Now that school is out for the summer, the Israel Post postal service is issuing a new type of credit card, denominated in either shekels or foreign currency, for teens who are at least 16.
The cards are in essence debit cards which can be loaded with up to 2,500 shekels ($500). They are not linked to a bank account and are honored when presented with an identity card. There is a one-time fee of 45 shekels for the card, which is valid and can be refilled for five years.
The youth cards complement similar cards that the post office has been offering for adults for years. The adult cards can be loaded with funds of up to 20,000 shekels.
The post office is offering two types of credit cards for young people. One, under the Visa brand, is denominated in dollars and designed for use while traveling out of the country or for purchases over the internet from abroad. Another card, with the Mastercard brand, can have a balance in shekels, euros or British pounds for transactions or internet purchases carried out in Europe.
The cards can also be used to withdraw funds at bank machines. There is a 2% fee for adding funds in shekels and a 1% commission for adding funds in foreign currency. There is no commission for retail purchases made with the card.