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Teen alternative to credit cards

Your teenager wants a credit card - arguing how convenient it would be in emergencies - but as a parent, you're concerned about possible misuse and overspending.

Now there's a compromise that enables parents to retain control, while teaching teens money-management skills.

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The new "Visa Buxx" card looks like a credit card and is accepted wherever credit cards are, but it acts more like a prepaid phone card. Parents deposit money in an account, which is depleted with each purchase. By toll-free number or the Internet (, parents can add more funds, or monitor when and where purchases are made. If the card is lost or stolen, it will be replaced with the amount in the account.

Cardholders are also encouraged to take a quiz to determine their financial skills and to initiate family dialogue about money management.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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