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Kids debit card accounts, prepaid cards, and money apps for kids

These kids bank account with debit card options let you oversee your child's spending and teach them healthy financial habits.

Looking for a kids bank account with debit card? Kids or youth bank accounts are great ways to help teach your children about how to save and spend wisely. Most of the major banks offer savings accounts and debit cards geared to kids and teens under 18 years of age. Prepaid debit cards are another great option that lets them spend while giving you the option to keep track of their habits. Plus, most of these are linked to an app, which allows you to monitor spending, transfer funds, and more.

Popular prepaid cards and debit cards for kids

Explore a sampling of kids bank account and debit card options in Canada.

BMO: A kids chequing account with a debit card

BMO Performance Chequing Account

Earn $600
Bonus Offer
$16.95
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
BMO has a few debit card account options for kids under the age of 18. The $16.95 BMO Performance Chequing Account fee is waived for anyone under 18 years old. If your child is 13 years old or younger, they can get a Kids Account for $0 per month. If they are between 13 and 18 years old, they can get the Performance Plan Chequing Account for $0 per month, or get a discount on the monthly fee of the BMO Premium Chequing Account. You can also add a savings account to any of those accounts for free.
  • Plenty of accounts to choose from
  • $0 monthly fee on the Performance account for kids and teens
  • $0 Interac e-transfers
  • Free and unlimited transactions
  • Free withdrawals from BMO ATMs in Canada
  • 1 free withdrawal per month from non-BMO ATMs in Canada (for the Performance plan)
  • A monthly account fee of $13.05 will apply for the Premium Chequing Account
  • Withdrawals from the Performance account from non-BMO ATMs cost $2 each in Canada and $5 each outside of Canada​
Min. Age 18
Min. Age Teen Account 13
Account Fee $16.95
Youth Account Fee $0
# of Accounts Included 20
Overdraft Fee $5
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2
U.S. ATM Fee $5
International ATM Fee $5

CIBC: A chequing account and debit card for kids

CIBC Smart Start

CIBC Smart Start

N/A
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
unlimited
Transaction Fee
Formerly known as the CIBC Advantage Account, this kids bank account offers unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers as well as a free debit card. Perks also include a free Student Price Card (SPC) membership, giving them discounts at over 450 stores and restaurants.
  • No monthly fee
  • Comes with a debit card for your child
  • Free, unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers
  • 1 free non-CIBC ATM withdrawal per month
  • Earn on savings account balance
  • Teens 13+ can open an account without a parent
  • Discounts on food, fashion and entertainment through the free SPC+ membership for teens 14+
  • BONUS OFFER: Get $100 with CIBC Smart Start and $50 for each friend you refer — up to 10 (T&C apply)
  • Fee for non-CIBC ATM transactions
  • Kids under 12 must have a parent or guardian to open an account
Min. Age N/A
Min. Age Teen Account 13
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee unlimited
Interac e-Transfer Fee N/A
NSF Fee $45

TD Canada Trust: A full kids chequing account with a debit card

TD Student Chequing Account

TD Student Chequing Account

Earn $225
Bonus Offer
$0
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
The TD Student Chequing Account is a chequing account that gives your child tons of perks: unlimited transactions every month and access to over 4,000 TD ATMs across Canada and the US for $0.
Kids under 12 years old can sign up with a parent or guardian, while kids 12+ years old can sign up on their own. Kids can keep using this account for free until they are 23 years old, and even longer if they can provide proof of enrollment in full-time post-secondary education. Plus, earn 50% more Stars at Starbucks stores by linking your TD Access Visa Debit Card with your Starbucks Rewards account.
  • $0 monthly account fee
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Unlimited Interac e-transfers
  • $0 overdraft protection
  • Free TD ATM withdrawals
  • Earn up to $225 in value when you open a new TD Student Chequing Account. Valid until May 6, 2024.
  • ATM withdrawals in the US and Mexico cost $3
  • Other international ATM withdrawals cost $5
Min. Age 18
Min. Age Teen Account 12
Account Fee $0
Overdraft Fee $0
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2
U.S. ATM Fee $3
International ATM Fee $5

Scotiabank: A kids savings and chequing account with a debit card

Scotiabank Getting There Savings Account

Scotiabank Getting There Savings Account

0.10%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
unlimited
Transaction Fee
The Scotiabank Getting There Savings Account is like a hybrid chequing and savings account. Earn interest on your balance and get a free kids debit card (with unlimited, free debit card transactions).
Teenagers aged 12 and older can earn Scene+ points that can be cashed in for free movies and Cineplex purchases (children younger than 12 can sign up too with a parent). What's more, the account comes with a $0 monthly fee.
  • Teens aged 12 to 15 can open an account, but require a parent's help if getting a teen debit card
  • Teens 16+ can open account with all the perks without a parent
  • $0 monthly fee
  • Comes with a debit card for your teen
  • Earn Scene+ points on debit card purchases
  • Free, unlimited debit card transactions
  • Free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • Low interest rate
  • Kids under 11 need a parent to open an account and do not get an access card
Min. Age N/A
Min. Age Teen Account 12
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee unlimited
Interac e-Transfer Fee free and unlimited

Mydoh: A prepaid card and financial training for kids

Mydoh Smart Cash Card

$0
Monthly Fee
$0
Transaction Cost
N/A
Rewards
MyDoh offer a prepaid card through a partnership with RBC and Visa. The card is connected to an app that links a parent and child account. Kids can make their own decisions about spending once they have a balance, including making in-person and online purchases.
Parents can view current balances, recent transactions and other financial information as well as transfer money into the account. The service costs $0 per month. You can also add up to 5 children to your account.
  • Parents set up and monitor the account
  • Helps keep track of tasks and chores
  • Dedicated Visa Debit card for your kid
  • Backed by RBC, a major Canadian bank
  • 30-day free trial (for new subscribers)
  • Kids cannot deposit cheques or cash into their Mydoh account
  • Kids cannot withdraw or deposit using ATMs
  • Additional monthly fee of $0 (but includes up to five youth or kids' accounts under one plan)
Monthly Fee $0
Transaction Cost $0
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.5%
Monthly Fee $0
Minimum Age 18
Minimum Age Teen Account 4
# Included Account 5
Rewards N/A

How old do you have to be to get a debit card?

You have to be younger than 18 (or 19) years of age to get a debit card in Canada for kids. Many big banks allow teens aged anywhere from 12 to 16 years old to open a chequing account – and get a debit card – entirely on their own without a parent or guardian.

That said, any child under 18 years old can open a kids bank account (sometimes requiring a parent or guardian’s involvement, depending on the child’s age) at any of the major banks in Canada, and in most cases, get a debit card linked to that account.

Both RBC and BMO banks, for example, offer debit cards for kids linked to chequing accounts. RBC also offers a new prepaid debit card and kid's banking product called Mydoh.

Once your child reaches the age of majority, some banks will automatically transfer their kids account to a regular chequing or savings account.

How do kids debit cards work?

Kids debit cards tend to work the exact same way as debit cards for adults, allowing children to debit purchases from their account both in store and online.

Most kids’ accounts are meant to be opened by the parent or legal guardian. Some accounts require the parent to maintain signing authority, while others are owned by the child, with the account statements still going to the guardian. Almost all accounts can be managed online through your bank’s online banking portal and via your bank’s mobile app.

How do prepaid debit cards for kids work?

Prepaid debit cards are also a potential debit card option for kids. You can load money onto them from the parent’s bank account using a mobile app that accompanies the physical card, and then give your child access to the card. Many of these cards and apps come with extra features, like the ability to see how your child spends their money or the option to pay them pocket money for chores.

Prepaid cards for kids can be an ideal option because they keep your children’s funds separate from yours, so your children can only spend however much you load on the card.

It's crucial that minors learn how to use prepaid cards as a preparation for a cashless economy. Parents play an important role in this learning process by regularly checking in with the minors on their finances and using it as an opportunity to teach them about digital currencies. They can sit down with their kids once a week at the dinner table, review and discuss the transactions made on their prepaid card, and talk about budgeting and saving for a desired aspirational item they would like to buy.

What’s the difference between a debit card and a prepaid card?

A prepaid card lets you load money onto your card ahead of time, and it stops working when it runs out of money. It’s like a gift card, but it works everywhere credit cards are accepted.

On the other hand, a debit card is linked to your bank account, so money comes out of your bank each time you use it. It offers more flexibility than a prepaid card but comes with more responsibility. Because you can’t limit your spending ahead of time, you can quickly blow through your balance if you aren’t careful.

Can I get a credit card for the kids?

Legally, no one can get a credit card on their own unless they’re at least 18 years old, or the age of majority in their province or territory of residence. Some financial institutions will allow the account holder to add an authorized user that has not, yet, reached the age of majority in that province. If you’re thinking of adding your child as an authorized user on your credit card, read our credit card options for teens guide.

Features of a kids’ debit card

  • Spending controls. Many children’s debit cards come with spending control limits that parents can set within their mobile banking app to restrict how much their child can spend.
  • Card lock. Parents can also lock the debit card online or via an app.
  • Choose how your child can spend. Parents can choose if the card can be used at ATMs, online or for in-store purchases.
  • Spending tracking tools. Many mobile banking apps offer spending tracking tools and features to help your child learn how to manage their money.

Here’s what to consider before giving your child a debit card

  • Check the fees. The costs can vary between cards and banks. Most youth debit cards and accounts have no monthly fees.
  • Spending limits. Look for cards that let you cap daily spending and set limits for ATM withdrawals or at specific stores.
  • Shopping online. Consider whether being able to buy online is a benefit or a downside, and opt for a kids’ debit card that can restrict or block online spending if needed.

Pros and cons of kids’ debit cards

Pros

  • Control. Keep track of your child’s spending online and cap the daily limit as you see fit.
  • Security. You can monitor your child’s spending in the mobile banking app to see where they’re going.
  • Safety. Because you can quickly and easily lock the debit card if it’s misplaced, debit cards are often safer than carrying cash.
  • Good practice. Having a savings account that earns interest will teach your child how money works digitally and how to save and spend their money wisely.

Cons

  • Not a regular chequing account. The majority of kids’ bank accounts are savings accounts and not actual chequing accounts. Most banks, however, will transfer it to a regular chequing account when the child turns 18 or the age of majority of your province.
  • Not good for large purchases. Accounts for children generally have much lower debit card spending limits than adult accounts.
  • Other fees. They may rack up fees for using out-of-network ATMs or overdrawing their account.
  • Age limits. Each card or bank sets its own age limit, which differs depending on the institution.

Bottom line

A kids debit card and kids bank account can help your child learn how to manage money responsibly while letting you track their spending to see if they’re meeting that goal. Make sure you compare the age limits, features, interest rates and security features when choosing a debit card for your kid.

Debit cards for kids FAQs

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