At what age should I consider getting my son his own credit card/ a supplementary card? - Seedly
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Anonymous

Asked on 02 Dec 2019

At what age should I consider getting my son his own credit card/ a supplementary card?

I travel quite a bit for work, and i worry that my son may run out of money while i'm out of town. I may be engaged and unable to respond to his messages when this occurs, so should I consider getting him a credit card or supplementary card? he's 16.

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Wallace Chai
Wallace Chai
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 21 Dec 2019

Not too sure about this. But i feel when i am at that age, i do not have the pain or feel when i spend my parents money. So for me, definitely no.

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Bjorn Ng
Bjorn Ng
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 20 Dec 2019

I would think it's too early and that the minimum is 21. Looking back at myself when I was 16, if I had a credit card i would spend unnecessarily. It would be better to give him a debit card with a fixed amount of $ inside for him to spend. That way he knows that he have this amount and can't spend above, teaching him the importance of prudency. The scary thing about credit cards is that you don't see the real $ spend upfront, only at the end of the the month when the bill comes.

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I would not give him a supp card till at least the age of 18, or even 21, if he does not demonstrate proper use of money.

Preferrably, I would give him a debit card linked to a joint savings account instead, but have the monies in that joint account kept low, transferring funds in only when needed. In this way, I get to observe his spending habits, and as long as I have connectivity, I can top up the account when it gets low, without letting it become too high.

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Yq
Yq
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 09 Dec 2019

Please teach your son budgeting first, but leave him a stash of money as a last resort. A credit card fueled spending spree is the last thing you want.

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Junus Eu
Junus Eu
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 02 Dec 2019

Gosh I think if I had a kid, I would be a tiger mum because I probably won't give him a credit card. I would still give him pocket money though - and cap pocket money.

I would also use this opportunity to have him think about the value of money.

Credit card (might) encourage one to spend as if the bank account was a bottomless pit.

#truestory - had a friend who had younger siblings who would go 'open bottle' at the clubs, and they would swipe the supplementary card given to them by their parents. Parents (who did not stay in Singapore), saw a super high credit card bill, and obviously freaked out.

If he needs money urgently - money transfers are such a breeze these days so I wouldn't worry about it.

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Ashri Mustaffa
Ashri Mustaffa, Financial Consultant at Prudential
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 02 Dec 2019

Hey Anon!

While a supplementary card does have it's advantages, such as for emergency situations, points collection, cashback and merchant outlet discounts, it does have it's disadvantages.

First and foremost, I believe most supplementary cards, if not all, require the supplementary card holder to be at least 18 years old. So do check on the age requirements first.

Secondly, as also mentioned by Eveline, you need to prevent the situation where your child develops the "free money" mentality. It's not going to be an overnight habit change, despite their current, good money habits. I know as I've got a supp card as well, and in my Uni years, got myself a couple of $500-limit student credit cards as well. Took some time to fall into the rabbithole, and took longer to get out.

I feel that it would be better for you to open an additional bank account solely for any monthly allowance contingencies, eg 2-6 months worth.

You may also add another account for major emergencies should anything happen.

As long as you set clear rules on when he is allowed to withdraw the allowances, I believe it should be fine. Should he make a withdrawal that you feel is unjustifiable, he needs to pay it back.

If he can maintain those rules for the next two years till he turns 18, then you could consider getting him a supp card if you feel that he has the self-discilpine to do so.

Then it'll feel like an upgrade for him :)

Hope this helps!!

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Yanisa Koh
Yanisa Koh
Level 6. Master
Answered on 10 Dec 2019

Is he a responsible child? I think it's fine to get him one, but remember to set a reasonable credit limit. This may also be a good way to teach him about responsibility.

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Chung Ka-Shing
Chung Ka-Shing
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 08 Dec 2019

A 16 year old kid does not need a credit card. At most, a debit card. Unless he has demonstrated exceptional financial prudence, he is still not an adult yet.

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Kim Heok S
Kim Heok S
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 08 Dec 2019

I would not do that. He should learn about budgeting at this age. Perhaps leave him a contingency amount of cash at home, but definitely not access to a large sum of money.

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Isabel Wong
Isabel Wong
Level 6. Master
Answered on 05 Dec 2019

I think a debit card is sufficient - along with an emergency fund joint account. I nvr got a supp card and I think it was a good thing

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VC
Vicki Chng
Level 6. Master
Answered on 05 Dec 2019

My parents gave me a supp card when I was in uni, but I pay for my portion of my bills. Think I was around 21 when I got the supp cards.

If you're worried about him overspending, get him a youtrip or revolut and top up some money , letting him know it's strictly emergency funds

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Hwee Kian
Hwee Kian
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 05 Dec 2019

Actually I wouldn't recommend it. Perhaps a regular transfer to his bank account for him to withdraw via his debit card might be a better option. This will certainly prevent overspending which is what most parents are afraid of.

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Larissa Lim
Larissa Lim
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 02 Dec 2019

I wouldnt recommend a card as a kid myself. Cos its really easy to overspend as you dont see physical money. Would recommend having fixed monthly transfer to his bank account instead n he can go redraw at the atm.

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Lynette Faith
Lynette Faith
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 02 Dec 2019

I'm going to say NEVER! As far as financial literacy goes, one should only get a credit card when they qualify for it. So I'd say don't inculcate the habit that the child is entitled to a credit card just because their parents can afford it.

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Eveline Lau
Eveline Lau
Level 6. Master
Answered on 02 Dec 2019

In general, I would recommend any parent to only give the kid a credit card when the child has financial sensing - know his needs versus wants, when to spend/not to spend, what is considered expensive and should not be bought, etc. Given that he is 16, I think it might not be a good idea to own a credit card. He may develop the notion that money is "free-flowing". I would still consider cold hard cash as the best option.

If you really think having a card is better, would you be open to consider giving him a debit card instead? Set up an account where you put his "allowance" in and whenever you travel, you can put in a bit more that can cover any general situation where he may need a bit more money for. At least your son can see that the cashflow and that he can go broke if you don't top up the account.

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Instead of introducing a supplementary card to your child, we should spend more time focussing on budgeting and to understand his financial needs.

At his age, most of the expenses should be relatively fixed and any huge spending should be foreseeable. Accordingly, the introduction of a supplementary card is unnecessary.

For me, I feel that he should only own a credit card when he is earning an income and is capable enough to apply one for himself.

Of course, you will be the best person to evaluate if this is necessary. If there is really no choice to work around, just get one with a low credit limit. Additionally, spend quality time to let him understand the value of the credit card and the responsiblity that he needs to upload.

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