AE Pass and the Teen

My teen has become a frugal shopper. We are a million miles away from the 8/9-year-old who insisted on buying shirts from Limited Too now Justice even though the shirt cost her entire life savings. In those early days of shopping with my oldest I would steer her to the bargain racks, but she would make a beeline for the main racks as you walk in to Justice. You know the ones where a shirt is $20 and if you buy the shirt you absolutely must have the matching skirt and hat. Many times I left Justice with a very pouty and upset kid. At 8/9 she wasn’t ready to handle her money.

My teen is a bit of a trendsetter in her group. But, as quickly as she decides that she absolutely must shop at Hollister she soon decides that American Eagle is now her store. No other store will do until…she finds another store.

With her changing tastes, she began to bargain shop at the tween and teen stores at the mall. She moved from shopping at the Disney Store to Limited Too to Hollister to Aeropostale to Abercrombie to American Eagle and finally to a combo of stores both online and at the mall that she likes to shop at. The change was subtle, but once she started she was on a roll. Changing tastes in shopping requires money.

The past two years she has been fortunate to receive cash from her grandparents instead of gifts. She’s the oldest grandchild. Frankly only my teen knows what she wants when it comes to clothing or jewelry or books. To say that she has strong opinions would be an understatement. She searches online and in stores for bargains…to make her money go farther.

While she loves receiving money from her grandparents, she often does not have access to the money as quickly as she would like. Her grandparents send a check. I deposit the check to the family bank account. I give my teen money when she asks for it or when we are at the mall. But, she gets frustrated that she doesn’t have immediate access to the money.

Enter the American Express PASS card…

From the American Express PASS website… “The PASS Card from American ExpressSM is a prepaid reloadable Card parents give to teens. It’s safe and convenient. There is no risk of overdraft fees or impact to the teen’s credit… or yours. American Express is working hard to bring the ease and benefits of this new service to the attention of parents for use by their teens and young adults.”
As a mom of a teen, a soon-to-be-teen, and even a little guy who will one day be a teen, I love that the American Express PASS card is easy to use for mom…dad…and teen. I wish I had taken a photo of the first time my teen signed for a purchase while using the American Express PASS card. She was so proud of herself.
My teen and I discussed the American Express PASS card and her responsibilities. Don’t miss the sweet deal from American Express for you, my readers. We talked about…
  • keeping the card in a safe place…she chose the wallet that she carries when she goes out.
  • keeping track of the balance on the card. She can only spend the money that she has accrued on the card.
  • the card activation process was straightforward. She read through the new member kit without my asking her to read it.
  • I agreed to load the remaining money from her grandparents’ birthday gift.
  • She agreed to be diligent about doing her chores and babysitting her siblings while I promised to load her card with any money earned.
  • If she receives any money as a gift I will add it to the American Express PASS card.
  • As with any site that my teen belongs to I will keep her log-in and password information. She knows that she is not allowed to change passwords on any accounts.

I like that the PASS is a convenient and safe way for teens/young adults to spend without carrying a lot of cash. My teen and I have had quite a number of conversations about responsible money management.  My teen is enjoying her first opportunity to pay for items using something other than cash or mom’s credit card. I know that the PASS has built-in controls so that there is no risk of overdraft fees or impact to my credit.

New deal for moms of teens… Purchase a $25 prepaid reloadable Card, and when it is delivered it will have an additional $25 added to the total available as a gift for trying the service. You can even withdraw the $25 you placed on the card and simply have the remaining balance as a gift. The American Express PASS would make a very cool birthday or Easter present for the teen in  your family. This offer ends April 15, 2011. So hurry to get an American Express PASS card for your teen!

I was given an American Express PASS card to review. I added money to activate the card, while SheSpeaks and American Express added more money to the card to facilitate my review. I paid my teen to help me with this review by adding money to the American Express PASS card. I adhere to FTC and WOMMA guidelines.

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