You may be thinking that a debit card is one of those things that is only for grown-ups. Well, think again! Many parents prefer to use debit cards for their children so that they can teach them about money. There are a lot of advantages to using debit cards for children, and we’re going to talk about some of them in this article. So, here are the top debit cards for teens:

As most teenagers today are living on their parents’ money, they need to know how to budget their money. And one of the best ways let them know is by getting them a debit card, which is the best way to teach them about their money.

It’s time to get serious about financial responsibility and teach our kids about money from the earliest age possible. Teens are often cash-strapped, have a lot of high-school obligations or are simply not taught about money concepts. That is why it is crucial to teach them the basics about money at an early age to avoid financial issues later on.

Giving your child a debit card is a great approach to start teaching them about money and budgeting at a young age. According to CNBC and the Federal Reserve, consumer debt in the United States has risen to over $14 trillion. Any measure you can take to help encourage financial literacy early on will help a lot.

Debit cards for children, on the other hand, are not all made equal.

Some companies charge greater monthly costs. Others are free, but charge fees for ATM withdrawals and card reloads. A few cards, in particular, have traits that set them apart from the competitors.

Before deciding which debit card to get your child, it’s critical to understand your alternatives, especially when it comes to cost. As a result, we’ve put up a list of some of the finest debit cards for kids, including a number of free ones.

What Can Debit Cards Teach Children About Money?

When using a debit card, children can learn a variety of money concepts. Budgeting is the one ability they will almost certainly pick up before anything else.

You give them the power to chose how they want to spend their money by giving them a predetermined amount of money.

Rather than stating kids can buy one toy or one candy bar at the store, they must consider the price of each item and decide what is and is not worth it, just like the rest of us. They must think about a lot more in terms of opportunity cost.

Furthermore, I believe that using plastic rather than cash has some advantages. It’s the equivalent of wearing training wheels until they receive their first credit card.

You may set spending limitations for your children using a debit card. As a result, you can effectively make it impossible for them to overspend, and they may eventually learn to respect those limits.

While kids obtain their first credit card, you take off the training wheels, and I believe they’ll have a better chance of not maxing out their credit limit straight away since they’ve developed the habit of sticking to a budget when using a card.

Teaching someone about money at a young age would be step 0 in Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps. He’d definitely frown on the credit card training, though…

I’m getting off track here. Giving your child a debit card and talking about money will assist encourage financial literacy at the very least. Hopefully, this will go a long way toward preventing them from adding to the multi-trillion dollar consumer debt problem noted earlier.

What Is the Difference Between a Kid Debit Card and a Regular Debit Card?

I wanted to explain what a kid’s debit card means to me before getting into the list of the top kids’ debit cards. In general, I believe it should follow three guidelines:

  1. A minor (under the age of eighteen) must be able to use the card independently.
  2. Most businesses and internet stores should accept the card.
  3. Spending and parental controls must be in place, including the ability to move preset amounts from a checking account to the card.

There are normally options that let you track and monitor your spending as well as organize your chores.

The majority of the finest debit cards for children are prepaid cards that may be loaded with money. Because they are prepaid, there is no need to open a bank account, and there is no risk of overdrawing an account. The “prepaid” card is the training wheels from the previous scenario.

The 6 Best Prepaid Debit Cards for Children

Before we get started, I’d want to point out that the first two alternatives are completely free! They do not have a monthly cost attached to them.

The rest are still decent options, and in some cases, even better ones, but they come with a monthly price.

1. Greenlight Debit Card for Children

The Best Debit Cards for Teens to Teach Them About Money

  • Fee per month: $4.99
  • There is no charge for using a credit card to make a purchase.

Greenlight, a debit card intended particularly for children, is first on the list.

Their tagline is, in fact, “the debit card for kids, managed by parents.”

The cost is similar to FamZoo, in that you pay $4.99 per month but can add more children to your account. It also has a slew of fantastic features that encourage youngsters to be responsible with their money, such as:

  • Organize your tasks.
  • Allowances
  • Notifications of transactions in real time
  • Savings interest paid by parents
  • And there’s more…

Here’s where you can learn more about the Greenlight card.

2. Movo Prepaid Visa Card (Digital)

  • Fee per month: $0
  • There is no charge for using a credit card to make a purchase.
    • Fee for reloading: $0 (in most cases)

In a few aspects, the Movo card outperforms Akimbo as a free debit card for youngsters.

For starters, there is no reload cost if you use direct deposit or other permitted ways, which puts it miles ahead of the Akimbo card. Imagine having to spend $5.95 to reload $20 onto a card for a child’s monthly allowance. That’s more than a 25% cost!

Even if you only load $100 at a time, Akimbo still takes nearly 6% of your money.

It’s free with Movo, which is a huge plus if you plan to load little amounts of money onto the card frequently.

However, after only 90 days of inactivity, a $4.95 inactivity fee kicks in (compared to 12 months for Akimbo). If your child is a good saver and does not use their card frequently, you may be charged a fee by Movo. ATM fees are a concern with this card, as they are with many others on the list.

More information on the Movo Virtual Visa Prepaid card may be found here.

3. A valid Visa debit card is required.

  • $3 per month ($36 billed annually)
  • There is no charge for using a credit card to make a purchase.
  • Fee for using an ATM: $0 (for in-network ATMs)

The Current card isn’t free, but it does come with a one-month free trial and fair pricing. Then, for only $36 per month, you can add money to your card as often as you like, without worry.

Current also provides more than simply a debit card. They have a mobile app that includes a variety of services, including teen banking. It’s one of the list’s most technologically advanced possibilities.

Also, for what it’s worth, the card is stylish and earns style points.

Here’s where you can learn more about the current Visa Debit Card.

4. FamZoo Reloadable Mastercard Prepaid Card

  • Fee per month: $5.99
  • Card Purchase Fee: The first four cards are free, after which each card costs $3.
    • When utilizing an eligible bank transfer or direct deposit, the reload fee is waived.

On this list, the FamZoo card is perhaps the most popular option for kids’ debit cards. This is because it was created specifically for children, whereas some of the other options on the list are simply prepaid debit cards that happen to be suitable for children.

Because the card is aimed at children, it includes a number of useful features, such as:

  • Creating a system for paying for chores
  • Surveillance and tracking of children’s spending
  • You’ll be able to create savings goals for your children.

The monthly charge is $5.99 per family, therefore the value increases as the number of children using the card increases. In addition, there are ways to refill your card for free, which can help you save money.

Here’s where you can learn more about the FamZoo prepaid debit card.

5. Gohenry Mastercard Prepaid

  • Fee per month: $3.99
  • There is no charge for using a credit card to make a purchase.
    • Fee for reloading: $0 (when loading via debit card)

A free 30-day trial is available from Gohenry. Following that, it is one of the more expensive cards on the list, costing $3.99 each month for each child.

Depending on what you’re looking for in a kid’s debit card, the higher price may be justified. Gohenry, on the other hand, is a kid-friendly software similar to FamZoo that teaches kids about money.

Finally, the possibility to personalize the card is a lovely touch that may encourage your child to become more interested in learning about money. A personalised card, on the other hand, costs $4.95.

Here’s where you can learn more about the Gohenry card.

6. Mastercard Prepaid Akimbo

  • Fee per month: $0
  • Card Purchase Fee: $0 (free for the first sub card, $4.95 after that)

Technically, the Akimbo prepaid debit card is free. Despite the lack of a monthly or annual subscription, there are a slew of other expenses.

There’s also a $4.95 card replacement cost and a $5.95 inactivity fee on top of the $5.95 cash reload price (if your card is unused for 12 months).

The card appeals to me because it is free, and generating sub-cards for your children is quite simple and only costs $4.95 once. However, the other costs associated with this card quickly pile up (especially the fee to transfer money onto the card).

Here’s where you can learn more about the Akimbo Prepaid Mastercard.

Open a joint checking account as a bonus.

A standard (non-prepaid) debit card is an additional choice on this list.

This can be accomplished by opening a joint checking account with your child, which will provide them with both an FDIC-insured bank account and a debit card.

The following are two things to keep in mind when using this option:

  1. You must ensure that you will not be charged any overdraft costs.
  2. To open a checking account, you must be at least 18 years old, which varies per bank.

If you can get over those two obstacles, this could be a terrific option because it is completely free. Checking accounts and debit cards normally have no monthly fees, and you won’t have to worry about “reload” costs either.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Giving Your Child a Debit Card

Advantages of a Children’s Debit Card

Giving a child a debit card can be one approach to teach them about budgeting and enforce appropriate money management skills, as discussed at the beginning of this article.

You Can Set Spending Restrictions: Most prepaid cards allow parents to set spending limits and keep track of their children’s accounts. So, without entirely letting them loose, you can start allowing them to spend money on their own.

Avoid Overdraft Costs: Using a prepaid card eliminates the chance of a child overdrawing a debit card and incurring significant fees.

Many of the finest prepaid debit cards for kids come with additional beneficial features, such as the ability to set interest rates in “savings accounts” to encourage savings and the ability to reward kids for doing chores.

Cons of a Children’s Debit Card

The Price: There’s no getting around it: kids’ debit cards are pricey, whether it’s a monthly fee, a reload fee, an ATM withdrawal fee, or another form of fee. The high cost eliminates the possibility of overdraft fees, and in some cases, the cost is compensated with engaging features that help you manage the card while also teaching your child(ren) about money.

No Cashback or Rewards: Unlike traditional credit cards, most debit cards do not give cashback or rewards.

Age Limits: The minimum age to open a credit card varies by firm. This is something else to think about and look up before proceeding with a card.

What to Look for in a Debit Card for Your Child

Once you understand your options, selecting a debit card for your child is simple.

In general, I believe you should answer three questions before making a decision.

1. Are you interested in a prepaid card?

If you desire the protection and security that comes with loading money onto a prepaid card, you’ve already narrowed your choices down to the six cards listed above.

Going with a typical debit card may be a suitable choice for you if you are comfortable with the risk of overdrawing your account or are familiar with a bank that prevents overdrawing in the first place.

2. Do You Want More Options?

If you want a card and app with a lot of bells and whistles, the FamZoo, Greenlight, or gohenry card (or something similar) is definitely the best option.

The website for each card explains exactly what it can and cannot do (such as monitoring spending). It’s a good idea to look over those facts before signing up.

3. How Frequently Do You Plan to Reload the Card?

If you want to reload the card on a monthly or even weekly basis, you should pay special attention to the reload fees and processes.

If you only expect to use the card once a year, the monthly fee is the expense you’ll want to keep as low as possible.

Best Free Debit Cards for Kids

Getting your child a debit card can be an excellent method to teach them about money and budgeting.

Instead of handing out cash allowances, you can manage money digitally, exactly like the majority of us do when paying our personal credit cards or monthly bills.

When selecting a credit card, make sure that the benefits outweigh the expenditures. These cards are not inexpensive, as you can see from this list, and the monthly prices and fees can rapidly pile up!


The Best Debit Cards for Teens to Teach Them About Money

Dinich, Michael

Michael Dinich is a journalist, podcaster, and YouTuber who specializes on personal finance. Michael is the founder of Your Money Geek, a popular personal finance and pop culture website with a quickly rising audience.

In most households, the majority of credit card use is cash-based. This is because, with a credit card, adults have complete control over the amount of credit that is available, and they can monitor the spending of their children with ease. That’s not true with debit cards, though.. Read more about chime card for kids and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whats the best debit card for a teenager?

The best debit card for a teenager is the Discover it Card. It has no annual fee, and you can get cash back on purchases.

What is the best prepaid card for my teenager?

The best prepaid card for your teenager is the Green Dot MoneyPak. It has a $5,000 limit and it can be reloaded as often as you want.

What is the best debit card for a 12 year old?

The best debit card for a 12 year old is the Discover It Miles.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • debit card for 17 year old
  • greenlight debit card for kids
  • debit card for teens
  • debit cards for teens
  • teen debit card
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