Getting started with Step only takes about two minutes.
- Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
- From Step banking‘s website, select Get Step and add your mobile number.
- Download and install the Step app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
- Create a Step username and password, customize the look of your card and enter your address.
- Wait five to seven business days for the card to arrive, then activate.
Adults can fund their teen’s account by installing and using the Step app on their own smartphone.
You aren’t required to be in the US to open a Step account, but you must meet the following criteria to qualify:
- At least 13 years old
- US citizen or resident
- Must own or have access to a mobile phone with a number issued by a US carrier
- Each account must have an adult over the age of 18
You’ll need to provide the following information when you open a Step bank account:
- Valid Social Security number
How does the Step Visa card work?
Each time you or your teen make a purchase with the Step Visa card, Step removes that amount from your deposit account, and the app reminds you of your remaining balance. Once a month, Step uses your secured deposits to pay off your balance without charging you any interest.
Step banking accounts offer several benefits to both teenagers and their parents or adult sponsors:
- Helps build credit. Unlike traditional debit cards, the Step card can help your teen develop their credit score without worrying about overspending or paying interest.
- No fees or interest charges. Step is one of the few teen bank accounts that doesn’t have any fees, and although it helps build your credit like a credit card, there are no interest charges on purchases.
- Adults are in control. Account sponsors receive notifications for each transaction on the account so they can ensure their teen is making smart financial decisions.
- Impossible to overdraft. Your teen can only spend funds that have been deposited into their account.
- Referral program. Teens can earn $6 per referral by joining the Step Squad, which requires three successful referrals, one peer-to-peer transfer and one purchase with the Step Visa card.
Although Step cards have a lot to offer, there are a few notable drawbacks to keep in mind:
- No ATM network. Step currently doesn’t support ATM withdrawals, but the company is working on adding that functionality.
- No mobile deposit. Step doesn’t support mobile check deposits at this time, but it’s a feature they’re hoping to add in the future.
- No check-writing capabilities. Like most teen checking accounts, Step accounts don’t include any check-writing capabilities.
Is Step banking app safe?
Yes. Money held in a Step account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 through a partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust. Accounts also have bank-grade encryption and all transactions are protected by Visa’s Zero Liability Protection, so you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges.
There are a few different ways to move funds into and out of your Step bank account:
- Sponsor deposits. Adult sponsors can fund their teen’s account with one-time or recurring transfers.
- Incoming transfers. You can receive up to $1,000 a day in transfers from traditional bank accounts, other Step accounts or apps such as PayPal and Venmo.
- Direct deposit. Employers can deposit paychecks directly into Step accounts.
- Outgoing transfers. You can transfer funds to traditional bank accounts, other Step accounts or accounts tied to apps such as Venmo and PayPal.
Checking account ratings
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★★★★★ — Poor
We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.
Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.