Debit card for junior on school jolly abroad?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
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sausage_timesausage_time Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
Junior (age 15) is off on travels on a school trip (Americas), and I'd like them to have a debit card for day to day to day purchases and maybe a little ATM work. Ideally a account/app that I can keep an eye on and top up or rein in as required. I'd look for no up-front fees, no FX fees, and the ability to unload any funds at zero charge after the trip (I have my own travel card arrangements so won't need apart from this one trip). Suggestions?
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  • DCFC79DCFC79 Forumite
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    Sterling might be an option, also Revolut, I know with Revolut you can top it up (via the app) with x amount and convert it to dollars etc, also get a card.
  • edited 31 August 2018 at 8:34PM
    sausage_timesausage_time Forumite
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    edited 31 August 2018 at 8:34PM
    Thanks for the suggestions! Too young for Starling - need to be 16. Still looking around Revolut site. I don't think they do their pre-paid card any more?
  • eDickyeDicky Forumite
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    The best option is for him to open the Nationwide FlexOne bank account, with debit card:

    https://www.nationwide.co.uk/products/current-accounts/flexone/whats-flexone
    Evolution, not revolution
  • edited 31 August 2018 at 10:25PM
    colstencolsten Forumite
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    edited 31 August 2018 at 10:25PM
    I believe they have horrific charges for overseas transactions.


    EDIT: yep, the MSE Guide says "Don't let your kid use this card to spend abroad – it charges a horrible 2.75% foreign exchange fee and £2 cash withdrawal fee."
  • Sean473Sean473 Forumite
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    Thanks for the suggestions! Too young for Starling - need to be 16. Still looking around Revolut site. I don't think they do their pre-paid card any more?

    Revolut is a pre-paid card - You can always top up from your bank account in pounds - The money automatically gets converted to USD when he makes a purchase - Otherwise, if you have already converted the money to USD, it will come out from the "USD pool"on the card/
    .
    Revolut has the live foreign exchange rate and has no conversion charges so it is the best option.
  • eDickyeDicky Forumite
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    Sean473 wrote: »
    Revolut has the live foreign exchange rate and has no conversion charges so it is the best option.
    Well perhaps it would be, if it were available for under 18s...
    Evolution, not revolution
  • worried_jimworried_jim
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    colsten wrote: »
    I believe they have horrific charges for overseas transactions.


    EDIT: yep, the MSE Guide says "Don't let your kid use this card to spend abroad – it charges a horrible 2.75% foreign exchange fee and £2 cash withdrawal fee."

    Quite right, the wine prevented me from seeing the abroad bit. Op could always get their own Revolut account and simply give the child the card to use, since it's all chip and pin there is no signature to check and the parent still retains full control through the App.
  • colstencolsten Forumite
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    Quite right, the wine prevented me from seeing the abroad bit. Op could always get their own Revolut account and simply give the child the card to use, since it's all chip and pin there is no signature to check and the parent still retains full control through the App.
    I did think about Revolut, too, but I am not sure it would work. Apart from the low limits, which may or may not be a problem for the OP and their junior, there could also be an issue if the card is used in the US but the app in the UK. That would be a clear indication to Revolut that card and app aren't used by the same person, and their fraud prevention matters might kick in and block the card. This would obviously apply not only to Revolut but to any card that's in the parent's name.
  • sausage_timesausage_time Forumite
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    Don't really want to open another account in my name and give junior the card. If I were to be happy with that, I'd may as well hand over one of my existing travel-friendly cards. And I agree about Revolut spotting the app being used in a different continent from the card - that would look like fraud. Junior's existing debit card is one of the cards from hell for foreign use, may just have to suck that up.
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