August 16, 2021

Best Debit Cards for Kids

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Teaching your kids about money is easier with their own debit card. Review the best debit cards for kids with impressive features for parents, too.

As kids grow up, it's important for them to have good financial habits.

With these cards, they'll learn the value of money, how to save, and the importance of giving back.

Below, review the best debit cards for kids based on these factors:

  • Low fees
  • Great parental controls
  • Data security
  • Attractive card design options
  • App technology

How old do you need to be to open a bank account?
Laws vary from state to state, but signing any contract under 18 is complicated. To get around this, parents can give their kids and teens experience with banking via prepaid cards or by opening a joint bank account (more on this below).

Can I Get a Debit Card for My Kid?

When it comes to your child's first debit card, parents have two options: kids' prepaid cards and joint bank accounts.

Kids' prepaid cards usually come with a monthly or annual fee, but will offer a lot of features focused on financial literacy, along with chores and allowance features. Another perk of prepaid cards is that they cannot be overdrawn, so kids and parents can avoid overdraft fees.

With a prepaid card, the parent acts as the banker while the child acts as the account owner.

Joint bank accounts often don't have a monthly fee and may even pay interest on balances. However, the financial education features and allowance features are usually lacking. These accounts can also be overdrawn and often come with steep overdraft penalties.

For the best picks, check out the following table. Then, get an in-depth comparison of each debit card below for more details.

Debit CardMonthly FeeInterest PaidNotable Features
BusyKid$19.99/year (<$2 per month)NoneKid-friendly investing
Capital One Money Teen CheckingNone0.10% APYBlacklist retailers
Copper BankNoneVirtually none (0.001%)Kids earn rewards w/ quizzes
GoHenry$3.99/monthNoneCustomizable debit card
Alliant Teen CheckingNone0.25 - 0.55% APYATM access
Chase First BankingNoneNoneFinancial education tools
FamZoo$5.99/monthCustom rate paid by parentsNo withdrawal fees
GreenlightStarts at $4.99/month1-2%Kid-friendly investing
Family Money by Verizon$5.99/monthNoneAdd up to 5 kids accounts
Step Banking for TeensNoneNoneAllows kids to build credit

10 Best Debit Cards for Kids

Review the debit cards and apps below to pick the right fit for your child. Consider which features you want to prioritize (financial literacy, chore management, etc.) and any fees involved.

1. BusyKid

BusyKid, a prepaid card and chores app, is a great option for parents of younger kids. This app has it all — and for a very affordable price tag compared to its top competitors.

Parents can set an automated allowance for their kid, assign chores and payments for each completed chore, and can choose from 10 attractive card designs.

One great thing about BusyKid is that it offers kid-friendly investment features at no additional cost.

Kids can look at stocks inside an easy-to-navigate tile format with full-color logos of each company — instead of the usual block of text and statistics found on adult investing apps like Robinhood.

BusyKid Pros + Cons

  • Kid-friendly investing at no extra cost
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Affordable (< $2 per month)
  • Automated allowances
  • Adding chores manually takes time
  • Limits how much money parent can add to account

Fees
$19.99 yearly fee

Features

  • Custom debit card
  • Deposits for chores and allowance
  • Kid-friendly investing education tools
  • if you're not satisfied

Is BusyKid FDIC insured?
Yes. Deposits into your BusyKid account are handled by Stride Bank, N.A., which is confirmed to be FDIC insured here.

2. Capital One MONEY Teen Checking

Capital One's MONEY Teen Checking is a joint account for older kids and teenagers.

With Capital One MONEY, your teen can get 0.10% APY on all balances, a free debit card that can be used at a large network of over 70,000 ATMs, and parents don't even need to have a Capital One account; any bank can be used for funding.

This account comes out on top of Copper due to its APY and more adult-like mobile app that teens will likely appreciate. Copper is a more colorful and child-like app for younger kids.

Capital One Teen Checking Pros + Cons

  • No monthly fee or balance requirement
  • Excellent child-safety features
  • Good APY on all balances
  • Online-only (no locations)
  • Won't convert to adult account automatically

Fees
No monthly fee

Features

  • $500 daily purchase/ATM withdrawal limits
  • No monthly fee or minimum balance requirement
  • Automatic blacklist of kid-unfriendly retailers (prescription drug sites, bars, nightclubs, and tobacco/cigar stores)

3. Copper Bank

Copper offers teens and their parents a great package of features that excel at teaching financial literacy — all for no monthly fee.

The Copper app is unique in that it utilizes behavioral psychology to help teens build smart financial habits and incentivize them to learn how money works.

For example, upon creating an account for your child, they can take a quick quiz about checking accounts to earn a $2.00 reward deposited directly into their account.

Copper Bank Pros + Cons

  • No monthly fee
  • No minimum deposit
  • Kids earn rewards with quizzes
  • Low savings interest rate
  • Limited customer service
  • No foreign transactions

Fees
No monthly fee; opening minimum deposit is $10

Features

  • Debit card
  • Parental account monitoring
  • Smartphone notifications whenever the card is used
  • Deposits for chores and allowance payments
  • $500 daily ATM withdrawal limit
  • $2,000 daily spending limit
  • $2,000 monthly load limit

To withdraw cash, teens can use over 55,000 MoneyPass and Allpoint ATM locations for free.

4. GoHenry

GoHenry is a fun prepaid card option geared towards kids ages 6-18. They offer a 30-day free trial.

Parents can set custom weekly spend limits, single-purchase spend limits, and ATM withdrawal limits for the account. GoHenry also has similar chores and allowance features as BusyKid.

GoHenry shines for their custom card designs, including a custom logo using your child's name. For example, if your child's name is Rachel, the logo at the top of the card will be "GoRachel" instead of "GoHenry."

One drawback is that GoHenry does not have an ATM network, so a $1.50 fee will be charged for each withdrawal (in addition to the fee from the ATM service provider).

GoHenry Pros + Cons

  • Good parental control features
  • Educational tools
  • Kids will like customized card
  • More expensive than competitors
  • No ATM network
  • $1.50 fee for withdrawal (on top of ATM fee)

Fees
$3.99 monthly fee

Features

  • Personalized debit cards ($4.99)
  • Weekly and per-purchase spend limits
  • ATM withdrawal limits
  • Payments for chores and allowance

5. Alliant Teen Checking

Alliant Teen Checking is a joint bank account for teens 13 to 17. The parent or guardian must be an Alliant Credit Union member.

If you meet these qualifications, Alliant offers the best APY of any of the options on this list. Accounts earn 0.25% APY, and you have the option to open a Teen Savings Account, which carries an impressive 0.55% APY on savings balances.

With a free Alliant debit card, teens have access to a nationwide network of over 80,000 credit union network ATMs. The parent is responsible for setting ATM withdrawal and spending limits for their child.

Alliant Teen Checking Pros + Cons

  • High rates on checking + savings
  • No monthly fees
  • Access to ATM network
  • High overdraft fee
  • Savings account must be opened before age 12

Fees
No monthly fee; $25 overdraft fee

Features

  • Debit card
  • 0.25% APY
  • Option to open savings account with 0.55%
  • Parental spending limits
  • ATM withdrawal limits

6. Chase First Banking

If you're a Chase account holder and your child is between 6 and 17, you can open up a Chase First Banking account for your kid(s).

Parents can set limits on where and how much kids can spend money using their free debit card.

To withdraw cash with no fees, just visit any of the 16,000 Chase ATMs.

Chase First Banking Pros + Cons

  • Branch + ATM access
  • No monthly fees
  • Good parental control features
  • No interest paid
  • Parent must be Chase customer

Fees
No monthly fee

Features

  • Debit card
  • Financial education tools
  • Deposits for chores and allowance
  • Teens can send money requests to parent
  • Parents can limit where teens spend money
  • Account alerts
  • Spending limits, ATM limits

Chase
Member FDIC

Chase First Banking℠

  • Open a new Chase First Banking℠ account. It's a debit card for kids ages 6-17 with $0 monthly service fee.
  • You must be an existing Chase checking customer to open a Chase First Banking account.
  • Chase First Banking helps parents teach teens and kids about money by giving parents the control they want and kids the freedom they need to learn.
  • Teach your kids to spend, save and earn - all from the Chase Mobile® app.

7. FamZoo

FamZoo offers another prepaid debit card option for kids that costs $5.99 monthly with the option to pay in advance for a discount. The least expensive option is the 24-month plan, which costs $59.99.

Because FamZoo is a prepaid card, it doesn't pay any interest on balances.

However, it does offer a fun "parent paid interest" feature that allows parents to set an interest rate and payment frequency (such as weekly or monthly). The interest is withdrawn from the funding account and deposited into the child's account.

FamZoo does not belong to an ATM network, but unlike GoHenry, they will not charge an additional fee for ATM withdrawals on top of the operator's fee.

FamZoo Pros + Cons

  • Parents can choose to pay interest
  • 60-day free trial
  • No overdraft or withdrawal fees
  • No ATM network
  • No interest paid by FamZoo
  • More expensive

Fees
$5.99/monthly fee

Features

  • Comprehensive financial literacy tools
  • Parents can set up a custom interest rate
  • Lots of customizable alerts

Does a FamZoo card build credit?
No, FamZoo does not report to any major credit reporting agencies, so it will have no impact on your credit score or your child's credit history (positive or negative).

8. Greenlight

Greenlight offers a prepaid debit card for kids and parents. Using Greenlight, parents can instantly transfer funds to kids, manage their chores checklist and automate their allowance.

Where Greenlight stands out is their Max product, which is the upgraded version of their basic prepaid debit plan.

Greenlight Max opens a connected brokerage account for kids where they can buy and sell real stocks and ETFs on the stock market.

Of course, parental approval is required for every trade.

Greenlight Pros + Cons

  • Great parental controls
  • Educational tools for kids
  • Option for brokerage account
  • Higher fees
  • Can be difficult to close account

Fees
$4.99 for basic, $9.98 for Max

Features

  • Custom prepaid debit card
  • Deposits for chores and allowance setting
  • Spending and savings accounts
  • Charity donations
  • Stock investing for beginners

9. Family Money by Verizon

Launched in June 2021, Family Money costs $5.99 per month after a one-month free trial.

Verizon offers accounts and debit cards for up to five kids (ages 8 to 17) within a single plan.

Parents can lock and unlock cards, set spending limits, and make recurring payments (for allowance) as well as one-time payments (for chores) into their kid's accounts.

Another nice perk is that, unlike some other options like Alliant and Chase, parents don't need to be Verizon customers to qualify. Any bank account owned by the parent can be linked as a funding source.

Family Money Pros + Cons

  • Parents don't need to be Verizon customers
  • Add up to 5 accounts
  • Good parental control features
  • No interest paid
  • More expensive

Fees
$5.99 monthly fee

Features

  • Debit card
  • Parental control to lock and unlock card
  • Deposits for chores and allowance
  • Spending limits

10. Step Banking for Teens

For no monthly fee, Step offers an interesting product that is great for helping teens aged 13 to 17 build a positive credit history.

With the Smart Pay feature, teens can build good credit without the potential to overdraw their accounts and negatively impact their score.

However, because the Step card acts like a credit card, ATM withdrawals are considered "cash advances," which may trigger fees or interest charges.

Teens can connect their card to Google Pay and Apple Pay for contactless payments.

Step Banking Pros + Cons

  • No monthly fees
  • Builds credit (very rare!)
  • Good parental control features
  • No branch + ATM access
  • No interest paid
  • Limited customer service

Fees
No monthly fee

Features

  • Customizable card
  • Secure way to help teens to build credit
  • Ability to send and receive money to family or friends
  • Link Step account to other apps and cards

7 Tips for Teaching Kids About Personal Finance

  1. Discuss the value of money: Teach responsibility by introducing your kids to the relationship between work and compensation.

  2. Emphasize saving: Introduce the idea of savings by having your child save up for a video game console or amusement park trip they want.

  3. Introduce them to credit: Allow them to borrow money with the promise to pay it back later to teach them how credit works.

  4. Talk about wants vs. needs: For example, they need sneakers for gym, but might want to buy the latest Nikes. Teach them how to distinguish needs and wants (and when it's ok to buy a "want").

  5. Discuss money often: Be consistent about discussing money and be open to answering any questions they have. This will help them be fiscally responsible later in life.

  6. Offer incentives for savings: Similar to employer-matching retirement contributions, offer to pay your child a small "bonus" for achieving savings goals.

  7. Be a good example: Kids mirror their parents' behavior, especially at a young age. Be a good example by spending within your limits and saving for the future.

The Bottom Line

Teaching kids and teens about financial literacy has never been more important — with a vast majority of young adults today (76%) lacking even a basic understanding of financial concepts (Source: PWC).

Teaching your children about finances, good spending and savings habits, and investing can help set them up for future success, alleviate stress, and generally improve their quality of life.

Any of the 10 options above provide great tools and resources to help your children succeed, but our top three choices would have to be BusyKid, Capital One MONEY, and Copper Bank.

Write to Justin Barnard at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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Chase
Member FDIC

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