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Best debit cards for kids and teens in April 2024

Explore debit cards for teens and kids with money management tools and parental controls.

The best debit cards for kids and teens offer allowance features and easy ways for parents to transfer funds and monitor spending through strong parental controls. Some kids’ banking apps can also keep your child engaged through rewards, saving goals and games that teach basic financial literacy skills.

From digital accounts like Greenlight to more traditional checking options like Chase First Banking, we analyze over 35 kids’ debit cards every month to find ones that strike the right balance between cost, features and availability.

Top debit cards for kids and teens

Best for financial literacy

GoHenry

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Get 2 months free + $10
  • $4.99/month after Finder exclusive free trial
  • Optional parent-paid interest
  • 45+ customizable card designs

Best all-around kids account

Finder Award

Greenlight

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Get 1 month free
  • $4.99/month after free trial
  • Earn up to 5% on savings and 1% cashback
  • Optional investing tools
  • $30 referral bonus

Best for teens

Step

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$0 monthly fee
  • Up to 3% cashback
  • Earn 5% with $500+ in direct deposits
  • Build positive credit history before 18

Why trust Finder

  • 300+ banks and credit unions reviewed
  • 30+ kids' cards analyzed and rated by our team of experts
  • Evaluated under our unbiased rating system covering 8 categories
  • 20+ years of combined experience covering financial topics

We're big on editorial independence. That means our content, reviews and ratings are fair, accurate and trustworthy. We don't let advertisers or partners sway our opinions. Our financial experts put in the hard work, spending hours researching and analyzing hundreds of products based on data-driven methodologies to find the best accounts and providers for you. Explore our editorial guidelines to see how we work.

7 best debit cards for kids and teens

  • Best overall: Greenlight
  • Best for money games: GoHenry
  • Best free card: Step
  • Best for teens: Current
  • Best for traveling parents: Revolut 18>
  • Best for investing: BusyKid
  • Best for parental controls: Chase First Banking
  • Methodology: How we choose the best kids’ cards

    Finder’s banking editors research and compare more than 35 cards for kids. We rate kids’ debit cards using slightly different criteria to account for differences between checking accounts and prepaid debit cards for kids. We narrowed down our list to accounts that meet the following factors:

    • Monthly fee under $4.99
    • Accepts wide age range under 18
    • Features
      • Large ATM network or no ATM fees for checking accounts
      • Chore and allowance features
      • Strong parental controls with spending limits, alerts or overdraft protection
      • Companion app for monitoring
    • Availability
      • No strict membership requirements
      • Ability to open the account online

    WATCH: 3 Best Debit Cards for Kids 2024 Review

    How to compare cards for kids

    To help you find the best account for your family, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

    • Fees. While prepaid cards for kids are notorious for monthly fees ranging from $4 to $10, checking and digital accounts offer plenty of free kids’ debit cards to choose from.
    • Strong parental controls. Most cards send you notifications every time your child spends and let you lock their debit card if necessary. A few, like Greenlight and GoHenry, go beyond this to let you control how much your child spends at certain stores or with specific spending categories like online shopping.
    • Financial education features. Games and interactive tools like quizzes, videos and short articles can teach basic finance concepts and keep your kid engaged.
    • Earning potential. Some kids’ debit cards offer savings bonuses, referral rewards, a cashback program and some even offer a traditional APY.
    • Funding options. Prepaid debit cards for kids come with reload fees, which can get pricey over time. Look for cards that won’t charge you every time you want to top off your kids’ debit card.
    • Allowances and chores. Many kids’ debit cards let you automate allowances as weekly, biweekly or monthly payments. They also offer chore features, giving your kids a chore list that they can complete to earn money.

    Compare top kids’ debit card fees and features

    Kids’ cardMonthly feeAge requirementSavings rewardChore and allowancesEducational content
    Greenlight$4.99+AnyUp to 5%YesYes
    Step$0AnyUp to 5%YesYes
    Current$013+NoneYesNo
    BusyKid$4 ­— billed annually at $48, or $49.74 with debit or credit card funding5 to 17NoneYesNo
    GoHenry$4.996 to 18NoneYesYes
    Chase First Banking$06 to 17NoneYesNo
    Revolut <18$06 to 17NoneYesNo

    Should I get a debit card for my child?

    If your child is at the age where they’re asking you for money or they’ve started using their own cash for purchases, then it may be time to get them their own debit card.

    A debit card is also a great way to teach kids about how to manage their finances. Kids will have to learn how to budget, avoid overspending, and check their balance — all essential skills for adulthood.

    And if your teen has a job, a bank account offers a way to safely store their funds and receive direct deposits from their employer.

    Are debit cards for kids safe?

    Yes, money held in kids’ debit cards is protected up to $250,000 as long as they’re insured by the FDIC or NCUA. Most kids’ debit cards let parents lock and unlock the card if it goes missing, block certain stores, set spending limits by category or customize daily spending limits. Some cards, like the Greenlight Max debit card, offer extra security features such as identity theft and cell phone and purchasing protection.

    Getting a kid a debit card is likely a safer option than getting them a credit card, which would mean adding them as an authorized user on your credit card if they’re under 18. Credit cards may encourage overspending, have interest charges and could impact your credit score if they’re tied to your name. A debit card won’t impact your credit history, because debit cards and prepaid debit cards aren’t reported to credit bureaus.

    At what age can you get a debit card?

    Minors will need a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years old to get a debit card or bank account. Parents will act as a joint co-owner or sponsor on the account. Most traditional checking accounts require kids to be at least 13 years old, while prepaid debit cards for kids accept any age.

    How to get a card for kids

    You can open most debit cards for kids online, and you’ll need to open a kids’ checking account as a joint account between a minor and an adult. When signing up for a kids’ debit card, the application asks for the primary account holder’s information, as well as a few details about the child:

    1. Parent’s government-issued ID
    2. Parent’s Social Security card
    3. Child’s birth certificate

    Alternative kids’ bank accounts

    If your kid isn’t quite ready for a debit card, or you have different goals in mind, check out these other bank accounts for kids:

    • Kids’ savings accounts. These accounts help kids learn how to save and grow their savings toward college or other future expenses. No matter the goal, there are great kids’ savings accounts with low fees and high APYs.
    • Custodial accounts. A custodial account is managed by parents until the child reaches a certain age, typically 18 years old. Some can be used to save up for education, whereas others can be used to give a child money once they’ve entered adulthood.
    • Credit cards. If you’ve got a teen that you want to offer more responsibly or help them establish a credit history early, a teen credit card might be the right play — with parental supervision, of course.
    • Educational savings accounts. If you’re looking to save toward your kids’ education, consider accounts like a 529 savings plan.

    More guides on Finder

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