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7 best free debit cards for kids and teens

Free kids’ debit cards teach your kids how to manage their money without hurting your own wallet.

With 77% of Americans saying they’re stressed about their current financial situation, according to Finder’s Consumer Confidence Index, it’s never too early to start teaching kids healthy money habits.

Kids’ cards can make the task easier as many have features like chore and allowance tracking, savings goals, and most importantly, heavy parental controls. Although many options out there come with monthly fees, we’ve located the best free debit cards for kids that won’t drain out your account.

Best free debit cards for kids and teens

Best overall


Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

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Taking the win for best overall, Step is completely free to open and use and available to kids of all ages. There are no monthly maintenance or overdraft fees. One of its better perks is the ability to help teens build a credit history. Teens can use their credit card (with no interest charges) and repay what they've spent, and once they're 18, their credit history is sent to all three credit bureaus. Step also launched a new savings reward perk, offering users 5% on their savings goals balance. There are also cashback rewards and an optional investment account they can open with parent's approval. However, there's a $0.50 fee if you deposit less than $25 into your kid's account. Step also has no customer phone line, so you're limited to email, in-app support or social media.

Best for savings roundups

Current teen banking

Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5 ★★★★★

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For teens over age 13, the Current Teen Debit Card has an automatic savings feature that rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar to be sent to your teen's savings. Teens can also create their own savings goals, track chores and allowances, and negotiate chore compensation. Parents can track teen spending, set spending limits, set up recurring deposits, block transactions and transfer funds. But to open this account parents are required to open a personal Current checking account and link it to their teen's account. And while there's no monthly fee or minimum opening deposit, there's a $2 fee for paper statements and a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Best for ATM access

Axos Bank First Checking

Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5 ★★★★★

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This Axos teen checking account has no monthly fee and is for ages 13 to 17. Like most Axos accounts, teens will have access to over 91,000 ATMs and up to $12 a month in ATM reimbursements. Another standout feature is the 0.1% APY, which teens can earn on their entire account balance. There are no overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees, either. Parents can rest easily with the daily transaction limits, up to $100 in withdrawals and $500 for debit card transactions. But paper statements cost $5 per month and there's a $10 account closure fee.

Best for parental controls

Chase First Banking

Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5 ★★★★★

Chase First Banking is powered by Greenlight and is for kids ages 6 to 17. There's no monthly fee and it features powerful parental controls. Parents can set limits on how much their child spends at one place, opt in for alerts whenever they use their card, and set ATM withdrawal limits. Chase also features a mobile app that lets you track chores, allowances and transfer funds from your personal Chase account. But to open a Chase First Banking account you must have a Chase checking account and you can only link one parent account at a time.

Best for earning interest

Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking

Finder Rating: 4.1 / 5 ★★★★★

Open to teens aged 13 to 17 years old, the Alliant teen checking account has no monthly service fees and features a fair 0.25% APY — the highest we've seen among free checking accounts for kids. Earning the APY is simple: Opt in for e-statements and set up direct deposit. There's also no minimum opening deposit and you'll get $20 in monthly ATM reimbursements and access to a network of 80,000 free ATMs. There's a limit of $500 for daily ATM cash withdrawals and card purchases. Parents can perform standard ACH transfers for free and set up outgoing transfers. If you don't qualify for membership, you may need to make a one-time $5 donation to the nonprofit Foster Care to Success to qualify.

Best for investing

Fidelity Youth Account

The Fidelity Youth Account is a brokerage account that comes with a debit card for teens aged 13 to 17. It's free to maintain, as there are no monthly fees or minimum opening deposit requirements. Teens can invest in stocks, ETFs and mutual funds with as little as $1 — with parental supervision. Parents can view all investment activity, but parents can't approve or prevent transactions. The account also comes with a tiny bonus of 0.01% APY.

Best for parent-led savings contributions

Till Financial

Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

A free kids' debit card that comes with both a physical and virtual card, Till Financial gives parents three methods to contribute funds to their child's account: weekly contributions, a percentage match on each deposit your child makes, or parent-paid interest. Till also features strong parental controls, requiring parental approval before kids can move money in or out of the account. Like the other accounts on this list, Till doesn't charge a monthly fee, or additional fees for adding more kids. On the downside, Till may not be compatible with smaller banks or credit unions as it uses Plaid to link external accounts, and parents can only have one funding source set up at one time.


Finder’s banking experts research over 45 kids’ cards before narrowing down the best free accounts. We consider these five factors:

  • $0 monthly fee
  • Available in most US states
  • No strict membership requirements
  • Strong parental controls
  • Accounts kids can continue using after they turn 18

How to choose a free kids’ card

Aside from monthly fees, consider these factors when deciding on which free card to open for your kid or teen.

  • Age range. Many debit cards for kids have age requirements. For teen checking accounts, the age range is 13 to 17 years old. But for prepaid debit cards there’s usually no age requirement..
  • Accessibility. As a parent on the account, you’ll likely want easy ways to transfer funds and manage your kids’ account. Some cards allow transfers via peer-to-peer payment apps, the bank’s own mobile app, QR codes or physical cash deposits. Find the one that works for your lifestyle and child.
  • Parental controls. Most kids’ cards come with some level of parental control, such as daily spending limits or cash withdrawal limits. Axos’ account for kids allows up to $500 per day, but if that’s too much for you, then consider finding an account with customizable spending limits, or extra parental perks like spending notifications.
  • Financial literacy tools. While more common with paid accounts, quite a few kids’ bank accounts feature chore and allowance tracking. Others like GoHenry, have games that teach kids financial literacy. Extra features may include savings goals, budgeting tools and investing options.

Are there free debit cards for 13 year olds?

Yes, there are plenty of free teen accounts. It may actually be easier to locate a free account for that age range than it is to find one for kids under 12. Most financial institutions allow teens aged 13 to 17 to open an account with a parent or guardian present — which are often free to open and maintain.

Outside of large traditional banks, other options include fintechs, online banks and prepaid debit cards. These options are useful if you’re looking for expanded features like spending limits and chore and allowance tracking. Accounts offered by fintech or digital banks tend to have more kid-centered and educational features, whereas accounts offered by brick-and-mortar banks are very straightforward.

Compare free cards for teens and kids

Narrow top down kid debit cards by fees, age requirements and extra features. Tick the Compare box on up to four different cards to see details side by side for easy comparison.

Name Product Annual or monthly fee Age requirements Features Offer
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
$0 per month
Any age
  • $0 monthly fee
  • Teens build credit safely
  • Savings and investing tools
  • Cashback rewards
  • Up to 5% savings rewards
  • FDIC insured
Earn $1 for every person that joins using your unique link or code. They'll also get $1
Teens can build credit safely without overspending or paying interest. Earn 5% savings rewards with qualifying direct deposits, earn cashback rewards, learn about investing and more – all with $0 monthly fees. FDIC insured.
Axos Bank First Checking
Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank First Checking
$0 per month
13 to 17 years old
  • Earns interest
  • ATM reimbursements
  • Minimal fees
Made for teens ages 13 to 17, this account earns 0.1% APY and has no monthly fees.

Alternative fee-based kids’ cards

If none of the free kids’ bank accounts are for you, there are other debit cards for kids to consider. However, most cards with financial literacy features charge monthly or annual fees — often costing at least $4 per month. And if you have more than one kid, the fee could add up quickly.

Some paid alternative options include:

  • Greenlight. The core plan for Greenlight costs $4.99 per month, and features tools for saving, spending and earning. There’s a 1% annual savings reward, you can add up to five kids and access parental controls like setting up store-level limits. Other plans cost $9.98 to $14.98 per month, with extra features like cash back rewards, investing, identity theft and purchase protection and more.
  • BusyKid. One of BusyKid's best features is the scheduling of chore assignments with allowance tracking. The app suggests weekly or monthly chores for you to implement. Costing $4 per month (billed annually), kids can also invest with parental approval. The monthly cost includes up to five cards, making a good option for large families.
  • Mazoola. Very close to making our best list, the Mazoola debit card and mobile wallet is a top virtual kid account. While there’s a $4.95 per month fee, it offers an exceptionally long 12-month free trial. Mazoola is also known for security, as the only kids’ account certified as compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Featuring strong parental controls, customizability around spending limits, chore trackers, allowance features and no fees for ATM withdrawals.
  • FamZoo. Chock-full of features, FamZoo has more than 15 customizable financial literacy tools for kids and teens, and the app accepts kids of all ages. Kids can borrow money and pay it back with interest to their parents, called mock loans. Other features include chore and allowance tracking, spending notifications, automated bill pay, and subaccounts for saving and spending. Cost depends on your plan, starting at $5.99 if you pay on a monthly basis.

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