I spent a couple of hours wandering the mall Saturday, and while there noticed a store credit card offer in the jewelry department of Dillard’s. The brochure showed a hip-looking credit card with the words “This is mine mine mine” written on it. I knew that companies were targeting younger and younger consumers, but it still surprised me to see this. The card seems aimed at kids that are in high school or junior high.
Kids that want things for themselves, and want it now. I guess it’s not enough for young kids to have their cell phones and iPods. Now they’re offered their “own” credit card too. Of course, it can’t legally be their credit card if they’re under 18 — the parent or guardian is still liable for the charges, but I was curious how it would work so check it out online. Is it a surprise that the fine print was hard to read? I had to copy and paste the terms into Notepad to see them. These two parts struck me as interesting:
* Finance charges and minimum payments will be calculated separately based on the balance attributable to you and to the Dependent. If applicable, there will be a minimum finance charge of $1.00 on the balance attributable to you. There’s also a separate minimum finance charge of $1.00 on the balance attributable to the Dependent.
* Only one monthly payment will be due on the Account, and you will be responsible for payment of all amounts due on your Account, including charges by the Dependent. Generally, payments will be allocated proportionately to a balance.
More opportunities to charge, literally, and the child gets their first plastic at an early age too. What do you think of this? It strikes me as similar to the debate between letting your kid drink at home to teach them to do it in moderation and “preaching” the evils of alcohol in the hopes that when they go off to college they don’t try it.
Incidentally, Dillard’s was the first credit card I ever got — at about 18.