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The best Visa cards for kids for 2023
Compare 2 kids Visa cards that can teach your child healthy financial habits.
Compare debit cards for kidsUse the table below to compare accounts based on the features you're looking for.
We compare the following prepaid cards for kids & teens
How to choose the best Visa card for my kid
Compare the following features when shopping around for a Visa card for your child:
- Check the fees. The costs can vary between cards and banks. Most prepaid cards will have either a monthly or yearly fee.
- 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’ Visa card that can restrict or block online spending if needed.
Common features of a kids’ Visa card
There are six common features to consider when looking for a Visa card for your kid:
- Chores and allowances. Many Visa cards for kids offer a way to track and pay your kids for chores that they complete. You also have the option to pay allowances.
- Like a regular Visa card. Your kid can use their prepaid Visa card to make purchases online and in person, generally anywhere Mastercard or Visa is accepted.
- Spending controls. Many children’s Visa 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 Visa 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.
How do Visa cards for kids work?
Most Visa cards for kids are prepaid cards. You can load money onto them from an app using your checking account. Then, your kid can use them to shop online and in-store just as they would a normal Visa card. The major difference is that your kid typically can’t overdraft with a prepaid Visa card as they could a regular Visa card.
A lot of these cards come with extra features, like the ability to see how your child spends their money or pay them for doing chores.
At what age can my child get a Visa card?
Prepaid cards are available for kids as young as five. But Visa cards linked to traditional checking accounts usually require your child to be at least 13.
You can help your child transition to a prepaid Visa card for teens once they turn 13, or you can help them open a checking account for teens if they’ve outgrown the prepaid card.
Are Visa cards for kids safe?
Yes, Visa cards for kids are generally safe because of two main features. First, they’re FDIC-insured so you’re guaranteed to get your money back if the bank fails. Secondly, most Visa cards for kids are COPPA-compliant, meaning they never sell or collect your child’s personal information, including their name, address, Social Security numbers, and even their geolocation and images.
Is my child ready for a Visa card for kids?
Your child may be ready for a kids Visa card if they often ask to borrow cash or have started earning money on their own — whether through an allowance or a paid job. A Visa card like Greenlight can help them master the art of spending, saving and investing wisely.
If your child isn’t ready to handle real money just yet, consider a simulated bank account like Bankaroo. This app use virtual money to help young children learn how to spend and save until they’re ready to upgrade to a real Visa card for kids.
How can I get a kids Visa card?
You can open most Visa cards for kids online. But keep in mind that if you decide to open a kids checking account as opposed to a prepaid card, you’ll need to open it as a joint account between a minor and an adult.
What are the pros and cons of a Visa card for kids?
Before you get a Visa card for your kid, consider these features and drawbacks:
- 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 Visa card if it’s misplaced, Visa cards are often safer than carrying cash.
- Good practice. Using a Visa card will teach your child how money works digitally.
- Not a checking account. The majority of Visa cards for kids are prepaid cards, and not actual checking accounts.
- Not good for large purchases. Accounts for children generally have much lower Visa card spending limits than adult accounts.
- Other fees. They may rack up fees for using out-of-network ATMs or overdrawing their account.
- No interest. These types of accounts usually don’t pay interest.
- Age limits. Each card or bank can set its own age limit.
Visa card for kids alternatives
If you’re not set on a prepaid card for your child, here are some other options to consider, depending on their age:
- Kids savings account. Help your child get a jump start on their future with a kids savings account. Most offer competitive APYs and low fees and minimum deposits. They’re a great option for any age.
- Kids checking account. Some kids checking accounts such as Chase First Checking have no monthly fees, free ATM access and chore and allowance tracking.
- Credit cards. You could add your child to your credit card as an authorized user. This could help them build their credit and learn financial responsibility, but beware of the risks that come.
A prepaid Visa card for kids can help your child learn how to manage money responsibly — and let you track their spending so you can see if they’re meeting that goal. But while some prepaid cards let kids save money on them, they’re not a replacement for a savings account. Compare savings accounts for kids and prepaid Visa cards to create a banking solution that’s right for your family.
Frequently asked questions?
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