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Debit cards for kids
Help your kids understand money, learn responsibility and earn a little pocket money on the side with a debit card made just for them.
Debit cards specifically designed for kids can really make a difference to parents. They can give you peace of mind knowing that your child has money for food or transport, and they’re a great way for them to develop good spending habits from a young age.
Look for kids debit cards with spending controls, spending tracking tools and the choice of how your child can use their card to give yourself total visibility on what they’re doing with your money. This guide will outline the different options available depending on your child’s age and the purpose of the debit card, and allow you to compare some debit cards for kids.
Compare kids debit cards for September 2021
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
How do debit cards for kids work?
Most banks in Ireland offer a debit card for kids as an optional extra when establishing a kids, youth or teen bank account. As with standard debit cards, these cards are linked directly to a bank account and used in place of cash to make purchases in stores, or sometimes, to even withdraw money from ATMs.
Most banks waive the monthly maintenance fees for customers under the age of 18 or even 21.
At what age can my child get a debit card?
This really depends on the bank offering the kids account and debit card. Your child typically needs to be 11 years old to get their own Visa Debit card, and 16 to get their own Debit Mastercard. However, some banks may offer debit card access for younger children. Some banks also offer their own type of debit card. These work in a similar way to standard debit cards, however have a few more restrictions when using the card outside of Ireland.
The below table shows some popular everyday bank accounts and the age requirements to meet in order to access the linked debit card.
|Bank||Account type||Card type||Minimum age requirement||Debit card access details|
|Revolut||Revolut Junior||Prepaid Card||7 years old||Parents/guardians can sign up for this account on behalf of their child(ren) aged 7 – 17 years olds.|
|permanent tsb||Teen MyCash Account||Visa Debit Card||12 years old||Under 16s will need consent from a parent/guardian to open the account.|
|Ulster Bank||Adapt Account||Visa Debit Card||11 years old||A parent or guardian will need to give consent for child/children aged under 16 to get a Visa debit card with this account.|
|bunq||Easy Bank Account||bunq Easy Bank Card||16 years old||Children under 18 will need permission from a parent or guardian to sign up for this.|
|SWIRL||Kids Pocket Money Card from SWIRL||SWIRL Prepaid Mastercard||16 years old||Parents/guardians can sign up for this prepaid card on behalf of the child/children aged 16 or over.|
|KBC||Teen Current Account||Visa Debit Card||13 years old||This account is available for 13 – 18-year-olds. A parent or guardian will need to open the account on behalf of children under 16.|
|AIB||Student Account||AIB Debit Card||12 years old||12 – 18-year-olds can sign up for this account. Those under 16 will require consent from a parent/guardian.|
|EBS||Debit Card||EBS Debit Card||16 years old||This debit card is available to EBS Teen Savings account holders once they turn 16.|
Features of a kids debit card
- Spending controls. Many kids 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 via the mobile banking app or using Internet banking, if the card gets lost or, for whatever reason, you want to temporarily disable it.
- Choose how your child can spend. Parents can choose if the card can be used at ATMs or for in-store purchases.
- Spending tracking tools. Many mobile banking apps offer spend tracking tools and features to help your child learn how to manage their money.
What to consider before giving your child a debit card
- Check the fees. The costs can vary between cards and banks. Most major banks offer fee-free services for kid’s cards, and it’s likely that the most common fees you’ll encounter are from using other-brand ATMs. Look for banks with a large ATM network in your area to get more freedom from fees.
- Spending limits. Look for cards that let you cap daily spending as desired, to make sure the card is used sensibly. Some banks will offer more of these spending limit features than others.
- 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
- 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, and quickly alert the bank if you notice any suspicious transactions.
- 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. Using a debit card will teach your child how money works digitally and how to develop good spending habits.
- Age limits apply. The majority of Visa Debit Cards can’t be used by people under 11 years of age.
- Less choice. Not every bank offers kids debit cards or kids bank accounts.
Frequently asked questions about kids debit cards
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