Starling Bank launched a debit card for kids in September 2020, which it has since updated with a linked kids’ banking app. We take a look at all the fees and features involved with Starling Kite, including what parental controls it comes with.
What is the Starling Kite debit card for kids?
Starling Kite is a debit card designed for young people aged 6 to 16. You can only order it if you are a parent (or guardian) and already have a Starling current or joint account.
Children can use the Kite debit card to spend money from a prepaid account, which is topped up by their parents. The idea is that kids can begin to learn good financial habits from a young age, while their parents can still keep an eye on where their children are spending money through the parental controls that come with the card, which can be managed via the parent’s Starling app.
The latest addition to Kite is an app for the kids themselves, which Starling rolled out in June 2021. Children with a Kite prepaid card can now use their own mobile app to track their pocket money and see where they’ve spent it.
How do I set up Starling Kite and what are the fees?
Parents need to go to their Starling mobile banking app, click ‘Spaces’, tap ‘New Space’ and choose ‘Child Space’.
Then they can apply for a Kite card, set the card controls and set up a separate PIN. The Kite debit card should be delivered within five working days. When it arrives in the post, it will then need to be activated in the parent’s app.
Each child can have one card, costing £2 per month. There are no fees for topping up the card or withdrawing cash. Once activated, the new ‘Kite Space’ in the parent’s Starling app can be topped up with funds for the child to spend via the debit card. There’s no limit on how many times it can be topped each day, just a limit on the overall balance, which is capped at £5,000.
What are the parental controls that come with Starling Kite?
- Whenever your child spends money, you’ll receive a notification telling you the name of the merchant and amount spent.
- You can set daily spending limits and control where your child can use the card e.g. block cash withdrawals or online payments.
- The Kite debit card is already blocked for merchants that aren’t age appropriate, including pubs, nightclubs and gambling.
- Your child can only spend what you put onto their card – they can’t go overdrawn.
Starling Kite details
|Monthly fee||£2 (parent needs Starling account)|
|UK ATM fee||£0|
Pros and cons of Starling Kite
- Monthly cost similar to other kids’ cards on the market.
- No fees for topping up the card’s prepaid account.
- Robust parental controls.
- Easy for parents to manage from their existing mobile banking app.
- Children get their own app to monitor their spending and account balance.
- Parents already need to be a Starling account holder to order and use Kite.
Starling is the latest digital bank to venture into the kids’ debit card space, and with a monthly fee that’s comparable to its competitors, it would be an obvious choice for a parent who is already a Starling account holder. But if you aren’t, there are other children’s debit cards and apps out there.
Get started by visiting Starling Kite's website and ordering a card. If you have read this review and decided that gohenry’s card is not for you, you can also discover other prepaid cards for kids on the market.
Who else offers children’s debit cards?
Starling’s venture into the kids’ debit card market follows the likes of fellow challenger banking brand Revolut, which operates a similar model with its Revolut Junior offering.
You can get also a debit card with a traditional children’s current account, such as the Santander 123 Mini Current Account.
If you have read this review and decided that the Starling Kite card is not for you, you can use our guide to discover more about other prepaid cards for kids on the market.
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