It sure can. Using the Card to withdraw cash when the Teen needs it is one of the most important parts of the SpendSmart Card. Parents can feel assured that their Teen will have access to cash wherever they are, as long as there is a positive balance on the card. If funds are low, parents can always initiate a credit or debit card load and the Teen will have the funds they need instantly. Please see our Cardholder Agreement for additional details on usage and limitations.
No credit history is required to obtain a SpendSmart Card since this is a prepaid or pre-funded card. This allows open access to many parents who have experienced financial hardship to still fund a SpendSmart Card for their Teen.
Monthly Fees and Inactivity Fees are normally charged to the Parent's primary funding source (provided at the time of card order and initial funding). All ATM charges are deducted from the Teen's SpendSmart Card balance at the time of transaction. For a complete list of fees, including where they are charged, please see our Cardholder Agreement.
The SpendSmart Card offers some of the lowest fees in the industry for prepaid reloadable cards. See our Fee page for a complete list of fees.
This is a program designed for Parents and Teens. The SpendSmart Card is available for Parents that are legal US residents, 18 years and older who have a Social Security Number and a US mailing address. When requested by a Parent, the Card is issued to Teens over the age of 13.
The reloadable feature of the card allows parents, teens and other family members or friends (givers) to continually add funds. This can be done as individual one-time loads onto the card or as a recurring monthly allowance. Some prepaid cards are not reloadable and once the balance on the card is depleted, it's no longer of any use.
The SpendSmart Card is a reloadable prepaid card that can be used where MasterCard® is accepted*. The card is different from a credit card because purchases are not made on credit; rather funds are preloaded onto the card and purchases are drawn from the balance. Teens can only spend the amount that is loaded onto the card, so you don't have to worry about exceeding the balance or overdraft fees. * To protect your teen, this card cannot be used at merchants deemed inappropriate for teens, such as liquor stores, online gambling, etc.
No they can't. The Card will only allow purchases and withdrawals up to the current available balance; therefore, the Teen cannot overspend or rack up expensive overdraft charges. They also cannot cause an over limit charge, like some credit card companies assess.
If there is no activity on a card, excluding fees, for 30 days, we will consider the account dormant. No matter what, the card cannot go dormant in the first two months regardless of the amount of activity. Please see our Cardholder Agreement for details about limitations and fees.
The SpendSmart Card can be used for any purchases online that accept MasterCard® as a method of payment. This will allow the Teens to not only make purchases, but also make online payments for a variety of expenses, further encouraging their financial responsibility. It cannot be used at merchants deemed inappropriate for teens, such as liquor stores, online gambling, etc.
No. The purpose of the SpendSmart Card is to provide parents with an option for teaching financial responsibility and budgeting while giving the Teen control over their spending without severe repercussions, like overdraft and over limit fees.
There are two ways in which a Parent completes the SpendSmart Card application.
Once the SpendSmart Card has been ordered it will arrive within approximately 7 days via US Postal Service First Class Mail.
The date of birth and social security numbers are required by Federal law (US Patriot Act) to identify each person who opens a card account.
The application for the SpendSmart Card is simple and straightforward. The parent or legal guardian will need to provide the following:
We will create a 4-digit PIN when you order a Card. We will provide you the PIN before you activate your Card. You can change the PIN during activation by logging into your account at spendsmartcard.com or by calling (866) 497-6081.
Activating the SpendSmart Card is easy. To do it, you have two options. First, you can go to the Activate Card page on our website and follow the simple steps to activate on your own. Otherwise, you can always call one of our helpful customer service agents, available 24/7, by calling (866) 497-6081. Our highly-trained card specialists can help you get the card activated and ready for use!
In order to keep yourself safe from unauthorized use and theft, we require that you have the card before it is activated. Once you receive the card, the simple activation process will have the card ready for use in a matter of a few short minutes.
Yes they can. What a great concept. Parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even friends of the family can all add additional funds on your Teen's SpendSmart Card. The simple process of adding a new Giver can either be done by the Parent or Teen from within their Account.
Of course! By logging into your Parent account at spendsmartcard.com, you can modify the amount that you'd like loaded onto the card. This option is available in the Allowances section of the Funding tab of your SpendSmart online account. You may modify the allowance to load $20-$500 for a checking/savings account, and $20-$100 for a credit/debit card. Please see our Cardholder Agreement for related costs associated with funding the Card Account.
Note: SpendSmart Card recommends you call or email customer support to add, remove or make a change to an allowance from a checking or savings account if you are requesting the change one business day before the selected allowance date.
Absolutely! This is a great way to provide ongoing spending money or manage a Teen's allowance. Parents won't need to run to the ATM for last minute cash and the Teen may even learn to budget their monthly activities wisely. All recurring allowances are withdrawn from or charged to the Parent's designated funding source on the 1st or 15th of each month. The Teen will see these funds posted to their card either instantly or within 4-5 days, depending on the source of the funding (credit/debit card or bank account).
The Parent can log into their SpendSmart Card Parent account any time after set-up and create an allowance by choosing the "Set Up an Allowance" option on the Overview page. After this, the parent can select the funding source, frequency and amount of the allowance. After clicking "Add Allowance," the chosen amount will be loaded from the funding source to the teen's card on the selected day. Quick work! Please see our Cardholder Agreement for related limits, timing and cost associated with funding the Card Account.
Funds are delivered to the Teen's SpendSmart Card at different intervals, depending on the funding source chosen.
Note: See our Cardholder Agreement for full details.
(see "How are funds loaded onto my Teen's SpendSmart Card?" for exact details)
You may use your bank account, a MasterCard®, Visa or Discover credit/debit card to fund your Teen's SpendSmart Card. The initial card funding – when done free of charge at the time of card application – can be completed by a credit or debit card only. After that, you may choose which source to use.
One time loads or recurring allowances can be funded from a bank account or credit/debit card. To add funds after the initial load is completed, simply log into your Parent account at spendsmartcard.com.
Note: The initial load when ordering the card is free. After this, all loads are assessed a fee except a recurring, once monthly allowance by bank account is free. Load fees vary by the type of load selected (click here for current load fees). Also, load fees are deducted from the funding source, rather than reducing the Teen's available balance on their card.
Parents can easily manage a variety of settings and view card transactions by accessing their secured account on the SpendSmart Card website.
The SpendSmart Card can be locked or unlocked anytime at the Parent's discretion. Sometimes this is necessary for control or accountability, and other times they may choose to lock an account for suspicious activity or if the card has been misplaced and they'd like time to locate it while protecting the balance. While a card is disabled, it will still maintain an active status and the Monthly Fee and Inactivity Fee will still be charged. To lock the card from being used, follow these simple steps:
Note: To unlock the card and put it into active use again, follow the same instructions listed above; however, select Unlock in step 3.
Absolutely. Parents and Teens can set up text alerts to be notified of Card use by following these simple steps:
Message and data rates may apply from your wireless carrier.
Although we're always sad to see you go, Parents are certainly able to cancel their teen’s card at any time. After logging into your account, direct your attention to the "I want to…" bar along the right hand side. Click the "Cancel Card" link and follow the instructions to cancel the card. You may also contact us at (866) 497-6081. Once cancelled, you will no longer be able to use the card or any of the other card functions, and we will refund any remaining balance. If at any time you would like to join us once again, simply order another card.
When a SpendSmart Card is canceled, we will attempt to electronically refund the balance to the source of funding. In certain circumstances, we may need to mail a physical check – this is only done in occasions where restrictions make it impossible for us to refund electronically to the funding source. Refunds can take up to 30 days, though if we are able to refund electronically they may be processed sooner.
In certain types of businesses, an authorization may be made on the card prior to the actual charge going through. For example, we will always attempt to authorize $100.00 when you buy gasoline and pay at the pump. If you have less than $100.00 in your Card Account at the time of authorization, the merchant will either authorize a lower dollar amount or decline the transaction. Once you finish pumping gas, the merchant will settle the transaction for the amount purchased and the remainder of the amount authorized will be returned to your available balance. This is done to verify that you have enough money to pay for the gas, before it actually allows you to pump any gas into your car.
However, the authorization may deny if you do not have $100 on your card. Perhaps you only wanted to put $25 of gas in your car – if the authorization was for $100, it would most likely not allow you to pump gas.
Also, the authorization can cause problems with your card balance. Some purchases may keep an authorization on your card for up to 7 days. This can impact the available balance on the card, making it appear that you have less on your card than you actually do. That business would effectively be holding that amount until the authorization drops off. These authorizations will drop off on their own if the customer waits long enough, but perhaps the best solution is prevention.
To avoid such problems, go in to see the cashier prior to pumping gas, and ask for an exact amount to be put in (i.e. "I need $20.00 worth of gas on pump 3"). The clerk will then run the card for only the specific amount and set the pump to shut off automatically when the prescribed amount has been pumped. There is no authorization or hold done in this case.
The SpendSmart Card offers you a text alert every time your teen makes a purchase. However, when your teen pays for gasoline at the pump, the text alert will not include the purchase amount. This is because we don't know how much gas they're going to purchase. Any pay-at-the-pump transaction first attempts an authorization for $100, and since we don't want to cause any confusion about actual purchase amount, we choose to omit the amount puchased. Once your teen is finished pumping gas and completes the purchase, the gas station will settle the total. The un-used portion of the $100 authorization will be returned to your available balance, though often not for several hours or possibly days. We do, however, want to make sure you know where and when the card is being used, so we will always send text alerts with the information we know.
To avoid this trouble, you can ask your teen to enter the gas station and request to pump only a specific amount of gas. This prevents the authorization and gives you a text alert with the accurate transacition amount.
For more information, see "Will a gas station put a hold on my SpendSmart Card?"
The SpendSmart Card is not a credit card and does not have a credit limit. Since the SpendSmart Card is funded in advance, the limit for purchases is the actual balance on the card up to $500 per 24 hour period. There is, however, a maximum balance allowed on the SpendSmart Card at any given time of $2,500. Please see our Cardholder Agreement for details.
What a great concept. Parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even friends of the family can all add additional funds on your Teen's SpendSmart Card.
Yes. Since the SpendSmart Card is designed for Teens and young adults, it cannot be used at merchants deemed inappropriate for teens, such as liquor stores, online gambling, etc. Please see our Cardholder Agreement for additional restrictions.
Yes. Since the SpendSmart Card is a MasterCard®, it can be used when traveling internationally however, there are fees associated with using the card for international ATM withdrawals and inquiries. You can view our current Fee Schedule in the Cardholder Agreement or accessible by clicking the link at the foot of our website.
The SpendSmart Card can be used where MasterCard® is accepted*. This includes retail stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, gas stations, super markets…and online shopping as well. Some Teens even use it to pay for school expenses, like books and activity fees, or other recurring bills. * It cannot be used at merchants deemed inappropriate for teens, such as liquor stores, online gambling, etc. Please see our Cardholder Agreement for additional restrictions.
Yes. Both Parents and Teens can view where the Card was used, by logging into their Teen or Parent account.
In addition, both Parents and Teens can set up email and SMS (text) notifications to let them know about recent purchases, loads, low balances and more.
Yes. Both Parents and Teens can obtain the balance of the SpendSmart Card 24 hours a day. Choose online viewing, the SpendSmart Card smartphone app, or speak with a representative.
Our first priority is protecting teens from the dangers of financial missteps. We know that accidents happen, and that’s why the SpendSmart System is such a wonderful tool for those just venturing into the world of plastic. If a card is lost or stolen, lock the card right away by logging into your Parent account on our mobile app or our website, then call us immediately at (866) 497-6081. Please see our Cardholder Agreement for details.
Message and data rates may apply from your wireless carrier.