We’ve got to teach teens the significance of finances from an early age. I’ve got one, so I know. One way to do so is to give them buying power by getting them the best credit card for teenagers.
When looking for the best debit card for your teen, there are a few things to look for.
Low costs, parental controls for reloading funds, and spending activity monitoring and management are all critical here.
I’m also not against credit cards for students, but it’s probably best to add them to your account as an authorized user.
Here are some solid credit card options if you’d like to get them one. *Bonus Tip: This will build their credit.
However, you may wish to add services like automatic bill pay or mobile direct deposit, depending on your child’s age.
These are useful if your kid works part-time and has their own costs to pay.
I took into account the following features when producing this list of the best debit cards for kids and teens:
- Is there any interest paid on the account’s balance?
- Which cards are suitable for families with many children or teenagers?
- What are the account fees, such as monthly fees, fees per cash reload, and so on?
- Which app or website offers the best user experience?
- What options provide the most protection?
- Which debit cards have the most appealing artwork?
- What deals offer the most parental controls?
So you’re thinking about getting a debit or prepaid card for your child or teen. You’ll want to read our analysis of the options available.
Related Reading: Best Age To Get A Debit Card – Read More Here.
The Best Debit Cards For Teenagers
Step Banking for Teens
Step is a mobile app and debit card founded by former Google and Square employees.
Like others, Step allows parents to keep track of their children’s spending and send money to them on the move. We actually use Step as our son’s debit card.
Evolve Bank & Trust, Step’s partner bank, provides banking services, allowing Step to take advantage of their FDIC coverage.
Step accounts are secured with bank-grade encryption and authentication. The debit card benefits from fraud protection and a zero-liability guarantee because it is a Visa.
Cash App Card
In late 2021, Cash App expanded its offerings to allow for teens from ages 13 – 17 to get access to a cash app debit card. They can get one as long as they have a parent or guardian sponsor them.
This was great for our family since my wife and I already used the cash app to transfer money.
The process was easy and my son received his card in a few weeks.
Current Debit Card for Teens
The Current Teen debit card will appeal to both you and your child. They’ll appreciate the freedom to shop almost anywhere and save more efficiently with round-ups and savings goals. You’ll enjoy the ability to keep them safe everywhere they use their card.
You can set spending limits, assign chores, pay allowance, and transfer money to your adolescent with ease with this card. When your child uses their card, you will be notified instantly.
The Current app is simple to use and navigate. This makes it ideal for teaching your kid about banking.
You can also prevent your child from using this card at specific merchants. The cost is $36 per teen every year. There are no monthly minimum balance, overdraft, or transfer fees. Your kid can use this card anywhere Visa is accepted, including online.
Related Reading: Greenlight card reviews – Read Here
Greenlight Kids’ Debit Card
The Greenlight Kids’ Debit Card is one of the most viable options on the market.
It’s ideal for teaching your kids about money and how to earn, spend, and save it.
Greenlight allows you to make a chore list for your child to earn money and other benefits.
You can set up automatic allowance deposits on a weekly or monthly basis.
Or you can give your children an amount limit of money each week.
You can also go on the app to make an instant transfer to your child’s account.
When your child spends money, you’ll get a message that their card has been used just a few moments later. You’ll be kept informed and have a voice in how your child spends their money.
Your children will be learning essential lessons as they track their spending and save and develop money management skills.
Greenlight cards allow kids to spend their money everywhere Mastercard is accepted, even buying shares.
Greenlight subscriptions are $4.99 a month for the entire family, including up to five children’s accounts.
BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Card
The BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Card may be of interest to you if your child is between five and sixteen.
BusyKid allocates money to your child based on duties.
They can see exactly where their money comes from and where it is spent.
You may establish rates for various chores. Your children can check them off as they are completed and see when they will be paid.
BusyKid users enjoy how the system instills a feeling of responsibility and ownership in their children regarding spending and saving.
Your children can choose to spend, contribute, or invest their money once they have been rewarded for their chores. Stockpile allows kids to invest in actual companies like Netflix and Nike, and they may contribute a portion of their money to the charity of their choice. Before any purchases or expenditures are made, parents must approve them.
BusyKid prepaid debit cards can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, including online. A yearly subscription to BusyKid costs $19.99, which includes a free card. The cost of each additional card is $7.99 per year.
This works out to $1.67 per month for one child and $2.33 per month for two.
FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card
The FamZoo Family Pack of Prepaid Cards allows parents to regulate how and what their children spend money on.
They also provide opportunities for children to learn about money management.
CardFamZoo accounts use private family banking systems to provide youngsters with parent-directed hands-on learning opportunities.
Parents are “bankers,” and their kids are “account holders.”
Parents may set up a payroll for their children, lend money to them, and set up automatic allowances. As “bankers” they can even pay interest on their savings.
This virtual family bank is suitable for families of all sizes and may be tailored to meet your children’s needs.
FamZoo is simple to use for both parents and children. The prepaid cards may be used safely anywhere that accepts Mastercard.
FamZoo accounts will cost you $5.99 per month if you go for monthly payments.
If you pay in advance, you can get significant savings. If you decide to pay for a year in advance, the monthly cost will be roughly $3.33. The first four debit cards are free, but after that, each card costs $2.
Akimbo Prepaid Mastercard
Your older children may learn the intricacies of banking in a low-risk atmosphere with an Akimbo prepaid Mastercard. This card provides your teenagers complete authority over their money while still allowing you to decide what they can and cannot spend. Your teen’s card account will be a sub-account within your own, allowing you to choose how much money to put on their card.
While Akimbo doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of some of the other kids’ cards and apps on this list, it’s the closest you can go to giving your child a legitimate debit card without giving up your ability to monitor and assist them.
You’ll be alerted when they spend their money, as well as what they spend it on, as the account manager. This is ideal for parents who want to assist their children in learning financial literacy.
Up to four prepaid cards are allowed per Akimbo account. There is no charge on a monthly basis. Reloading your card can cost up to $5 each time, while ATM withdrawals cost roughly $2.
Copper Debit Card
Copper debit cards are designed to help your kid develop healthy financial habits.
All without being restrictive or incurring costs for mistakes like overdrafts.
Copper debit cards can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, both online and in person.
Copper gives your child the tools they need to make informed financial decisions for themselves.
They can also control their own accounts to put what they’ve learned into practice.
The Copper app gives you a clear picture of your teen’s spending and saving habits.
And also the ability to start savings goals and manage their funds – all in one spot.
You can set up automatic payments into your child’s account, so you don’t have to think about money transfers. Copper does not demand a minimum deposit or an annual fee to open an account.
Since its inception in 2020, Copper has seen constant development. As of April 2, 2021, its CEO and founder revealed that they had surpassed 130,000 members.
Copper has a deal where you may contribute $3.00 to your friends (Copper covers). You receive $3.00 if they sign up.
Capital One MONEY Teen Checking
A Capital One MONEY teen checking account is a terrific option for kids and teens who have already learned the fundamentals of money management and are ready for more cash independence. This account is open to children aged eight and up.
Your child can use the Capital One MONEY app to keep track of their earnings and expenses.
They can create savings goals in various areas.
You have the option of incentivizing them with bonuses if they achieve these objectives. You can also lock your child’s card instantaneously in an emergency.
With this account, you won’t have to worry about monthly fees or account minimums. To enroll their child in MONEY, parents do not need to have a Capital One account. This account pays a 0.10 percent annual percentage yield on all balances.
Gohenry Debit Card
The Gohenry debit card is for youngsters aged six to eighteen.
It’s best for parents who want to start teaching their kids about the necessity of smart budgeting when they’re young.
You can set up an automated weekly allowance for your child using the Gohenry app.
And you can even add chores and set a price for them to earn more money.
Then you place spending limitations for your child for each week or trip and adjust them as needed.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America is an excellent place for your child to save, spend, or donate money. For major expenditures, customers can create as many savings goals as they wish.
Each child’s Gohenry account costs $3.99 per month. This card is a little more expensive than others on this list, but it’s ideal for small families. These cards can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, including online.
Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking
If you like the popular credit union, fee-free banking, and easy-to-use platforms, you might want to look into opening an Alliant Credit Union free teen checking account. Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 can open an account.
This checking account is great for providing a complete banking experience that is both safe and beneficial to your teen.
Parents can set ATM and spending limits for their teens and transfer money between accounts at no cost. (You must enroll in eStatements and make one deposit per month into their account to access this feature).
Teens can set their own budgets and earn interest up to 0.25 percent APY when they save. (You must enroll in eStatements and make one deposit per month into their account to access this feature). Furthermore, the Alliant mobile app frequently receives five-star reviews.
They also have a kids’ savings account with an APY of 0.55 percent if you want to earn even more money. To put this in context, the national average APY is currently 0.07%.
This account has no minimum monthly balance requirement or monthly cost. Access to over 80,000 free ATMs, up to $20 in monthly ATM refunds, and the ability to make contactless Visa purchases are just a few of the benefits available.
American Express Serve Prepaid Debit Card
Despite not being marketed as a product for teens, the American Express Serve FREE Reloads prepaid debit card is ideal for educating your teen financial literacy.
A FREE Reloads debit card has no minimum monthly amount and can be used and reloaded at over 45,000 ATM and shop locations for no cost. This card encourages independence while providing all of the benefits and protections of a valid debit card by giving your kid a set amount of money and allowing them to determine when and how to use it.
This account has a $6.95 monthly fee that cannot be waived. A card can be purchased for free online, but it can cost up to $3.95 in a store. These can be used online or anywhere else that accepts American Express. Your child will need their own American Express bank account to avoid transfer fees, and many parents choose to link it to their own.
Family Money by Verizon
Verizon announced the debut of Family Money, a personal finance app for kids, on June 15, 2021. The family-focused financial package was developed in collaboration with fintech firm Galileo. It included a “spending account,” a “savings vault,” and a prepaid debit card provided by Metropolitan Commercial Bank. Parents can use the app to track their child’s spending, establish spending limitations, and stop or freeze the card if it is lost or stolen.
This product is even available to families that are not Verizon customers. It’s available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. After you download it, you have to create a Verizon Family Money account and link a verified bank account. After that, you’ll be given a 30-day trial period.
The service auto-renews for $5.99 per month after the 30-day trial period, so set a reminder if you don’t plan on paying for it!
The $5.99 fee will be deducted from the parent’s Wallet in the app, rather than being charged to your Verizon account (if currently a customer). To create a parent profile in the app, you must be 18 years old or older, and Verizon says that kids’ accounts are for youngsters aged 8 to 17.
Mango Prepaid Debit Card
A Mango prepaid debit card stands out as a standout alternative because it allows you to link your card to a high-interest savings account.
This account offers many advantages, including the fact that it can be started even if your kid doesn’t have their own bank account. With a $25 investment, your kid can start a connected Mango savings account and earn up to 6% APY.
To be eligible for this rate, your kid must complete signature purchases totaling $1,500 within the first six months of account opening and maintain a minimum monthly balance of $25 after that.
You can load money onto your teen’s card from a partner merchant like Walmart or Walgreens or add dollars from your own bank account.
There is no charge for activation, but a $5 monthly fee and a $3 ATM withdrawal fee are. This card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, including online. When you enable this feature in the app, Mango can be used virtually from your phone.
Jassby Virtual Debit Card
The Jassby virtual debit card for children provides all of the safety and convenience that a children’s card should, plus the added security of being completely digital. Because parents have complete control over when and for whom the card is activated, this card is ideal for households with many children. When the card is active, it can only be used.
Because the Jassby virtual card is stored on your child’s phone, you won’t have to worry about them losing a physical card, and they can use it anywhere. You may pay your child an allowance and chores using the Jassby Family Finance app without incurring any costs.
This account has no monthly price for the first six months and after that as long as the card is used once per month (otherwise, the monthly charge is $2.99). This card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, including online.
Visa Buxx Card
The Navy Federal Credit Union or TD Bank provides the Visa Buxx Card, a basic debit card for youngsters and teens. To open a Visa Buxx Card with NFCU, you must first be a credit union member, but membership is open to anybody in the United States.
Both cards allow parents to monitor spending as well as reload their child’s card from their phone. The Buxx Card from Navy Federal Credit Union comes in a variety of designs. However, the Buxx Card from TD Bank does not.
Another newcomer to the list is Till Financial. This collaborative family banking platform and debit card is primarily a savings and budgeting tool, but it also includes a debit card linked to the child’s “Spend Balance.”
U.S. News & World Report called Till the Best App for Teaching Teens to Budget in 2021.
Chase First Banking
Chase First Banking is one of the more recent additions to the list, and it is only available to current Chase clients. This product was released in 2020 in partnership with Greenlight and is aimed at children from 6 to 17.
Although children under the age of 17 are eligible, the product does not allow for direct deposit, so if your high school student(s) earns their own money, Chase First Banking will not be a good option.
However, the software has several appropriate parental controls and functionalities, most of which are driven by Greenlight.
Fidelity Youth Account
The reputable financial services organization Fidelity Youth Account was newly created in May of 2021. It includes a free PNC bank debit card as well as the option to save and invest. The types of assets that children and teenagers can invest in are limited, and the product includes strong parental controls and features.
Missoula Virtual Debit Card
Parents administer the Mazoola Virtual Mastercard debit card for their children, which costs $9.99 per month for the entire family. They also charge a 1% purchase fee and a loading fee of $0.11, making it a more expensive product to use than the other options.
As a parent, you can implement flexible and customized spending controls for each child by activating a virtual and secure debit card. You can also set up automatic allowance payments and assign and track chores and the incentives for fulfilling them.
You can also provide children with financial literacy materials, but you can’t make them read before they get their allowance. That would be fantastic, wouldn’t it? You can use Apple Pay with your children, create financial goals, manage chores, and shop online (with restrictions). You can also send money to friends and family using peer-to-peer (P2P) payments.
Kachinga Prepaid Debit Card with Chore App
The Kachinga prepaid debit card, like the others on this list, comes with a chore app that allows parents to track work progress, set alerts and spending limits, and teach kids general financial literacy.
The app and card cost $36 a year per child, which is a little more expensive than some of the other solutions on this list with more features.
Goalsetter: Family Banking
Goalsetter and the Cashola debit card are a family banking solution based on education. It includes a savings account and a debit card, as well as some fun quizzes that can earn you cash and are aligned with financial literacy standards. Your tween can take quizzes before using their debit card using “Learn before you burn.”
Wingocard Prepaid Visa Card
Wingocard was introduced in May of 2021 and has swiftly gained traction, with over 75,000 users on the platform to date.
They now only have an iOS mobile app, but they want to release an Android version shortly.
How Soon Should You Give Your Child A Debit Card?
There is no ideal age when all children are ready for their own debit card. This is a decision that parents and guardians must make, and it is based on when a child has demonstrated that they are responsible enough to manage a card.
According to many experts, giving a debit card to a child should be delayed until they are earning money. The concept is that if a child makes their own money instead of relying on their parents, they will be more driven to spend it properly and save as much as they can. They will be in charge of their finances.
It makes little difference whether a child receives an allowance, saves money received for birthdays or holidays, or earns money from a job. Kids typically begin earning money around the age of ten or twelve, so now is an excellent time to start thinking about kid-friendly debit cards.
Users as young as five can join several financial products oriented toward children, such as the BusyKids Visa Prepaid Spend Card. A minimum age of 8 years old, on the other hand, is more prevalent.
Lots of Debit Card Options for Teens
There are also numerous cards intended exclusively for teenagers that do not allow anyone under the age of 13 to register.
It’s also a good idea to offer your youngster a debit card after they’ve got some practice handling cash. They will feel more at ease managing a debit card and spending money in the real world this way.
Many kids’ debit cards include built-in safeguards to keep them safe from everything from overdrafts to potentially detrimental purchases. Prepaid debit cards are safer for kids to carry in many ways than cash, which is easily misplaced.
Furthermore, these goods enable parents to be more proactive in educating their children and assisting them in learning how to manage their money. Rather than giving over cash and hoping their child makes good decisions, parents may monitor their child’s activity and spot learning opportunities in real-time.
Does My Kid Need Both a Checking Account and a Debit Card?
The majority of prepaid debit cards for children are not linked to bank accounts. Prepaid debit card users can spend freely online and in most locations, but they must first load money onto their card before they can use it.
Despite the fact that prepaid debit cards do not include bank accounts, they are typically covered by maximum FDIC coverage through partner financial institutions.
Prepaid debit cards are generally believed to be safer than standard debit cards and checking accounts. This is due to the fact that prepaid cards do not allow users to spend more money than they have on their cards, but standard debit cards and checking accounts can be overdrawn if a person is not careful.
Overdraft fees are nearly always charged, and they can be as much as $30 each occurrence.
Prepaid debit cards, on the other hand, can come with a variety of costs. Fees like ATM costs, subscription fees, reload fees, maintenance fees, and transfer fees should all be avoided. When reviewing your alternatives, take in mind that few accounts or cards are genuinely free.
You don’t need to give your child both a checking account and a debit card, especially when they’re learning the basics of money management. Although both products are identical, prepaid debit cards are more child-friendly and allow for more collaboration between children and their parents.
Added Features You May Want To Consider For Your Child’s Debit Card
When selecting a debit card for your child or teen, consider precisely what you want for them.
There are a lot of options out there now, with more coming out almost every month, but not every kid-friendly debit card will have all of the features you need. Consider how much experience your child has and what you want them to learn the most. Better yet, have this discussion with your youngster.
Take a look at the most critical elements to think about.
Budgeting and Allowance
Is it ideal for you to be able to provide your child an allowance and pay them for chores in the same place?
Many kids’ money management apps focus on tasks; parents can assign duties to their children to encourage them to take care of their finances. Children can earn money for themselves and begin to understand the necessity of budgeting and restraint.
All of this is to indicate that financial solutions for children, particularly those aimed at children aged 6 to 13, frequently include task management features. The degree of difficulty varies. Here are some questions to think about while you go over your options:
- Do you want to be able to make your kids do particular chores or give them a choice from a list of options?
- Want to approve chores as they are completed, or do you want to pay your child immediately when they mark an assignment as completed?
- Do you want to make repeating activities that cost the same amount every time or set fixed pricing for each one?
Instead of or in addition to paying your children for particular chores, you may give them a weekly allowance. This feature is not available in all apps, so pick cautiously.
You’ll probably want a product with budgeting capabilities if you don’t want your youngster to spend all of their money in one place. Setting spending limits for your child may seem like the ideal approach to prepare them for success in the real world.
After all, no one knows your child better than you, and many children’s financial platforms agree.
The Opportunity To Save Money
Many teen debit cards allow them to save and spend money all in one place. They could do so by enabling consumers to choose how much money they want to save and how much money they want to load onto their prepaid card.
In such circumstances, the money saved does not go into a separate savings account and is available at all times, but it cannot be spent right away with the card.
This is the most fundamental method that a product can help you save money, but there are a variety of other savings options available. Some debit card platforms, for example, allow users to set specific savings objectives and track their achievements.
Some programs even allow parents or account holders to give bonuses to users who contribute to a goal they set for themselves, pay interest on savings balances, or pay their child straight into their savings account (bypassing the spend card).
If you want your child to earn interest on their savings but don’t want to pay it yourself, an interest-bearing product like the Mango Prepaid Debit Card can be a good option.
On the other hand, some products either do not allow for saving at all or split the money that can be spent from money that is being held. If a child wants to save money on such sites, they must avoid spending. This may be more difficult for your youngster, particularly if they have little prior experience with money management.
Suppose you want to encourage your kids to save their money for more significant purchases and aspirations. In that case, a debit card and platform that enables saving in a variety of ways is definitely the best option.
Early Steps Toward Stocks and Investments
There aren’t many financial solutions for kids that allow them to invest in actual companies, but narrowing down your selections to only those that do can help you sort through the ever-growing list.
For a variety of reasons, the Fidelity Youth Account and the BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Card made our list, but one of them was the ability to invest. Giving children the option to invest can demonstrate to them that money management is more than just spending and saving.
You can either assist them in making their investment decisions or leave them to their own devices.
You might also appreciate the concept of your child making a charitable donation. Apps that allow children to donate usually do so by pre-selecting a selection of worthy charities and allowing users to donate to them. Users can then donate a percentage of their total balance or make fixed-amount gifts.
Parents can take it a step further by rewarding account bonuses when their children choose to donate to charity on their own. Some apps also allow children to set up contribution objectives in the same way that they would set up savings goals.
If keeping track of your child’s spending and saving habits is vital to you, seek a device that makes it simple to do so.
You should also consider your level of involvement. Begin by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you want them to be able to make their own budgets, or do you want to impose spending limitations for them?
- Want to authorize your child’s purchases and transfers, or do you want to let them make their own decisions?
- Do you wish to be notified of their action in real-time by push notifications?
- Want to be able to make payments into your child’s account automatically, or do you want to make transfers manually each time?
Consider parental obligations as well as parental controls to assist your children in developing into prepared and aware spenders.
The majority of children’s financial products require parents or guardians to deposit money into their child’s account. Frequently, this entails filling their main account and then moving funds to their children’s accounts from there.
This implies that you should consider which funding choices are most convenient for you. Every product’s fine print should be read. If you’re seeking a particular type of funding, be sure it’s available (you’d be amazed how many accounts don’t allow cash reloads or direct deposit transfers).
Some products are quite restrictive when it comes to funding, allowing just ACH transfers or card transactions. Examine how many account managers a product permits. It’s critical to select a solution that will enable you and your co-parent to have equal access to your child’s account.
Some have stringent one-parent regulations, while others are more lenient when it comes to adding other adult users and may even allow family members to join.
Financial Literacy Tools
If you want to acquire your child a debit card so that you can teach them healthy financial habits, you should prioritize financial literacy materials.
Although many financial platforms for kids and teens include financial literacy services like blog posts and online resource libraries, some go above and beyond. Several, for example, feature curated quizzes to assess a user’s knowledge of numerous topics.
The Goalsetter Debit Card, for example, allows parents to hold their children accountable by requiring them to complete and pass tests before they can use their spending cards.
It is up to you, as a parent, to decide how you want to assist your children in learning money management skills. You can take an active position in your child’s education by working with them to study issues, construct budgets, and form healthy habits, or you can take a hands-off approach by providing your children with the tools they need to become financially independent as well as opportunities to practice.
Certain debit cards for children encourage parental involvement more than others. Your children’s resources should be simple to use, age-appropriate, and engaging enough to hold their attention. Look for a platform that has a lot of free tools that work with your budget.
What You Should Know Before You Give Your Kid A Debit Card
In general, the same restrictions apply to parent-child finances as they do to adult accounts. That means, according to Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at CompareCards.com, you must study the fine print.
“It’s great if a card makes things simple and easy,” Schulz said, “but if you’re overburdened with fees, it’s not worth it.”
These fees can range from monthly payments to charges for purchasing or reloading the card, for example.
Fee disclosures have improved in recent years, especially for prepaid cards, according to Schulz. Parents should, however, read the fine print carefully.
“It’s critical that parents realize what they’re getting themselves into since it may be quite costly,” Schulz said.
Nevertheless, the existence of fees and other rules might serve as a teaching opportunity for children.
According to Schulz, if you decide to give the cards to your children, be sure to explain their fees.
Schulz stated, “What you don’t know can cost you.” “Most of us have to learn such things the hard way.”
Related Reading: Step Card Review –Read Here
Giving a child a debit card has both benefits and drawbacks. With a debit card, a youngster may learn the basics of money management, better distinguish wants from needs, and develop a thoughtful attitude toward future adult spending.
If youngsters have some spending flexibility, a debit card can also help them learn from their mistakes. For example, your kid may decide, against your better judgment, to spend all of their summer work earnings on a new video game system.
They may come to regret their purchase later, but if they learn from it and don’t repeat it, it can be a great lesson.