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Plastic Restrictions...promising or worthless?

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Plastic Restrictions...promising or worthless?

Most of us know that carrying any kind of plastic--debit but especially credit--leads to more spending (at least on average). Instead of enabling urges, what if we were able to harness these slivers of polyvinyl to enforce and empower our budgeting?

There are free services out there that have this promise, at least for debit cards (the technology also exists for credit cards, but few issuers want you to spend less--see my other post). The limits are accessible via mobile platforms and not ironclad, but they could be good guardrails for those interested in improvement and support.

The ones I know about are:

CardValet (seems to be the most common)
CardNav (found at some credit unions)
Card Control
MobiPay
SecurLOCK

How they Work:

- restrict spending by merchant category
- restrict spending by dollar amount
- limit purchases to a geographic area
- turn card on or off

Personally, for a regular person (like myself) curtailing what I do spend far outweighs getting points on what I overspend. With that in mind, anyone use one of the above services? If you do, what do you think?

DayPlannerMan


Starting Score: EQ 687 EX 697 TU 714
Current Score: Oct '16 EQ 765 EX 690 TU 771
Goal Score: 760


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8 REPLIES 8
Frequent Contributor

Re: Plastic Restrictions...promising or worthless?

I guess if it works for you...

 

Personally I'm not of the "OMG I have a wallet full of plastic, I'm going to spend like mad!" mindset. My spend would be the same whether i had credit/debit cards, or if i were paying with cash and checks, with the rare exception of some type of emergency. 

 

In short, knuckleheads willy-nilly overspend. And knuckleheads would be the last to freely sign up for any of those services.


Message 2 of 9
Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Plastic Restrictions...promising or worthless?

Interesting concept. However, at the risk of sounding self-righteous, I treat credit cards almost like debit cards anyway for the most part. I don’t view them as “free money.” But I can definitely see the value in services like this for people who feel like they can’t control themselves at certain retailers or whatever. 

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Message 3 of 9
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Plastic Restrictions...promising or worthless?

Sad as it is I don't think these will have much impact.

 

If you don't know you have a problem, you don't look for something like this.

 

I think if you're self-aware enough to realize you have an issue, you probably don't need this app... with the exception of some possibly compulsive behaviors.  I don't know how much of the population really needs that last part, for me I maybe spend a bit more because of the convenience factor and the rise of online shopping, but ultimately my spend is (mostly, I do have one bad habit when it comes to freemium games when I'm trying to kill time) under control.

 




        
Message 4 of 9
Established Contributor

Re: Plastic Restrictions...promising or worthless?


@pinkandgrey wrote:

... I treat credit cards almost like debit cards anyway for the most part. I don’t view them as “free money.” 


I do the same as well. If there's no money in the bank, I dont spend it on the card. As I've grown older, I found that my desire to spend has decreased compared to when I was in my 20's. 











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Message 5 of 9
Valued Member

Re: Plastic Restrictions...promising or worthless?

I am writing to add to the list of standalone services offering debit transaction controls:

CardValet
CardNav
CardControl
SecurLock

In addition, there appear to be some banking institutions that integrate the functionality into their own mobile applications . Radius Bank appears to be one example. Do people know of other banks or credit unions that offer any of the following:

Location-based controls (no approved transactions outside a geographic area)
Price Limit (no transactions above a predetermined amount)

Merchant categories (e.g. Grocery stores but not Restaurants)
Card freeze

I'm looking less for feedback on whether YOU believe you need these tools and more information on where you've come across these services, thanks.


Starting Score: EQ 687 EX 697 TU 714
Current Score: Oct '16 EQ 765 EX 690 TU 771
Goal Score: 760


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Message 6 of 9
Frequent Contributor

Re: Plastic Restrictions...promising or worthless?


@Revelate wrote:

Sad as it is I don't think these will have much impact.

 

If you don't know you have a problem, you don't look for something like this.


 

100% agree!

 

With one more "category"; Often times, when people do realize there is a problem, they are trying to treat the symptom rather than the problem itself.

 

Recently, one of my neighbors posted up a question within our social group (NextDoor). She said she was tired of being broke all the time and wanted to know how others budgeted their money. Suggestions like YNAB, MINT, etc were thrown out there. She took it and ran with it. But for someone like her, those apps are just going to be "spending trackers".

Not even a month later, she was posting questions about her "must have destination wedding" and how it "must be in front of a big body of water such as a large lake or ocean". The part that really irritated me was that she also started asking questions about "how can a first-time mommy" get a well deserved break from being a mommy. 

 

Muted her.

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Message 7 of 9
Valued Contributor

Re: Plastic Restrictions...promising or worthless?

For me, it would be worthless. I have no need of another info selling company to offer me a service I don't need. Like others have said, just because my wallet is full of plastic doesn't mean I go around spending like I've won the lottery. 

 

I also don't want it at the expense of my personal and financial information being shared with yet another Company that probably cannot protect it.

Message 8 of 9
Valued Member

Re: Plastic Restrictions...promising or worthless?

Title post updated to include two additional companies that offer transaction control services. Outide of turning a card "on" or "off," I am not aware of any banks or credit unions providing comprehensive card control functionality in-house.

Any other experiences users have had are welcome!


Starting Score: EQ 687 EX 697 TU 714
Current Score: Oct '16 EQ 765 EX 690 TU 771
Goal Score: 760


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Message 9 of 9
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