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S/O License: Debit or Credit to pay for gas?


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As a spin off of the driver license thread(s), when your young person can drive for themselves, regardless of whether they have their own vehicle, do they have a credit or debit card to pay for putting gas in the car(s)?

When I grew up, I had a duplicate of my dad's specific-brand-of-gas-station credit card. (This was always funny when we used it at the station where the gas attendant was a former co-worker of my dad's. He knew we weren't our dad, but we signed our dad's name anyway.) We kept track of our gas costs & paid our dad back each month.

Duplicate credit card & she pays us back each month?
Debit card attached to her bank account?
[Other]

How do you do it? I'm open to hearing from those whose kids pay for all their own gas as well as those parents who cover the gas the majority of the time. Please state age range as I'm dealing with a under 18 year old so I'm assuming she's not going to be able to get her own credit card yet.

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5 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

As a spin off of the driver license thread(s), when your young person can drive for themselves, regardless of whether they have their own vehicle, do they have a credit or debit card to pay for putting gas in the car(s)?

We stopped using debit cards once we learned the hard way that when someone steals your debit card, they are stealing YOUR money and you are out that money until you can get the card company to reimburse.  With a credit card, they are stealing from the card company directly, so you are not out when the card is stolen.

Some cards like American Express allow you to put a different limit on different cards.  That allows you to limit expenditures by children.

But for around town, we can just give the children the electric car, which is refueled at home.  That solves the problem!

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Until my kids get their own credit cards, they are authorized buyers on one of ours and carry it with them always. That's how the one who drives buys gas, and both of them pay for things if they stop to pick something up for me.  The one who drives sometimes fills up the tank on his own, but since the bulk of his driving is to/from school, I'm happy to pay for it. 

They have debit cards but don't use them for purchasing stuff, only for getting cash from the bank ATM (or a few others that have no fees and are in good places where there is unlikely to be a skimmer). 

I actually kind of like it that my daughter makes purchases of her own with my credit card. She lets me know when she uses it, and pays me every month before the due date. I get to keep the points. :-) But, I do want them to get their own soon, either a student card or a secured card.   Just one of those things no one has gotten around to and not a huge priority.

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when the kids were in school - and driving our cars, we paid for gas.  when they had their own car, they paid for gas.  we had a 'kid car' for a number of years. who filled it varied.

our girls went away to college (didn't have a car) - but we made sure they had a cc with a decent limit. when they were home they used it to fill the tank. (we got those bills.)  the boys were a bit older before they got cc, before that they used a debit and were always grateful when we filled up their tank.

 

it's really easy to get a student a card on your own account. cc are paid off every month - so they're for convenience. (and percentage back/rewards points)

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My kid just paid cash.  Like actually got out of her car and went into the station and paid the clerk.  And, as far as I know, she still does.  She’s 22 now. 

In fact, DH uses cash for gas too.  

We are really big on using actual cash dollar bills in this family.  However, I do not use cash exactly.  I use a refillable station gift card.  Every month when I fill our cash envelopes, I take my gas money and go into speedway and put it on my speedway refillable gift card.  There are a few reasons I do this.  

*i get bonus points on my speedy rewards card most of the time.  When the pints add up I use them to get free gas gift cards. 

*I drive a lot, but don’t do much DAILY driving, if that makes sense.  This means it’s no big deal to be tied to the same station because it’s the closest to my house and it’s never a big deal to go there to fill up  plus, Speedway stores are all over around here.  

*any time I am driving I usually have the kids with me and it takes three times longer for me to go in to pay than it does for DH or Dd22.   

*if anyone manages to skim my gas card, all they have access to is that gas money, not the whole of my checking account.  The card has no tie to any other account at alL.

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DS uses his debit cards to buy gas and we reimburse him by transferring money into his account based on mileage.

When DD travels home, she buys gas with the credit card.

Both kids are authorized users on our credit card accounts and have their own cards on our account which they may use for emergencies and pre-authorized purchases. This is the easiest way for a teen to build credit. 

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Not quite there yet except my kid has a debit card.  That's all he has access to at the moment. 

I do totally understand the concern of it coming right out of your money so if there is an issue thing... Which is why the gas station is one place I use the credit card rather than the debit card.  For some odd reason I don't trust it. 

But I suppose with my kid he doesn't have much money and doesn't have to pay bills so having to wait to resolve a money issue wouldn't be too awful for him. 

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We make them an authorized user on one of our credit card accounts, and they get a card in their own name.  Then they text us what they spent where (ie: "Mom I spent $26.45 on gas and $86.74 on the groceries you asked me to pick up"). 

The other good news is that because we pay off that credit card twice a month, they have positive information on their credit reports before they turn 18.  I didn't even realize until recently that authorized users had information on their credit reports at all.

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My 18yo uses a debit card that is attached to his account, but I reimburse him by transferring money into his account from mine. (His account is a student account that I have access to.) But it’s interesting because I just today had this conversation with him because this particular gravy train has a deadline. He graduates from high school this May and then this is going to be his issue. 

We do pay for insurance at this time and for repairs and maintenance. We also still pay insurance and repairs for 20yo DD in college, but she pays for her own gas and maintenance. 

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I would most likely give my kid a credit card off my account, either with her name (if that is possible under 18) or in my name.

My kids have bank accounts, and I think they are eligible to get debit cards at age 13 IIRC?  However, I am not a fan of debit cards, so I would prefer the credit card options.

A gift card would also be good, but it would not work everywhere, and I would want to make sure my young daughters did not get stranded.

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30 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Also, FYI, none of us have credit cards.  DH and I have had any in over a decade, and DD22 hasn’t ever had one.  

Well that’s just nuts! : D 

I’m just kidding. Sort of. No, really, that is a very responsible choice that goes well for many people. My sister should have done that. She could not control her shopping. 

 

(But also, I just flew over to and back from France and stayed a total of five nights in Paris, all “paid for” through credit card reward points, so I’m a pretty solid devotee of my reward points. I recommend.) 

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We did not have credit cards for awhile either.  UNTIL....we made an on-line donation to the Red Cross and they cleaned out our bank account due to a computer glitch that added on zeros.  No joke.  Talk about scary.  I had to call up various people and companies and explain the situation.  Eventually this was resolved, but the nightmare fees we would have had to endure without understanding people and the mental breakdown I nearly had over it.....ugh...

So no more after that.  We use credit cards to pay for a lot of stuff to avoid weirdness.  We just pay it off. 

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When our boys got their drivers licenses at 16 we made them authorized users on one of our credit cards, which provided each of them with their own card with their name on it. That's what they use for all expenses we cover--gas, college related expenses, etc. We earn $$$$ in cash rewards every year, plus in general using a credit card is much safer than using a debit card, plus it helps the boys build their credit scores.

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50 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Also, FYI, none of us have credit cards.  DH and I have had any in over a decade, and DD22 hasn’t ever had one.  

Why forgo all the free money they give you for shopping with a cc? Financially, a cc makes way more sense than cash.

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8 minutes ago, Quill said:

Well that’s just nuts! : D 

I’m just kidding. Sort of. No, really, that is a very responsible choice that goes well for many people. My sister should have done that. She could not control her shopping. 

 

(But also, I just flew over to and back from France and stayed a total of five nights in Paris, all “paid for” through credit card reward points, so I’m a pretty solid devotee of my reward points. I recommend.) 

DH wracks up a lot of travel points/miles through work travel.  Lots through Expedia and also through whatever airlines he usually uses.  Also though, we get deeply discounted condo/timeshare units through Armed Forces Vacation Network. SO, if we were inclined to travel (which we aren’t right now since we are paying off our student loan stupid with zeros) we have ways to do so very frugally and/or free. 

6 minutes ago, SparklyUnicorn said:

We did not have credit cards for awhile either.  UNTIL....we made an on-line donation to the Red Cross and they cleaned out our bank account due to a computer glitch that added on zeros.  No joke.  Talk about scary.  I had to call up various people and companies and explain the situation.  Eventually this was resolved, but the nightmare fees we would have had to endure without understanding people and the mental breakdown I nearly had over it.....ugh...

So no more after that.  We use credit cards to pay for a lot of stuff to avoid weirdness.  We just pay it off. 

This is one of the reasons I like actual cash dollar bills whenever possible.  The transaction is real clean. When we had a double debit of our mortgage on our bank account one month, that’s when we went cash even for that.  I took actual cash to a Chase branch and paid.  Any mistake could have been handled right then.  Though, in all the years I did that, there was never a problem. 

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3 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Why throw away all the free money they give you for shopping, that pays more than for the annual fee? 

 

It's true.  We have the points go to Amazon.  It's great because we buy stuff there all the time.  Like free money! 

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4 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Why forgo all the free money they give you for shopping with a cc? Financially, a cc makes way more sense than cash.

Lol.  We don’t shop much, and where I do, I utilize loyalty programs like my speedy card, MPerks at Meijer, CVS game, etc.  I get plenty of free stuff that way, no CC necessary.  

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8 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Why forgo all the free money they give you for shopping with a cc? Financially, a cc makes way more sense than cash.

Yeah, the credit card I got and made dd an authorized user before she went on study abroad has been great in numerous ways. One: she doesn’t have to access Euros very often, which is good because it’s a fee each time she makes a new bank withdrawal. Also, a little riskier to have only Euros because of theft potential. Two: she’s building credit by using that card. Three: the card is Capital One Venture and so doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Four: it is a reward card so all of the money she spends on this trip is potentially paying for a future trip for either one of us, which is pretty terrific! 

It’s also great because I get an instant notification text every time she uses it, so I think it just makes her extra-conscientious. She knows I see every euro spent instantly. If she’s going to buy something substantial, she texts me like, “I’m about to buy a train ticket to ———, so you will see 70€ come through.” I like it; I think it’s good training. 

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Lol.  We don’t shop much, and where I do, I utilize loyalty programs like my speedy card, MPerks at Meijer, CVS game, etc.  I get plenty of free stuff that way, no CC necessary.  

I know quite a few people who use cash only.  I'm a cc user myself, but I can sometimes see the appeal.  

Whatever works!

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Ds used his cc,debit or cash to pay for gas (and other expenses) and then periodically he would tell me what I owed and I would pay him back.  

DD19 now has my credit card and uses that.  For the first year of driving, I would buy Costco gift cards and let her buy them for cheaper than face value.  I paid for her school/sports/work gas and she paid for fun running around.  We kept track for a month and use that for a set average of usage. We decided that she would pay for $10 of gas and I would pay for $40 each month.  So, she bought a $50 gas card from me for $10.  If she wasn't near a Costco, she used her own money (cash/debit) and we worked it out later.   

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12 hours ago, RegGuheert said:

We stopped using debit cards once we learned the hard way that when someone steals your debit card, they are stealing YOUR money and you are out that money until you can get the card company to reimburse.  With a credit card, they are stealing from the card company directly, so you are not out when the card is stolen.

We don't use debit cards at all for the same reason.  

Ds has been an authorized user on one of my credit cards for years.  When he started dual-enrollment, I wanted him to have both a smart phone and a credit card for emergencies.  When he started college, he got his own card from the credit union with a low limit to help him build his own credit.  I still have him carry both since my card has a much higher limit.

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Both boys have their own account that I am also on.  They use debit cards. It is very handy because I can transfer money to them as needed for the expenses we pay for....

The  one problem is Dss rarely has any padding in his account and the gas stations won't let him pay at the pump....he has to go in and prepay and when he wants to fill up it is a problem.  I didn't know he was having this problem until recently so I put $100 in his account and that seemed to be enough.  Ds has a job and always has several hundred in his account so we never had that problem.

i made sure both accounts have no overdraft protection so when it is gone it is gone and they don't have access to their savings account without me.  

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IMO a Debit Card is much more dangerous than a Credit Card. If there is a mistake or a crime with a Debit Card, one's bank account can be wiped out and very very quickly. A Credit Card is safer.  I get cash from ATM machines with my Debit card, but I do not let any cashiers in stores, etc., touch it. .  

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My kids are obviously not driving yet.  We use cash for all gasoline transactions as the gas stations card readers are frequently skimmed especially Arco.  Besides we get a discount of at least 10cents per gallon if we pay by cash. 

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