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
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.
Free (no monthly fees).
How Old Do You Have to be to Get a Debit Card?
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 teens that you may want, some of which we describe below.
Related: Best Kid-Friendly Debit Cards
Do Banks Allow a Debit Card for Under 18 Year Old’s?
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.
|App||Apple App Store Rating|
+ Best For
|Greenlight||☆ 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.)|
|Fidelity Youth™ Account||☆ 4.8 / 5|
Investing in stocks
|Free, no trading commissions|
|Copper Banking||☆ 4.9 / 5|
Teen financial independence
|Variable pricing on Copper and Copper + Invest plans|
|GoHenry||☆ 4.6 / 5|
Accessible customer service support
|1 month free. Individual: $4.99/mo. Family (supports up to 4 children): $9.98/mo.|
|Revolut <18||☆ 4.7 / 5|
|No monthly fees|
|Current||☆ 4.7 / 5|
Innovation and product features
|Free (no monthly fees)|
|*Apple App Store Rating as of September 27, 2023.|
1. Greenlight (Best Paid Debit Card for Kids and Teens)
- 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.
2. Fidelity Youth™ Account (Best Free Debit Card With Teen Investing)
- Available: Sign up here
- Price: No account fees, no account minimum, no trading commissions*
- Platforms: Web, mobile app (Apple iOS, Android)
- Promotion: Teens get $501 on Fidelity® when they download the Fidelity Youth™ app and activate their Youth Account; parents get $100 when they fund a new account
Is your teen interested in jumpstarting their financial future? Do you want them to build smart money habits along the way?
Of course you do! Learning early about saving, spending and investing can pay off big when you start on the right foot. And one tool that can help your teen get that jump is the Fidelity Youth™ Account—an account owned by teens 13 to 17 that’s designed to help them start their money journey. They can start investing by buying most U.S. stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and Fidelity mutual funds for as little as $1!⁴
Your teen will also get a free debit card with no subscription fees, no account fees³, no minimum balances, and no domestic ATM fees⁵. And they can use this free debit card for teens to manage their cash and spend it whenever they need.
And as for building smart money habits? You and your teen can access your account through the Fidelity Youth™ app, which has a dedicated Learn tab packed with materials developed specifically to help teens develop good financial habits. Not only will Fidelity’s interactive lessons, videos, articles, tools, and calculators accelerate their learning—but for every level they complete, reward dollars will be deposited into their account to use however they want.
Controls parents want and need
A parent or guardian must have or open a brokerage account with Fidelity® to open a Fidelity Youth™ Account. For new Fidelity® customers, opening an account is easy, and there are no minimums and no account fees.
Parents and guardians have plenty of tools they can use to monitor their teen’s activity: They have online account access, can follow monthly statements and trade confirmations, and can view debit card transactions made in the account.
To make it even easier, you can set up alerts to notify you of trades, transactions, and cash management activity, keeping you firmly in the loop on actions your teen takes across the Fidelity Youth™ Account’s suite of products.
If your teen has an interest in learning about investing and taking their first steps toward building their financial journey, you should consider downloading the Fidelity Youth™ app and opening a Fidelity Youth™ Account. The account comes custom-built for their needs, which will help them become financially independent and start investing for their future.
Read more in our Fidelity Youth™ Account review.
3. Copper Card (Best Debit Card for Teen Independence)
- 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.
4. GoHenry (Best for Customer Service)
- 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
5. Revolut <18 (Best for Parent-Paid Bonuses)
- Available: Sign up here
- Price: No monthly fees
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.
6. Current (Best Card for Transitioning to Adulthood)
- Available: Sign up here
- Price: Free (no monthly fees)
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:
- Get paid up to two days early when you enroll in direct deposit through your Current account.
- No overdraft fees on overdrafts of between $25 and $200 when you enable the Overdrive feature.
- No minimum required balances, no fees on transfers to other Current accounts, and no hidden fees.
- Earn up to 15x points, which can be redeemed for cash, when you swipe with more than 14,000 participating merchants.
- Create Savings Pods, or Giving Pods, that allow you to save up for various goals. You can earn an annual percentage yield (APY) of up to 4% currently in Current Savings Pods.
- 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.
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Terms and Conditions for Fidelity Youth™ Account