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You’ve likely found your way here because you’re looking to open a financial account for your child that comes with a debit card designed specifically for kids. Chase First BankingSM and Axos First Checking both have “first” in their names because they make excellent first financial accounts.

But which comes in first in terms of the best debit card for kids? Or is there an even better option out there?

Today, I’m going to provide an in-depth look into each card and accompanying account, including an overview, costs, and a breakdown of notable features. And for those curious about competitors, I’ll give my thoughts on a few other debit cards worthy of consideration.

Chase First BankingSM vs. Axos First Checking Comparison


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WealthUp Rating☆ 4.8 / 5☆ 3.6 / 5
App Store Rating☆ 4.8 / 5☆ 4.7 / 5
Price*No monthly feesNo monthly fees
BillingN/AN/A
Special OfferN/AN/A
Allowed Cards Per Subscription11 per account owner
Minimum Age**613
Features That Make This Card Stand ApartAccess to 4,700+ branchesPeer-to-peer money transfers; ATM fee reimbursements

Basics

chase logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
SpendingYesYes
SavingYesYes
InvestingNoNo
Giving/DonatingNoNo

Funding

chase logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Funding Source(s)Chase bank accountDirect deposit, mobile deposit
Direct DepositNoYes
AllowanceYesNo
ChoresYesNo
GiftingNoNo
Cash Reload FeeN/A (No cash reload)$0 (retailers may charge fee)

Saving/Spending

chase logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Savings APYN/A0.10% APY
Round-UpsNoNo
Other Savings FeaturesNoneNone
ATM NetworkChase (15,000+ ATMs)None
ATM Transaction Fee$0 in-network (Operator fee may apply at out-of-network ATMs)Up to $12 domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month
Card NetworkVisaVisa or Mastercard
Compatible Mobile WalletsN/AApple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay

Parents

chase logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Parental ControlsHigh (Store-level controls and limit setting)Low (Card lock)
Parental MonitoringYesYes
Parental NotificationsYesYes

Other Features

chase logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Cash BackNoNo
Builds CreditNoNo
Customization optionsNoNo
Refund PolicyN/AN/A
Affiliate CTA Apply NowAffiliate CTA Apply Now
* Prices do not include processing fees when applicable.
** Many cards have different suggested minimum ages. We are only listing any hard-and-fast minimum age requirements.
*** In some cases, funding sources may apply to parent account, which subsequently must be used to fund the child account.

Chase First BankingSM Overview

Chase First BankingSM (Best Free Debit Card for Kids)


chase first banking sign up

Ready to teach your little ones about money, but not quite sure if you have the time, patience and expertise?

Chase First BankingSM offers simple banking for both of you in one location—the Chase Mobile® App—for free. With Chase First BankingSM, parents can help their kids learn how to spend, set up savings goals, and even pay allowance or money earned completing chores.

Need insight and oversight into your child’s spending and saving? You can set up spending notifications, as well as set limits on how much and where your child can spend, from the Chase Mobile® app. Chase First BankingSM also helps parents teach teens and kids about money by giving parents the control they want and kids the freedom they need to learn.

At the heart of Chase First BankingSM sits one of the best free debit cards for kids and teens. It works anywhere Visa is accepted, and it allows your kid to withdraw money, fee-free, from more than 15,000 Chase ATMs around the country.

To get started, you’ll first need to be a Chase customer with a qualifying Chase checking account. Consider opening a Chase Total CheckingSM or Chase Secure BankingSM account to qualify.

  • Chase Total CheckingSM also grants access to 15,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches. You can pay $0 in monthly fees, subject to meeting certain conditions. And if you set up direct deposit within 90 days of coupon enrollment, you can earn a $300 sign-up bonus!
  • Chase Secure BankingSM offers the same Chase ATMs and branch locations as well as a $100 sign-up bonus when you make stated qualifying activities and meet certain conditions.

Once you open a qualifying Chase Checking account, you may apply for a Chase First BankingSM account for your child.

Chase First BankingSM is designed with kids ages 6-12 in mind, but it is available for ages 6-17. Read more in our Chase First Banking review.

Related: Best Trading Apps for Under 18 [Investing Apps for Teens]

Chase First BankingSM Plans + Costs


brokerage account father daughter laptop tablet

Chase First BankingSM is a primarily fee-free kids’ debit card.

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
Chase First BankingSMN/A

    - Chase First BankingSM debit card
    - Parental controls
    - Savings goals
    - Allowance and chores
    - Physical bank locations

A few situations where fees may be charged include:

  • Expedited shipment of a replacement debit card ($5)
  • Using the debit card at a non-Chase ATM ($3)
  • Using the debit card to make an ATM withdrawal or transfer inquiry outside the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ($3 for transfers or inquiries, $5 per withdrawal)
  • For international card purchases or withdrawals, you have to pay 3% of the amount after conversion to U.S. dollars.

But note that these are all pretty common fees for debit cards.

Related: Best Brokerage Accounts for Teens

Chase First BankingSM Features


family UTMA custodial account

Below are some of the most notable features of Chase First BankingSM. These features are designed to strike the delicate balance of giving kids independence while keeping parental safeguards in place.

Chase First BankingSM Card

The Chase First BankingSM card is a Visa-branded debit card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted (at physical stores and online), as well as at 15,000 fee-free Chase ATMs. The card is protected by Visa’s Fraud Protection and Zero Liability guarantee; as long as you dispute fraudulent charges within the stated time frame, you can avoid having to pay for those charges.

Admittedly, Chase First BankingSM has some of the strictest funding limitations of all kids’ debit cards. You must fund the account from a qualifying Chase checking account, such as Chase Total CheckingSM or Chase Secure BankingSM . That means you can’t fund the account from other traditional funding sources, like third-party payment apps, cash, and any other bank’s debit cards or checking accounts.

Parental Controls

Chase First BankingSM offers some of the best parental controls among all the kids’ debit cards I have reviewed.

You can use the Chase Mobile® App to set limits for where and/or how much your kid or teen can spend. Don’t want them eating too much fast food? Set a $15 limit at fast-food restaurants. Worried about your kid overspending in general? Just limit how much the card can be used for anywhere. You can even set withdrawal limits at ATMs.

Parents can also enable account alerts. There are three categories of alerts, including:

  • Balance & spending
  • Security
  • Chase First Banking (transfer money requests, ATM use, card declined, etc.)

You can choose to be notified via email, push notification, text message, or a combination of multiple alerts.

Has the card gone missing? Don’t worry about it. It can be locked or unlocked from the app. Children can also lock and unlock their cards, but if a parent locks the card, the kid can’t unlock it.

Savings Goals

Children can create savings goals and transfer money toward those goals at any time. Parents can transfer money to the kid’s goals as well. And the Chase Mobile® App makes it easy to track their progress.

Allowance + Chores

Whether you want to pay daily, weekly, or monthly, it’s easy to set up recurring allowance transfers through the Chase Mobile app. You can also assign repeating chores and pay your kid when they’ve completed them.

Physical Locations

Many of the most popular debit cards for teens and kids are offered by online banks with no brick-and-mortar locations. Chase, however, has more than 4,700 physical locations. If you find comfort that you could speak face-to-face with a human if anything goes wrong, this debit card and accompanying account could be a good fit for you. Plus, you can deposit cash and checks for free.

You can sign up for Chase First Banking here.

Related: Best Child Bank Accounts With Debit Cards

Axos First Checking Overview


axos first checking

Axos First Checking is a free joint bank account for teens and adults offered by Axos Bank—an online-only bank with a focus on technology-driven finance.

First Checking offers teens and their parents (or other adult owners of the account) a free debit card, peer-to-peer transfers, direct deposit, bill pay, extensive security features, even interest payments.

The Axos First Checking account comes with a debit card—you can choose either Visa or Mastercard—that you can use to spend in store and online, as well as to withdraw cash. While Axos Bank doesn’t have its own ATM system, Axos offers fee-free access to 91,000 ATMs nationwide, and it reimburses up to $12 in third-party ATM fees every month.

If you’re worried that your (or your teen’s) card is lost or stolen? You can lock and unlock the card from your Axos account. And the card limits cash withdrawals to $100 daily and debit transactions to $500 daily.

Axos First Checking charges zero monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, and non-sufficient fund fees. It’s designed for teens between ages 13 and 17 (up to 18 years old in Alabama). And once your teen reaches adulthood, it’s easy to convert to another Axos checking account, giving the newly minted adult full control.

Related: Best Debit Cards for Teens

Axos First Checking Plans + Costs


If you hate fees, you’ll love Axos First Checking, which charges zero monthly fees and avoids a host of other fees. First, a look at the features:

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
Axos First CheckingN/A

    - Axos Visa or Mastercard debit card
    - Peer-to-peer transfers
    - Direct deposit
    - Bill pay (parents only)
    - $12/mo. in ATM reimbursements
    - APY on checking
    - Cash deposits
    - Easy account transition once child reaches adulthood

Axos charges no fees for overdrafts, non-sufficient funds, incoming wire transfers, first debit cards (and replacements), or money transfers. The account requires no minimum deposit, nor any minimum balance requirements. And not only do you get access to 91,000-plus fee-free ATMs, but Axos will reimburse you for up to $12 in domestic ATM fee charges every month—so you don’t really have to worry about third-party ATM fees, either.

Axos Bank will charge $5 for customers who prefer paper account statements, and they do have a 1% foreign currency conversion fee. Axos Bank doesn’t charge a fee for cash deposits, but retailers may charge up to $4.95.

Related: Best Prepaid Debit Cards for Kids and Teens [Reloadable]

Axos First Checking Features


young man woman smartphones apps

Below are some of Axos First Checking’s most notable features. Some of these features are geared towards the teens, while others exist to keep parents sane.

Axos First Checking Debit Card

The Axos First Checking account comes with a free Visa- or Mastercard-branded debit card. (You can choose which one during the application.) The card can be used in stores and online wherever the chosen brand is accepted, including internationally.

Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of Axos’s card is its ATM access. Axos Bank allows you to withdraw cash fee-free from 91,000-plus ATMs nationwide. And if you come across an ATM outside of Axos’ network, no problem—it will reimburse up to $12 in third-party operator fees every month. Point-of-sale transactions are limited to $500 per day, while ATM withdrawals are limited to $100 daily.

Card actions such as activating, deactivating, reactivating, ordering a replacement, and sending a travel notification can all be done online.

Security features include active fraud monitoring, two-step authentication, and 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption.

Parental Controls

Parental controls in Axos First Checking are fairly rudimentary. Parents can monitor their teen’s spending through account alerts received as real-time push notifications, emails, or text messages. They can also track transfers made from the account and lock/unlock the debit card from the mobile app and dashboard.

Related: Best Taxable Brokerage Accounts for Parents and Teens to Invest Together

Cash Deposits

If teens have a tip-based job or receive a lot of cash for celebrations and holidays, they might want to deposit that cash into their accounts. Fortunately, while Axos is an online-only bank, there are still ways to make cash deposits.

Members can log in to the app and use the ATM locator to find ATMs that accept cash deposits. Alternatively, through Axos’ partnership with Green Dot Network®, they can deposit cash at many popular retailers, including:

  • ACE Cash Express
  • CVS
  • Dollar General
  • Kroger
  • Rite Aid
  • Safeway
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • 7-Eleven

Members can instruct the cashier to add the provided cash directly to their debit cards. Usually, the amount has to be between $20 and $500, but some places allow up to $1,500. Axos Bank doesn’t charge a fee for the transaction, but retailers may charge up to $4.95.

Related: Best Brokerage Accounts for Minors

Peer-to-Peer Transfers

Axos lets teens make peer-to-peer payments directly from their checking accounts online. Just an email or phone number is needed to send a secure payment. So whether they need to pay a friend back for cash, fast food, or a group activity, it’s quick and easy to settle up.

Earns Interest

Teens earn an interest rate of 0.10% on any money in their account—a nice bonus for doing nothing. While this is an admittedly small annual percentage yield (APY) compared to, say, a high-yield savings account or money market account, it’s still more than you’ll get on your typical checking account (which is nothing).

Direct Deposit + Mobile Deposit

Teens with jobs can easily get their paychecks directly deposited into their accounts. Axos Bank has no minimum direct deposit amount to avoid fees (which isn’t the case with every financial institution).

Do the teen’s grandparents love to write birthday checks? Not an issue. Axos allows free mobile deposits. You can use a mobile device or computer to send money from a check straight into a First Checking account any time of day.

Bill Pay

While parents should always be covering a kid’s essential expenses, it isn’t unheard of for teens to be responsible for some of their nonessential costs. For example, a teen with a job might be asked to pay for their cell phone plan.

With Axos’ free bill pay feature, parents can schedule payments from a primary account to ensure the teen doesn’t miss a cell phone payment. (Note: Only parents, not teens, can access this feature.)

Bill Pay is parent use only.

Easy Transition to Adulthood

Once a teenager reaches adulthood, the account can be converted into a different checking account, such as Essential Checking, Rewards Checking, or CashBack Checking. The parent or original adult on the account can then remove themselves as a joint account owner so the new adult is completely in control.

You can sign up for Axos First Checking here.

Related: Best Teen Checking Accounts [Banks for Teens]

Chase First BankingSM vs. Axos First Checking: Our Editors’ Choice Is …


These are both wallet-friendly accounts with no annual fee, but for simplicity’s sake, it still makes sense to choose only one.

A major difference between the two is the minimum age to get started. While Chase First BankingSM allows kids as young as six years old, Axos First Checking is designed for teenagers.

For those who feel more comfortable using banks with physical locations, Chase® is the clear choice. Chase First BankingSM also offers a few features missing from Axos First Checking, including allowance, chores, and goal setting.

But Axos First Checking has some perks you can’t get with the Chase® account. Teenagers with jobs can easily fund their accounts through direct deposit and/or $0 cash reloads (retailer fees may apply).

Those who pay some of their own bills, such as an expensive phone plan or car insurance, can easily do so through the account as well. When they go out with friends, it’s simple to make peer-to-peer transfers to split costs. Plus, the account earns interest (albeit a low amount).

Overall, these two accounts are a close call and the best choice for your family depends on the features you need most.

Our Pick: Chase First Banking
Runner-Up: Axos First Checking
4.8
3.6
Our Pick: Chase First Banking
Runner-Up: Axos First Checking

Related: 26 Best Online Jobs for Teens [Earn Money at Home, Age 13+]

Other Debit Cards for Kids to Consider


If you’re still not convinced on Chase First BankingSM or Axos First Checking, you might want to look at these other highly rated options:

AppApple App Store Rating
+ Best For
FeesPromotions
greenlight transparent logo thinGreenlight☆ 4.8 / 5
Customer rating and parental controls
1 month free. Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (Each plan supports up to 5 children.)Free 1-month trial
copper logo thinCopper Banking☆ 4.9 / 5
Teen financial independence
Copper $4.95/mo., Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.30-days free
gohenry logo thinGoHenry☆ 4.6 / 5
Accessible customer service support
1 month free. Individual: $4.99/mo. Family (supports up to 4 children): $9.98/mo.1 month free
revolut logo thinRevolut <18☆ 4.7 / 5
Parent-paid bonuses
No monthly feesNone
Axos Bank logoAxos First Checking☆ 4.7 / 5
Teens ready to learn about money management
Free (no monthly fees)None
*Apple App Store Rating as of April 1, 2024.

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About the Author

Riley Adams is the Founder and CEO of Young and the Invested. He is a licensed CPA who worked at Google as a Senior Financial Analyst overseeing advertising incentive programs for the company’s largest advertising partners and agencies. Previously, he worked as a utility regulatory strategy analyst at Entergy Corporation for six years in New Orleans.

His work has appeared in major publications like Kiplinger, MarketWatch, MSN, TurboTax, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, The Globe and Mail, and CNBC’s Acorns. Riley currently holds areas of expertise in investing, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies and personal finance where he has been cited as an authoritative source in outlets like CNBC, Time, NBC News, APM’s Marketplace, HuffPost, Business Insider, Slate, NerdWallet, Investopedia, The Balance and Fast Company.

Riley holds a Masters of Science in Applied Economics and Demography from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana.