show around 4 weeks worth of transactions and that's it. Beth at GoHenry tells me "When we updated our wesbite there were a few changes, we have found that the statement does not reveal enough" which makes me question their approach to software quality.

    I know this is an old post and there will have been some updates made by GoHenry, but this is exactly our experience too :( I only realised recently that they have been charging me 50p a go for the weekly bank transfer into my parent account...an extra £1.50 a month for me since Jan 2018 (one transfer per account per month is free). Apparently they told me in January last year they were going to start doing this?? :shocked: This is on top of the monthly fee per account btw.

    Something to do with the banking regulator trying to stop firms passing on charges to customers who pay by debit card. Some firms decided to charge people for loading the kids prepaid cards using debit cards AND by bank transfer rather than discriminate between methods, they said (to make even more monies more like...).

    I think the way forward for my kids is a bank account and drip feed small amounts of money in so that they (I say 'they', I mean one of my children who spends it like water...) can't waste bucketloads on sweets and tat from Primark. :rotfl: It will do them good to see interest being applied too and save me money :T If it does build up I'll just transfer it to a savings account for them so they can't blow it all on a whim.
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