AMEX PASS Card Wants To Pay Your Kid’s Allowance!

2011 February 16

Wait. They what?
What is a PASS card?

It’s a re-loadable CASH card perfect for kids ages 13 and up from American Express. Plus you can get $25 free when you register. Read below for details.

Here’s what it ISN’T!

  • It’s NOT a credit card.
  • It’s NOT a debit card.
  • It’s NOT going to check your credit when you sign up.
  • It’s NOT going to turn your kid into a Debt monster.

At first I was all, why would my kid need to use a card like this? She’s only 13.  And then I thought…

  • Use it as a teaching tool.

She can’t screw up because once the money is gone from the card she can’t keep spending. She can however learn to budget, calculate what is left and weigh that against what she wants that second, compared to what she knows she’ll need later on. I love giving my kids little bites of independence in a way that helps them learn a lot and even if they fail, it will be just painful enough to learn from it.

  • Mom never has cash around anymore.

We are big on allowance. Each kid gets a certain amount each week. Yes for chores but also so they can learn to save and spend and understand how money works! We expect our kids to pay for almost all of their own expenses. From school fees to friend’s birthday gifts and especially for entertainment time with friends. Movies, frozen yogurt parlor etc.  However, paying allowance is tricky when mom rarely has any cash on hand. I have to make a special trip to an ATM, but then the bills are too big and I have to get them changed to ones and fives… I end up skipping it altogether half the time!

We’re adding a full month’s allowance to her new PASS card and YAY(!), no extra trip to the dreaded ATM machine.

  • What if her babysitting gigs could pay her via her new PASS card?

Would that totally rock? Most times she goes to babysit and they end up waiting to pay her for a week or so because they also forgot to hit the ATM on the way home. If they write a check, then I’M THE ONE who ends up headed to an extra bank stop. I asked the AMEX people and they said yeah, sorry you’d have to give them your account passwords for this to work.. but I can dream for the future right?? (And heck I’d give grandma the passcodes.. that way they could send her bits of cash for birthdays if they wanted??)

  • Imagine sending a kid off to summer camp, or eventually college?

This card would solve a lot for a kid who isn’t around parents for an extended period. They can use the card as needed. And mom and dad can easily re-load the card if there is an emergency or a surprise expense shows up. I’ve heard nightmares about young adults totally screwing up their credit at a really young age! This would be a nice way to introduce the concept of ‘plastic’ without the painful debt mistakes.

As part of the SheSpeaks campaign; American Express WILL ADD $25 when you load $25 on your new PASS account.

YES you read that right. Register for a PASS card (you need a 13+yrold kid) and load $25 on it. It will magically turn into $50 when it shows up in the mail! You must use the code SS25, and you must order yours before April 15th!

Whatcha waiting for? Go!
Your kid’s allowance is being paid by AMEX this month!

(Disclosure: I am compensated as part of the SheSpeaks campaign. And please note there IS a fee to use the PASS card, but it’s being waived until October 1st, 2011.)

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