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There exists a prepaid card service which allows multiple cards to refer to the same account/pool of funds?

With my house mates we would like to setup a prepaid card to which automatically transfer money via bank account. The card will then be used by any one of us for small, everyday purchases for the household (stuff like toilet paper and such).

With only one card there would be the nuisance of always remembering to bring the card when a common purchase is done and then remembering to remove the card from the wallet so that other can access it. Clearly, the first time one forgets defeats the whole purpose of having such a card.

Hence the question: is it possible (in some way, repeated issue of, say, an online e-wallet card would be ok) to have multiple cards referring to the same account or pool of funds? In this way, each one of us could carry his card around and use it whenever appropriate.

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  • Step 1 open a joint checking account
  • Step 2 request multiple debit cards
  • step 3 use

My credit union does not limit the number of people on the joint account. But check with your banking institution. At the credit union one person must be the prime name on the account, they will have any interest earned reported to the IRS under their social security number.

Risk: easy to overdraw the account if everybody assumes that they are the only one late transferring money into the account.

  • Most checking accounts that don't carry periodic fees, nor require high minimum balances, do not pay interest. An account with either of those characteristics would not be suitable for this use, so I don't think the IRS interest note is necessary. – Dan Henderson Aug 19 '15 at 14:38
  • Some banks may be able to set the account to completely disallow overdrafts, eliminating that risk. But you'd have to specifically request such an arrangement - banks offer "overdraft protection" as a "convenience," but it's also to their own benefit, because the fees they charge for this "service" are usually much higher than their actual incurred expense from covering the overdraft. With this shared account, it would likely be preferable to have the debit card declined at point of sale, than to have to pay an overdraft fee that might even exceed the typical purchase amount. – Dan Henderson Aug 19 '15 at 14:45
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    The only caveat to this is, if you are on an account with other people, you may be linked to their behavior, and some of these take a signature from ALL cosigners to remove you from the account. This carries some risk if you should end your cohabitation in a non-amiable way. – BrownRedHawk Aug 19 '15 at 15:13

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