How to Choose an Emergency Card for Your Teen

NEW YORK ( -- Once your teenager is driving, it is a good idea that he or she have access to some funds in case of an emergency. You don't want your loved one stranded on the side of the road, unable to pay for a tank of gas or a tow truck.

Many people opt for an emergency credit card for their teenager, but this may not be the wisest choice. As a parent, you have a number of financial options. Which one you choose will depend primarily on costs and the financial responsibility of your teenager a decision only you can assess.

Prepaid card

Getting a prepaid card for a teenager may be the least risky option to take from a parent's perspective. In this case, you simply sign up for a prepaid card and deposit however much money you want. If your teenager earns an allowance, you could start putting that money onto the prepaid card. The only problem will be if your child spends through it and has no money left over for emergencies.

Reloadable prepaid cards are usually set up in a person's name, so you will have to determine if you want it in the name of you or your teenager. If you set it up in your name, make sure your teenager knows the PIN in case money has to be taken out at an ATM.

Prepaid cards come with setup fees, which are usually less than $10. But then you have to be concerned about other fees, including a monthly fee, annual fee, a cost to check your balance and a deposit fee. Read the terms closely to determine if this is an affordable option for emergencies. Ultimately, you want something with the lowest fees possible.

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