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hank75

Pre paid credit card

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Has anyone gotten one of these for a boy? I read somewhere it was possible. Would like to get a boy a card loaded up with 10-15k baht as a birthday present. He’s moving into late 20s and never had a credit card, even when he’s invited to travel by customers- it would be good for him to have one in case of emergencies.

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I have not, although my only ever payments to boys have been as they walk out of the door after short or long time.   So perhaps some people with longer term relationships might comment.

I do foresee 2 risks here:

1 He asks you to top it up once he has gone through the balance.

2 The money gets fritters away on a phone or something even less sensible, long before he has the kind of emergency you envisage.

Perhaps steering him towards a bank savings account & making a payment into that could stand a slightly better chance of nudging him towards looking after money.

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I know this reads along the lines of “a fool and his money are soon parted”, but if I hadn’t personally witnessed this boy’s prudent money management, I would not think of offering him a birthday present like this. And my reasoning is more practical than it appears - he’s been talking about customers who are offering to bring him abroad, or saving up to join friends on a visit to a neighboring country. I think it would be good to have a credit card on hand that he could use to make bookings online or, in case of an emergency, get himself home. I don’t plan to keep topping the card up for him and I’m pretty sure once he learns how to do it himself, he’ll take over the card management. It’s just that I don’t think he’s even considered it was a possibility for him to have a card of his own, given his unstable income and lack of salary documents. 

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1 hour ago, hank75 said:

I know this reads along the lines of “a fool and his money are soon parted”, but if I hadn’t personally witnessed this boy’s prudent money management, I would not think of offering him a birthday present like this. And my reasoning is more practical than it appears - he’s been talking about customers who are offering to bring him abroad, or saving up to join friends on a visit to a neighboring country. I think it would be good to have a credit card on hand that he could use to make bookings online or, in case of an emergency, get himself home. I don’t plan to keep topping the card up for him and I’m pretty sure once he learns how to do it himself, he’ll take over the card management. It’s just that I don’t think he’s even considered it was a possibility for him to have a card of his own, given his unstable income and lack of salary documents. 

I don't that is the case at all. Like anything in the world it depends on the person. It appears you have been around this individual so your thoughts may be right. Unfortunately DivineMadman is right also in that Debit card may be the only way to go. Easily gotten at any bank and accepted around the world. Just has to be money in the account. I wonder if you asked him if he already has such a card. If not  then you can explain to him the value of such a card especially for protecting his cash from theft . Seems to me it starts with asking him if he has such a card  and if he thinks it would be valuable to have . Then go from there.

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DivineMadman,

The above post is the most thoughtful advise I have read in the forum.

I agree everything you’ve written there.

For his birthday I would give him cash 10,000-15,000. 

Or buying gold jewellery weight one baht, app. 20,000 baht in cash at a reputable gold shop such as Hua Seng Heng in China town.

Last year a Jupiter boy had emergency money requested from his family and he was thinking of selling a 10 baht weight gold chain but luckily one of his admirers intervened and helped him out by sending money from overseas.

Thai bar boys love gold!  I think he would appreciate much much more than prepaid card.

 

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Gold chain has its merits in Thailand, but could be very hard to get true value in many other countries unless he knew where to go. Likely lots of questions of where he got chain etc  and of course easily stolen with no way to get the money back. Unlike a debit card where no one can steal the money.

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2 hours ago, DivineMadman said:

- Local banks offer debit cards for account holders at reasonable fees (k-bank is 100 for the card and 200 annual fee).  If your guy doesn't have a bank account, encouraging him to set up and seed a bank account is a better first step.  Thai guys and in my experience Laos and VN guys already have accounts, Cambodia & Myanmar more of a case-by-case basis.  Their own network of friends would be the source for where to get an account.  (I.e., I wouldn't walk in with your guy to the Bangkok Bank head office, not that you were thinking of doing that.).  

Agreed.

A few years ago, I managed to set up a bank account at Kasikorn for myself.  The first branch said I needed a work permit.  The second branch just opened it (and I have saved a few thousand baht in ATM fees).

I imagine your lad could do the same.   Once he has the account, you can pay your gift into it.   

I think a bank account is a better direction.  Once he has it, you could suggest he saves a percentage of his income.

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Firstly thank you for all the great replies. Lots to mull over.

2 hours ago, DivineMadman said:

- I don't know where you would actually get your guy a free-standing no-bank-account cash pre-paid debit card over here in BKK.  I don't think it's as common as say in the U.S.  With luck others can help tell you where you could get a good one.  I also recall that in the U.S. a lot of those sorts of cards came under heavy criticism from the consumer advocates b/c of high hidden fees.

.....

- As far as visiting other countries on his own or with friends, I think far better to trust your guy and his friends to know what they're doing.  I know lots of guys who stopped school at 13-14 and travel to China, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, etc., (wherever there's money and men) all without cards.  I'm impressed by these guys.  Once they get the hang of travel they are feerless.  Maybe we're all being a little paternalistic.  Or as my woke niece never tires of telling me, "check your privilege".

Yes I was thinking in terms of a bank-backed debit card / cash card under Visa or MasterCard that could be topped up in cash value. I’ve heard of this in under countries but not so much in Thailand. Interestingly, Kasikorn Bank offers a virtual credit card (just a string of numbers, no card) for online purchases. Thaivisa forum has yielded some interesting information, I shall keep trawling. But increasingly it seems like my so-called bright idea may not pan out. 

For boys who travel, I believe the customer purchases the ticket following agreement with the boy and sends him flight details by email/Line. They are surprisingly vulnerable, no credit cards, data roaming, little cash, unable to read English and sometimes put on to China air carriers where flight attendants do not speak Thai or English - I was amazed at how trusting they were, boarding a plane with little more than faith they would be collected and looked after at the other end. Yes I agree, some boys are completely fearless and business savvy - within 15 minutes landing and they are advertising on Grindr. But not all of them are like that. 

 

2 hours ago, DivineMadman said:

And where were you when I was looking for a boyfriend?

 

Probably deep in the closet. LOL. While I am not old, I definitely came out later than most. But the truth of the matter is, I was very fortunate to be mentored in many ways by older boyfriends and even casual hook ups. They looked out for my safety when my curiosity took me into unsavory areas or situations. So I quite enjoy being able to fulfil this role for boys now, even just as a well meaning customer.

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1 hour ago, Scooby said:

Gold chain has its merits in Thailand, but could be very hard to get true value in many other countries unless he knew where to go. Likely lots of questions of where he got chain etc  and of course easily stolen with no way to get the money back. Unlike a debit card where no one can steal the money.

I have mixed feelings about gold. I never knew much about gold (and Thais’ love for it) until I accompanied a friend to buy sin sod for his girl. Frankly I was appalled at how much extra you had to pay for “workmanship”. Basically if you pawned the stuff you would get back far less than the actual sale price, seems like a raw deal to me.

If this boy likes gold, it might be a good idea though, like a wearable bank account. But I’ve never seen him sporting any gold or suggesting he wants gold, even though he has plenty of wealthy admirers who have previously bought him 10-20k value gifts such as designer sneakers (which he gave to his brother, thereby greatly upsetting the customer LOL). And I know he’s been involved in bar brawls where I can easily see a nice gold chain being yanked off. 

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I will investigate his bank account situation, like most of you suggest, perhaps just helping him open a proper savings account and setting him up with a ATM card could be the way to go.

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6 minutes ago, hank75 said:

For boys who travel, I believe the customer purchases the ticket following agreement with the boy and sends him flight details by email/Line.

I know many guys who don't go to country for a particular customer.  In fact most of the guys that I'm thinking of go entirely on their own, sometimes but not always with a friend or two, just on spec'.  They start working the apps or already have a connection at a massage shop.  They buy their own tickets, get through immigration and set all on their own (or with their friends).  They have the mutual support/information sharing networks about where to stay, etc..  There are several from VN in my Hornet feed right now here who are basically doing just that, and I know VN guys, Cambodian guys, Laos guys and Thai guys who have been to more places throughout Asia than I have been (almost).  I consider it risky but they're young and resilient.  They do fine.  

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treat him as adult and give him cash , don't make his life more complicated than it is already.

That is general problem with gift giving - we tend to give what  we want other person to have which is not necessarily exactly what that person wants to have

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The proposal by z909 is a good one especially for the inhibited and unsophisticated moneyboys to go about using banking services for their own advantage. Since almost all of them are already using smartphones,  they will easily appreciate the simplicity of online banking and avoid entrapment by middlemen in the streets. 

Cash can be squandered inadvertently on friends and alcohol etc. 

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1 hour ago, vinapu said:

treat him as adult and give him cash , don't make his life more complicated than it is already.

That is general problem with gift giving - we tend to give what  we want other person to have which is not necessarily exactly what that person wants to have

In principle I would agree with you, but there are occasions when we can offer boy (or friend, or family member) an unsolicited, possibly unwanted, gift, yet it turned out to benefit them immensely. 

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5 minutes ago, hank75 said:

In principle I would agree with you, but there are occasions when we can offer boy (or friend, or family member) an unsolicited, possibly unwanted, gift, yet it turned out to benefit them immensely. 

Anything you give will be appreciated.  I once gave a guy a bottle of nice cologne.  He lit up because he said it was the first he ever got "original" cologne, instead of the cheap knock-off on the streets, and no matter how hard he works he would never spend that kind of money on something so frivolous for himself.  Any gift, big or small will be appreciated. 

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2 hours ago, vinapu said:

treat him as adult and give him cash , don't make his life more complicated than it is already.

That is general problem with gift giving - we tend to give what  we want other person to have which is not necessarily exactly what that person wants to have

Age does not necessarily make an adult . His age may be complicated by not being able to handle cash . Big difference here between someone who flies in for 7-10 days and some members who make much longer trips or more frequent trips or reside in Thailand . Their relations can spring into real friendships  although money still drives the friendship.

Therefore someone who is thinking not only about giving the boy cash but maybe teaching him a few things about handling it and saving some of it , is doing a good deed and I applaud him.

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6 hours ago, DivineMadman said:

Anything you give will be appreciated.  I once gave a guy a bottle of nice cologne.  He lit up because he said it was the first he ever got "original" cologne, instead of the cheap knock-off on the streets, and no matter how hard he works he would never spend that kind of money on something so frivolous for himself.  Any gift, big or small will be appreciated. 

As is almost always the case, I agree with DivineMadman.  I had a similar experience buying a nice cologne for a Vietnamese guy.  His response was similar.  Then I know a Cambodian guy in Pattaya, who, if he learns I'm going to be in town, sends me a request for a particular type of cologne!  

 

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13 hours ago, vinapu said:

treat him as adult and give him cash , don't make his life more complicated than it is already.

That is general problem with gift giving - we tend to give what  we want other person to have which is not necessarily exactly what that person wants to have

Exactly!

Cannot agree more.

Vinapu, you are always the wise one.

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2 hours ago, Jasper said:

 

Vinapu, you are always the wise one.

I don't know about that but looking back at last dozen or so  Christmases, birthdays etc, I can't recall a gift which I really found useful. Hence my anti-gift sentiment as I appreciate efforts and money spent by my friends  on that gift hunting and still I'd rather had 1/3 of cash instead 

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21 hours ago, Scooby said:

[...] and of course easily stolen with no way to get the money back. Unlike a debit card where no one can steal the money.

not 100% true. I had my BKK Bank debit card stolen once (by a random trick picked up at a (straight) night club, not a money boy even). After he left in the morning and before I could even notice and report the stolen card he went straight to a large Tesco Lotus and bought something for about 45k Baht (presumably an iphone or two), just within the limit on the card of 50k. 

So yes, money in a debit card CAN be stolen. It is easy as nobody EVER checks your identity (which is not possible and pointless anyway as that card doesn't even bear a name on it) or looks at the signature when using it. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, anddy said:

not 100% true. I had my BKK Bank debit card stolen once (by a random trick picked up at a (straight) night club, not a money boy even). After he left in the morning and before I could even notice and report the stolen card he went straight to a large Tesco Lotus and bought something for about 45k Baht (presumably an iphone or two), just within the limit on the card of 50k. 

So yes, money in a debit card CAN be stolen. It is easy as nobody EVER checks your identity (which is not possible and pointless anyway as that card doesn't even bear a name on it) or looks at the signature when using it. 

 

 

Must be a different card then I have both in USA and Kasikorn Bank in Thailand. You must have a 4 digit code in order to access funds or make any purchases.

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1 hour ago, Scooby said:

Must be a different card then I have both in USA and Kasikorn Bank in Thailand. You must have a 4 digit code in order to access funds or make any purchases.

you are right, this was about 3 or 4 years ago, and it was the old card with no chip and hence no PIN required for purchases at shops. Actually I'm still using that type card because previously the new chip cards wouldn't work at other banks ATMs which hadn't switched to the new cards yet. I'll change the card some time soon. In fact, they are phasing them out by year end.

 

Having said that, even a chip card with PIN sometimes (even a real credit card) sometimes works without the PIN at the merchants, possibly depending on what kind of card reader they are using, but I don't really know why that is

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