The days of paying only with cash are gone. You must have some sort of debit or credit card, especially because online spending is becoming more and more the way to go. Unfortunately, I have not noticed any computers with cash slots like at the self-checkout in the grocery store.
If you do not have the right credit history to get a credit card, you could get a pre-paid credit card instead. They are no hassle and are easy to use. Who wants to fill out all those boring forms to get a credit card anyway? It may be a temporary way to satisfy your teenager, who has been begging you for a credit card. They also make a great gift for the person you are dreading to choose a gift for. Sounds like a fine idea so far.
On your way to eternal pre-paid credit card bliss, you discover some less than blissful bumps in the road. The fees on almost anything get us every time. Going the pre-paid route, does not exempt anyone from fees. One card had an activation fee of almost $10. Another card had a similar inactivity fee. Inactivity fees blow everyone away. You get a fee for saving or not doing anything! A word of advice, try to do some research and get a list of fees that are associated with the card you want to purchase.
The problem of fees pale in comparison with the problem of child pornography. Those people who purchase child pornography are finding it a little easier to be anonymous with a pre-paid credit card payment. They lose any chance of being held accountable that way. This makes it harder to catch them. Some major credit card companies try to assure the public that they work hard to disable the use of their cards on such websites. I am afraid that I am not buying the altruism act from companies that charge an inactivity fee.
What about adolescents pretending to be 21-years-old online? It is no surprise that in a recent study it was found that over 93 percent of adolescents use the Internet. Alarmingly, another study showed that almost a third of adolescents have lied about their age to gain access to particular websites. Most adolescents have also confessed to covering their tracks by deleting the web browser history. With such unnerving statistics, it hardly seems like a good idea to give a pre-paid credit card to a teenager. The plastic card could serve as a license for your child to enter a number of adult websites, undetected.