Visa slaps teen with $23,148,855,308,184,500.00 bill for a prepaid card

July 15, 2012


Too Much Credit
Image by Andres Rueda via Flickr

Interesting news stalwart Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing is to be thanked for bringing this to our attention.

Visa have recorded a $23, 148, 855, 308, 184, 500.00 charge on a prepaid card.

The Consumerist, who broke the story, point out that’s 2,000 times larger than America’s national debt of $11 trillion and that the ever-vigilant billing team at Visa remembered to add the $20 charge for being in the red. Yes; the card was also suspended.

Prepaid cards are an interesting idea. They work in a very similar way to credit or debit cards except you can only spend the balance that has been assigned to the card. In theory this means it is impossible to run in to debt (as there’s no overdraft option) and therefore ideal for giving to teenagers.

Cards are usually assigned a PIN number and can be used at ATM machines, online or even over the telephone.

They’ve become popular with travellers as they’re seen as being a handy as plastic but much less of a risk. They’re often more discreet than cash as well. Normally, that is, unless a drug store tries to charge you all the money in the world and the bill ends up on the internet. When that happens they’re not so discreet.

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  2. Credit card interest free periods may not be all they appear
  3. Praying for the death of credit card cheques
  4. Rate tarts losing ability to cherry pick
  5. Don’t let the bank use the postal strike as an excuse to take your money

About Paul Knowski

Andrew is Money Lion's Media Innovations Director. While he's working from Money Lion's second London office.