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Opening a child’s bank account with a debit card can be a big step for both a child and parents. So, it’s important to know what you are getting into before making your decision to move forward with your child’s first bank account and debit card.

This article will provide you options on where to open an account, help walk you through the considerations you might have when getting a bank account with a debit card, the features to look for and the steps involved in opening a child’s bank account with a debit card.

This should help you make an informed decision about whether or not this is right for your family.

Let’s jump right in.

Best Child Bank Accounts With Debit Cards


Best Premium Debit Card for Kids & Teens
Best Brokerage Account + Debit Card for Teens
Best Debit Card for Customer Service
4.8
4.9
4.4
Starts at $4.99/mo. (for up to five kids)
Free (no monthly fees).
30 days free. Individual: $4.99/mo./child. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to 4 children.
Best Premium Debit Card for Kids & Teens
4.8
Starts at $4.99/mo. (for up to five kids)
Best Brokerage Account + Debit Card for Teens
4.9
Free (no monthly fees).
Best Debit Card for Customer Service
4.4
30 days free. Individual: $4.99/mo./child. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to 4 children.

Are You Ready to Open a Bank Account and Debit Card for Your Kids?


teen saving college fund education 529 esa coverdell

If you feel ready to open a bank account with a debit card associated with the account, you’ll need to consider your available options. Have a look below at some useful debit cards for teens (or younger).

AppApple App Store Rating
+ Best For
Fees
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.)
copper logo thinCopper Banking☆ 4.9 / 5
Kid financial independence
Copper $4.95/mo., Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.
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.
revolut logo thinRevolut <18☆ 4.7 / 5
Parent-paid bonuses
No monthly fees
current logo thinCurrent☆ 4.7 / 5
Innovation and product features
Free (no monthly fees)
famzoo logo thinFamZoo☆ 4.6 / 5
Financial literacy resources
Free trial, then $5.99/mo./family. (Discounts available for longer periods of prepayment.)
acorns logo transparent text thinAcorns☆ 4.7 / 5
Automated investing in the background into diversified investments
$3/month - $9/month
chase logo transparent text thinChase First Banking☆ 4.8 / 5
High customer satisfaction from a major bank without fees
Free
Axos Bank logoAxos First Checking☆ 4.7 / 5
Teens ready to learn about money management
Free (no monthly fees)
*Apple App Store Rating as of November 8, 2023.

 

1. Best Rated Overall: Greenlight


greenlight sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial. Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (All plans include cards for up to 5 children)

The Greenlight debit card allows kids to begin spending, but provides parents with peace of mind by giving them control over where their kids can spend money. Parents also can choose to receive alerts that tell them when, and how much, money is spent on the Greenlight debit card.

Greenlight works like a prepaid debit card, allowing you to transfer money onto the card for your child to pay for expenses at approved locations. You can choose how much money to load onto the card, and your child will be cleared to make approved purchases so long as a money balance backs up the card.

If your child asks for extra money to get added to the card, you can have them take a photo of the purchase they want to make and receive your approval. This gives you control and allows you to have discussions with your child about why a purchase might be a good or bad idea.
And if your child has a job, they can add their own funds to the card as well.

Each monthly Greenlight subscription includes debit cards for up to five kids. Replacement cards cost $3.50 each but are free the first time. If you need to replace your card quickly, you can get express delivery for $24.99. The company also offers a personalized card, with your own photo or design, for $9.98 per year.

Greenlight boasts numerous other features, too. For instance, parents can open an investment account for kids to get their children investing in stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for the first time.

Greenlight also offers monthly savings rewards based on your tier: 1% per annum for Core members, 2% per annum for Max, and 5% per annum for infinity. You may set up “Parent-Paid Interest” between you and your child. This allows you to foot the bill and pay interest on accounts for up to five kids.

The Greenlight debit card is a good choice for parents looking to teach their kids the importance of saving money and making prudent financial decisions. This financial product can be an effective learning tool for helping kids to understand why saving should be a priority and how to simplify paying an allowance or tracking chores.

Greenlight has no minimum age requirements but recommends starting at age 6 or older.

Read more in our Greenlight Card review.

Related: 13 Best Allowance and Chore Apps for Kids [Easier Family Life]

2. Copper Card (Best Debit Card for Kid Independence)


copper banking

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: 30 days free. Copper: $4.95/mo. and Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.

Copper Banking was founded on the belief that kids and teens should have equal access to financial education and should be empowered to learn by doing. Now, the company is on a mission to help children gain real-world experience by giving them access to their money in a way that traditional banks can’t.

The Copper app and debit card teaches your child how to make smart financial decisions by creating a platform where parents and their kids can connect. With the Copper app, you get easy snapshots of your accounts. And with the Copper Debit Card, it’s easy to shop in-store or online, including with Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Plus, users get exclusive access to engaging advice curated by a team of financial literacy experts who provide tips on how to take control of their financial future.

Copper Banking Features:

  • Send/Request: Kids and parents can easily send and receive money all at the touch of a button.
  • Spend: Spend using Apple or Google Pay, or using the Copper Debit Card.
  • Withdraw: Access your money from more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs.
  • Monitor: Get a snapshot of all your child’s spending in an easy-to-read dashboard.
  • Save: Gain quick snapshots of your kid’s savings and helpful tips on how to save even more. Set up savings buckets and save for the things that you want.
  • Learn: With the help of Copper’s team of financial literacy experts, gain bite-sized tips on how you can maximize your money and prepare yourself for your financial future.

The basic Copper account includes the above banking features. With Copper + Invest, your child also gets access to automatically curated smart portfolios built with their preferences in mind. Your child is given a questionnaire that helps Copper determine a portfolio based on their age, income, net worth, investment objective(s) and investment horizon. Copper then recommends one of three ETF portfolios—Moderately Aggressive, Aggressive, and Extra Aggressive—made up of thousands of stocks. Parents can review the portfolio to ensure it matches with not just your child’s preferences, but your family’s. (Portfolios can be changed later on by accessing the Support chat.)

Your child can begin investing for as little as $1, then add more contributions down the road. Copper will automatically rebalance the portfolio as needed to make sure it always keeps up with your child’s investment preferences.

Copper is available to kids 6 years and older.

Read more in our Copper Banking review.

Related: Best Prepaid Debit Cards for Kids and Teens

3. GoHenry (Best for Customer Service)


gohenry sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: 1 month free. Individual: $4.99/child/mo. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to 4 children

GoHenry is a financial solution for minors that includes an app, prepaid debit cards, and even financial lessons. Parents are given an online account that’s linked to, and allows them to oversee and manage, individual accounts for each of their children via both the GoHenry app and the online account portal.

Each child will receive their own GoHenry debit card; you can choose from 45 different designs or create your own customized card for $4.99. Each card is governed by parental controls you can set for your children.

What’s nice about GoHenry is that kids can only spend whatever money is available on the card—and thus parents don’t need to worry about costly overdraft fees or their kids accruing debt.

When you open a GoHenry account, you should receive your children’s debit cards in the mail seven to eight business days later. Once you do, you can set up events such as automatic weekly allowance transfers into your children’s accounts, real-time spending alerts, and one-off or weekly spending limits. You can also keep your children’s spending in check by choosing the stores where your kids can shop, and even blocking/unblocking the card as needed.

With time, the controls provided by the app and the guidance you offer can help your kids develop good money habits around earning, saving, spending, and giving.

But GoHenry really sticks out as one of the best debit cards for kids for customer service. They offer everyday phone availability, email access, and social media engagement, ensuring users can solve their problems quickly and with little hassle.

GoHenry has no minimum age requirements but recommends starting at age 6 or older.

Learn more by reading our GoHenry debit card review.

Related: GoHenry vs. Greenlight

4. Revolut <18 (Best for Parent-Paid Bonuses)


revolut under 18 signup

Revolut <18 is a prepaid debit card for kids designed to teach them money skills for life. Aimed at building healthy money habits from an early age, the unique, customizable card empowers parents to have full insight into their kids’ card activity through providing instant spending alerts and parental controls.

You can choose to freeze the card, set controls on how they use the cards online and with contactless payments through your Revolut app. Further, you can set spending limits on how much your child can use with the prepaid card.

Parents use the card and accompanying app to teach kids about earning, budgeting, saving and even investing money (depending on the plan chosen). You can also use the card to manage chores and allowance, set savings goals as a family and help your children manage their money.

And if your child did something deserving of a reward? You can send parent-paid bonuses when they complete specific tasks. Simply add money to their digitized piggy bank through the app. You can send and receive money in seconds through Revolut’s Payments feature, which allows instant transfers between account holders and also global transfers at transparent rates.

Of note: You must have a personal Revolut account before you can open a Revolut <18 account for your children. You can add up to five Revolut <18 accounts per parent account.

To learn more about Revolut <18, consider visiting their site and opening an account for yourself and your child.

 

5. Current (Great No-Monthly-Fee Teen Card)


Current signup new

Current is a banking app designed for families; it offers both parent and teen accounts, with the latter acting like prepaid debit cards that parents load for their children. The Current app allows you to track your teen’s spending in real-time, set limits on how much your children can spend, and even block specific merchants on its Visa-enabled debit cards. You also get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your children’s money is safe because it’s not cash—no temptations, just a tool parents can use to help teach teens financial responsibility.

Among Current’s features:

  • No minimum required balances, no fees on transfers to other Current accounts, and no hidden fees.
  • Create Savings Pods, or Giving Pods, that allow you to save up for various goals.
  • Round-Ups allow you to round up purchases to the nearest dollar amount and store the difference in Savings or Giving Pods.
  • Buy and sell 27 different cryptocurrencies with zero trading fees.

Teens will love easy allowance deposits, a card they can use in stores or online, instant gas hold removals when buying gas, and access to more than 40,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs nationwide. They’ll also have the opportunity to learn about financial responsibility and financial independence through Current’s Budgets feature, which allows them to track their spending and even receive alerts when they get too close to (or exceed) a predetermined limit.

The product has no specifically stated minimum age requirement, but the marketing suggests teens are the target audience. However, you might be able to open an account for a younger child.

Read more in our Current review.

Related: Best Teen Credit Cards for Building Credit

6. FamZoo (Best for Financial Education)


famzoo sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free trial. Then $5.99/mo., $25.99/6 mos., $39.99/12 mos. or $59.99/24 mos. (all per family)

FamZoo is another service for parents interested in opening prepaid debit cards to manage their children’s spending.

Parents can fund a FamZoo account through numerous routes, including bank transfers, Direct Deposit, even cash. Typically, parents will load their primary funding card, then they will transfer those funds onto their kids’ cards. But you do have the option of directly funding kids’ cards.

There are plenty of safety features, too. And there’s no risk of having your bank account information stolen from FamZoo—because FamZoo never asks for it. Adults can monitor transactions, you can temporarily lock and unlock cards, and you can set up real-time alerts for card activity and remaining balances.

After a free trial, this app costs $5.99 per month, but the price goes down if prepaid in advance.

However, FamZoo rates as our top education choice because of its robust financial education library. Many of the functions have financial literacy in mind, too. For instance, payment checklists teach kids the value of a dollar by tying chores and odd jobs to rewards and penalties.

Spend, Save, and Give accounts separate funds into different purposes. And with “Parent-Paid Interest,” you can teach your kids the power of compound interest over time.

FamZoo has no minimum age requirements but recommends starting earlier rather than later.

Related: Greenlight vs. Famzoo

7. Acorns (Best for Long-Term Growth)


acorns signup

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Acorns Personal: $3/mo. Acorns Personal Plus: $5/mo.

Acorns has become one of the most popular financial apps for minors and young adults, but it also boasts a robust money management platform that offers more than just investing.

The full suite of offerings includes the ability to establish custodial accounts for minors to invest, regular and retirement investment accounts for adults … and most importantly for readers here, a bank account with linked debit card.

You can get this checking account and debit card with either of Acorns’ subscription options:

  • Acorns Personal ($3/mo.): Includes an Acorns Invest investment account, as well as Acorns Later for tax-advantaged investment options such as Roth IRAs. Also includes Acorns Checking, a bank account with no account fees, the ability to withdraw from more than 55,000 ATMs nationwide.
  • Acorns Personal Plus ($5/mo): Everything in Acorns Personal (Acorns Invest, Later and Checking), plus Acorns Early. This allows you to open a custodial investment account for your child so you can begin investing for them while they’re a minor.

Both products also contain features such as “Real-Time Round-Ups,” which allow you to automatically invest spare change when you round up purchases to the nearest dollar. (The service claims to help users invest an average of $30/month using this feature.) You can also install the Acorns Earn Chrome Extension to earn bonus investments by shopping online at more than 15,000 top brands.

For a limited time, the service also offers a $20 sign-up bonus for people who open an account and meet certain conditions.

Learn how to start investing money and banking with Acorns today, or learn more about the service with our Acorns review.

Related: Best Acorns Alternatives [Apps Like Acorns]

8. Chase First Banking (Best Free Debit Card for Kids and Teens)


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. Manage all accounts with this mobile app and encounter no fees as well as find yourself able to withdraw money on 16,000 Chase ATMs around the country. The account is designed with kids 6-12 in mind, and available for ages 6-17.

At the heart of Chase First BankingSM sits one of the best free debit cards for kids and teens that works anywhere Visa is accepted.

Need insight and oversight into your child’s spending and saving? You can set spend alerts and limits as well as specific locations all in your Chase Mobile® app.

Teach your kids to spend, save and earn — all from the Chase Mobile® app. Chase First BankingSM helps parents teach teens and kids about money by giving parents the control they want and kids the freedom they need to learn.

To get started, you’ll first need to be a Chase customer with a qualifying Chase checking account.

Consider opening a Chase Total Checking SM or Chase Secure BankingSM account to qualify.

  • Chase Total CheckingSM also grants access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches as well as a $300 sign-up bonus when you set up direct deposit within 90 days of coupon enrollment. You can pay $0 in monthly fees, subject to meeting certain conditions*.
  • 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.

Read more in our Chase First Banking review.

Related: Best Money Apps for Teens Under 18

9. Axos Bank First Checking (Best Free Debit Card for Teens at an Online-Only Bank)


axos bank first teen checking sign up

First Checking by Axos Bank is the ultimate starter checking account for teens, and it comes with a debit card.

The world of banking can be a little scary, but not with the simplicity and power of Axos’ First Checking Account. It works as a joint checking account between a parent or guardian and their teen, allowing for easy-to-set, customizable parental controls with a debit card dashboard.

Parents and teens can manage almost every part of the banking experience through a convenient mobile app or through the online desktop portal. Perfect for modern families who always find themselves on the go.

The First Checking account from Axos Bank gives teens their first taste of financial independence by giving them their own checking account (which pays interest!) and free debit card for teens. But it also provides safeguards against teens getting carried away with the money held in their account, such as daily limits on cash transactions ($100) and debit transactions ($500).

Further, you can receive up to $12 in domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month, and you avoid any monthly maintenance, overdraft, and non-sufficient funds fees—essentially making the account free! Meanwhile, as of winter 2022, users can also earn a modest 0.10% APY on any balance—lower than the national average rate, but fair for a simple teen checking account and debit card product.

The account carries the highest level of security through biometric authentication techniques like fingerprint readers, voiceprints and facial recognition (pending smartphone feature availability).

The product has a minimum age requirement of 13 and is recommended for ages 13 to 17. It will convert to an Axos Checking Account after the minor reaches the age of majority.

Read more in our Axos First Checking Account review.

You can choose from opportunities like the ones listed above but you might also wish to consider:

Choose the bank accounts which make the most sense for your situation.

What is a Child Bank Account With Debit Card?


young woman teen credit card online bank account

Today, parents have to keep pace with numerous priorities previous parents couldn’t even imagine. Concerns like social media, cybersecurity, buying stuff online, easy access to information and much more.

With finances, parents of yesterday really only needed to concern themselves with hard currency, or dollars and bills. I remember my parents writing me a check to bring to school each month to pay for my school lunches.

Now? You can just Venmo the payment or submit it through an online portal in most instances.

While checks might still suffice in some areas, many places have moved onward with technological advancement. With how things progress, it seems only more likely this digital transformation will continue, not reverse.

Therefore, as digital banking through an online portal and mobile app interface become the norm for how we buy and sell goods, get paid, transfer money and more, kids need to keep up with the times or risk getting left behind.

That means needing to consider bank accounts with a debit card to make online purchases or keep track of spending activity. Parents need to be laser focused on making sure their kids understand money, as well as how to use it.

Does a Child Need a Checking Account to Get a Debit Card?


mother mom daughter kid teen tablet smartphone couch living room

In today’s world, it’s hard to get by as a kid without some form of digital banking product like a debit card or credit card.

Having a bank account with a linked card can help parents manage their kids’ finances while also giving them the freedom to make some of their own money decisions—albeit with guardrails installed by parents and enabled by fintech apps.

While cash is still king, that only works for face-to-face transactions. Many of our needs now can be met online and that requires plastic of some sort, namely in the form of a debit card or credit card.

With new apps, though, not all kids need a checking account to get a debit card. Some apps like Greenlight, BusyKid, GoHenry and more act as prepaid debit cards which attach to an app and ultimately to a bank account of your choosing to control how you transfer money to and from the card.

This can be from performing chores for an allowance, receiving gift money, or even working a job and having money come through direct deposit.

Related: Allowance for Kids: How Much to Give [Age Appropriate Amounts]

What Age Can a Child Have Bank Accounts With a Card?


mother daughter child kid savings piggy bank

Bank accounts with a card can serve as a great entry way for kids into the financial world. They offer a chance to manage money while also falling under control of a parent or legal guardian since they’re technically on the account as a joint account holder.

Likewise, prepaid debit cards work just the same. They only allow you to spend the balance held on the card while also making it easier to transfer allowance earned through performing chores or just as part of a set payment schedule.

Getting kids started early with a prepaid kids’ debit card can help them get a head start on navigating the financial system as they get older, providing them familiarity with the different financial products and institutions.

Further, these can help to guide them about how to think about managing their money digitally as opposed to physically, though handling physical cash early on can lead to a more concrete understanding of money for later.

Once kids have mastered how physical money works and the concepts behind it, moving to a digital-based prepaid debit card might serve as a good next step.

This holds especially true since physical cash can’t work as effectively as plastic when ordering items online—something that’s become increasingly the default method for buying goods and services these days.

Most prepaid debit cards require the child to be 18 or older (or, sometimes even 16 or older). Though, you can also get around this situation through the use of adding your child as an authorized user on your existing prepaid debit card.

This provides your child access to a prepaid debit card under your control, allowing you to monitor card activity as well as set spending limits.

When conducting your own due diligence, some factors you’ll want to consider certain features.

Related: Best Teen Credit Cards for Building Credit

What Features Should I Look for in a Kid’s Debit Card?

1. Monthly Service Fees


mother teen daughter smartphone

Many bank accounts with debit cards for kids have account subscription fees you pay to open and maintain an account with this banking provider.

This has become a common way for banks to earn money. For example, this is how Acorns makes money. These monthly or annual fees are commonplace given the low minimum deposit and minimum balance requirement rules established by these mobile banking providers.

Banks, credit unions and other lenders typically make money by taking the deposits held on account and lending them to borrowers. They charge an interest rate to the borrower at a higher rate than they borrow from the depositor.

This difference, called the net interest margin, accounts for the lion’s share of bank earnings.

However, many banks have also gone after non-interest income in the form of fees or services. Items like overdraft fees, account fees, account minimum balance violation fees and much more.

Because most kids will have low account balances and still require automated financial assistance for their needs, many debit cards for teens choose to charge fees as an avenue for earning income.

Thankfully, many of them offer value-added services above and beyond what many traditional banks have, making them worth more to a parent’s peace of mind.

Having parental controls, setting spending limits, maintaining shared mobile app access and more provide parents with an attractive value proposition.

2. Financial Literacy Resources


children kids books tutoring summer job

You’ll want apps that can teach, inform and grow your child’s understanding of finances. That means coming with tools for smarter spending.

Life gets busy and keeping track of your finances can be time-consuming. You don’t always have to see where and how you spend your money.

That’s why many of these apps come with information to highlight spending insights based on your history, budgeting tools to manage your money, saving categories and goals and more.

These all help with managing money, developing a sense of ownership and understanding with finances for kids. Many also come with information through financial literacy resources through videos, articles, tutorials and explainers.

Make sure you review the content covered and navigate through the available libraries of resources to select the most important topics to cover.

3. Parental Controls


working teen small business retail part time

Parental controls are one of the key features that a debit card for teens should have. This is easy to set up and can be suited to any parent’s needs by being able to choose what notifications they want, set spending limits, determine which merchants kids can visit and more.

Different transactions need different levels of monitoring, so parental controls allow customization which makes it easier on parents who want a specific view into their kids’ spending activity. You won’t get these on a free debit card.

Parental controls also allow automated allowance payments, setting chores to complete, notifications for all purchases online and off and seeing spending reports.

These parental controls differentiate between a traditional prepaid card and a card offered by a traditional bank.

4. Savings Account Option


The best debit cards don’t just about teach kids about money and develop financial responsibility. They’re also a savings account in disguise, since the money gets drawn from the linked checking account on the card itself and all transactions go through it.

Learning to manage this account can teach kids how to save and budget their money in the short-term but also toward longer-term goals.

5. Online Banking / Mobile Banking App


When looking for a bank account and debit card, having direct access to your account serves as a vital connection to you and your money.

The advantages of having an accessible online banking portal and paired mobile banking app include:

  • Financial responsibility. Teaching kids about financial responsibility and giving them their first taste of managing money like adults do: digitally
  • Online access. Online banking, mobile app and online access for parents
  • Enables saving. Mature teenagers’ checking account allows teens to save for a car, college or other long term goals.
  • Avoids having cash. Allows savings without having to keep cash in the house
  • Account Security. Security over your account balance and who has access
  • Real-time monitoring of account activity. (e.g., checking a child’s spending, cash withdrawals, mobile check deposits, ATM fees, minimum daily balance, real time notifications, etc.)
  • Convenience. Have instant oversight on multiple accounts (sometimes even up to five cards) all in one place.
  • Timesaving. Instead of waiting in line at a bank or credit union, you can see everything on your mobile app or through the online portal.
  • Banking on the go. Likewise, do all your banking needs on your phone (e.g., deposit checks, set up recurring transfers, spend money online, monitor your monthly service fee, etc.)
  • Find bank and ATM locations. Most mobile app options from banks also offer convenient bank location features, allowing you to find a bank or member ATM if you need to make ATM withdrawals or stop into the bank or credit union for something

6. Set Spending Limits


family mom dad teens children custodial account

When you sign up for a credit card as an adult, chances are your spending limits will be set relatively high. You may start with a $500 credit limit in the beginning but can quickly work your way up to a balance of $5,000 or more if you build a good credit score and history.

For kids however, it might not make sense to give them that much freedom during their early years before they’ve had a chance to develop strong money skills.

Parents can set spending limits by the day, week or month. For example, parents can set limits of $25 per day for children to spend on things they want and need.

Some people have acted better with cash while others might be more comfortable using cards. Cash provides a spending limit that may help them avoid impulse purchases.

Thankfully, with the spending limits parents can set on these cards, you’ve installed a cash-based mentality in a cashless society.

7. Overdraft Protection


Fees for overdraft can be avoided when banks decline charges that would overdraw the account.

One of the best features to look for when choosing a bank account is overdraft fee protection, which can come with prepaid cards or linked debit cards.

This can block purchases from going through, automatically transfer money from another account to cover this purchase or provide a line of credit if you’re short on cash.

Parents should have spending controls for their children. This way they can monitor how much money a child spends.

In the past, kids were not allowed their own debit card or credit card unless they met certain requirements. With mobile apps that allow parents to take control of the card, children can’t spend more than a predetermined amount in any period of time or location.

That means not having to pay for overdrafts: if the debit card for teens won’t allow spending above a preset limit (such as the remaining account balance), children won’t have the ability to buy something that triggers a fee.

Another method for avoiding overdraft fees comes from use of prepaid debit cards for teens. Much like a debit card with spending limits set above the account balance, prepaid debit cards don’t allow you to spend what you don’t have loaded on the card.

Both types of cards place guardrails on overdraft fees, protecting children (and yourself) from costly fees and other banking account issues.

8. Age Restrictions and Limits


parents son kid online debit credit card account

Some financial products limit access by requiring users to be a certain age. Banking apps with debit cards like GoHenry provide access to kids as young as 6 while the American Express doesn’t offer cards to kids below 18.

Likewise, Greenlight and FamZoo have no age restrictions on who can have a debit card. You can be any age minor: a young child, a teen or even a teen entering college. Check with your banking institution to learn about what rules they place on age restrictions and limits.

9. Age Transfer


Because these banking products target minors, that inevitably means the account will need to phase out or evolve into something else owned by an adult.

Fortunately, many bank accounts for teens will likely convert into the bank’s adult version of the account. For example, if you have a checking account for teens, this account would convert to a regular checking account available to anyone the age of majority.

However, depending on your prepaid card provider, your account may not convert into an adult equivalent as one may not exist. In this case, you can likely use your card until it expires.

Consult the provider for more information and inquire about any product development which might allow you to transition to a new adult product or if they can refer you to a banking partner.

10. Minimum Deposit


Likely, many teen savings accounts and teen checking accounts for kids won’t require a sizable minimum deposit to open a child’s account.

Options like Capital One’s Money Teen Checking Account, the Copper Debit Card, Greenlight’s debit card, BusyKid, and many others have no minimum deposit requirement, allowing you to open the account with any amount you wish.

Likewise, many other teen checking account options avoid requiring a minimum deposit or maintaining a minimum daily balance.

Teen savings accounts held at a bank or credit union or through a joint account holder arrangement might have different rules and you should be mindful of these terms before opening an account.

Be sure to check your monthly statement cycle for any monthly fees that might get triggered through failing to meet any account minimums.

Related Child Bank Account and Debit Card Questions

What Happens to My Child’s Card When Turning 18?


Because these banking products target minors, that inevitably means the account will need to phase out or evolve into something else owned by an adult.

Fortunately, many bank accounts for teens will likely convert into the bank’s adult version of the account. For example, if you have a checking account for teens, this account would convert to a regular checking account available to anyone the age of majority.

However, depending on your prepaid card provider, your account may not convert into an adult equivalent as one may not exist. In this case, you can likely use your card until it expires.

Consult the provider for more information and inquire about any product development which might allow you to transition to a new adult product or if they can refer you to a banking partner.

What are Kids’ Bank Cards?


Kids’ bank cards are debit cards which allow kids to spend money at retailers, make deposits and withdrawals at participating ATMs, and avoid carrying cash but still having money in their pocket.

One type of bank card is a debit card attached to a bank account. This works by debiting against the cash balance each time the card gets used for a purchase.

Likewise, you can also have a prepaid debit card which loads a balance onto a card and has funds deplete as you spend them (or increase as you reload the card).

The principle behind both remains the same: have a balance backing the available spending limit of the card. The difference comes from having a balance held directly on the card or through a bank account backing the card.

How Do I Get a Kids Bank Account?


Getting a kids bank account is a simple process. It involves conducting a search of available products and offerings on the market, determining which checking account and/or savings account make the most sense for your needs, and then submitting an application to the company.

From there, you need to provide necessary documentation substantiating your identity, citizenship and proof of residence.

Afterward, the company will walk you through the account set up to open your deposit accounts with a kid’s debit card, prompt you to activate your card, transfer funds and begin using the account.

For more details on how to open a bank account for a minor, we have a resource which walks you through how to open these FDIC insured financial products.

Also, consult this guide on debit card age requirements and also this primer on how prepaid debit cards work for these associated products on your kid’s account.

Can My Kid Have a Bank Account?


father daughter tablet online bank account minor

If you want my child to sign up for a card for a bank account with debit card, you will need to open a joint account and serve as a joint account holder with your child.

However, the rules do vary with different banks, credit unions and mobile app options which cater toward offering accounts for kids.

Some options only allow a legal guardian to list themselves as the joint account holder while others won’t allow minors to have a debit card under their own name until the age of 16 or even 18.

Others still allow kids of any age to have a kids savings account, kid’s checking account or kid’s debit card. It makes sense to start first with your own banking institution to learn about their options.

Though, be warned, many established banks and credit unions might not offer the level of parental controls you want for your kid’s debit card, checking account or other deposit accounts (i.e., savings accounts).

But even if you can get one from your current bank, you don’t want to just hand your child a debit card. You might want more insight and control over their spending so you can introduce good money habits.

Such options include having a joint prepaid debit card with your child, allowing you both to manage the money jointly and agree on what the card can be used for.

These cards give children the control they seek over their own cash but also allow parents to monitor the spending and offer useful guidance when needed.

Traditional banks don’t often have these controls available to you, making this a difficult task without the tools necessary to oversee account management.

Instead, a new breed of financial companies have emerged to empower parents to make money decisions with their children and equip them with the capabilities to manage money in a way they’d like.

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.