The Best Debit Cards For Kids

by Kevin Payne

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Debit cards for kids are helpful financial literacy tools for teaching your children about money management. Cards are typically either tied to a checking account or are reloadable prepaid cards.

 

Some debit cards for kids are basically junior versions of a debit card you would get from your local bank. Others come with access to extra tools and features like chore and allowance management. 

All four of our kids have debit cards now and they’ve been a blessing. Our kids get a chance to learn about saving, spending, and setting financial goals, and we get to keep tabs on the accounts as a safeguard. 

Here’s a look at the best debit cards for kids including information on any fees attached to the accounts.

 

The Best Debit Cards For Kids

Greenlight Prepaid Debit Card

The Greenlight prepaid debit card combines some of the best features in debit cards for teens. The company has one of the lowest pricing on the list and still packs a lot of advantages, such as a one-month free trial and low extra fees. With no minimum or maximum age and no minimum balance required, Greenlight makes financial education a breeze for parents and helps them “raise financially smart kids”. The app has an educational function, encouraging financial literacy through a kid-focused functionality. 

The company provides financial monitoring through joint accounts that are accessible via the mobile app. Both iPhone and Android users can use the Greenlight app for real-time notification, spending control by store, chore management, allowance automation. Parents can also manage up to five prepaid cards for kids. 

Card Purchase Fee: N/A

Monthly Fee: $4.99 

Reload Fee: No reload fee

ATM Fee: No fee for withdrawal, however, the ATM owner may charge a fee

 

FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card

With a motto centered around education, “preparing kids for the financial jungle”, FamZoo prepaid cards are well-known for teaching good money habits from a young age. Parents can safely use FamZoo prepaid Mastercards for kids of all ages, with no age restriction. Parents need to set a private family banking system, which is utilized to teach kids financial strategies to earn, save, spend and donate wisely and safely. The iPhone and Android compatible mobile apps offer unique education features. 

 

Through the FamZoo app, parents can control chore lists, real-time alerts, saving goals, purpose-driven accounts. Worth mentioning that you’ll find two options for families, prepaid card and IOU account. The prepaid debit cards for teens provide a hands-on finance management experience. 

 

Card Purchase Fee: No fee for purchases

Monthly Fee: From $2.50 to $5.99 for up to four cards (pain in advance plans are much cheaper than the monthly option)

Reload Fee: Up to $6 for MasterCard rePower, GreenDot @ the Register, GreenDot MoneyPal / free for direct deposit, ACH transfers from other banks, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Square Cash

ATM Fee: FamZoo doesn’t charge any ATM fees, but you may be charged a fee by the ATM operator. 

 

FamZoo

FamZoo is one of the most popular prepaid debit cards and family finance apps for kids, teens, and parents.



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Capital One 360 MONEY Card

Capital One designed its MONEY account specifically for teens. When you create a MONEY account, your kid automatically receives a prepaid card. The Capital One banking app gives both kids and parents safe visibility of the account. Parental controls are available, and the app offers a smooth communication flow between parents and teens. The debit card comes with a vast age range, as the account is available for kids ages 8 and above. This is designed to encourage better financial decisions as kids get more familiar with the process. The control features include goal rewards, automatic allowances, transaction views, notifications, one-time transfers, etc. Teens also earn competitive interest rates on all checking account balances. 

 

Parents don’t need a Capital One bank account to link to their child’s MONEY account and order the card. 

 

Card Purchase Fee: No fee for purchases

Monthly Fee: No monthly fee

Reload Fee: No reload fee

ATM Fee: No fee within the Capital One network

 

Card purchases and withdrawals are limited to $500 per day for cardholders under 18. 

gohenry Debit Card

gohenry is a UK-based company that also has a US presence. The prepaid card comes with an online account that is fully tailored for kids ages 6 to 18. gohenry doesn’t issue prepaid cards for kids who are over 18. The banking app allows iPhone and Android access, where parents can set up a weekly allowance, spending limits, saving goals, etc. There are a lot of educational tools on the app to encourage y younger users to budget, earn, save, donate, and spend their money wisely. 

 

The company is dedicated to providing accessible customer service, with phone support 7 days a week, email, live chat, and active social media platforms. 

 

Card Purchase Fee: No fee for purchases

Monthly Fee: $3.99 per kid per month, one month free

Reload Fee: No reload fee if you use the debit card to load the parent account

ATM Fee: $1.50 domestic withdrawal, $2 for overseas

 

 

BusyKid Prepaid Visa Spend Card

BusyKid was one of the winners in the 2020 National Parenting Product Awards for the educational banking app for kids. The iPhone and Android apps encourage money management for children of age 6 to 16, displaying a clear and simple display. The app also lets children decide how to split their allowance and earnings, between saving, investing, and spending. Spending allows them to choose between cash and loading the debit card. 

 

Similar to other prepaid cards, the app provides a level of parental control to set up automatic allowances, chores, and even transaction tracking. 

 

Card Purchase Fee: No fee for purchases

Monthly Fee: Yearly package of $19.99 for the family; includes 1 card 

Reload Fee: No reload fee

ATM Fee: No ATM access

 

TD Go Prepaid Visa

The TD Go Prepaid Visa for teens offers independence but with a safe dose of control from parents and guardians. Both teens and parents can monitor spending in real-time online. Cardholders must be at least 13 and need a valid Social Security Number. TD Go Prepaid Visa doesn’t have any maximum age limit. 

 

The prepaid card doesn’t encourage financial literacy compared with other teen banking apps. Parents can set up notifications about the card balance and activity. To use a TD debit card, parents need to have an existing TD account. 

 

Card Purchase Fee: No fee for purchases

Monthly Fee: No monthly fee

Reload Fee: $1 for reload using a TD bank debit card, parents can authorize multiple reloaders as long as they have a TD bank debit card

ATM Fee: Free for TD network, $3 for ATM out of network 

 

TD bank charges an inactivity fee of $2.50 per month. You also need to load $20 on the debit card as you first order it. 

 

American Express Serve FREE Reloads

It’s worth mentioning that American Express offers 3 different versions of the Serve prepaid card. As per the name, the FREE Reloads one has no reload fee for cash reload. The debit card, however, isn’t explicitly made for kids. American Express doesn’t accept cardholders under 18, which makes it the debit card for teens with the highest minimum age. 

 

The company doesn’t provide financial literacy tools, unlike the other companies mentioned in this article. However, you become an American Express customer, able to enjoy 24/7 customer services, fraud prevention features, and FDIC insurance. It is typically an option allowing high-income families to manage heavy allowances for late teens and tweens. 

 

Card Purchase Fee: No fee for purchases, except for foreign transactions

Monthly Fee:$6.95

Reload Fee: Free for cash reload with over 45,000 locations

ATM Fee: $0 but up to $2.50 for out-of-network ATM

 

Akimbo Prepaid Mastercard

Akimbo Prepaid Mastercard enables users to create a prepaid account for any purpose, including but not limited to debit cards for teens. Akimbo doesn’t specify any age restriction, so parents are free to use the prepaid account for kids, even though the account is primarily targeted to businesses. 

 

Control settings are broad enough to configure ATM access, restrict merchants, set up transaction alerts, etc. While there aren’t any education features in the app, parents can use Akimbo for safe allowance management. 

 

Card Purchase Fee: $0.99 fee for purchases requiring PIN use, 

Monthly Fee: No fee

Reload Fee: $4.95 for cash reload

ATM Fee: $1.98 if ATM withdrawal is authorized

 

Current 

Current has been praised for its innovative approach to teen banking, enabling faster direct deposits, fingerprint and facial recognition, and savings roundups. Current cardholders have no age restrictions and can use the app features to improve their financial literacy. The iPhone and Android app introduces kids to chore-based moment earning, saving, sending money, giving to charity, etc. Parents can set spending limits and block specific merchants. 

 

There’s a choice to keep accounts joint or separate and allow a co-parent to participate. 

 

Card Purchase Fee: No fee for purchases

Monthly Fee: Yearly account fee of $36 with a one-month free trial

Reload Fee: No fee

ATM Fee: No fee

 

 

Mango Prepaid Mastercard

Mango Prepaid Mastercard has no age restriction, so while they can be used as debit cards for teens, they are suitable for a variety of users. Because Mango isn’t designed with kids in mind, it doesn’t offer any educational tips for money management. Parents don’t have control over spending habits, and can’t restrict stores. 

 

Card Purchase Fee: No fee for purchases

Monthly Fee: $5

Reload Fee: No fee, parents can use bank transfer, direct deposit, or card to card transfer

ATM Fee: $3 per withdrawal, $1 for ATM inquiry or declined withdrawal

 

Inactive cards incur an inactivity fee of $8. 

 

When Should You Get Your Child a Debit Card? 

Some prepaid cards have no age restriction, making them available for young children too. However, it’s a good idea to ensure that your child is ready for a debit card first. Ideally, debit cards for teens become useful tools when your child receives a regular income, which they want to spend, save, or invest safely. Parents want to ensure their kid is responsible with money. In other words, the right time is when your teen can demonstrate an understanding and interest in planning their financial freedom. 

 

 

Do your kids have a debit card or a bank account? If so, how did you come to your decision? Let us know in the comments below.

The Best Debit Cards For Kids

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