May 16, 2022

Best Debit Card for Teens

Read more about Debit Cards for Kids
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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 9 best debit cards for teens.

Saving money is only half the battle. The other half is learning how to spend money wisely.

A debit card designed for teenagers can help your child learn about financial responsibility. Teen debit cards come with apps that can help young adults access their cash, save money, and even invest.

Keep reading for a list of the best debit cards that are actually worth it. Plus, find out how to choose the best teen account to keep your child safe.

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 Debit Card for Under 18: Greenlight

Price$4.99/mo., $7.98/mo., or $9.98/mo.
AgeNo minimum
Minimum to Open$1 with bank transfer or $20 with debit card
Daily Transaction Limits$1,500 debit, $100 ATM
Key FeaturesMastercard debit card, educational content, investment account, high-interest savings, 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. The platform is packed with features you don't usually see in a banking app for kids, including quizzes, videos, and other educational content.

Your teen can learn about investing, then actually invest in fractional shares right from the app.

  • The Greenlight plan is $4.99/mo. and includes basic features like a debit card, educational app, parental controls, savings, and allowance.

  • Greenlight + Invest is $7.98/mo. and adds on an investing platform for kids and parents.

  • Greenlight Max is $9.98/mo. and adds perks like higher savings rewards, cash back, and identity theft protection.

Although the fee is higher than many other debit cards for kids, Greenlight offers a ton of functionality in return. Plus, the fee covers up to 5 children and debit cards per family.

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[1]

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

Learn More: Greenlight Review

Best Free Debit Card: Current Teen Banking

Price$0
Age13+ years old
Minimum to Open$0
Daily Transaction Limits$2,000 debit, $500 ATM
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 if you're looking for customizable parental controls. Parents can set spending limits, block merchants, and get notified about 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[2]

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

Learn More: Current Review

Best Free Checking Account: Chase First Banking

Price$0
Age6-17 years old
Minimum to Open$0
Daily Transaction Limits$400 debit, $100 ATM
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 16,000+ 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[3]

  • 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:

Early Direct Deposit: Copper Banking

Price$0/mo.
Age13+ years old
Minimum to Open$0
Daily Transaction Limits$2,000 debit, $500 ATM
Key FeaturesMastercard debit card, educational content, savings goals, chores, allowance, early direct deposit, parental monitoring

Copper Banking is a solid debit card for teens that comes with a sleek, modern app. Teens can add their debit card with Apple Pay and Google Pay for contactless access. Plus, the card can be used to withdraw cash at 55,000+ fee-free Allpoint ATMs.

The app helps teens learn about topics like saving, investing, and debt. The educational content is breezy and approachable to keep teens engaged. However, parental controls are a bit lacking. Parents can monitor spending and get real-time notifications. But you can't set spending limits.

Copper is a great choice for older teens who are old enough to have a job. The account offers early direct deposit, so your teen can get their paycheck up to two days earlier.

Pros + Cons

  • Fee-free banking
  • Good educational content
  • Works with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Negligible interest rate
  • $4.95 fee to deposit cash
  • Limited parental controls

Other Fees[4]

  • Cash Deposit Fee: Up to $4.95

Learn More: Copper Review

Earn Interest: Axos First Checking

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

Axos First Checking is a great way for teens to manage money and earn a bit of interest. Your kid can use the debit card online, in stores, with a mobile payment app, and at ATMs. If you can't get to a no-fee ATM, Axos reimburses up to $12 in ATM fees per month.

Parents can monitor spending activity, but there aren't spending control options. The daily spending limits are relatively low to prevent your kid from overspending. But this could be an inconvenience if your kid is saving up for a big purchase.

Overall, Axos First Checking is pretty basic with no in-app educational features. But it's a solid introduction to banking.

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

Large ATM Network: Capital One MONEY

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

Capital One Money is another great checking account for teens. 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.

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. While the app doesn't have a ton of features, it works well for mature kids and teens.

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[6]

  • Expedited Card Delivery: $25

Best for Large Families: BusyKid

Price$3.99/mo.
Age5+ years old
Minimum to Open$0
Daily Transaction Limits$1,500 debit, $100 ATM
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
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Balances don't earn interest
  • Few parental control options
  • No cash deposits

Other Fees[7]

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

Learn More: BusyKid Review

Best Prepaid Debit Card: FamZoo

Price$5.99/mo.
AgeNo minimum
Minimum to Open$5
Daily Transaction Limits$5,000 debit, $510 ATM
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[8]

  • 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

Best Educational App: GoHenry

Price$3.99/mo.
Age6+ years old
Minimum to Open$5
Daily Transaction Limits$2,500 debit, $120 ATM
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 can control where and how much your teen can spend through the app. Plus, you can easily lock the debit card and get real-time account notifications.

GoHenry can be a bit expensive if you need a debit card for multiple kids. 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
  • Monthly fee covers just one kid
  • No cash deposits
  • $1.50 ATM fee

Account Details[9]

  • ATM Fee: $1.50
  • Card Replacement (same design): Free
  • Card Replacement (different design): $4.99
  • Custom Card Fee: $4.99

Learn More: GoHenry 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 are FDIC insured.)

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 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.

Bottom Line

As your teenager inches closer to adulthood, they're going to need a debit card and banking platform to manage 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. List of all fees for Greenlight Mastercard Prepaid Card, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  2. ^ Current. Deposit Account Agreement: Fee Schedule, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  3. ^ Chase. Additional Banking Services and Fees: Deposit Account Agreement - Fee Schedule, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  4. ^ Green Dot Bank. How much does it cost to deposit cash using the Green Dot app?, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  5. ^ Axos Bank. Personal Deposit Account Agreement and Schedule of Fees, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  6. ^ Capital One. Teen Checking Account Money Disclosures, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  7. ^ BusyKid. Fees Schedule and Transactions Limits, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  8. ^ FamZoo. Fee Disclosures, Retrieved 5/12/2022
  9. ^ goHenry. GoHenry Short Form Disclosure, Retrieved 5/12/2022

Donna Tang is the head of purpose and audience at CreditDonkey, a bank 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.

Read Next:

Best Free Debit Card for Kids and Teens

Free Debit Card for Kids

Best First Checking Account for Kids

Best First Checking Account for Kids

Best Banking Apps for Kids and Teens

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

How Old to Get Debit Card

Greenlight Review

Greenlight Review

Current Review

Current Review

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Best Debit Cards for Kids

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.
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