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For the first couple of years DS was commuting to CC, we gave him cash every week for lunches and then would have to go there to help him buy books (he was 16 when he started and didn't yet have a drivers license so we were transporting him so it was OK to do). Anyway, in due course he was 18 and driving on his own and all that was a hassle so we made him an authorized user on our Amex card. We gave him clear instructions of what he could and could not use it for. He does use a debit card for his personal checking account for things that we won't pay for. So far (he is 19 now) this has gone very well. I do check online frequently on charges so I can easily see that he is staying within our guidelines.

Our daughter is 17 and will graduate high school this semester and start CC in the spring. I am planning to do the same thing for her (I guess I'll find out then if there is any problem doing this for someone under 18. If it is, then I'll get her an Amex prepaid card that we can reload).

On the other hand this does depend on how well the child handles money. We have another son that has much more difficulty with this. So, a credit card would not have been a good choice for him.
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