Updated January 27, 2024

Best Debit Card for Teens

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Is your teenager ready to have a debit card? Take a look at the pros, cons, and fees of the top 8 best debit cards for teens.

What is the best debit card for teens?
The best debit cards for teens under 18 are:

  1. Best Overall: Greenlight
  2. Best for No Fees: Axos First Checking
  3. Best for Parental Controls: GoHenry
  4. Best Teen Checking Account: Chase First Banking
  5. Best for Older Teens: Current Teen Banking
  6. Best for Younger Teens & Tweens: Capital One MONEY
  7. Best for Multiple Kids: BusyKid
  8. Best for Teaching Teens about Finances: FamZoo

Saving money is important, but so is learning to use it wisely.

Debit cards made for teenagers can teach them about handling money responsibly. These cards usually come with apps that let young people get to their money, save, and sometimes even invest.

Read on to discover some of the top debit cards worth considering. Plus, learn how to pick the right teen account for your child's safety.

Quick take: For a stellar free teen checking account that earns some interest, Axos is the best choice. But if you're eyeing a financial head start with some early investing action for your teen, Greenlight shines brightest.

Best Debit Card for Teens

A debit card streamlines money management for teens and parents. Learn about the pros, cons, and fees of the top teen debit cards.

🏆 Best Overall: Greenlight

Price$4.99/mo., $9.98/mo., or $14.98/mo.
AgeNo minimum
Minimum to Open$1 with bank transfer or $20 with debit card
Daily Transaction Limits$1,500 debit, $100 ATM[1][2]
Key FeaturesMastercard debit card, educational content, investment account, high savings reward, cash back, chores, allowance, charity donations, parental controls, identity theft protection

Greenlight is one of the most comprehensive banking apps and debit cards for teens. Although the fee is higher than other banking apps for kids, the platform is packed with features you don't usually see, including quizzes, videos, and other educational content.

Consider it an investment in your child's future. You're getting much more than just a debit card.

The standout feature is Greenlight's investing platform. Your teen can invest in their favorite companies right from the app, starting with just $1. Greenlight provides teens with the tools to dip their toes into investing safely.

Studies have shown that by investing 10 years earlier than peers, you would have more money than if you started later and invested twice as much. The head start that Greenlight provides can be invaluable.

Features for each plan includes:

  • Greenlight Core: $4.99/mo. Includes a debit card, educational app, parental controls, and 1% savings reward.

  • Greenlight Max: $9.98/mo. Adds perks like investing platform, 1% cash back, 2% savings reward, priority customer support, and protection plans.

  • Greenlight Infinity: $14.98/mo. Adds safety features like family location sharing, crash detection, and SOS alert. Plus, an increased 5% savings reward.

The fee covers up to 5 children and debit cards per family. This is good bang for your buck for big families.

Pros + Cons

  • Most comprehensive banking app for teens
  • Excellent parental controls
  • Great savings/investment tools
  • Relatively high fees
  • No cash deposits
  • Can only earn up to $5,000 in savings rewards per family

Other Fees[3]

  • Card Replacement: $3.50 (first replacement free)
  • Expedited Card Delivery: $24.99
  • Custom Card Fee: $9.99

Learn More: Greenlight Review

Best for No Fees: Axos First Checking

Price$0/mo.
Age13+ years old
Minimum to Open$50
Daily Transaction Limits$500 debit, $100 ATM[4]
Key FeaturesVisa debit card, earn interest, ATM fee reimbursements, peer-to-peer payments, parental monitoring

Axos First Checking is a good first step into banking and financial responsbility for teens. It allows teens to not just manage their money, but also grow it a bit with interest.

And it's practically fee-free. There are no monthly fee and no overdraft fees. And Axos even reimburses up to $12 in domestic ATM fees per month.

Your kid can use the debit card online, in stores, with a mobile payment app, and at ATMs. In the app, teens can send money to their friends and even pay bills. That can give them an early taste of adulting life.

Parents can monitor spending activity, but there aren't spending control options. But with low daily limits and no overdraft fees, you'll have peace of mind knowing they won't overspend or rack up expected charges.

Overall, Axos First Checking provides a blend of financial independence for teens and oversight for parents - all without hidden costs.

When your teen turns 18 and is ready to upgrade to an adult checking account, Axos also offers great regular checking options. It even has a cashback checking account or interest-earning account.

Pros + Cons

  • Free debit card for teens
  • Reimburses up to $12 in ATM fees per month
  • No overdraft fees
  • Low interest rate
  • Few parental control options
  • Doesn't offer savings goals

Other Fees[5]

  • Expedited Card Delivery: $50

Learn More: Axos Bank Review

Empower your child's financial journey with the next teen debit card, where learning about money is as fun as playing a game.

Best for Parental Controls: GoHenry

Price$4.99 or $9.98/mo
Age6+ years old
Minimum to Open$5
Daily Transaction Limits$2,500 debit, $120 ATM[6]
Key FeaturesMastercard debit card, educational games, chores, allowance, parental controls

GoHenry takes a bit of a different approach to financial education by offering it in a game format. Kids and teens can complete missions to earn experience points, level up, and progress through the game. Teens can learn about more advanced financial topics like investing and entrepreneurship.

The platform is great for parents who want more control over their kids' accounts. You choose where they can use their card and how much they can spend weekly or at one time. Plus, you get real-time account notifications and easily lock the card if you need to.

You can even block merchants that sell age-restricted things (like alcohol), so your kid can't use their card at those places.

GoHenry can be a cost-effective option if you need a debit card for several children. There are other debit cards for kids and teens that charge lower monthly fees. But if you want a platform that includes financial education, it's a good pick.

Pros + Cons

  • Robust parental controls
  • Fun way to learn about personal finance
  • Supports direct deposit
  • Family pricing covers up to 4 children
  • Balances don't earn interest
  • No cash deposits
  • No investment account option

Account Details[7]

  • ATM Fee: Free (ATM operator fees still apply)
  • Card Replacement (same design): Free
  • Card Replacement (different design): $4.99
  • Custom Card Fee: $4.99

Learn More: GoHenry Review

Imagine a debit card that grows with your teen. The next card does just that, blending savings goals with practical money management

Best Teen Checking Account: Chase First Banking

Price$0
Age6-17 years old
Minimum to Open$0
Daily Transaction Limits$400 debit, $100 ATM[8]
Key FeaturesVisa debit card, savings goals, chores, allowance, Chase ATM access, parental controls

Chase First Banking is a great free checking account for teens. It gives your teen access to 15,000+ Chase ATMs and 4,700+ branches across the U.S. This account is only open to kids of current Chase checking customers.

The mobile app lets teens set savings goals and earn their allowance by completing chores. Parents can set spending limits and stay up to date on account activity with instant notifications. The parental controls are very flexible, so it's a good choice no matter your parenting style.

Keep in mind, transaction limits are pretty low with Chase First Banking. If your kid wants to save for a big purchase like a laptop, this might not be the best option.

Pros + Cons

  • No monthly fee
  • Accessible ATMs and branches
  • Robust parental controls
  • Only parents can send money to kid's account
  • Parent needs Chase account
  • Doesn't earn interest

Other Fees[9]

  • Out-of-Network ATM Fee: $3.00 for inquiries, transfers and withdrawals while using a non Chase ATM in the US, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. Fees from the ATM owner/network still apply. $5 per withdrawal and $3.00 for any transfers or inquiries at ATMs outside the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Fees from the ATM owner/network still apply.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Expedited Card Delivery: $5

Don't have a Chase checking account but want Chase First Banking for your kid? Check out these popular choices to get started:

For older teens craving independence, the next debit card offers the freedom they want with the oversight you need.

Best for Older Teens: Current Teen Banking

Price$0
Age13+ years old
Minimum to Open$0
Daily Transaction Limits$2,000 debit, $500 ATM[10]
Key FeaturesVisa debit card, savings goals, round-ups, chores, allowance, charity donation, parental controls

Current Teen Banking offers a debit card and banking app designed to help teens spend, save, earn, and donate money to charity. It's also a great option for co-parenting since it supports multiple funding sources.

The account has a couple of clever features to help your child save. Teens can set up their own personalized saving goals. It also offers the ability to automate savings with the round-ups feature. Transactions are rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the difference is put directly into savings.

Current is a solid option for older teens. The daily card spending limit is $2,000 - a lot higher than most teen debit cards. So it's great for teens saving up for bigger purchases as they enter college or adult lives.

But that said, parents can always adjust the daily limits and block merchants to have more control over their kids' spending.

Pros + Cons

  • Withdraw cash at 40,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • Encourages teens to save
  • Easy-to-use app
  • High fees for international ATMs
  • No phone support (email/chat only)
  • No web access (mobile app only)

Other Fees[11]

  • Out-of-Network ATM Fee: $2.50
  • International ATM Fee: $3 + 3%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Card Replacement: $5

Learn More: Current Review

Young teens aren't left out! The next checking account brings a balanced approach to spending and saving.

Best for Younger Teens & Tweens: Capital One MONEY

Price$0/mo.
Age8+ years old
Minimum to Open$0
Daily Transaction Limits$500 debit, $500 ATM[12]
Key FeaturesMastercard debit card, earn interest, 70,000+ fee-free ATMs, savings goals, parental controls

Capital One Money is a great checking account for teens and even younger. The debit card can be used online, in stores, and at more than 70,000 ATMs nationwide. But keep in mind that you can only deposit cash at select ATMs.

Teens can make purchases, deposit checks, and set up savings goals. They can decide how much money to set aside for saving or spending.

Parents can set up allowances, view all account activity, set up notifications, and lock the debit card through the app. You won't be able to set your own spending limits, but the low transaction limits will prevent teens from overspending.

If you need a simple and free checking account for your teen, this is a good choice.

Pros + Cons

  • No monthly service fees
  • Large ATM network
  • Highly rated mobile app
  • Low interest rate
  • Small number of ATMs accept cash
  • No educational content

Other Fees[13]

  • Expedited Card Delivery: $25

Have multiple kids? The next card simplifies it all, with features that teach and tools that empower.

Best for Multiple Kids: BusyKid

Price$4 per month (billed annually at $48)
Age5+ years old
Minimum to Open$0
Daily Transaction Limits$2,000 debit (single transaction), $810 ATM[14]
Key FeaturesVisa debit card, chores, allowance, savings, donate to charity, investment account, parental controls

BusyKid is a great pick if you need a debit card for multiple children. The monthly fee covers up to 5 children per family, which is a good deal compared to other paid platforms. Plus, it comes with an investment account for kids and teens.

Parental controls are a bit limited with this app. There's no option to set specific spending limits, but parental approval is required whenever your kid moves money. For example, if your teen wants to move money from their savings to their spending, you'll need to approve it first.

BusyKid is a solid choice to keep track of spending and allowances for multiple kids. And it's a good way to start investing at a young age.

Pros + Cons

  • Relatively low fee
  • Offers investing platform
  • Balances don't earn interest
  • Few parental control options
  • No cash deposits

Other Fees[15]

  • Declined Purchase Fee: $0.50
  • Foreign Currency Conversion: 3%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $2.50
  • Card Replacement: $5
  • ATM Fee: $1.50

Learn More: BusyKid Review

Best for Teaching Teens about Finances: FamZoo

Price$5.99/mo.
AgeNo minimum
Minimum to Open$5
Daily Transaction Limits$5,000 debit, $510 ATM[16]
Key FeaturesMastercard debit card, subaccounts, parent-paid interest, family billing, informal loans, chores, allowances, parental controls

FamZoo is a teen debit card and banking app with interesting ways to teach teens about money management skills. It can help your teen learn how to budget and spend wisely. Plus, it offers unique features you don't commonly see in other teen banking apps.

Parents can set up informal loans, complete with accrued interest that your kid needs to repay. You can also pay interest on your teen's savings to teach an important lesson about compound interest. These features help illustrate how borrowing and investing money work in the real world.

FamZoo is great for parents who want a hands-on approach to teaching kids about financial responsibility.

Pros + Cons

  • Unique tools for financial literacy
  • Customizable parental controls
  • Fee covers up to 4 children per family
  • $4.95 cash deposit fee
  • Additional fee if you need more than 4 cards
  • App looks outdated (but works fine)

Other Fees[17]

  • Additional Card Fee: $3.00 (first 4 cards free)
  • Card Replacement: $3.00 (first 2 replacements free)
  • Expedited Card Delivery: $25
  • Cash Reload Fee: Up to $4.95

Learn More: FamZoo Review

What to Look for in a Debit Card for Teens

Before you choose a debit card for your teenager, think about which features are most important to you. Then, you can compare costs and find the right platform that fits your needs.

Here are some features to consider in a teen debit card:

Monthly Fee
There are many free debit cards available for teens. But paid options often come with helpful features. Be sure to understand how many children are covered by the monthly fee. If the fee covers just one child, it could be costly for families with multiple kids.

Parental Controls
How much control do you want over your child's finances? If your answer is "a lot," look for apps that let you set spending limits for specific stores and categories. This gives you the most control.

If you want to give your kid some freedom, an app that simply lets you monitor spending behavior could suffice. Most apps let you set up account alerts, so you can stay up-to-date with every purchase.

Security
Your child's debit card should come with built-in security measures to keep your money and info safe. Be sure to choose a debit card that's issued from an FDIC-insured bank, which protects up to $250,000 of your money in case the bank ever fails.

(All the accounts we mentioned have funds held in FDIC-insured banks.)

Investment Account
The younger kids start investing, the better. Keep an eye out for banking apps that offer both a debit card and an investing platform. These apps usually let kids invest in fractional shares, so you can get started with little money.

If you'd rather invest in index funds or ETFs, you could also consider an account like Acorns Early. This is an easy, set-it-and-forget it type of investment that can grow over time.

Savings Goals
Teens can learn how to set financial goals and slowly work toward them. This is a great tool to teach your kids financial responsibility. Savings goals can encourage kids to think ahead and put away money for the things they need.

Direct Deposit
Once your kid starts working, they're going to need a bank account to manage paychecks. Direct deposit is one of the most convenient ways to do so. Some accounts even offer early direct deposit. This can help your teen get their paycheck up to two days earlier.

Educational Content
The right app can help your teen learn about personal finance and gain confidence with money. Try to determine what kind of format is best for your kid. If your kid likes mobile gaming, for example, a platform that gamifies money lessons could be the best choice.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Debit Card?

Generally, you must be at least 13 years old to get a debit card.

Some debit cards have even lower age requirements or no age requirements at all. Most debit cards with no age requirements unfortunately have a monthly fee.

Every account is unique, so check the age requirements of the platform you want before you jump in.

How old is your teen?

How to Open a Children's Debit Card

Signing up for a debit card for teens and kids is pretty straightforward. Specific requirements differ for each account, but here's some basic information you might need to get started:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Driver's license
  • Your child's information

In general, here's what to expect if you want to create an account for your child:

  1. Go to the company's website or download the app.
  2. Click sign up to create an account.
  3. Fill out form with your personal information and your kid's information.
  4. Confirm your details.
  5. Select and order your debit cards.
  6. Receive your card in the mail in about a week.

Some debit cards are available digitally before the physical card arrives. You can use your digital card online or add it to your mobile wallet to use it on the go.

What the Experts Say

CreditDonkey asked a panel of industry experts to answer readers' most pressing questions on debit cards for teens. Here's what they said:

Bottom Line

As teenagers approach adulthood, they'll need a debit card and banking platform to handle their money. Many of these debit cards are free and offer a functional app with features that help kids learn more about finances.

Figure out which features are non-negotiable to you. Do you need a platform that offers investing along with a debit card? Do you need robust parental controls or is it better to give your kid some responsibility?

Once you figure out what your family needs, you can compare products to find the best one at the best price.

Not ready to pick a debit card just yet? Read these to learn more about your options:

References

  1. ^ Greenlight. Are there funding and spending limits for my account?, Retrieved 7/26/2023
  2. ^ Greenlight. How much can I withdraw from an ATM per day and per month?, Retrieved 7/26/2023
  3. ^ Greenlight. List of all fees for Greenlight Prepaid Mastercard, Retrieved 7/26/2023
  4. ^ Axos Bank. Personal Deposit Account Agreement and Schedule of Fees, Retrieved 7/26/2023
  5. ^ Axos Bank. Personal Deposit Account Agreement and Schedule of Fees, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  6. ^ GoHenry. GoHenry US Cardholder Terms and Conditions, Retrieved 1/28/2024
  7. ^ GoHenry. GoHenry Short Form Disclosure, Retrieved 1/28/2024
  8. ^ Chase. Additional Banking Services and Fees: Deposit Account Agreement - Fee Schedule, Retrieved 7/26/2023
  9. ^ Chase. Additional Banking Services and Fees: Deposit Account Agreement - Fee Schedule, Retrieved 1/28/2024
  10. ^ Current. Are there any limits to my Current account?, Retrieved 7/26/2023
  11. ^ Current. Deposit Account Agreement: Fee Schedule, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  12. ^ Capital One. Teen Checking Account Money Disclosures, Retrieved 7/26/2023
  13. ^ Capital One. Teen Checking Account Money Disclosures, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  14. ^ BusyKid. Cardholder Agreement Busykid Spend Card, Retrieved 7/26/2023
  15. ^ BusyKid. Fees Schedule and Transactions Limits, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  16. ^ FamZoo Prepaid Card FAQs: Are there any amount or frequency limits on card usage?, Retrieved 7/26/2023
  17. ^ FamZoo. Fee Disclosures, Retrieved 5/12/2022

Donna Tang is a content associate at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Donna Tang at donna.tang@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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Best Debit Cards for Kids

Tips
Top debit cards for kids. Teach your child money matters and enjoy benefits only parents can get.
How old is your teen?
26% Below 13 years old
70% Around 13 to 17 years old
3% 18 years old
Source: CreditDonkey. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
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