The Bottom Line It’s not a credit card, but it plays one on TV (or at the mall, or online, or wherever).
The Visa Buxx card was designed for parents to help their teens control spending. Essentially it is a secured Visa card with a few additional (optional) parental controls.
What Is A Visa Buxx Card?
A Visa Buxx card looks and acts just like a Visa card (and is accepted everywhere Visa is). However, instead of having a credit line, the Visa Buxx card is a “stored value” card. This means that you ‘deposit’ a certain amount of money onto the card and that’s your new “limit”. So you can’t spend more then is on the card.
Why Get A Visa Buxx Card?
There are several reasons a person might want to get a Visa Buxx card:
- If you’re under 18 you can’t have a true credit card of your own. You only have to be 13 to use a Visa Buxx card.
- Want assistance in controlling your (or your kid’s, or your partner’s, or whoever’s) spending habits? With the Visa Buxx card you can never exceed your credit limit. It’s a stored value card (kinda like a phone card) not a credit card.
- Unable to get a credit card or even a Visa debit card from your bank? The Visa Buxx card can be funded from a credit card, debit card, checking account or a savings account.
- Can’t even get a secured Visa card? There is no credit check of any type to get a Visa Buxx card.
- Unable to get a bank account? This is my reason for using Visa Buxx. I have a friend who lets me fund it from his bank debit card. I deposit cash into his account, he transfers it to the card. Voila!
What Parental Control Features Are There?
The parent (or person who funds the card) may temporarily suspend and reactivate the card. They may also close the account and cancel the card. They can also check the balance and card activity at anytime.
Additionally, when funding the card the may designate some funds as only available at certain select merchants: Delias.com, Abercrombie and Fitch, iTurf, Cybiko, or Sharper Image.
How Do I Check My Balance, etc?
The current balance as well as a complete account history are available via the Visa Buxx website 24 hours a day. Updates happen instantly and I’ve yet to experience any sort of delay. In fact, I went to my friend’s bank one morning and deposited $300 cash, transferred it to my Visa Buxx 15 minutes later and charged something online five minutes after that. No hitches, everything went perfectly smoothly.
The account history even shows when approvals come through. This is wonderful if you’re signing up for a service and want to know when they confirm your card (whether they bill it immediately or not).
What Are The Costs Involved?
I have found the few fees to be more then reasonable:
- Initial Reload Fee – The first time you load value to the card, a $2 fee will be added to your load amount and charged to the account from which you transfer funds.
- Monthly Reload Fee – The Card will be assessed a $2 fee at the end of each statement period that your account is open.
- Statement Fee – If you elect to receive a paper statement, the Card will be assessed a $1 statement fee at the end of each statement period that your account is open. If you select the option to receive statements via e-mail, you will not be charged a monthly statement fee.
- Cash Withdrawal Fee – The Card will be assessed $1 for each cash withdrawal taken from an ATM or at a bank.
- ATM Inquiry Fee – The Card will be assessed $1 for each account inquiry made at an ATM.
- Lost Card Replacement Fee – There is no charge for the first card we replace during a calendar year. The Card will be assessed a $10 charge for the second card we replace during that year.
- Refused ACH Debit Fee – The Card will be assessed $25 for each ACH debit that is refused for any reason.
- New Card Design Fee – If you or your teen requests a new card design, you will be assessed $10.
What Banks Offer Visa Buxx Cards?
As of this writing five banks offer Visa Buxx cards: Bank of America, Capitol One (my choice), National City, U.S. Bank, and Wachovia. You do not need to have an account or credit card at the bank to use their card.
I love my Visa Buxx card. Since I am unable to get a secured credit card or even a bank account, I was always leaning on friend’s credit cards to pay for things online. With the Visa Buxx card not only can I spend online with ease, but I don’t need to worry about carrying my entire life savings in my pocket 24/7. It was simple to apply for and has been a breeze to use.
For more information on the Visa Buxx card visit http://www.visabuxx.com