As kids and teens grow up and begin transitioning into the world of adulthood, money management is one of the most essential skills that they need to have under their belt. This type of education typically doesn’t take place in school but in the home. But where are you supposed to get them started when you’re trying to teach them more about how to be responsible with their money. One of the best tools to leverage to your advantage is the debit card.
If you’re looking to get your child their own debit cards so they can learn how to plan, manage, and spend their money, let’s dive into the 15 best debit cards for kids and teens!
Greenlight is arguably one of the most popular teen debit card choices if you’re looking to help your child increase their financial literacy and responsibility. Unlike other debit card options for kids and teens, Greenlight focuses on giving them the best education on money management by offering a host of online resources that you and your child can take advantage of as you’re teaching them how to best allocate their funds to different needs and wants.
But what about the card itself? Some of the key features of Greenlight that many parents will love include:
- Greenlight only costs $4.99 a month to use the service for up to five children
- The opportunity to take advantage of the 1% cash back on savings and a 2% reward on savings (although these types of rewards will only be available for certain plans)
- The ability to add chore lists, make automatic deposits once they finish their tasks, and the ability to deposit funds from anywhere
- Additional services like investing to help your child get a head start on their financial journey
- Multiple “tiers” or plans to provide your child with the most protection and education that they need to thrive
- Low card replacement fees should your child accidentally lose or misplace their card
Although there are some drawbacks, such as fewer funding methods and lower spending thresholds, Greenlight still has a lot to offer for parents trying to teach their older teens or younger children how to manage their money more effectively. If you’re looking for a service that doesn’t just give you the tools but goes above and beyond to help you as a parent, Greenlight is definitely one service you should look into.
FamZoo is another great prepaid debit card option for families, and the company offers numerous benefits that make it clear why it’s a top company for financial education and literacy. FamZoo combines the use of prepaid debit cards with its own personal app where parents can set financial goals and spending categories, track transactions and maintain parental control over cards and accounts, and track IOUs so that you know how much money you have to give to your child for certain things.
The website is very transparent on the benefits of creating an account with FamZoo. As stated directly on their homepage, the benefits of getting a prepaid include:
- “No risk of debt, overdraft, or hidden fees.
- Free card load options.
- Order immediately online with no credit check.
- Empower kids of all ages.
- Retain parental visibility and control.
- Move money instantly between family members.
- Automatically track purchases.
- Available to eligible U.S. families.
- Try FamZoo for 1 month FREE!
- As low as 63 cents per card per month.”
The reloads with FamZoo can be a little pricier than some of the other options on this list, so it’s important that you keep this in mind. However, if you’re looking for a company that offers an app that gives you all the features you need to make sure your teen is making the most of this experience, FamZoo is definitely the way to go.
There are a lot of great debit card companies out there focused on helping kids thrive financially. However, some parents may want to sign up with companies that they are familiar with so that they know that they can trust the company immediately. But are there companies that offer debit card options for kids and teens? There are a ton of them! One of them that you should consider looking into include the Capital One MONEY teen checking account.
The Capital One MONEY teen checking account is a fee-free checking account designed specifically for teens that allows them to save and use their money without dealing with the fees tied to most regular checking accounts. Because it’s a checking account, that also means that Capital One distributes debit cards for your teen to use.
Some of the highlights of a Capital One MONEY teen checking account are:
- Joint account access with separate login credentials for parents and children
- Security features like spending alerts and card locking to keep your child’s funds safe
- No fees associated with the checking account itself or use of the debit card
- The ability to link external accounts
- Interest rates to help your child build their wealth with the money that’s sitting in their checking account
The biggest disadvantage with this recommendation is that it lacks the same educational resources that come with other platforms. That being said, if you’re a parent who is very financially literate and knows that you can teach your child how to manage their money effectively, this won’t be too much of a disadvantage to you. If you want a no-hassle, no-fee debit card that your child can use for fun and everyday purchases, going with an established company and opening up a Capital One MONEY teen checking account may be the best choice for you.
The majority of the recommendations on this list cater to children and teens of various ages. But while we may think of 18 and above as an “adult”, the truth is that the transition from childhood to adulthood is one that requires extra support, especially in regards to finances. If you have a teenager who recently graduated high school and is moving onto college or into another city, for example, there’s never a better time than to get them a card that they can use to make the transition seamless. This is why we recommend the American Express Serve card.
The American Express Serve card is a prepaid debit account that’s designed for users 18 years of age and older. Among some of the benefits of using American Express Serve include higher spending thresholds (which is perfect for older teens who need to make more extensive purchases in the real world), the ability to reload your card at over 45,000 retail locations, seamless online bill payments, and other benefits (FDIC insurance, emergency and roadside assistance, Amex offers, purchase and fraud protection, etc.).
Since this is a banking company and not one designed for financial education, it doesn’t offer financial literacy tools. Additionally, you can only use the American Express Serve card where American Express is available and you won’t be able to set various financial goals like you can with other cards. However, if you just want to help your teen successfully transition to adulthood with a card that’s specifically built for their needs, the American Express Serve is an excellent debit card to use.
When a new card for teens comes into the industry, it’s guaranteed to make waves. However, Current has gone above and beyond to offer the technology that teens and parents need to thrive when navigating their finances together. Current comes armed with special technology like fingerprint and facial recognition for app users as well as an EMV chip in the cards to help make transactions more secure.
Of course, the benefits don’t stop there. As Current states on their website, the myriad of benefits that come with using Current include:
- Faster direct deposit so that teens can access the money that they need as soon as possible
- Fee-free overdraft protection should teens find themselves in a financial bind
- No hidden fees
- Cash back when you shop at participating retailers
- Mobile banking capabilities
- Fee-free ATMs
- Gas station hold removals
- Mobile deposit capabilities
- Money management capabilities
- Automated savings to help teens reach their financial goals
- Greater security to keep your teens and their funds protected
Of course, Current goes above and beyond to make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting when you decide to open an account with them. For parents, they state the benefits as being:
- “Cashless convenience.
- Instant transfer to your teen’s account.
- Notifications for all purchases.
- Ability to block specific merchants.
- Ability to set spending limits.
- Set chores to complete.
- Automate allowance payments.
- Multiple family members can add funds.”
For teens, the benefits they have listed are as follows:
- “Financial freedom with their own card.
- Ability to purchase online or in stores.
- Learn to manage money and budgets.
- Saving with round-ups and savings pods.
- Instant transfers to your account.
- Ability to donate money to charity.”
The only downside to Current is that it can be a little pricier than some competitors, with the Current account costing $36 annually per kid. If you only have one or two children, this isn’t too bad. However, providing financial services for the whole family may be straining once you start adding more children to the plan. Besides that, the extensive list of benefits provided above illustrates why Current is such a great card to choose for the majority of parents.
gohenry is an established financial education app and children’s debit card that allows children to make their first foray into money management with ease. This financial service is targeted at children and teens ages six to 18 who are looking to learn more about money as they start receiving allowances or working at their first jobs Additionally, they boast a simple sign-up process that’s perfect for parents who are looking to use a simple service.
As with many of the above suggestions, gohenry comes with plenty of benefits that make it a parent-favorite debit card choice.
- Parents get to decide how much their children are allowed to spend, giving children the ability to spend when they wish but allowing parents to receive full control of the funds.
- Both parents and children receive notifications regarding transactions made on the account.
- There’s no potential for overdraft fees as parents load how much they want on the card and children can’t spend more money than is in the account.
- You can use the lock feature on the card if a card goes missing or is stolen.
- You can set automatic transfers and set chore goals so that children get paid for the tasks they complete regularly.
- Kids have the option to customize their cards so that they can include their favorite brands or shows.
- There are savings options and goals to help your children reach their savings goals.
- Your child’s money is FDIC insured and all cards come with chip security and a pin to make sure no one can steal it and use it to withdraw their funds.
- gohenry is known for its quality customer service that can be reached seven days a week.
With all these things in mind, it’s important to note that there are some disadvantages for some parents. gohenry has a relatively affordable plan fee, which is $3.99 a month per child. However, there is a $1.50 ATM fee and customized cards cost $4.99 a card. Additionally, gohenry doesn’t offer interest on money in your child’s account like other services. However, if the fees don’t bother you, making gohenry the service you use to teach your child more about money is the perfect way to get started.
For most parents, signing up your child through the bank that you already rely on for financial services can be the most convenient way of doing things. One such bank that has these opportunities available is Chase with its Chase First Banking checking account.
Chase First Banking provides checking account services and debit cards for children ages six to 17. Through Chase, parents can open a joint checking account with their child, receive alerts and monitor their checking account as they learn how to use their money, and even get a little extra money through their child’s account by joining with their current promotion.
The Chase First Banking checking account is relatively straightforward, but the benefits of using Chase First Banking include:
- No fees for withdrawing from over 16,000 Chase ATM locations (there’s only a $2.50 if you use an ATM that is out of your network)
- Spending limits and ATM limits so you can determine how much your child can spend or withdraw daily
- Savings goals to show your child how important it is to save
- Recurring payments and chore goals make it easy for you to reward your child when they complete their tasks
The only downside to the Chase First Banking account is that there are no peer-to-peer transfers, remote deposits, or direct deposits, which may not be the right choice for older teens (whereas younger children wouldn’t likely get much use out of these features anyway). However, if you have a young child who you want to start teaching finances to, opening up a Chase First Banking account can be the perfect way to get them started.
There are numerous products out there that offer your child access to banking and debit card services without offering the necessary education to make the most of it. Although we can certainly teach children what we know, it can be essential that they explore new topics and money strategies on their own as well. If you’re looking to return to some suggestions that offer both education and banking, we recommend looking into the BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Card.
BusyKid is a company that returns to the basics by providing children with an app for learning more about finances as well as an accompanying debit card so that they can use their money for essentials or items that they’re saving towards. As this is a children’s and teen’s educational platform, you may already guess some of the features of this platform, which include:
- Chore to-do lists with accompanying direct deposits so that you can keep track of your child’s tasks and make sure that they’re getting paid when you tell them they will
- Automatic savings features so that your child can set aside a portion of their money every time they get paid
- Charity features if your child is feeling generous and wishes to donate some of the money that they’ve received
- Stock investing opportunities so children can begin investing in real stock and start building their wealth over time
- Seamless remote deposits for relatives who may wish to give your child some money for their birthday or other events
- Strong parent controls that allow you to monitor your child’s activity and get approval from multiple parents if they want to spend funds
BusyKid costs $19.99 per year per child, which may be a little bit much if you have multiple children that you wish to purchase individual cards and accounts for. However, it does have a much higher spending limit for single transactions ($2,000), which makes it very suitable for older teens that anticipate spending more of their own money on a regular basis. Regardless of where you stand on these features, choosing BusyKid can help your child or teen get the foundation they need to be financially successful in the future.
Do you have a teen who’s ready to begin their financial journey? Are they itching to be more independent, starting with their finances? If so, you probably want to look for a banking and debit card service designed specifically for your teen. If you can relate to the above, Copper may be the teen banking service that you’re looking to sign up with!
Copper certainly sells itself as what it is once you land on their website, a banking service designed just for teens. Its attractive online website outline the numerous benefits for parents and teens who decide to use Copper for their banking needs, which include:
- A referral program where teens can earn extra money when they get their friends to sign up with the platform
- Copper cheat codes that provide teens with more information regarding personal finance
- Zero liability protection and no hidden fees (which include items like overdraft fees or minimum balance fees)
- Automated allowance features so that teens can plan ahead and know what they’re going to do with their money once they receive it
- Copper and its customers are FDIC insured
- Teens can see their paycheck up to two days earlier with direct deposit
- The ability to withdraw cash from over 50,000 locations
- Teens can shop anywhere where Mastercard is accepted (and this debit card is compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay)
If you’re looking for a basic debit card and banking account for your child that gives them more freedom over their money and provides them with solid resources so that they can start learning more about personal finance, Copper is definitely one of the best recommendations on this list target specifically at teens.
Bluebird is another reloadable prepaid card option for parents, but one that’s far different from some of the other options above and below. Created by American Express, Bluebird is designed for those who want a more seamless money management experience and adults must have set up their own Bluebird account before they’re able to use it for their teens (for which the age range for approval is 13 and above). Once they’ve signed up with the service, they can create up to four subaccounts that children can use to spend money from the main account. This is a bit different than most prepaid cards, so it’s important to know this before you consider signing up.
That being said, Bluebird does offer plenty of great benefits that make the service worth signing up for. Some of the benefits worth highlighting here are:
- You can add money to your reloadable cards at any Walmart location or online
- The entire prepaid account is almost completely free of fees (free online bill pay, no monthly fees, no deposit fees, fee-free early direct deposit, free card freeze, free transfers to other Bluebird accounts)
- You have full control over spending from your subaccounts and you can receive notifications such as a low spending balance or when cards have been accessed
- American Express benefits like purchase and fraud protection, emergency and roadside assistance, the American Express Experience, and Amex offers.
Bluebird doesn’t offer the same kind of educational materials you would be expecting out of other platforms. But if you’re just looking for an affordable way to teach your children about spending while maintaining greater control over their money, Bluebird offers everything you need to get them started.
Simple options will often outweigh programs that come with far too many features for a parent or teen’s liking. This is why products like the TD Go Reloadable Prepaid Visa Card is a favorite among parents who are figuring out ways to help their children learn about money without going overboard on features they’re never going to use.
The TD Go Reloadable Prepaid Visa Card by TD Bank is a no-hassle, basic prepaid debit card that gives children and their parents everything they need to succeed financially. This means all of the essentials like:
- Low fees (no monthly service or purchase fees and free in-network ATM usage)
- Visa Zero Liability and a built-in chip for greater fraud protection
- The TD Go Reloadable Prepaid Visa Card can be added to digital wallets
- You can see transactions in real-time and set up alerts to make sure you’re on top of your teen’s spending
- You can load funds online or over the phone to give them their weekly allowance
- You can set budgets for items like traveling
The only minor inconvenience when it comes to the TD Go Reloadable Prepaid Visa Card is that TD bank does charge $1 every time you go to reload your prepaid card. Beyond this, the TD Go Reloadable Prepaid Visa Card is a decent option to go with if you want something easy to sign up for and very affordable.
One major concern for parents is that their children will accidentally lose their cards. Given the fact that many companies will charge you extra in order to replace your card, this is a completely valid concern. But that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a prepaid debit card if you may not think your child is ready for the responsibility of carrying their card around. Instead, you can use Movo’s virtual prepaid Visa card.
Movo changes the way that teens can handle their money by making it so that all of their prepaid cards are stored directly on the Movo app. All you have to do is purchase the card amount that you want, after which the digital card will be stored on your phone and all you have to do is pay much in the same way that you would pay if you were using a digital wallet like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Movo offers banking services as well and has no monthly fees or reload fees (may depend on how much you’re reloading your card will). Additionally, Movo is easy to use, offers you the ability to get a physical prepaid card when you’re ready for it, and has a beginner-friendly user interface so that your children can easily navigate the app. If you need something simple that a child won’t be able to lose, consider using Movo!
The Akimbo Card is recommended on quite a few lists for those in need of a prepaid debit card for kids. However, as you’ll notice once you visit their website, this company caters to the needs of businesses, non-profits, and government entities looking to share wealth or offer rewards. Given that you’re looking for a card to help your child manage their money more effectively, you may want to go with the other options on this list.
That being said, let’s imagine that you run your own small business and you want to give your teen an opportunity to build up their work experience and resume while making some extra money. In this case, the Akimbo card may be a perfect fit for your needs. As with other prepaid cards, Akimbo can be paid for and reloaded on a physical or virtual card, you can track all user spending on one convenient dashboard, and you can restrict certain merchants from being used.
Because this is a service that is designed for businesses, there are a few more fees than you would expect from other cards. Although there are no fees for most purchases, there is a $0.99 fee for pin transactions, a $1.98 fee for ATM withdrawals, and a $5.95 reloading fee. However, if you’re running your own business and using your card exclusively for that purpose, this may be the perfect option to look further into.
Mango simplifies what it means to manage your money so that you can enjoy teaching your children about money management with an easy-to-use tool. There’s not much to say about Mango except that it gives you full control over your child’s card and allows you to receive alerts, costs $5 a month for the card and $3 for any withdrawals, and has an attractive user dashboard to help you track your finances. If you want to help your child save, you can also take advantage of the high-yield savings account that offers up to 6.00 percent APY.
The fees are a bit higher for this product, but Mango is still a platform you may wish to consider if you want something simple to use for your child.
Another virtual debit card option for parents who want their child to prove they can maintain a digital card first, the Jassby Virtual Debit Card allows children to spend their money on online and offline purchases.
With that in mind, it’s always important to note that most virtual debit cards come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. The Jassby debit card makes it easy to make contactless payments online or offline, view your child’s spending activity and lock their card if needed, and teach your children about money as you can set chore goals and budgets. However, Jassby does charge $2.99 per month if there are no purchases made in a given month. Additionally, the Jassby debit card is only available through Apple Pay, which limits this option to children who have iPhones.
If your child has an iPhone and plans on making monthly purchases with their money, consider the Jassby debit card!
Teaching children how to manage their money isn’t as difficult as some parents believe it is. Once you have the right educational materials and debit card to help children save and spend their money, it’s just a matter of helping them learn and maintaining a watchful eye over their spending habits. If you’re ready to teach your child more about personal finance, consider one of the 15 recommendations above to help you get started!