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What is the Best Children’s Debit Card for My Child?

By Catalog Editor Staff

Parents always want what’s best for their children, even into adulthood. Being financially responsible is no exception. A child who learns how to manage his or her finances at a young age, is more likely to become a financially responsible adult. The best way to learn about proper budgeting, spending, and investing, is by developing good habits at a young age. A children’s debit card provides the experience and knowledge needed for this crucial life skill.

What is a Children’s Debit Card?

children using debit card to make payment

Can I get a debit card for my child? The answer is YES! A children’s debit card is the same as an adult debit card except it has a few more controls and protective features. This card is intended for children under the age of 18. Also, it allows a child to open a checking account with parent or guardian consent. These accounts are often tied to an adult checking account, which allows the ease of transferring money between accounts. Ideally, this maximizes adult participation and offers a safety net for children new to managing finances.

Children’s debit cards are widely used and are very popular. For example, Generation Z children typically have debit cards between the age of 13-17 years old. As you may know, 40% of children in this age range already have a debit card. This greatly exceeds the percentage of those who have a credit card, which is at 19%. In conclusion, debit cards are widely used and are a better option than credit cards.

Just like adult bank accounts, children’s bank accounts also conduct the majority of business via a mobile app. Over half of children in the 13-17-year-old age range have a cell phone (53%). In conclusion, the ability to conduct banking via a mobile app is not out of reach.

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For parents, two options are available to children under 18: debit cards or prepaid debit cards.

Prepaid Debit Cards

  • Prepaid debit cards. These cards are available to children as young as five years old because prepaid debit cards allow parents to preload money to their child’s account. They also offer a variety of services. These include chore management, allowances, and spend controls. Often, these services are offered at a small fee.

Children’s Debit Cards

  • Children’s debit cards. Commonly, debit cards are typically available to children at least 13 years old. This is the typical age for a child to have a checking account. But, some institutions allow kids at any age to participate in these programs. Just as with prepaid cards, debit cards that have additional features and tools come with a monthly fee.

What to Consider When Choosing a Debit Card

It’s no question, you and your child will benefit from a children’s debit card. But, when shopping for the right child’s debit card, it is best to choose a card with the best terms and features.

Appropriate age

According to a variety of child debit card articles, the ideal age for a children’s debit card is 8-11 years old. But, the earlier you can familiarize your child with the idea of saving, spending, and tracking, the more comfortable they’ll be with budgeting and investing. A child who is confident in his or her spending abilities will be a responsible adult. Look for an institution that doesn’t have an age restriction. This will allow you the opportunity to work with children as soon as they can comprehend finances; which is typically by seven years old.

Features and Offers

Now, let’s discuss key features, and demonstrate why these are important. A debit card with a mobile app will allow parents and children immediate access to their financial information. Therefore, setting up an account with text/email alert options will enable you and your child to remain updated, which will continuously keep you and your child engaged. Speaking of engagement, you’ll want a debit card that maximizes parental controls. That means parents/guardians can choose and/or restrict spending at certain retailers. Also, parent-paid interest options allow your child to learn the importance of building wealth and focus on saving versus spending. Some debit cards even offer stock investing (with parental guidance and approval, of course). These are all great options for introducing your child to all the benefits of a debit card.


safety and security
As a parent, you want to make sure your child is protected, not only physically, but with their finances, and personal information as well. So, that’s why you want to make sure you work with an FDIC-backed financial institution with proper COPPA-compliant encryption. These features will protect your money if the bank fails and will guard against your child’s personal information (parents must grant consent). In conclusion, confidentiality and security are very important for protecting your and your child’s information.

Benefits of Getting a Children’s Debit Card

Once you get a debit card for your kid, you can load the card by transferring money from your checking account. You’ll then be ready to start using all the features available. Most debit cards are low cost (under $5 per month) and can manage chores, issue allowances, and help with budgeting. Also, your child’s debit card and bank account will turn into an adult checking account once your child turns eighteen.

Moreover, the long-term benefits of your child being financially independent will give you peace of mind as they mature. These critical educational experiences and benefits will be long-lasting.

Popular Savings Offers

Greenlight Provides a Great Option for a Children’s Debit Card

In summary, children who know how to manage a bank account will become better money managers as adults. Introducing children to banking and using a debit card will help them understand how to balance a checkbook, how to make responsible spending decisions, and how to budget. The Greenlight card has the best features and value for a child’s debit card. As a result, with over 1 million users, FDIC-covered, and no age limit, the Greenlight card hits all the important aspects of children’s debit card use. With expansive features, children capitalize on maximum knowledge on debit card management.

Look below to see Greenlight’s extensive options:

  • No min/max age limits
  • Nominal monthly fee for up to five kids ($4.99 per month)
  • $0 ATM fee
  • Restrictions/limits on certain stores
  • First set of replacement cards are free
  • Easy to use mobile app
  • Maximum card balance/transfer limits are higher than comparable cards
  • No interest – parents can set up interest
  • 3 types of accounts – one of which includes stock market investing
  • Variety of unique features
  • FDIC-insured
  • State-of-the-art encryption
  • No cash back for kids
  • Block unsafe spending practices


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