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Since you’re here, I’d wager you’re trying to decide whether you should open a Step or Jassby account for your child. Either account is an excellent way for your child to develop money management skills. But which one is better?

By the end of this article, the answer to that question should be clear.

Today, I’m providing a detailed comparison of Step and Jassby. For each account (and accompanying card), I’ll give an overview, break down costs, and highlight key features. I’ll also show the vital stats side by side so it’s simple to see how the accounts differ. And just in case you’re not convinced either is the best available option, I’ll go over a few other top kids’ debit cards.

Step vs. Jassby Comparison


step logo transparent symbol thin leftAffiliate CTA Apply Nowjassby logo transparent text thin leftAffiliate CTA Apply Now
WealthUp Rating☆ 4.7 / 5☆ 3.7 / 5
App Store Rating☆ 4.7 / 5☆ 4.4 / 5
Price*No monthly fees$5.95/mo.
BillingN/AMonthly
Special OfferN/AMonthly fee waived during first month of service
Allowed Cards Per Subscription16 (across both adults and minors)
Minimum Age**NoNone
Features That Make This Card Stand ApartBuilds credit; highest APY of any debit card for minors; points-based reward systemRewards, financial literacy materials

Basics

step logo transparent symbol thin leftjassby logo transparent text thin left
SpendingYesYes
SavingYesYes
InvestingYes (Stocks, ETFs, and Bitcoin)No
Giving/DonatingNoYes

Funding

step logo transparent symbol thin leftjassby logo transparent text thin left
Funding Source(s)Bank account, debit card, third-party app, cashBank account, debit card
Direct DepositYesNo
AllowanceYesYes
ChoresNoYes
GiftingNoNo
Cash Reload FeeFirst 2 deposits free; $3.95 reload fee thereafterN/A (No cash reload)

Saving/Spending

step logo transparent symbol thin leftjassby logo transparent text thin left
Savings APY5.00%N/A
Round-UpsYesNo
Other Savings FeaturesNoneNone
ATM NetworkAlliance Plus (30,000+ ATMs)No ATM access
ATM Transaction Fee$0 (Operator fee may apply at out-of-network ATMs)N/A
Card NetworkVisaMastercard
Compatible Mobile WalletsApple Pay, Google PayApple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay

Parents

step logo transparent symbol thin leftjassby logo transparent text thin left
Parental ControlsLow (Card lock)Medium (Transaction type-level controls)
Parental MonitoringYesYes
Parental NotificationsYesYes

Other Features

step logo transparent symbol thin leftjassby logo transparent text thin left
Cash BackYes (Amount varies based on expenditure)No
Builds CreditYesNo
Customization optionsNoNo
Refund PolicyN/ANo refunds given, month-to-month pricing
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.

Step Overview


Step savings signup

The free Step Visa Card is a unique “hybrid” secured credit card that’s tailor-made for kids and teens. It has the safety of a debit card, but it functions like a Visa credit card—including the ability to build your child’s credit history.

Parents, who sponsor the card for their child, add money to this FDIC-insured account and can determine how their child can spend. A regular Step account allows a child to have both a physical spending card as well as a virtual card in the Step app, while a Parent Managed Account only allows the child to spend via a physical card. Either way, they can use their card anywhere Visa is accepted.

Children can also use their cards to withdraw money from more than 30,000 ATMs for free. And parents needn’t fear that their child will overdraft—they can’t spend any money they don’t have.

Further, the Step Card comes protected by Visa’s Fraud Protection and Zero Liability guarantee. That means if your teen’s card gets lost or stolen, or misplaced and fraudulent charges crop up, you can dispute the charges within a certain time frame to avoid liability for paying.

Step also has fantastic savings benefits. Kids earn a high annual percentage yield (APY) on their money and can boost savings even more with Savings Roundup.

Step even features an “invest” function that allows children age 13 and older to buy and sell Bitcoin for a small transaction fee. The app is not a pure crypto wallet, however—your kids currently can’t spend Bitcoin directly at vendors.

Step has no age requirement, but anyone under 18 will need a parent, guardian, or trusted adult to sign them up.

Related: 7 Best Trading Accounts for Minors [Stock Investing Under 18]

Step Plans + Costs


Step is as free as free debit cards for teens get. There are no monthly fees, no subscription fees, and no account minimum fees. Members can use more than 30,000 fee-free ATMs. Step doesn’t even charge commissions on stock trades. Step primarily makes money through “interchange” fees paid by the merchant bank, rather than charging customers. So it’s very easy to use Step and never pay a dime.

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
StepN/A

    - Step Card
    - Option to build credit
    - High APY on Savings Goals
    - Parental Controls
    - Allowance
    - Instant Transfers
    - Savings Roundup
    - Investing

Now, Step isn’t perfectly free—no card is. There are a few situations where you could incur small fees, though most of these are par for the course for (or less than) comparable products.

For instance, merchants charge $3.95 per cash deposit—Step covers that charge for your first two deposits, but after that, you’re on your own. Same goes for card replacements—Step offers up to two free card replacements for lost physical cards. After that, there is a $5 charge for each additional card replacement. (Fortunately, you can always use Step’s virtual card for free.)

Step also charges a small fee when withdrawing funds out of a linked debit card. It costs 35¢ for transfers less than $20 or 1.75% of the transfer amount for transfers of more than $20. And when buying cryptocurrencies, buy and sell prices include a 2% markup that helps cover Step’s costs.

Step also warns about a couple of other third-party fees:

  • If your child chooses to use an out-of-network ATM, Step won’t charge any fees, but the ATM operator may charge a service fee.
  • Step doesn’t charge commission fees for stocks, but the government does charge a pair of small fees—a FINRA transaction activity fee (TAF) and a Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) fees—that account for a marginal percentage of your sale. Each fee is calculated as total transaction amount * $22.90 / 1,000,000, rounded up to the nearest cent, so a $1,000 trade would come out to just 4¢ in total fees.

Just keep in mind that both of the above fees are typical of just about any financial institution that offers those services.

Again: Step is as free as it gets.

Related: How to Make Money as a Kid [25 Ways For Any Age]

Step Features


Step Card

The Step Card is a Visa-branded card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, which is … well, at 44 million merchants in 200-plus countries and territories, that’s just about anywhere credit cards are accepted. It can also be used to withdraw money for free from 30,000-plus ATMs. (Note: Withdrawals are capped at $250 within a 24-hour period and $1,000 within a 30-day period.)

Remember: The Step Card is technically a secured credit card. But in practice, the Step Card acts just like a prepaid debit card. Parents fund a kid’s account, and the kid can spend up to however much is in the account—but not a penny more.

Parents have several options for how to fund a Step Card, including directly through a linked bank account, a debit card, direct deposit from an employer, or payment apps like PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App. You can even deposit cash from 70,000-plus retail locations.

Lastly, the card is protected by Visa’s Fraud Protection and Zero Liability guarantee. You can dispute fraudulent charges within a certain time frame to avoid having to pay for those charges.

Credit Building

I said it in my Step review, and I’ll say it here: Step’s credit-building feature is by far and away the platform’s biggest draw.

Virtually all secured credit cards let you build credit. But Step stands out because it works differently, it has a laundry list of features most other cards don’t have, and it’s the only such card available for users under age 18.

That last point is what has made Step so popular among teens.

When a parent sponsors a card for their teen, they can opt to have Step report the past two years’ worth of information—transactions, payment history, and more—to the credit bureaus when their child turns 18. Credit scores are assigned once someone turns 18, and most teens will begin with a score of under 600. But based on a Step survey, 18-year-olds who used Step for at least seven months had an average credit score of 725.

That’s a massive difference that can mean easier access to (and lower financing rates on) everything from car insurance to apartment security deposits to student loans.

Also helpful? The card’s Smart Pay feature automatically pays off purchases every month from funds in the deposit account. That keeps kids from ever missing a payment.

Savings Goals

Lots of kids’ debit cards give different names to their de facto savings accounts: With Step, it’s called a Savings Goal. Kids can have multiple Savings Goals where they can save toward individual goals such as buying a bike or a laptop.

Users earn a competitive 5% annually—compounded and paid monthly—on up to $250,000 saved in their Savings Goals. Like with your average savings account, Step’s savings yield can change depending on movements in the Federal Funds Rate, but if that happens, Step will give you 30 days’ notice before it happens.

To qualify, the user must have a direct deposit of at least $500 per month, and the benefit extends for as long as the direct deposits continue. So even if your teen just holds down a summer job for three months and meets the qualifying direct deposit, they can still enjoy three months of high interest. (Other perks of making a qualifying direct deposit? Bonus points on dining, food delivery, charitable donations, specific merchants—and you can get paid up to two days early.)

Savings Roundup

Step also has a round-up feature: Savings Roundup. With this feature, small purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar figure, and that extra money is put toward a Savings Goal.

Let’s say your child buys some candy for $2.75. Step will round that purchase up to $3.00 and put 25¢ toward a predetermined Savings Goal.

Investing

Step gives kids the opportunity to invest in more than 1,000 stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), as well as cryptocurrency. Within Step, a child needs a stock account to invest in stocks and ETFs, then a separate crypto account to invest in cryptocurrency.

Parents must open and approve these accounts for their child. Also, kids can only invest in stocks or funds their parents have recommended for them.

Kids can invest with as little as $1 through Step thanks to fractional shares. Also, stock and ETF trading is commission-free, but Step does charge a 2% markup on crypto prices to help cover its costs.

Step’s selection of more than 1,000 stocks and ETFs is technically much smaller than the thousands of stocks and funds they could access through a traditional broker, but it’s more than enough for beginner investors—and in fact, even intermediate investors could easily build a portfolio out of Step’s holdings. The crypto offering is extremely limited, though, with only Bitcoin offered at present.

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

Instant Transfers

Parents and other Step members can immediately send money to (and receive money from) one another with just a few taps. And while people rarely scoff at free money, you can include a note so the recipient isn’t scratching their head as to why you sent it.

Parental Controls

Most parents would prefer to dip their child’s toe into the money management pool rather than throw them in. Parental controls can help. Step allows you to monitor your child’s spending and freeze the card if you fear it’s lost or stolen (or fear your kid is being too irresponsible with it).

Allowance + Recurring Payments

Parents can easily set up allowance payments for their kids. You can set up recurring payments for regular chores, or one-time payments to reward your kid for spot chores, a good credit card, or otherwise doing something worth celebrating.

Related: Best Allowance and Chore Apps for Kids

Smooth Transition to Financial Adulthood

Step isn’t just for kids—adults can use it as well! Once your child turns 18, they can keep the same credit card number and account. Step will handle getting them appointed as the legal owner of the account and make it an independent account. Everything stays the same from the cardholder’s end. They can continue to use the card and keep building their credit history.

You can sign up for Step here.

Related: 30 Best Side Hustles for Teens [In-Person + Online]

Jassby Overview


Jassby signup

Jassby is a mobile wallet app that families can use to manage chores, allowance payments, and money spent on the company’s flexible virtual and physical debit cards.

When you open a Jassby account, you receive digital debit cards that can be used online, as well as in-store anywhere Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay is accepted. But for extra flexibility, parents can order physical debit cards for their children that are good to use anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Parents transfer money to their children’s Jassby debit cards via a linked bank account or debit card. Parents can receive real-time spending notifications, monitor the account, track purchases, block certain spending categories, and instantly lock or unlock their kids’ debit cards as needed.

The app also allows parents and guardians to share money with their kids while teaching them valuable financial literacy skills. Jassby offers courses, videos, games, and more through its Jassby University feature.

Jassby has an easy-to-use allowance function—just pick the amount, distribution (Spending and/or Saving account), frequency, and day of the week or month. Kids can also learn the merits of earning through Jassby through Activities (chores), or they can earn Jassby Rewards by logging into their accounts, receiving allowance, or even by completing Jassby University courses. (100 points = $1, which can be automatically transferred to the Jassby Spending account.)

There is no minimum age requirement to use the Jassby card, but Jassby says most kid members are between the ages of 8 and 17.

Related: Best Savings Accounts for Kids [Children’s Bank Accounts]

Jassby Plans + Costs


Jassby has just one paid subscription tier.

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
Jassby$5.95/mo.

    - Jassby card for up to six family members
    - Parental controls
    - Financial literacy materials
    - Giving/donating capabilities
    - Rewards program

The monthly fee is waived for the first month of service. Those who created Essential Plan accounts before April 1, 2023, are grandfathered in at a rate of $3.95 per month.
Replacement cards cost $4.95 plus tax.

Related: 25 Best Jobs for 15-Year Olds

Jassby Features


brokerage account father daughter laptop tablet

These are some of the most prominent features of Jassby. The account aims to be easy to use for both kids and adults.

Jassby Card

The Jassby card you receive upon opening your account is digital-only—you can receive a physical Mastercard debit card for free, but you must request it. Both forms are accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

The digital card can be used online, and it can also be added to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay for use in stores and other in-person locations. The physical card can be used both online and at in-store locations.

One Jassby account allows you to have up to six cards. And unlike many accounts that provide one parent card and all remaining cards for kids, you can spread Jassby’s six cards across multiple children and multiple adults.

Parental Controls

Jassby has several parental controls worth mentioning.

Jassby automatically restricts kid spending for anything categorized as dating services, liquor stores, lottery/gambling, and money transfers. Parents can also manually restrict certain spending categories, including clothing stores, digital goods, restaurants, and retail stores.

Parents can monitor transactions, receive spending notifications, and quickly lock and unlock the card from the app.

Jassby doesn’t offer dollar-amount controls. But because kids can only spend what’s in the account, parents can limit spending simply by managing how much money is in their children’s accounts.

Financial Literacy

Jassby University is the app’s robust financial literacy feature. Lessons include topics on saving, budgeting, and more. This all feeds a proprietary Jassby Financial Literacy score that reflects their progress, and kids are rewarded with points as they learn.

Rewards

Speaking of points, Jassby Rewards are a great motivator. Kids can earn points by doing basic financial actions such as logging into their accounts every week, making transactions, and receiving allowance. Plus, as I just mentioned, they can also earn points by learning about money. Jassby’s points system allows a kid to redeem 100 points for $1, which is put into their Jassby Spending account.

Giving Back

Through Jassby, kids can see how donating small amounts of money to a charity can make a difference, helping parents teach their children the importance of giving back. (Note: When kids go to the Charity section of the app, they will be sent to an external link listing charities—so don’t be surprised when it seems like you’re exiting.)

You can sign up for Jassby here.

Related: Should You Open a Child Bank Account With a Debit Card?

Step vs. Jassby: Our Editors’ Choice Is …


The short answer: We recommend Step over Jassby.

The long answer: Step offers several highly competitive features that you simply don’t get with Jassby. Step users can invest in stocks, ETFs, and Bitcoin. The account offers a high APY on Savings Goals and those who enable the Round-Ups feature can save even faster. Perhaps most impressive, Step can help kids build credit. Plus, you get all of this without any monthly fee (unlike Jassby, which costs money).

Jassby still has its merits. It does well at improving kids’ financial literacy through courses, videos, and quizzes. It also has a chores feature that can help keep families organized.

But, at the end of the day, Step still comes out ahead, as it’s packed with premium features while still being completely free. If you’re interested in trying it out, you can sign up for Step here and learn more in our Step Review.

Our Pick: Step
Runner-Up: Jassby
4.7
3.7
Our Pick: Step
Runner-Up: Jassby

Related: Best Automatic Savings Apps + Savings Accounts

Other Debit Cards for Kids to Consider


If you’re still not convinced on Step or GoHenry, you might want to look at these other highly rated options:

Related: 13 Best Money Apps for Teens [Invest, Spend, Budget + Pay]

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.

Related:


Step Disclaimer

Disclaimer: Step is a trademark of Step Mobile, Inc.
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.