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Best credit cards for teens

Explore credit cards that allow you to add teens under 18 as authorized users.

A credit card offers a form of revolving credit that can build a positive credit history with timely payments and smart management. But you can’t get a credit card on your own unless you’re at least 18 years old.

The good news is that you can add minors as an authorized user on an adult’s account, such as a parent, guardian, family member or a friend. As authorized users, teens can safely make purchases with their own card that’s tied to the primary owner’s account, and build a credit history. Before they venture into adulthood, explore the best credit card options for teens.

Our top picks

Cash back with no foreign fees

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

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  • $200 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • Low intro rates on purchases and balance transfers

Auto-invest cashback

Greenlight Family Cash Card

  • Parent credit card that builds credit for teens under 18
  • Earn 3% cashback on all purchases
  • Up to 5% savings rewards
  • Set monthly spending limits and set purchase alerts

Build credit and earn rewards


  • $0 monthly fee
  • No credit check and no APR
  • Up to 3% cashback
  • Earn 5% with $500+ in direct deposits

7 credit cards that allow authorized users under 18

Some card providers have minimum age requirements for authorized users, usually ranging from 13 to 16 years old. However, there are some that have no minimum age requirements. Use this table to compare popular credit cards that allow teens as authorized users.

CardAge limitAnnual feeRecommended credit scoreLearn more
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit CardNone$0 (Terms apply, see rates & fees)670 to 850
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Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardNone$0 (Terms apply, see rates & fees)670 to 850
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Chase Freedom Flex℠None$0670 to 850
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®None$0670 to 850
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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express13+$0 (Terms apply, see rates & fees)670 to 850
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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express13+$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. (Terms apply, see rates & fees)670 to 850
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Citi® Diamond Preferred® CardNone$0670 to 850
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8 best credit cards for teens

If you’re adding your teen as an authorized user, these cards can offer a lot of extra value to your account.

Best overall



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Step takes the win for Best overall with its secured credit card and digital account that comes with a ton of perks that's open to all ages, and requires an adult sponsor for those under 18. The Step card is a secured credit card that allows kids and young adults to build a credit history without taking on any debt. It has no monthly, annual or overdraft fees, and the best part, no interest charges. Teens can only spend the money that's in their Step deposit account, so there's no minimum or late payments to worry about. They'll also earn up to 5% on their savings balance when they set up at least $500 a month in direct deposits. Other features include cashback rewards with parental permission for those under 18, referral bonuses, investing options and financial literacy education. One of the only downsides with Step is that it charges $0.50 for transfers less than $25.

Best for families

Greenlight Family Cash Card


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Get the first 30 days for free.
The Family Cash Card is the fintech Greenlight's credit card, which allows parents to make their kids authorized users so kids can start building credit history well before they turn 18. In addition, the credit card offers cash back rewards up to 3% on all purchases, which parents and kids can both earn by meeting spending requirements. Parents can also choose to auto-invest the cashback rewards into savings, which can also earn 1% in savings rewards with the basic plan. Although getting the credit card does require a membership and a monthly fee, the basic plan of $4.99 per month offers five debit cards for up to five kids, store-level parental controls, savings rewards, educational features and more. One of the only downsides to Greenlight is the monthly cost, starting at $4.99 per month, and the best perks come with the most expensive plan of $14.98 for Infinity. But no matter what plan you choose, you can get the Family Cash Card.

Best for unlimited cash back

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card


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If you're a big spender and want unlimited cashback, this is a card worth checking out. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards allows authorized users of any age, has no annual fees and earns 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases, and up to 5% cashback on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply). You'll also enjoy low intro rates on purchases and balance transfers, no foreign transaction fees and cashback rewards don't expire. You have the choice of cashing in your cashback earnings for cash, cover a purchase or get gift cards. But know that once the 0% intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers is over, your APR will be 19.99% - 29.99% variable, depending on your creditworthiness. A 3% fee will also apply to transfers made in the first 15 months. And if you miss a payment, you could pay up to $40.

Best for low-deposit secured card

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card


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While many secured cards require minimum deposits around $200 to $500, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card allows you to make a low deposit of $49, $99 or $200. Plus, the card accepts authorized users of any age. This is great for parents who want to get a secured credit card with a low credit limit for their teens. Parents could also earn their deposit back and upgrade to the unsecured Platinum card, if they maintain a positive history with the account. On the downside, you won't get a 0% intro APR, and you'll have an APR of 30.74% variable for purchases and cash advances, making it one of the highest APRs on this list. This card also doesn't offer a rewards or cashback program, and if you miss a payment you'll pay up to $40.

Best for cashback

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express


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The Blue Cash Everyday Card was a no-brainer for our best for cashback rewards category, with its 3% cash back rate on select purchases. The 3% cashback rate is for three categories: Groceries from U.S. supermarkets, U.S. online retail purchases and gas from U.S. stations. Each category has a $6,000 earning yearly limit for the 3% rate, which drops to 1% afterwards. To reach your 3% earning cap, it'll take $200,000 in purchases for each category. All other purchases still earn up to 1% cashback, and there are other discounts available for select subscriptions and purchases. The card also allows authorized users as young as 13 years old. Plus, there's a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and the APR is 19.24% to 29.99% variable afterwards, depending on your creditworthiness. But you may face a late payment fee up to $40.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.
Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

Best for balance transfers

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card


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If you need to move some debt over, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card might be the card to do it with. You'll get a long 21-month 0% APR period for balance transfers, as well as a 0% intro APR for purchases for 12 months. Most credit cards 0% APR for months for only six to 15 months maximum, so this is significantly longer. This card doesn't have any age requirement for authorized users, making a good option to add your teen. On top of that, there are no annual fees, and you'll get Citi Entertainment perks, which offers special access to purchase tickets to events, access exclusive and presale tickets and more. While the 0% intro APR is great, there's a $5 or 5% balance transfer fee of the amount of each credit card balance transfer, whichever is greater, but that's pretty standard. After the 0% intro period for balance transfers ends, the APR rises to 18.24% to 28.99% variable for purchases and balance transfers based on your creditworthiness. On the downside, it's one of the few cards on this list without any cashback or rewards program. And if you miss a payment, you could pay up to $41 in late fees.

Best for no credit

Discover it® Chrome for Students

The Discover It Chrome for Students credit card doesn't require a credit history to qualify, making it a great option for young teens or those with no credit history. Teens must be at least 15 years old to qualify as an authorized user. The Chrome card is similar to the Discover It Secured card, but this one doesn't require a security deposit as it's a traditional, unsecured card. The cashback rewards are also solid, letting you earn up to 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 each quarter, and 1% unlimited cash back everywhere else. Like other Discover credit cards, there's the cashback match feature, so you can get a dollar-for-dollar match on all of the cashback you've earned at the end of your first year. There's a short introductory 0% APR for six months, then the rate goes up to 18.24% to 27.24% variable APR for purchases, depending on your creditworthiness. There's also no fee for your first late payment, but after that, each late fee is $41.

Best starter credit card

Discover it® Secured


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The Discover It Secured credit card makes a great first card for teens as it has no annual fee and doesn't require you to have a credit score to qualify. But your teen must be at least 15 years old to qualify as an authorized user on the card. As a secured card, parents must deposit at least $200. After seven months, Discover reviews the account history to see if you qualify for a traditional unsecured credit card, which would trigger getting your initial deposit back. You can also earn up to 2% cashback at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 each quarter, and 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases. Take advantage of the cashback match program, offering you the ability to earn a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earned at the end of your first year. However, know that the APR is 28.24% variable for purchases, and 29.99% variable for cash advances. Your first late payment is free, but afterwards, there's a $41 late payment fee.

Best for traveling students

Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students


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For the globetrotting students or parents, the Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students card is worth looking into. It's full of perks well-suited for traveling and everyday use. There's no age restrictions for authorized users, making a great option for teens. You and your teen won't have to worry about foreign transaction fees or annual fees, and you can earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all purchases. Points can be redeemed for flights, hotels, vacation packages, rental cars and more. And if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of opening the card, you can get 25,000 bonus points — and the reward points don't expire. There's also a 15-month intro 0% APR period. Once it's over the APR goes up to 18.24% to 28.24% variable APR, depending on your creditworthiness. And if you miss a payment, you may pay up to $40.

Methodology: How we choose the best teen credit cards

Finder’s banking experts look at over 700 credit cards to narrow down the best ones for teens. We heavily consider credit cards that accept authorized users under age 18, secured and unsecured options, cashback rewards and nationwide availability. We consider cards that meet this minimum criteria:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 or max $5 monthly fee, as long as there are extra perks.
  • Maximum APR of 30.50%
  • Credit scores 670 or lower

You must be 18 years old to apply for a credit card

Legally, you can’t get a credit card until you’re at least 18 years old. However, teens under 18 can become authorized users on an adult’s account, enabling them to build a strong credit history and increase their chances of qualifying for better credit card options — such as rewards or travel cards — once they’re old enough to apply.

Once they turn 18, they can apply for a credit card on their own. However there’s a minor stipulation for those aged 18 and 20 years old: the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility Disclosure (CARD) Act requires that they must provide proof of income to show their ability to repay the card’s payments, or have a cosigner who is at least 21 years old. Once they’re 21 years old, these requirements are lifted, though many lenders may still request proof of income before approving a line of credit.

Is your teen ready for a credit card?

It depends on your teen’s level of responsibility. If you’re not sure they’re ready, consider introducing them to a debit or prepaid card, such as Greenlight. These cards offer a safe way to teach teens how to manage their money while granting them some spending freedom. They often have spending limits, but they don’t typically build credit, and you may have to pay a monthly fee, depending on the provider.

Another option is to add them as an authorized user on a secured credit card or open a type of secured with more traditional banking options, such as Capital One. These cards allow teens to make purchases up to the amount available in their account, promoting responsible spending habits.

Pros and cons of getting your teen a credit card

There are many more upsides than downsides when it comes to adding your teen as an authorized user on a credit card.


  • Parents have control. You’d be the primary account holder, having control over the account and getting insight into their spending. Alternatively, you can add them to your account to help them build credit without giving them their own card.
  • Builds credit. Adding a teen as an authorized user helps them start building credit history early. This way, they’ll have better approval chances when they’re ready to borrow on their own.
  • Convenient for everyone. Instead of giving your teen cash for meals, transportation or supplies, a credit card means they always have access to funds, which is also helpful in the case of emergencies.
  • Earn rewards. With another user on your credit card account, you could earn cashback rewards or travel points from spending a lot quicker.


  • Overspending. There’s the risk that your teen goes buckwild with their new credit card and overspends. Avoid this by teaching them how their credit utilization ratio affects their credit score and how high balances make it hard to repay over time.
  • Late fees. These fees are often around $40 per late payment, which can really add up.
  • Could damage credit scores. If your teen overspends and you’re unable to repay the balance on time, it’s a surefire way to damage both yours and your teen’s credit score.
  • Theft or fraud. Although credit card fraud can happen even if you take all necessary precautions, teach your teen to recognize which sites are safe and which aren’t for online use.

What if my teen is entering college?

There are many student credit cards geared towards those exiting high school and entering college. And just because a teen is in high school doesn’t mean they can’t get a credit card. If they’re at least 18, they can apply for a credit card on their own — but they’ll need some income to prove they can repay what they’ve borrowed.

For a safer option, there are also secured credit cards and credit-debit cards that are secured by a bank account. One great example the Fizz card, which is a debit-credit card that’s designed with college students in mind. It offers cashback rewards, daily autopay to keep balances down, no interest charges and there’s no credit check.

Dive deeper Student credit cards

Bottom line

Preparing your teen for a credit card helps them toward their financial future. But before adding them as an authorized user on your account, ensure they have proper financial supervision and a clear understanding of how credit cards work.

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