3 Valuable Reasons To Get Your Teenager A Credit Card

As your child grows up and nears the point of heading out into the world on their own, the value of financial education cannot be overstated. Good money habits learned while still at home can carry over into adulthood and provide the next generation with a solid financial footing. One area of good money habits that many parents overlook is the wise use of a credit card.

While some people might find it counter-intuitive to get a teenager a credit card, here are three compelling reasons to do it. 

1. You Control Its Use

Worried about your child overspending? First-time credit cards are often limited to as little as $500 and may even be prepaid by an amount of money placed on the card in advance of spending. These built-in limitations help a new user to learn how to use the card when needed but also prevents them from relying on it as an endless piggy bank. You can also keep an eye on actual usage to help your teen learn how to make spending choices.  

2. You Teach Card Management 

Monitoring and making appropriate payments on a credit card are some of the most important parts of controlling spending. Because your teen is still living at home, you can help them learn how to do all these tasks regularly. Set up an online account for them (as well as yourself if possible) and then have them do things like check for unauthorized use, monitor their spending habits, and send payments in a timely manner. 

3. Your Child Is Protected 

You probably aren't with your teenager 24 hours a day — and will be with them even less as they head to college — so they should have some protection if there is an emergency. A credit card designated for emergency purposes is a simple way to ensure that a vulnerable young adult won't run out of gas, can call a ride-share if needed, can pay for a doctor visit, and always has enough to eat. And because they've had an emergency credit card for years, they will already have learned the right time to use it. 

Credit cards are not only a ubiquitous part of modern life, but they are also a valuable one. And by introducing your teenager to smart credit use while they're young, you'll help set them on a good path for the rest of their life.