Mastercard Gift Card for Teenagers: The Pros and Cons You Should Know

Teenagers are notoriously hard candidates to shop for. You may have your reservations about shopping for a disgruntled spouse or parents who rarely ever tell you what they would like to receive for birthdays and holidays, but if you have teens of your own or know anyone who does, then you’re quite accustomed to the difficulties that come alongside finding them the perfect present. 

One popular gift option for teenagers just so happens to be gift cards. Since gift cards carry monetary value, they can be used like cash to make purchases at stores that teens actually like to shop at. Book stores, fashion boutiques, salons, department stores, and restaurants are only a fraction of the retailers that gift cards give users access to. As long as you know the type of stores the teenager you are buying for likes to shop at, you are practically guaranteed to make them happy with your gift. But things aren’t always that easy, and sometimes it’s impossible to know which gift cards are best suited for any teens on your shopping list. Fortunately, a versatile option such as a Mastercard gift card can be a lifesaver and leave you feeling like the best gift giver in town. 

Why does a Mastercard gift card for teens end up being such a fantastic gift, though? There are a plethora of reasons why teenagers would benefit from receiving a Mastercard gift card as a present, from its adaptability in regards to shopping to the financial security it offers users by never requiring any personal information. Though teens could probably care less about the advantages that come with using a Mastercard gift card to get their shopping done, responsible parents and other adults will definitely be able to appreciate the many benefits Mastercard gift cards offer users of all ages. 

But as much as there are positive attributes to gifting a teenager a Mastercard gift card, there are also aspects that may not be viewed in the same favor. That is why it is vital to acknowledge the pros and cons associated with using a Mastercard gift card and how these traits may specifically affect gift card users who are underage. 

Keep reading to find out all there is to know about Mastercard gift cards.

What are Some Pros and Cons of Giving a Mastercard Gift Card to a Teenager?

Physical and digital Mastercard gift cards have a slew of benefits that shoppers should absolutely take advantage of, especially when compared to their retail counterparts, but they can also have attributes that are regarded in a negative light. We are going to take time to address both the pros and cons that come alongside Mastercard gift cards. 

Teenagers are a diverse demographic with a wide array of interests and hobbies, which can make shopping for gifts a pain. If you aren’t up to date on everything teens are currently into, then a gift like a Mastercard gift card will definitely save you from embarrassing yourself with a gift they don’t really want. 

As a type of prepaid card, Mastercard gift cards function similarly to cash since they may be used as a form of payment to make purchases at tons of different merchants. However, it should be noted that Mastercard gift cards can only be accepted at merchants who take electronic transactions and accept the Mastercard brand as payment. If an establishment functions as cash only or chooses not to accept gift cards, then your Mastercard gift card will have to go unused.

Another positive aspect is the fact that a Mastercard gift card can’t actually be used like cash, which is a plus for a gift recipient who’s a teen. When you’re in search of a gift befitting of a teenager, you can’t get much better than straight up cash that can be used to purchase any goods or services they may want. Of course, simply handing any teenager you know a wad of cash may leave you feeling a little anxious. Cash can be used to buy just about anything, and since you can’t really regulate what they spend the money on, you have no idea what kind of things could fall into their hands when they have a large portion of money at their disposal. 

Most adults would feel a lot more comfortable gifting any teenager they know money in the form of a gift card, which cannot be used to buy random items off the street. For ease of mind, gifting a Mastercard gift card is definitely a less stressful choice, and the fact that it can only be used at regulated retailers is a huge advantage. 

Having a teenager handle a Mastercard gift card in lieu of physical cash may also be less stressful on the parent. The likelihood of losing dollar bills when out and about increases with the more you carry, and teenagers are notorious for losing track of things and overall not always paying attention. While a Mastercard gift card can be lost, it is only one item as opposed to several bills of various denominations and it is much easier for a teen to remember one card as opposed to the amount of cash they are carrying. 

A breakdown of the major pros and cons of giving a Mastercard gift card to a teenager as a gift is provided below. 

Mastercard gift card pros:

  • Can be used at any retailer that accepts Mastercards
  • Makes sticking to a budget while shopping easier
  • No personal information is connected to the gift card
  • More organized than loose cash 

Mastercard gift card cons:

  • Require an activation fee in order to use 
  • Will accrue inactivity fees after one year
  • No regulation on items that may be inappropriate for teenagers
  • Has no value at merchants who cannot process electronic transactions

Can a teenager use a Mastercard gift card to purchase age-restricted items? 

With the near-infinite purchasing power and freedom that Mastercard gift cards grant users, giving one to a teenager can easily become a double-edged sword. Some purchases, such as alcohol and tobacco, require ID verification in order to complete the transaction. Though a Mastercard gift card can technically be used to purchase these age-restricted substances, the need for an ID acts as a reliable barrier to keep underage teens from purchasing things that they shouldn’t be. 

That now brings us to consider products intended for mature customers that do not require a valid ID as a buffer. This can consist of a variety of goods targeted towards adults, such as products that are suggestive, inappropriate, or pose a risk to personal safety. If an ID is not necessary and the retailer accepts Mastercard gift cards as payment, then it is theoretically possible that an underage individual may use the funds on their gift card to buy something they are not supposed to. To ensure your teenager doesn’t try to get their hands on anything harmful or inappropriate, you may want to consider accompanying them on shopping trips and tracking what they spend their Mastercard gift card on. 

A Mastercard gift card offers users a secure and reliable way to shop at a variety of in-person and online retailers without the risk of exposing any personal details or bank account information. For worried parents, this feature is definitely a positive aspect that should bring peace of mind.

Age-restricted online retailers are another type of beast that any responsible parent of a teen should be mindful of when considering the use of a Mastercard gift card. Since Mastercard gift cards may be used to complete transactions with online retailers, teenagers can easily use their gift card funds to shop at a variety of online merchants for all kinds of different items. This also means that Mastercard gift cards can be used to make purchases on age-restricted websites that require users to be eighteen and over. However, unlike shopping in-person where a valid ID must be scanned in order to complete the purchase, many online shops only require users to acknowledge that they are old enough to be shopping there. 

It is quite easy for a teenager – or any kid who is underage – to lie about their age when no extra steps for verification are required. If you worry that a teenager may use the gift card to make purchases from online retailers they should not be shopping at, then you can always stick to supervised shopping time and keep the Mastercard gift card in your possession until you can be present to accompany them for shopping. 

How Do I Protect My Teenager’s Personal Information When Using a Mastercard Gift Card?

The really great thing about Mastercard gift cards that should put many parents at ease and curb any anxiety they have regarding their teen shopping with a Mastercard gift card is the impersonal nature of the gift card. Mastercard gift cards are not connected to any sensitive information about the user, so your teen’s name, address, financial situation, and other personal details will not be registered to the gift card at all. 

Since Mastercard gift cards are a form of prepaid card, the value of the gift card is acquired by loading funds onto the card to spend later. This makes a Mastercard gift card similar to the way credit and debit cards work with cashless transactions, minus the need to pay off an account balance at the end of the month or having funds come out of your bank account. A Mastercard gift card will never be connected to any personal bank account and has no way of accessing any sensitive user information. With this in mind, you can rest easy and soothe any worries you may have regarding your teenager's personal information being breached and given to other parties without your consent. 

All of the necessary information needed to use a Mastercard gift card for shopping, for both adults and teenagers, is the information on the card itself. Make note of the 16-digit gift card number, the 3-digit security code, and the expiration date that are printed on the front and back of the gift card. While you simply need only swipe or tap your gift card when checking out at stores and other retailers in-person, any transactions made online will require the card information to be inputted by the user. 


Does a Mastercard gift card sound like the kind of gift any teenager in your life could benefit from? You can purchase a Mastercard gift card at Gift Card Granny in both physical and digital formats for a simplified shopping experience! 

Click here to buy a Mastercard gift card.

Though you may have reservations about the freedom and purchasing power that Mastercard gift cards can grant young teens, know that they are entering an age range where learning to be responsible is simply a requirement of life. A Mastercard gift card can give teenagers a chance to make decisions for themselves when it comes to buying what they want, and it can show you just how mature they really are. As long as you are there in the background to ensure your child makes good choices and doesn't abuse their spending power, there should be no major issues that come alongside gifting a Mastercard gift card.