Author Topic: low-fee prepaid debit card needed  (Read 1497 times)

crusher

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low-fee prepaid debit card needed
« on: March 04, 2016, 05:41:36 AM »
I volunteer with a disabled woman, and I am trying to find a low-fee, prepaid debit card for her. Her guardian would like to transfer about $15 a week electronically from a bank account to a prepaid card for the ward to have spending money. The ward would use the debit card for repeated small purchases at fast food restaurants or convenience stores.

I thought I'd ask here in case someone has already researched this. A number of the cards I see online have transaction fees, which could be burdensome with small purchases.

I'm also open to other ideas. The guardian is not allowed to provide cash, and the ward does not have the ability to cash checks (no transportation, no computer/smartphone). Thanks!

terran

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Re: low-fee prepaid debit card needed
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2016, 06:40:26 AM »
Be VERY careful with this. Is this person on SSI? Any gift of food or housing or that can be exchanged for food or housing (a gift card to somewhere that sells food) will reduce this person's benefit. If she is on government benefits it would be much better for you to pay and the family member reimburse you, or for the family member to pay any bills directly.

It might seem strange, but a credit card with a low limit might be a better option: http://specialneedsanswers.com/credit-card-care-for-people-with-special-needs-12921 -- as the article points out, you still can't pay any parts of the bill that are for food or housing, the special needs person needs to pay for that out of their SSI income.

crusher

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Re: low-fee prepaid debit card needed
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2016, 05:45:36 AM »
Thanks for the info and the great web site, terran. This situation does not involve SSI or gift money. The guardian, who is not a relative, handles the ward's funds and pays bills. We're trying to figure out the best way, given the limitations, to get a portion of the ward's funds into her hands for spending money.

Paul der Krake

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Re: low-fee prepaid debit card needed
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2016, 06:00:29 AM »
Have the guardian sign up for a serve card with a subaccount for the beneficiary. The guardian will have access to the transaction history and complete control over the subaccount, and the beneficiary will have her own card. Serve is a top-notch product from AMEX that tries to cater to the underbanked and people with unusual financial situations.

$1 per month for the card or free if the guardian:
- lives in NY, TX, VT, or
- adds $500 a month to the card per month, or
- has one direct deposit per month

I would have the guardian direct deposit $100 of her paycheck per month and go from there.

Learn more here: https://www.serve.com/

crusher

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Re: low-fee prepaid debit card needed
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 07:18:30 AM »
Thanks much, Paul. I'll look into it.