The Fixer: Cards for teenagers

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Dear Fixer,
Next month, my 15-year-old son is going to Scotland for two weeks on a work experience placement.

I will obviously be giving him money to fund his trip - he will be staying in a youth hostel with a couple of other boys - but I do not want to give him a wad of cash in case he loses it or has it stolen.

And I cannot really pay the money into his bank account as he does not have a debit card and would therefore have to find a branch every time he needed some cash.

One of his friends is taking his father's credit card, but that sounds like a dangerous move to me.

How can I supply my son with the money he needs to survive without giving him access to too much money?

D Brooks, Godalming

Dear Mr Brooks,

Pay-as-you-go prepaid cards, which pre-loaded with money and can be used to shop or take cash out of a cash machine, are a great choice for parents keen to keep a lid on their children's spending.

Safer than cash, they can be cancelled and replaced if lost or stolen and are a secure way to shop online.

And like pay-as-you-go mobile phones, a prepaid card will not allow your son to spend more than he should - while allowing you to top up the balance if he does get himself in a mess.

The only downside is that he may be limited to say five transactions a month. Providers include Virgin, Orange and Ffrees.

The Fixer

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