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Comparing the cards: Visa Buxx

Visa Buxxcard
Visa Buxx
Issued through Bank of America,
Capital One, National City or U.S. Bank

A variety of fees, depending on the issuing bank, including annual fees, ATM fees and fees for loading cash onto the card.

Where teen can use card
Point of sale, online and ATMs were Visa is accepted.
Each issuing bank can limit the amount loaded onto the card.
Who can add value

Parents and gift-givers who are approved by parents, online and by phone.

How long it takes to add value
Electronic transfers from credit cards and check cards are available immediately. Electronic transfers from bank accounts take up to five days.
Can you check your teen's spending?
Can you block certain retailers?
No, but Buxx allows parents to get e-mail notifications if a teen uses the card at "certain types of questionable merchants." You and gift-givers can add gift certificates to the card for use at specified retailers (and the recipient can post a "wish list" on the Web site, identifying which stores he wants gift certificates to). The gift certificates are stored on the card.
Cash back at point of sale?
It depends on the issuer whether the user can get cash back and how much.
FDIC insured?
Customer service:
The Web site is fairly comprehensive, although you have to hunt around to get answers to questions and Visa Buxx forces you to follow a time-consuming path through the Web site instead of allowing you to take shortcuts to find the information you need. If you have questions that aren't answered on the Web site, you're out of luck -- the site doesn't give a customer service phone number. It says you should call the number on the back of your Buxx card. That's not helpful if you're deciding whether to get a card in the first place. There is a customer-service e-mail address. Two questions sent to that e-mail address were answered in 25 hours.

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-- Posted: March 6, 2001




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