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Review of "Solo"

published 10/12/2002 | fromthedarkside
Member since : 02/06/2001
Reviews : 59
Members who trust : 52
About me :
Pro Absolute need for teenagers,
Cons Not sure,
very helpful
Competitiveness of APR
Product package
Quality of Customer Service
Reward Scheme
Additional Charges


Hello everyone! You may know me as anytime03! But thats going soon! And me is officially back as 'fromthedarkside' Thanks Ciao!

I’m not really that good on the topic of finance, but I am good at finance, which is to do with business. There are many credit cards out there today, but which one to get is a difficult thing, APR, blah blah!! But what about us who are under 18?

We don’t need to worry about credit cards until we are 18, but we feel left out, knowing we can’t buy things on credit, or take out lump sums of money from major bank companies.

BUT DON’T WORRY, why? Cos SOLO’s the name! The names card, SOLO CARD! (*Puts on Bond music*) Don’t attack me or otherwise I’ll pull out my SOLO card!

## Wait a min! I don’t understand you? ##

Well I know! I should explain it to you a bit more clearly. Ok here I go with the proper opinion.

Today we have two types of cards available, either a CREDIT card or DEBIT card. There are major differences between both types of plastics!

A ‘credit’ card is used by those who are 18 or over and has bank accounts relating to the card. Under 18’s (like me), are not eligible to have or use credit cards. Credit cards allow the holder to pay for items in all major shops and on-line, without the person actually having the money. Once an item is bought they will be billed, and they will have to pay for what they have bought in instalments etc. But interest is charged which can be high and bill prices are more or less increased.

A ‘debit’ card is completely different. A debit card won’t allow you to go overdraft. Heres an example: You have an account, in your account you have £40. You go to a shop, which accepts debit cards, and you pay for your item, the maximum amount you can spend is only £40, you can’t go over. With debit cards you pay for the items with how much money you have in your account, so theres no interest charges etc.

## So where does the SOLO card fit into all of this? ##

The solo card is a special card designed for teenagers. It is just like a ‘switch card’, which is also a debit card, intended for those over 18. The solo card uses the same method as the switch card. You pay for what you buy, depending on how much you have in your account. Solo can also be used to make cash back transactions.

## Where does the SOLO card come from? ##

A brief history before I tell you how you can get hold of this card.

The solo card first came into action in July 1997 by the Switch team. The solo is switch’s sister card, you can pay for your items conveniently. The Solo card was a massive hit and still is a massive hit around the UK and many European countries. Its simple to use and the best thing its specially made for us TEENAGERS.

## How can I GET one? ##

If you have already got one you’ll probably know how you can apply for one, if you are eagerly waiting to get this then hold on I’ll be happy to tell you.

The Solo card is available on a number of account plans, basically those accounts that are specific for youths can get hold of this card, but NOT all banks provide this service. The branches of banks that DO give you a solo card for applying to their teenager accounts are:

· Halifax,
· NatWest
· And Bank of Scotland,

Huh! Your probably saying where is BARCLAYS, though they don’t give out solo cards, they give out there VISA ELECTRON card.

How old do you have to be? Well not all teenagers can get hold of this card. You 13 year old reading this op, you can’t get one unless you have either NatWest or Bank Of Scotland in your area.

· NatWest and Bank of Scotland offer solo cards to those aged 11 and up,
· Halifax and HSBC only offer to those 16 and up, (Mines at HSBC),

If you do want a card, then I advise you to go to your local branch and get a form, or chat to the customer services for more information on how to apply. If you ain got one of these banks in your local area, well I advise you to talk to your bank and ask them what they can offer you!

## How does the SOLO Card work? ##

Exactly like the switch card, Solo cards like any other card are swiped through the shops card machine, then the transaction is sent to the card issuer who issued the card to you, to check that the card is authorised to use, and to make sure its not a fraud card. After the card has been accepted, and they have agreed that the holder has enough money in the account to spend, the transactions can then occur.

## How can I use my Solo card? ##

Me I use my Solo card at a few shops that I shop at! I don’t use it that much, I also you my account to take out money or view my balance on the cash machines.

How can you use yours? Well you can either you your card at a shop or over the internet on those who accept, you will know when to use the card, when the site or shop have the solo logo. The solo logo is similar to the Switch, the sign is the same but the background is purple, and it should say solo. You can use the solo at the banks transaction machine, or any other credit card machine, which displays the ‘link’ logo.

Can you use the card in other countries? Well basically you can, if you are going abroad make sure that the machines accept ‘maestro’ or ‘Cirrus’ cards. Your card will only work if your card has printed these logos, usually at the back of the card, you should see the two logos.

## How does the card look like? ##

Not all cards look the same, depending on what bank you have joined the card will be different looking.

Mine is with HSBC, and I think HSBC are great. The card which I have got is in grey, has the HSBC logo, the SOLO logo, and says it is a debit card, the background picture shows the countries of the world, with HSBC written all over. It also has the solo hologram to prove it’s a real card. On the card my name is printed, the sort code, card number, issue, expiry date and that long number.

On the back, you see the typical black strip, a signature box, and information.

So depending on what bank you got, your card will be different.

## What SHOPS accept the SOLO? ##

You probably want to know what shops accept this card; over 498,406 outlets in the UK accept this card, with over 6.5 million cardholders and still growing.

There are a large number of shops, some popular names:

· Asda,
· Allders,
· Dixons,
· HMV,
· Next,
· Tescos,
· Sainsburys,
· Staples,
· And many more,

But not all MAJOR shops accept this card, example Argos, Woolworth’s, WH Smith, just don’t want nothing to do with the SOLO card, but be sure to ask the shop before you buy if they accept the solo card or not.

## Other things you need to know ##

I’ve really told you everything you need to know, err the card is free! But you need to join with a bank.

Its widely used in most major retailers, and many online shops accept the card. It’s safe to use online.

Absolute a need for teenagers,

If you have lost your card contact your local branch or phone: 08456 007 010, phone if it also has been stolen.

Don’t think it’s a credit card; it’s a debit card, and not a cheque guarantee card.

Don’t give it to anyone else to use, keep it for yourself and don’t go spending all your money!

## What do I think? ##

I’m no way biased against this card. My mate has got a Visa Electron which is from Barclays, I’m not sure that this card is accepted to use in shops. But the Solo is the major card to have for teenagers as it is specially designed for this purpose. It gives us freedom to spend our money and feel like adults.

Since I’ve had the card, I’ve never been upset with it. I can easily use my card at those who accept the card. It’s also good to see more retailers going for the card.

## The good points ##
· Gives freedom to spend for teenagers,
· No hassle, no interest etc,
· Spend what you have got, no overdrafts etc,
· Easy to get,

## The Bad points ##
· Not all retailers accept the card,
· Sometimes people spend the money to quickly,
· That’s all I can think of.

Thanks for reading me opinion.

Fromthedarkside 2002

Community evaluation

This review was read 8788 times and was rated at
93% :
> How to understand evaluation of this review
very helpful

Comments on this review

  • sav90 published 11/04/2006
    Thanks very much for a great read. Only decent information on the net I've found so far! Cheers
  • kyleborrell published 26/12/2004
    very well done matey, just as when i was looking get my hands on one of these solo cards awell! cheers for you info.
  • Daveoc64 published 10/10/2004
    Really good review that will appeal to all ages. Gets people reading. I would just like to add that a few more shops do accept Solo now (Argos does).
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Product Information : Solo

Manufacturer's product description


Listed on Ciao since: 16/09/2000