Debit cards can be useful tools as you teach your children about money. When my oldest child turned 16, I wanted to make sure she knew how to make wise financial decisions.
I also wanted my daughter to get some real-life experience regarding using checking accounts and credit cards. So I got her her own debit card.
Here are some of the best debit cards for kids and teens can help teach them about managing money. Continue reading to learn more about the cards we reviewed.
Top Debit Cards for Kids
Check out the list below and see which of these debit cards will work best for helping you teach your children to manage money and other important financial literacy lessons.
Greenlight is a debit card for kids but is managed by parents.
It has several great features:
- No minimum age
- No minimum balance
- Free from overdraft fees
- Available debit cards for up to five kids
It also has a chore management feature and an auto transfer of funds feature. Parents can even choose an auto feature that will pay their kids interest if they want.
You can try Greenlight out for a month for free. After that you’ll pay $4.99 per month for up to five kids.
See the Greenlight Max account if you’re interested in having your child earn cash back on purchases and more interest on savings ($9.98/mo.).
Check out Greenlight+ Invest if you want to use the card to help your child start investing ($7.98/mo.).
Learn More: Greenlight Debit Card Review
GoHenry is a family banking tool that helps you teach your kids how to handle money. Here’s how it works:
You start by opening a bank account in your (the parent’s) name. The “parent” account is a control center for up to four “child” accounts.
You put money into the parent account by transferring it from your main bank account.
As the parent, you can transfer money into each child account as you wish. You can set up regular, automated transfers, or you can make random transfers.
Each child gets a debit card to spend the money you’ve transferred into their account.
Other features of the GoHenry debit card include:
- The ability to set single and weekly spending limits
- Choose where the card can be used (ex. at ATMs, online or in-store)
- Block and unblock cards with the touch of a button
- Receive real-time notification of purchases/expenditures
You can try GoHenry for 30 days for free. After that, GoHenry’s Family plans are set at $9.98 per family (for up to 4 children), and the individual child is priced at $4.99. Families with 3 or 4 children can pay one low rate for everyone.
You can cancel your membership anytime.
3. FamZoo Prepaid Mastercard
The FamZoo prepaid debit card was set up for the sole purpose of helping kids learn good money management skills.
The company’s prepaid debit card offers the following features:
- Free card reloads (when you direct deposit money – retailer reloads will cost you)
- Free ATM visits
- Monthly fees as low as $2.50 per month
- No per-purchase fees
The FamZoo card can be opened for any age child – from preschool on up. However, kids under 13 will have “on-behalf” cards where the parent is the legal cardholder.
Kids age 13 and up (and their parents) will need to go through an easy verification process to be approved.
And all FamZoo accounts must have at least one parent as an account cardholder.
All activity on the cards can be tracked digitally, meaning kids can see where they’re spending their money.
In addition, parents have access to each cardholder’s card activity at any time.
Learn More: Famzoo Review
4. Copper Banking For Teens
Copper Bank prides itself on creating an app and debit card for teens. Their focus is built on kids ready to be a part of today’s gig economy.
The app is great for setting up savings goals as well as tracking spending.
Here are some of the features of Copper Banking account:
- No minimum balance
- Buy where Mastercard, Google Pay, Apple Pay are accepted
- No Credit Checks
- Zero liability protection plan
- No overdraft fees
- Withdraw cash at over 50,000 ATM’s nationwide
- Deposits are FDIC Insured through our partner, Evolve Bank & Trust.
Track spending, create savings categories and even set up auto contributions to categories such as a college fund or a car fund.
Funding to the teen’s Copper Wallet is done through a parent account which is linked to an existing checking account with a different bank.
Additionally, refilling the card can be done by setting up direct deposit to the checking account.
5. Step Visa Card
Step offers a free FDIC insured bank account and Visa debit card for kids designed for the next generation. If you are under 18, a sponsor can help you get your account set up.
The free debit card has no interest or fees. Using the Step app you can easily send, receive and track your money. Spend with Apple Pay, Good Pay.
Set up direct deposit and get paid faster. Traditional payments can take a few days. Using direct payment offers you peace of mind and on-time or earlier payments.
Other benefits include no monthly fees. Plus your account is FDIC insured up to $250,000.
Basically, this free debit card is one of the best ways to use a debit card to teach kids about money management without pesky monthly fees.
Learn More: Step Card Review: Mobile Banking For Teens
6. BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Card
The BusyKid Visa prepaid spend card is one of the best debit cards for teens and kids. It offers a variety of features designed for kids between 5 and 17.
You use the BusyKid Visa prepaid spend card to give your child money. Simply assign an amount to be put on the debit card for kids every week using parental controls.
You can also tie the money to completed chores with the BusyKid chore app.
When your kid wants to spend their money, they can use the kids debit card at stores as they choose.
Bonus: the BusyKid chore app also allows your kid to give to charity and invest.
It costs $3.99 per month, or $38.99 per year, to get a family subscription to the BusyKid Visa prepaid spend card. That includes one card. It’s an additional $7.99 for extra prepaid debit cards.
Learn more: BusyKid Review
7. Current Account For Teens
Current was founded with the goal of making banking affordable for everyone.
When you open a Current account for yourself, you can also open Current Teen Accounts for your teens.
Teen account features include:
- $0 account minimum balance
- Purchase in person or online with the Current debit card
- No monthly or annual fee
- Add to your savings pod by transferring or using roundups from purchases
As a parent, you get parental controls over your teen’s spending as well. You get notifications for all purchases and you can set spending limits for your teen.
You can also block certain merchants, automate allowance payments or transfer money manually from your Current account.
This is one of the best debit cards for kids and teens lets you tie allowance to a chores list as well. Also, multiple family members can add money to your teen’s Current account.
Learn More: Current Review: Get Paid Up To 2 Days Faster
8. Chase First Banking Card
The Chase First Banking account is a checking account created especially for kids and teens ages 6 to 17.
And it comes with a free debit card for kids to help your teen learn how to live within a budget.
The Chase First Banking checking account for kids and teens offers:
- No monthly fee charged to this account
- Zero minimum balance for the account
- No monthly charge to have a debit card for kids
- Fee free ATM usage at participating ATM locations
The Chase First Banking account also has attractive parental controls.
Parents can set spending limits for this checking account based on specific categories (for instance, restaurants) and they can set ATM limits as well.
There is also a chore/allowance feature with this account, and kids can track their account activity through the mobile app as well.
Learn more: Chase First Banking Review
9. Axos First Checking Card
The Axos First Checking Card is free when you open a free Axos First checking account for your child aged 13 to 17.
This account/debit card has the following features:
- $0 monthly account maintenance fee
- Up to $12 domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month
- No overdraft/NSF fees
- Daily card limits of $100 for the ATM and $500 for POS purchases
This account must be a joint account with a parent or other adult. Parents can manage the card including deactivating and reactivating from their Axos Bank dashboard.
Learn More: Axos Bank Review
10. Revolut <18
Revolut is a fintech banking app that has a Junior version for kids 6-17.
Focused on achieving a borderless economy for all, Revolut <18 is available for parents of kids in the U.S., Europe and Australia. More countries will follow soon.
When you open up a Revolut account, you can get a Revolut <18 account for your child.
Fees vary based on the type of Revolut account you choose for yourself. Each Revolut <18 account comes with a teen card and the ability for parent to transfer to the teen account.
The Revolut account offers additional features depending on the plan you choose, such as investing and more. Interest is paid on Revolut accounts as well.
In addition, goals and challenges are available for kids.
“Money loaded on your prepaid card is held at Metropolitan Commercial Bank, and is FDIC insured up to $250,000 in the event of Metropolitan Commercial Bank’s failure. Securities products are not FDIC Insured, not bank guaranteed and may lose value.”
Why Should I Consider a Prepaid Card or Debit Card for My Child?
You might be wondering why you should consider getting a prepaid card or debit card for your minor child.
While we at Well Kept Wallet don’t advocate carrying monthly credit card balances, we do believe it’s important to help your child learn to navigate the world of credit and spending through financial literacy.
A prepaid card can help him or her to do just that. When your child has a prepaid card or a debit card, they can spend money electronically.
Like it or not, the electronic world of financial management is here to stay, and prepaid cards and debit cards are part of that.
And that electronic spending world does have its benefits, especially for parents whose kids are learning about money.
Prepaid cards and debit cards can help your child learn about financial literacy while helping you keep an eye on their spending.
Electronic money oversight helps people see where every dime they earn goes each month. And that knowledge can be a valuable tool in the world of adult money management.
Related Article: 7 Best Books That Can Teach Kids About Money
They Help Put Limits on Spending
One nice thing about these types of debit cards for kids is that they allow you to impose a spending limit on your child.
An unrestrained budget in the hands of a teen can give them the illusion that money will always be there.
However, with prepaid cards for kids, you can make a rule that you’ll put X dollars in your child’s account each month.
This spending limit will help them to learn to live in real life where one’s money supply isn’t endless.
It will help them learn that they need to make choices about how they spend their money. If their monthly cash allowance runs dry, they can learn what happens when the money runs out before the month’s end.
These parental controls make debit cards for teens safe to use.
They Give You a Birdseye View
Adding to that, a prepaid debit card or a debit card for kids lets you see every one of your child’s purchases. This benefit makes way for conversations about value-based spending.
Simply put, value-based spending means spending your money on the things that matter most to you.
As your child sees their spending habits at a glance, they can learn to identify important vs. non-important purchases. For instance, they might decide that a trip to the movies with friends is a value-based spending choice.
Conversely, they might decide that daily trips to the fast food drive-thru are not important.
As they (and you) get that birdseye view of monthly spending choices, they’ll learn an important truth.
They’ll learn that they need to decide which spending choices help them make the most out of life. They’ll also learn that some spending choices simply waste their money.
This type of financial management training can help your child develop wise money management habits in adulthood.
Prepaid debit and credit cards may not be for every child, but they can do wonders for one’s financial education. Consider prepaid cards and other financial education tools as you raise your young ones.
Prepare them for a life of financial responsibility and security made by their own hands – with some help from you.
How Do These Kids’ Debit Cards Compare?
|COMPANY||TRUSTPILOT SCORE||MONTHLY FEE|
|American Express Serve||Not Rated||$6.95|
|TD Go Prepaid Visa||Not Rated||$0.00|
|Copper Bank||Not Rated||$0.00|
|Chase First Banking||Not Rated||$0.00|
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions regarding getting a debit card for children.
Do Kids Debit Cards Collect Personal Data?
Each company that issues debit cards for kids has different personal data collection policies. But in general, debit cards for kids collect some personal information.
A few common pieces of information include the child’s name, age, email address, transaction information, and more.
It’s possible for these companies to sell the data to others for marketing purposes. But you’ll need to take a close look at what types of data a card is collecting before signing up.
The good news is that companies will need to disclose what type of information they are collecting. If your child is under 13, the issuer will need to collect your permission thanks to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
Are Kids Debit Cards Safe?
Many debit cards for kids offer built-in safety features like real-time alerts and transaction monitoring. With that, you can stay on top of possible fraud activity. If someone steals the debit card information, you can dispute the transactions.
Additionally, debit cards for kids are attached to an FDIC-insured deposit account. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation offers insurance of up to $250,000 for money help in deposit accounts. So, it’s likely that your child’s balance is well protected.
What About Investment Accounts for Kids?
A kids debit card is a great tool for children to learn about money management and financial literacy. But it’s not the only type of account you should consider creating for your kids.
If you want to help your child pay for their higher education or other qualified education expenses, a 529 offers a tax-advantaged way to save.
Another tax-advantage account perfect for kids earning an income is a Custodial Roth IRA to help your kids get a jump start on saving for their future.
If you want to save for your child’s future expenses without the constraint of educational costs, then consider a trust fund. This vehicle puts you in control of how and when your child has access to the funds.
Finally, a regular old savings account is also a good idea. It gives your child the ability to watch their savings grow over time.
Each of these accounts can help improve your child’s financial literacy.
What Happens if My Child Loses a Debit Card?
It’s easy to lose a debit card. But it’s just as easy to lock a debit card from potentially fraudulent transactions.
Before starting your search for the card, lock it. If you and your child cannot find the card, simply cancel it and order a new card.
Although you might have to pay a fee for a new debit card, it’s a painless process. Unlike a traditional pocket full of cash, the funds stored on a debit card are safely protected from total loss.
Can My Kid Get a Custom Debit Card?
Kids can access many custom debit card options. The ability to put their unique stamp on the card can help them place more value on this important financial teaching tool.
If a custom debit card is important to your child, make sure to work with a company that offers this fun option.
Helping your kids learn good money management skills is a must in today’s world. When they learn to properly manage cash through the use of a prepaid card and debit card, life becomes easier.
Plus when they use the other financial management tips shared here, they’ve got tools to make money management fun.