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Compare debit cards for kids

You can oversee your kids' spending and teach them healthy financial habits with these debit cards for kids.

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 card and debit card options for kids

Koho Prepaid Visa Card

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KOHO Prepaid Visa card

The KOHO app tracks and analyzes spending, so you can easily monitor how your child uses the card. Although not technically a kid’s card, you can load money onto a KOHO Prepaid Visa card registered in your name, and then let your child use the card like they would a regular debit card. Besides monitoring spending, a nice perk for parents is that you’re eligible to receive cash back rewards on most purchases made with the card. Use promo code FINDERCODE and receive a $20 cash bonus into your KOHO balance once you make your first purchase within 30 days of signing up.

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CIBC Advantage for Youth

If your child is under 18 and not enrolled in a college or university, they can open a CIBC Advantage for Youth. This account offers an interest rate of 0.05%, free and unlimited transactions, and a free SPC (student rewards program) membership. You or your child can view and manage their account online or via CIBC’s banking app.

TD Canada Trust bank logo

TD Youth Account

The TD Youth Account is a hybrid chequing and savings account option. Your child will get free and unlimited transactions every month and earn interest on the account balance starting at 0.01%. You can easily set up automatic transfers from your account into the TD Youth Account, and participate in the Simply Save Program.

Scotiabank logo

Scotiabank Getting There Savings Account

With a Scotiabank Getting There Savings Account, your child can earn SCENE points using their debit card. The account comes with a $0 monthly fee, which includes free and unlimited transactions and a tiered interest rate starting at 0.05% and going as high as 0.1%. With Scotia InfoAlerts, parents can receive an email, text or in app push notification when important account activity happens.

BMO Plus Chequing Account

BMO has a few options for children under the age of 18. If your child is 13 years old or younger, they can get a free Kids Account. If they are between 13 and 18 years old, they could get a BMO Plus Chequing Account for free, or get discounts off the monthly fee on the BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account or BMO Performance Chequing Account. You can also add a savings account to any of those accounts for free.

Virtual Visa Debit

RBC offers a Virtual Visa Debit card that can be linked to any RBC bank account. As long as your child is at least 14 years old, you can apply to get this debit card and link it to their RBC account. Even though your child won’t receive a physical card, they’ll be able to make purchases online and through apps that accept Visa Debit, like Uber. RBC also offers The RBC Leo’s Young Savers Account is a youth savings account designed for children between 0 and 12 years old.

HSBC logo symbol, small

HSBC Youth Savings Account

The HSBC Youth Savings Account is a great option for anyone under the age of 19. You’re child will earn 0.1% interest on the balance, and get free and unlimited monthly transactions. You can request a debit card for this account, or you can open a joint account with your child on a different savings account.

Mydoh

Mydoh offers a Smart Card debit 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 wherever Visa is accepted. Parents can view current balances, recent transactions and other financial information as well as transfer money into the account. The service costs $4.99 per month, or $2.99 per month if you’re an existing RBC client. Up to 5 children can be added to your account so the whole family can learn about personal finances.

Walo

Walo is an app that makes it easy for parents to manage their children’s allowance and allows kids to learn about money through their own app. To start using the app, a parent must set up a wallet and send money to their child’s account (via a linked chequing account). Parents can either set up an automatic, recurring allowance or send money as needed. From there, children can manage their money as they see fit. The service costs $6.99 per month when billed monthly and $4.99 per month when billed annually. Up to 4 children can be included and there is no minimum age for registration. The service has no minimum balances, no transfer fees, and no inactivity or activation fees. According to their website, the WALO Mastercard SmartCard will become available soon, and kids will be able to use their card in-person or online wherever Mastercard is accepted.

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

Anyone under 18 years old can open an account from any of the major banks in Canada, and in most cases can get a physical debit card linked to that account. Fewer banks offer traditional chequing accounts and associated debit cards for children unless they’re at least the age of the majority in their province or territory (usually 18 or 19 years old) . However, both RBC and BMO offer debit cards for kids that can be linked to chequing accounts.

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

Teen debit cards and bank accounts

How do debit cards for kids work?

Most kids account 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. A lot 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 doing chores.

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

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.

A debit card, on the other hand, 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 it also 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.

Compare prepaid cards

Name Product Monthly fee Cost per transaction Foreign transaction fee Rewards with this card Feature
OFFER
KOHO Prepaid Visa card
$0
$0
1.5%
0.5% cash back
Use promo code FINDERCODE and receive a $20 cash bonus into your KOHO balance once you make your first purchase within 30 days of signing up.
Earn 0.5% cash back on every eligible purchase. KOHO offer credit-building through their prepaid card for an extra monthly fee.
OFFER
KOHO Premium Prepaid Card
$9/month or $84 annually
$0
0%
Up to 2% cash back
Use promo code FINDERCODE and receive a $20 cash bonus into your KOHO balance once you make your first purchase within 30 days of signing up.
Earn 2% cash back on transportation, grocery and restaurant purchases. Plus, get a 30 day free trial. KOHO offer credit-building through their prepaid card for an extra monthly fee.
OFFER
KOHO Joint Prepaid Card
$0
$0
1.5%
0.5% cash back
Use promo code FINDERCODE and receive a $20 cash bonus into your KOHO balance once you make your first purchase within 30 days of signing up.
Earn 0.5% cash back on every eligible purchase. KOHO offer credit-building through their prepaid card for an extra monthly fee.
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Can I get a credit card for 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. Anyone under this age can only be an authorized user on someone else’s account — like their parents’. If you’re thinking of adding your child as an authorized user on your credit card, read our comprehensive guide here.

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 set its own age limit and these differ depending on the institution.

Bottom line

A debit card and 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.

Frequently asked questions about debit cards for kids?

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