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Do you have kids and are you wondering how old you need to be to get a debit card? Depending on how you set up the account, which banking institution you use and more, the age requirements for having a debit card varies.

This is an article which talks about how old you need to be (whether you can get debit cards for under 18-year old’s) and what requirements there are for getting a debit card for kids.

It also answers some common questions that people ask when it comes to kids debit cards.

Let’s dive in.

Debit Cards to Open for a Minor—Top Picks


Best Free Debit Card for Teens
Best Premium Debit Card for Kids & Teens
Best Debit Card for Young Investors
4.8
4.8
4.8
Free
Starts at $4.99/mo. (for up to five kids)
Open a Fidelity® Youth Account for your teen, and Fidelity will drop $50 into their account. Get $100 for yourself when you open a new Fidelity account and fund with $50¹.
Best Free Debit Card for Teens
Best Premium Debit Card for Kids & Teens
4.8
Starts at $4.99/mo. (for up to five kids)
Best Debit Card for Young Investors
4.8
Open a Fidelity® Youth Account for your teen, and Fidelity will drop $50 into their account. Get $100 for yourself when you open a new Fidelity account and fund with $50¹.

How Old Do You Have to be to Get a Debit Card?


investing younger

Typically, a child becomes eligible for a debit card when they turn 13 and their parent or legal guardian can open a joint checking account with a teen.

That said, many banks, credit unions and online financial companies allow kids as young as 6 to get debit cards.

You may need to read the fine print of any offer to understand the age requirements completely. Though, if you can’t find the age limits easily, feel free to reach out to the company directly with your question.

They will help you to understand whether your kids need to be teenagers or they can simply be enrolled in a joint account with a parent at any age.

You may also look into other options like a prepaid debit card or adding your child as an authorized user on an existing bank account you have without needing to worry about getting a special teen debit card.

This can get them a debit card without opening a new account at all, though this may not come with the many features found on debit cards for kids and teens that you may want, some of which we describe below.

Do Banks Allow a Debit Card for Under 18 Year Old’s?


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Yes, though it depends on the bank. As stated above, some require a parent or legal guardian to open a joint teen checking account for them both to have ownership over the account.

Minors can’t have an account on their own as a result of their legal inability to sign an enforceable contract.

This means any account you find in person or online through a bank, credit union or financial app will require you to open a joint account to ensure you have a legally valid account which passes compliance requirements.

Make sure you understand the rules of your target bank or financial institution and what age restrictions they provide for opening accounts.

Where Can You Get Debit Cards for a Child?


Several banking institutions and online banking apps for minors offer you the ability to get a debit card for minors. Read below for some of the top recommendations on places to open a debit card for teens.

AppApple App Store Rating
+ Best For
Fees
copper banking logo
Copper Banking
☆ 4.9 / 5
Customizable allowance payment frequency without fees
Free, no fees
greenlight logo
Greenlight
☆ 4.8 / 5
Customer rating and parental controls
$4.99/month for up to five kids
gohenry logo
GoHenry
☆ 4.6 / 5
Accessible customer service support
$3.99/mo per child
current logo
Current
☆ 4.7 / 5
Innovation and product features
Free
famzoo logo
FamZoo
☆ 4.6 / 5
Financial literacy resources
$5.99/mo per child
acorns logo
Acorns Early
☆ 4.7 / 5
Automated investing in the background into diversified investments
$3/month - $5/month
chase logo
Chase First Banking
☆ 4.8 / 5
High customer satisfaction from a major bank without fees
Free
*Apple App Store Rating as of October 12, 2022

 

1. Copper Card


copper card sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free
  • App Store Rating: 4.9

Copper Banking was founded with the mission to help teens gain real world experience by giving them access to their money in a way that traditional banks aren’t able to do.

The Copper app and free debit card for teens teaches teens how to make smart financial decisions by creating a platform for parents and teens to 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, online or with Apple or Google Pay.

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

Copper is founded on the belief that teens should have equal access to financial education and should be empowered to learn by doing. Cause you’re never too young to get your money right.

Copper Banking Features: 

  • Send/Request: Teens and parents can easily send and receive money all at the touch of a button
  • Spend: Spending using Apple or Google Pay or using the Copper Debit Card. Get a snapshot of all your teen’s spending in an easy-to-read dashboard.
  • Save: Gain quick snapshots of your teen’s savings and helpful tips on how to save even more. Set up savings bucks 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.

Read more in our Copper Banking review.

 

2. Greenlight


greenlight sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial, $4.99/mo after for up to five kids
  • App Store Rating: 4.8

Greenlight provides parents control over where their kids can spend money by limiting the stores where their cards work. Parents can get alerts when money is spent on the Greenlight debit card and for how much.

Further, parents can open an investment account for kids to get them involved with investing in stocks and index funds for the first time.

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.

Greenlight charges $4.99 per month 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.

This company also offers a personalized card for $9.99/year with your own photo or design. Greenlight doesn’t offer interest but you may set up “parent-paid interest” between you and your child where you foot the bill and pay interest on accounts for up to five kids.

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 kids to discuss why a purchase either is a good or bad idea.

If your child has a job, they can add their own funds to the card as well.

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.

It’s also a rapidly growing app many parents have come to use for raising financially-smart kids.

The Greenlight Mastercard Debit Card offers the best combination of features among all cards we reviewed, including its simple mobile app. Who says kids can’t have their own debit card? Nowadays, there are plenty of options for parents but our top choice is Greenlight.

Read more in our Greenlight Card review.

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

3. GoHenry


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  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: 1 month free, then $3.99 per child/mo
  • App Store Rating: 4.6

GoHenry is a banking app for minors that comes paired with a debit card. You have an online account which comes linked to individual accounts for each of your children.

You can manage all of the money held in each account through the company’s app and online account portal.

Each child will receive their own GoHenry debit card which comes paired with parental controls you can set for your children.

What’s nice about GoHenry is the ability to spend only the money available on the card, meaning you don’t need to worry about costly overdraft fees or accrue debt.

You open a GoHenry account, receive your children’s debit cards in the mail 7-8 business days later, set up an automatic weekly allowance transfer into your children’s accounts and can set up one-off or weekly spending limits.

This will keep your children’s spending in check and you can block/unblock the card as needed as well as choose the stores where your kids can shop.

With time, the controls provided by the app and the guidance you offer can help your kids to earn, save, spend and give with good money habits.

GoHenry is one of the best debit cards for kids for customer service. They offer 24/7 phone availability, email access and social media engagement, ensuring users can solve their problems quickly and with little hassle.

Learn more by reading our GoHenry debit card review.

Related: GoHenry vs. Greenlight

4. Current


current sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free
  • App Store Rating: 4.7

Current is a banking app designed for all families. The Current app allows you to track your teen’s spending in real-time, set limits on how much they can spend, and even block specific merchants.

You also get the peace of mind that comes with knowing their money is safe because it’s not cash. Plus, the company doesn’t charge any fees or interest for student accounts so there are no surprises when bills arrive.

Current helps parents teach teens financial responsibility while giving them a way to learn without having cash around the house and all its temptations.

That means less worry for both parents and kids! With Current, your teenager will be able to do everything from paying friends back to buying groceries at the store–all safely with only her phone!

And teens will have the opportunity to learn financial responsibility and budgeting from an early age. This will allow them to grow their savings and move one step closer to financial independence.

Read more in our Current review.

 

5. FamZoo


famzoo sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free trial, then $5.99/mo
  • App Store Rating: 4.6

FamZoo is another prepaid debit card service parents can use to manage their children’s spending. It works by having parents release money into their child’s account and then having the card work with a loaded balance. Money can be loaded onto the cards at any time.

FamZoo acts like a regular checking account with a linked debit card except FamZoo makes sure the account can’t be charged overdraft fees, saving you money.

Adults are able to monitor the transactions being made. After a free trial, this app costs $5.99 per month, but the price goes down if prepaid in advance.

FamZoo is our top education choice because of its strong financial education library which improves its overall value.

Related: Greenlight vs. FamZoo

6. Acorns


acorns

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Acorns Personal: $3/mo & Acorns Family: $5/mo
  • App Store Rating: 4.7

Acorns has become one of the most popular financial apps for minors and young adults but also offers a robust money management platform extending beyond 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 a bank account with linked debit card.

If you sign up for the Acorns Spend product (available under the Acorns Personal and Acorns Family plans), it creates a bank account that carries FDIC Insurance protection for up to $250,000.

Further, it uses the Acorns “Round Ups” feature which rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar, investing the difference between the transaction amount and the whole dollar. The service claims to help users invest an average of $30/month using this feature.

While not a free stock trading app, Acorns does give you the following subscription options:

  1. Acorns Personal ($3/mo):
    1. Acorns Invest: Invests spare change through the popular “Round-Ups” feature, earns bonus investments and provides access to financial literacy articles
    2. Acorns Later: Tax-advantaged investment options like IRAs
    3. Acorns Spend: Acts as your bank account, offering free withdrawals at over 55,000 ATMs nationwide and no account fees and the ability to earn up to 10% bonus investments
  2. Acorns Family ($5/mo):
    1. Everything in Acorns Personal (Acorns Invest, Later and Spend)
    2. Acorns Early: This allows you to take advantage of the best way to invest $1,000 for your child‘s future and can teach you how to invest as a teenager or minor through opening a custodial account.

For a limited time, the service also offers a $10 sign up bonus in money toward free stocks for people who open an account and $75 for establishing direct deposit and meeting certain conditions. Learn how to start investing money and bank.

Learn more in our Acorns review.

Related: Best Acorns Alternatives: Micro-Investing Apps to Use

7. Chase First Banking


chase first banking sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free (no fees)
  • App Store Rating: 4.8

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.

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 $200 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.

About the Author

Riley Adams is a licensed CPA who works 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 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, The Balance and Fast Company.

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