Mydoh Smart Cash Card
- Prepaid Visa card
- Free 1 month trial
- Add up to 5 kids
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Millions of kids in the US use the Step card to learn how to manage money and begin building their credit scores. Find out how the Step card works and if it’s possible to get one Canada. Plus, check out alternatives.
Step isn’t a debit card, but it works like one. The Step card is a preloaded Visa card that allows kids to spend where credit cards are accepted. Unlike a traditional credit card, funds must be deposited onto the Step card before it can be used for spending.
Each time kids use the card to make a purchase, Step removes the amount of their purchase from their deposit account and reminds them of their remaining balance. Once a month, Step uses account funds to pay off the card’s balance with zero interest.
Once kids turn 18, they can opt to send their Step transaction history to the 3 credit bureaus, helping them build their credit scores. Step boasts that 18-year-olds who used Step for 7 months had an average credit score of 725.
Looking for an alternative to the Step card app in Canada? Take a look at the following apps and accounts that help kids and teens manage their money.
|Foreign Transaction Fee||2.5%|
|Minimum Age Teen Account||4|
|# Included Account||5|
|Rewards||1-month free trial + $15|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||2.5%|
|Min. Age Teen Account||13|
|Transaction Fee||Free and unlimited, including e-transfers|
|Interac e-Transfer Fee||N/A|
|Transaction Fee||25/month, then $1.25 per transaction|
|Interac e-Transfer Fee||N/A|
|Min. Age Teen Account||12|
|Transaction Fee||free and unlimited|
|Interac e-Transfer Fee||free and unlimited|
Unlike many competitors, Step doesn’t charge a monthly fee. For a free card and app, kids get lots of features including rewards, savings roundups and an optional investing platform. Here’s how these features work:
Step stands out in the world of kids banking by providing several ways of earning money.
Step also provides several savings features to help children tuck money away for the future.
Step is one of the few banking platforms that lets teens open trading accounts to invest. Kids under 18 need their parent’s approval to start investing but not before each trade. Parents can limit the amount that kids invest up to $1,200 USD.
With as little as $1 USD, kids can invest in stocks and ETFs before they turn 18 and pay nothing in commission fees or monthly subscriptions. Stock accounts are insured up to $500,000 USD by the US Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).
And for budding crypto investors, kids can also invest in Bitcoin. Step has plans to begin offering other cryptocurrencies in the future. Each crypto purchase includes a 2% markup to cover Step’s trading costs. As is with all crypto investing platforms, investments aren’t insured by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or SIPC. Step crypto trading is not available in Hawaii and New York.
While the Step app currently lacks some financial literacy features when compared to other kids’ cards, Step does offer a Money 101 course in over 100 US high schools to help students learn the basics of bank accounts, budgeting, loans and investing. Students of participating schools can access the online course through the app. Plus, they can earn money for getting high quiz scores or improving their scores.
Additional features, like loans and stock investing, help teens and young adults continue their financial journey.
Best for young kids without a phone, parent-managed accounts can be opened for kids ages 6 and up. This lets parents track their child’s spending, set up savings goals and give their child discretionary access to their Step card.
Despite providing accounts for young kids, Step isn’t useful for keeping track of chores and allowances tied to each chore. Although users can setup allowances and recurring payments, Step doesn’t include a chore feature.
It’s not possible to touch base with customer service over the phone, so users need to be comfortable communicating with the company solely online. Customers have complained about its long 2- to 3-week wait for getting a Step card in the mail after signing up. Many platforms send out kids’ debit cards within 7 to 10 days.
Another drawback is the $0.50 USD charge users face every time they transfer less than $25 to their kids’ cards — a turnoff for those who send small amounts frequently.
Step Banking isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) but has a rating of B+ on the BBB website due to a couple of complaints filed against the business. Step also has over 980 reviews on Trustpilot with an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Positive reviewers love how easy and straightforward it is to sign up and use the app.
However, some customers complain about how difficult it is to reach customer service without a phone number. A number of negative reviews concern fraudulent charges and the amount of time it takes to resolve disputes.
Step’s transaction limits are the same, or lower than, competitors, helping parents keep close tabs on their kids’ spending.
|ATM withdrawals||$250 USD within 24 hours|
$1,000 USD within 30 days
|Debit card transfer limit||$500 USD within 24 hours|
|Spending limit||Up to $1,000 USD per day (cannot spend more than the account balance)|
|Transfers from Step to bank account||$500 USD within 24 hours|
Yes. Money held in a Step account is insured by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 USD through Evolve Bank & Trust. (Crypto is not eligible for FDIC or SIPC coverage.) Accounts also have bank-grade encryption and all transactions are protected by Visa’s Zero Liability Protection, so you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges.
Step also boasts over 4 million users with hundreds of positive reviews on sites like Trustpilot. In addition, the Step card is safer than a regular credit card, because kids can only spend what they have in their accounts.
There are a few different ways to move funds into and out of a Step bank account:
Unfortunately, there’s no phone number to contact Step customer service. However, users can reach Step by email, chatting with a representative in the app or by reaching out to Step on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.
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