I did similar with my son years ago. The whole idea was to establish his credit but the system design is right out of Catch-22. This was about 8 years ago but all I needed to do was be a co-signer/member on the card to guarantee payment. He was to make charges on the card and pay on time. It was simple enough because he could walk into the campus branch and take care of things in person. Because my name was on the account, I could access it on line but had no need to make transactions but just to monitor that things were on track. It was, however, quite a while before I could remove my name from the card without canceling it altogether. Once he was out of college and employed full time, the process was simple. My guess is that banks have tightened the reins a bit and you're caught in the grip. I'm going through that process with my daughter now. She's elected to go with a debit rather than a credit card for now so owns the plastic herself.
I guess an alternative explanation is that I have unrealistic expectations about how things should work. But I don't think so.
As part of teaching my younger son about money management I want him to have and use a credit card and a checking account. He's a college freshman, and I think it is entirely appropriate for him to get some experience with this. It appears that the fact that he is 17 is a barrier, but he is hardly the first 17 y/o college freshman. Come to think of it, I was 17 when I started college with both a checking account and a credit card. Of course we didn't have online access back then and the rules have changed a bit in the 'few' years that have elapsed.
We went to the bank a few weeks ago and opened up a checking account for him. We filled out a credit card application also, though both accounts have to include me as an account holder. That's fine.
Today we tried to go through the process of paying his credit card balance online. No go. The bank assures me that it is not possible for him to access his credit card account online because the credit card is issued to me and he is just an 'authorized user'. How BOGUS!
The whole point to this exercise is for him to learn how to participate in the banking system while he is still under parental supervision. You would THINK a bank would want to encourage that, and you would think that a bank system as large as Suntrust would have experience with this before. But no. The first two rather clueless customer service people I talked to BOTH assured me that it was not possible to set the accounts up so that both he and I could access them online, never mind the fact that we did EXACTLY that with my older son at the SAME BANK and the setup STILL works just fine. They FINALLY had me talk to somebody in the Credit department who told me that what I wanted was EXTREMELY irregular but that they MIGHT consider setting it up as a special dispensation. She didn't make it sound very likely to happen.
Like I said, sometimes I think I'm surrounded by idiots. If I thought another bank would be an improvement I'd change now but past experience suggests that MOST banks are less interested in small personal accounts than they are in large corporate/business customers.