Have a teenager, and you’re wondering the best way to teach them about money? You can use all of the examples and pictures that you want. But like everything else in life, the best way to learn is through real-life experience. We signed up for the Greenlight Card in the past. I liked it, but it bugged me that it had a monthly fee. So I did some searching to find a better solution. I found this fintech company called Step. It was the same thing, but with no costs, so I gave it a try. Here’s my Step Card Review.
Step is a fintech app – it operates with a banking partner, but you won’t have a physical branch you will visit. Its goal is to get teens to learn how to use money. And it’s a very forgiving way to do so since a parent helps set the controls.
Searching for the pros and cons of using the Step card? I’ll admit, we haven’t found the cons, but there are plenty of pros.
To get started with Step: if you’re under 18, you’ll need a parent sponsor (sorry teens!), but this is a good thing. As a parent, you’ll order the card for your child. Apparently, the Step Card will help build the young person’s credit but doesn’t come with the dangers of overdraft fees. This is excellent news!
What is Step?
Step is a fintech company that’s app-based. It started in 2018, so it’s a young company looking to grow fast. Step just raised another $100 million, and they’re using social media influencers like Steph Curry and Charlie D’Amelio to promote it. Step isn’t a full-service checking account, but it does have many account features that you are used to.
They started the company to educate the next generation to be smarter with money. Now, this is a mission that I can get behind! It’s wild how important personal finance is, yet it’s not a mainstream topic in most schools.
The Step Card works like a credit card, but without the dangers. A credit card creates a balance that you will owe the credit card company, the Step Card deducts the funds from your account. So you won’t get in trouble with overdraft fees or missed payments to your credit card company. This is an important part of my step card review. It’s one of the pros. Like, I said earlier, if you’re looking for pros and cons of Step, I’ve really only got pros for you.
How The Step Card Works
The Step Card is your new debit card that will get sent in the mail. It will take 7-10 days to get to you. If you’re a teenager, you can’t use it until your parent has set up their account first. You can link your bank account, Apple Pay, or Google Pay.
Withdrawals And Deposits
The Step Card isn’t going to work like a regular checking account. You won’t be getting paper checks in the mail, and you can’t deposit checks directly into it. But you can link the app directly to a brick and mortar checking account, and you can deposit checks into it and transfer those funds over in 1-3 days.
Also, you can link up any debit card to the Step Card and instantly transfer these funds.
You can also directly transfer cash between Step Users, much like how Cash App and Venmo works. I think this feature is cool.
How Does Step Card Make Money?
How does it make money if the Step Card is free to get and use and there aren’t any fees? I asked myself the same question. Step receives a percentage of debit card fees that businesses are charged. These are called interchange fees. These fees are how the Step Card makes its money.
How Do I Open An Account?
It’s straightforward and if you use my link, you’ll get a bonus (currently $5).
You can join starting at age 13. You’ll need a parent to be your adult sponsor.
Is My Money Safe?
Yes, you are FDIC insured (through the U.S. government). Step partners with a bank partner (Evolve Bank & Trust). We had a situation where my son lost his wallet. I was quickly able to open up the app and pause his card. When we were mailed his wallet (see story below) I reactivated the card.
Do you believe people are good? ##helpusfindmike !!♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists
Final Thoughts on Step Card
We switched from the Greenlight Card to check out Step – you can read about that experience here. The Step Card app is a bit easier to use and it’s simple and seamless. Currently, they have a cool referral program. It says, “need a side hustle? Make $5 for referring your friends to Step.” I’m a huge fan of side hustles, so I loved their wording to promote this.
If you need a full-blown banking solution, it might be best to co-sign on a local account with your teen. But for most teens under 16, getting a Step Card is a great way to expose them to the personal finance world and banking safely. I hope that you found my Step Card Review to be useful. I’m happy to answer any questions!