A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site allows kids to charge purchases on pre-selected sites to the credit cards of their parents, grandparents, and other adults in their life who sign up for this service. The site is free to sign up with but charges 50 cents per Internet shopping cart transaction.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
BILLMYPARENTS allows teens to charge Internet purchases on select gaming sites, amazon.com, and other online affiliated retailers without a credit card in hand. Teens and parents (and other adult relatives and friends the teen solicits) sign up for the site, and the parent inserts a credit card number. After the teen shops online and "makes" a purchase, the parent gets the chance to approve or veto it before it's officially charged. The credit card is charged 50 cents extra per shopping card transaction for use of the service.
Is it any good?
There might be a good application of this site, because it keeps the actual credit card number out of the hands of the teen, and monitors the purchases before they are officially charged. In practice, however, the mental and emotional hit a teen may get from just going through the process of making the purchase online and the subsequent headache the parent will get from having to say no will likely be more of a hassle than a help. Perhaps for college kids who are away at school, this might prove to be
an efficient means for parents to keep tabs on expenditures -- and may be easier to say no from afar.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about smart use of credit cards, budgets, and forethought in purchases. Talk with your teen about your family's policies when it comes to online shopping and credit cards. If your teen registers for this site, discuss what other adults in their life -- grandparents, aunts, uncles, adult friends -- you approve of them approaching about signing up their card, which could be a rude, presumptious, or downright dangerous proposition if not handled properly.