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American Express PASS Card Review

14 June 2012 by CreditCardsCo™

Teens have an easier way of spending money without worrying about overdraft fees or losing the money. The PASS card from American Express allows parents to load money on the card. The account can then be managed in many ways.

Load Money in Many Ways

One of the benefits of choosing the PASS card is there are many ways to load money on the card. Automatic reloads can be set up online, ensuring teens always know when to expect money. This will allow them to budget more effectively and they don't have to ask for money when they know when it's coming. Ways to add money on the card include:

  • Via bank account
  • Using an American Express card
  • With cash

Anyone with a bank account can go online and transfer money into the account. Using a savings or checking account, the account information and the amount to be transferred will then need to be entered. It will take a couple days for the money to show up. This can be a one-time transfer or a regularly scheduled occurrence.

An American Express credit card can be used to fund the prepaid card as well. This is a virtually instant transfer, ensuring teens don't have to wait for the cash they need to purchase whatever it is they want to buy. American Express cardholders can choose to make this a single transfer or an automatic transfer on a regular basis.

Cash can also be loaded onto the card. This is done by purchasing a MoneyPak available at thousands of retailers. The amount of the MoneyPak can be as large as $500 at a time. Once purchased, the funds can be quickly added to the card by calling a toll free number or by logging online.

Manage Money in Many Ways

Part of the prepaid card perks is the ability to manage the money easier. This teaches teens financial responsibility. The ways to manage the money include:

  • Online account management
  • Text messaging service

A username and password will be created on the website. Teens and parents can log on to look up account information. The balance is available in real-time. Past transactions can be viewed as well. This information can be useful to both parties. Parents will be able to see what teens are spending the money on to determine if they are spending responsibly. Teens will be able to use the data to manage their money better, determining whether they have the money needed to buy other items they need for the month.

The text messaging service provides account balances and ways to track funds through text message. The details of what goes into the text and how frequently can be set online. By receiving daily or weekly updates, parents know when to load money on the card and teens know when to stop spending money.

Perks of the PASS Card

A number of perks come with the PASS card beyond ways to load money and manage money. Some perks are:

  • Color choice on cards
  • Fraud protection
  • Limits overspending

Teens can choose the color card they want. Orange, blue, green and magenta cards are available, providing a way to personalize the prepaid card.

If a card is lost or stolen, unauthorized purchases can occur. If this happens, a phone call to customer service can rectify the situation. The money will be returned to the account, ensuring the money is not completely lost. The card will also be replaced quickly. It's the safest way to spend money instead of carrying around cash.

Overspending is impossible because teens can only spend what's loaded on the card. There are no overdraft fees and no way to go into debt. The prepaid card can be a trial to see if a teen is read for the responsibility of a real credit card. Until then, the card can be used just like a regular credit card without all of the financial implications. Since all purchases are prepaid, no interest will accrue on the account.


Teens shouldn't risk their credit score until they master responsible spending. The PASS Card provides a way to learn the benefits of a credit card without the ability to go into debt. The card can be managed online but spending is limited to what's loaded on the card.

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