Best Debit Cards for Kids and Teens in December 2022: GoHenry, BusyKid and More

Debit playing cards supply children an opportunity to study monetary literacy by way of direct expertise. Using a debit card properly may help them apply budgeting and saving, whereas reaping the advantages of handy funds.

Digital funds dominate commerce as of late — many companies have stopped accepting money altogether. An allowance on a debit card will give your youngster extra spending energy than paper cash will. 

Debit playing cards do introduce threat. Banks and monetary establishments might promote your kid’s private information to different corporations. You’ll additionally wish to arrange guidelines for when and the place your youngster can use the cardboard, to keep away from lack of the cardboard or fraudulent utilization.

Read on to find my prime picks for debit playing cards for teenagers and teenagers beneath. Also study concerning the dangers and rewards of debit playing cards for teenagers and help for instilling optimistic cash habits.

Best debit playing cards for teenagers and teenagers

  • Minimum age: 6
  • Monthly price: $4.99 for one youngster; $9.98 for as much as 4 youngsters
  • Free trial: 30 days
  • ATM price: $1.50 per transaction
  • Purchase charges: None

After assessing the sector, I settled on GoHenry for my 6-year-old son. Known for its customized playing cards and customizable duties like particular chores and financial savings objectives, it is a sensible choice for fogeys who wish to assist youthful children tackle extra family tasks and pay them for a job nicely achieved. What I actually like: the corporate’s coverage clearly states that they do not promote your — or your children’ — private data to 3rd events with out your permission. So far, my kiddo is midway to incomes the most recent Lego Super Mario set and he is by no means been happier to fold laundry.

For extra particulars, see our full GoHenry Debit Card for Kids overview.

  • Minimum age: None
  • Monthly price: $3.99 per 30 days, as much as 5 youngsters per plan
  • Free trial: 1 month
  • ATM price: None
  • Purchase charges: None

As essentially the most inexpensive paid choice on our listing, the BusyKid Visa Prepaid Debit Card is a superb useful resource for fogeys inquisitive about educating their children how one can develop their financial savings. Kids have the choice of conserving money in a financial savings account, investing it in particular person shares or donating it to charitable causes. BusyKid acknowledges that it collects consumer data to focus on adverts contained in the app, and the corporate might share dad and mom’ information with companions for advertising and marketing functions. However, it clarifies its place by stating that this apply applies to folks solely, and “the personal information we collect about children is not made publicly available or otherwise shared, except as otherwise described in this Privacy Policy.”

At the time of publication, no conflicting description exists on BusyKid’s web site. 

  • Minimum age: None
  • Monthly price: $5-$10 per 30 days, as much as 5 youngsters
  • Free trial: 1 month
  • ATM price: None
  • Purchase charges: None

One of the preferred debit card apps for teenagers, Greenlight permits dad and mom to designate allowance to particular shops, pay curiosity on rising balances for example compound curiosity and set particular incomes objectives. According to a colleague who makes use of it, the app is intuitive and straightforward to navigate. 

But the corporate has had some bumps within the street in relation to privateness. In a earlier model of its privateness disclosure, Greenlight reserved the correct to share your private data with a number of events, together with “ad and marketing vendors,” “insurance companies,” “collection agencies,” and the obscure class, “other service providers.” In a press release to Vice, a Greenlight spokesperson mentioned the corporate would take away the language, and it has since achieved so. Note that COPPA requires {that a} financial institution safe your permission to signal a baby up for a banking app, however does not prohibit the corporate from promoting your non-public data.

For extra data, see our full overview of the Greenlight debit card for teenagers.

  • Minimum age: 13
  • Monthly price: None
  • Free trial: None
  • ATM price: None
  • Purchase charges: None

Designed for youngsters, this free app teaches younger adults to make use of a checking account and debit card. Your youngster can use the account to ship cash to pals and distributors and pay payments. It additionally affords 0.1% APY curiosity. Axos does share your private data with different monetary corporations to market services and products to you — however you possibly can decide out of focused affiliate adverts.

  • Minimum age: None
  • Monthly price: None
  • Free trial: None
  • ATM price: None
  • Purchase charges: None

Although there is no such thing as a minimal age to enroll, Step is finest fitted to older children who’re able to stage up their monetary information. Like a daily debit card, Step attracts on deposited funds to pay for purchases. Unlike a debit card, the Step card processes all transactions as credit score — which suggests your teen can construct credit score safely with out having to fret about overdraft charges or accruing curiosity. 

Step shares your private data with enterprise companions “with whom we may jointly offer products or services, or whose products or services we believe may be of interest to you,” and their privateness coverage is obscure in relation to opting out. It states, “We may give you choices regarding the sharing of your information with affiliates and third parties. Choices you have about the sharing of your information will be described in the privacy policies or notices you receive in connection with the products or Services you obtain from us.”

You can decide out of sharing your kid’s information by contacting the corporate straight. 


Should I get my youngster a debit card?

Financial literacy begins surprisingly early. Most youngsters acknowledge the worth of cash by age 7, in line with a University of Cambridge examine, together with how it’s earned and exchanged for items. The examine additionally discovered that though children grasp primary cash ideas at a younger age, they’re nonetheless processing the distinction between luxuries and requirements. (Many adults wrestle with this, too: a budgeting app may help.)


Opening a pay as you go debit card in your kid’s identify offers them a chance for hands-on expertise underneath your steerage. Younger children will do nicely with a pay as you go debit card; older children could also be prepared for an entry-level checking account with debit capabilities. Either method, because the custodian, you may must open an account on their behalf and hyperlink it to your checking account. Afterward, you possibly can switch cash to their card. Most playing cards and accounts characteristic trendy instruments that will help you instill optimistic cash habits, together with: 

  • Tracking how and when your youngster spends their cash
  • Assigning and rewarding accomplished chores with a debited allowance
  • Saving and investing instruments that recommend methods to develop their earnings

Are debit playing cards for teenagers protected?

New know-how all the time presents dangers — particularly when children are concerned. According to a Pew Research survey, two-thirds of oldsters imagine that elevating children is tougher than 20 years in the past, exactly as a result of of know-how. 

And it is not simply display screen time that raises issues. According to a 2018 examine by Javelin Strategy & Research, multiple million youngsters have been victims of identification theft in 2017, at an estimated price of $2.67 billion. More than 80% of them have been 12 years or youthful. More lately, the Identity Theft Resource Center has acquired quite a few stories of non-public data breaches stemming from COVID-19-related stimulus claims. In one case, a 2-year-old’s identification was stolen and used to say advantages. 

Though that was not the fault of the monetary business, the banks do play a task in the issue. Data mining has change into a useful useful resource for companies, and monetary firms have proven that they’re greater than prepared to promote buyer information. As such, the burden in the end falls to these very clients to watch and shield their very own — and their children’ — information. 

Weighing the advantages and dangers of a debit card to your youngster is a balancing act. The major factor to contemplate is how a lot you are comfy sharing on-line. While each issuer is completely different, you may want to supply figuring out details about your self and your youngster to enroll, together with birthdates, Social Security numbers, tackle and cellphone quantity. The firm might also ask you to share your GPS location historical past, buy historical past and behavioral profile — data which will enable the app to share focused adverts for services and products. That mentioned, debit playing cards for teenagers aren’t any extra dangerous than their grownup counterparts for just a few causes: 

  • Child-specific legal guidelines: The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act takes privateness a step additional for youngsters underneath 13 who use banking merchandise by requiring issuers to obviously define what data they’re amassing and get parental consent beforehand. Pay shut consideration as to if the issuer intends to promote your kid’s information to 3rd events. 
  • Purchase safety: If your kid’s card is misplaced or stolen, some issuers supply refunds for fraudulent purchases — for an extra price. Greenlight’s Max plan gives buy safety for an additional $5 per 30 days.
  • Card safety: Prepaid playing cards are geared up with EMV chip know-how and password-protected accounts that require a PIN or facial recognition to entry the account. 
  • Locking functionality: Most debit playing cards for teenagers include a parental locking characteristic that means that you can shield the money within the account by way of your app if the cardboard is misplaced. 
  • Consumer safety: Unlike money that may simply fall out of your kid’s pocket, pay as you go debit playing cards issued by FDIC-insured banks shield as much as $250,000, that means that you just will not lose the cash in your account if the financial institution fails. 

Although the identical safety measures shield child and grownup debit playing cards, it bears repeating that any data you share about your youngster on-line will increase their threat profile. Online information breaches have uncovered large numbers of accounts, which regularly comprise delicate data, together with social safety numbers, addresses, cellphone numbers and bank card numbers. 

After signing your youngster up for a debit card, search for payments or bank card purposes addressed to them and ask questions if a debt collector calls with their identify on file. The Federal Trade Commission outlines steps to take should you suspect identification theft and Experian affords a free ID Scan service to see whether or not your kid’s SSN is lively on any credit score accounts. 

How can I set expectations with my youngster?

Before handing it over to a younger and keen spender, an in depth dialog about debit card use is essential. When the debit card arrives, sit down together with your youngster and focus on the essential factors.

  • Safety: Most pay as you go debit playing cards present a locking characteristic if the cardboard is misplaced or stolen, however you possibly can’t take the required steps with out communication out of your child. Remind them to maintain their card in a protected place, to not share their password or PIN with anybody or make purchases on an unsecured Wi-Fi community. If they suppose their card is compromised, they need to inform you instantly. 
  • Spending guidelines: If you are involved about the place your youngster might spend their money, think about signing up for a debit card that means that you can block sure retailers. If you have already signed up for a card that does not have this characteristic, discuss to your youngster about acceptable spending habits and allow them to know that you’re going to be monitoring their purchases.

How do I study what the corporate is doing with my kid’s data?

As we realized above, corporations reserve the correct to vary how they use collected information at any time, so it is a good suggestion to maintain monitor of your account’s privateness coverage and use of focused adverts proven to your youngster by way of the app. Consumer safety legal guidelines govern features of what corporations can share, however not all. Once you have chosen a product, learn the fantastic print fastidiously to verify it aligns together with your consolation stage.

How can I inform whether or not my kid’s private information is compromised?

It’s value reiterating that minors are prime targets for identification theft, primarily as a result of dad and mom do not detect an issue till their youngster begins working and submitting tax returns. Although most debit playing cards for teenagers accumulate solely the custodial account holder’s SSN, it is nonetheless prudent to search for indicators of kid identification theft, together with debt assortment calls, payments or bank card purposes that seem in your kid’s identify. The FTC outlines steps to take should you suspect identification theft, and Experian affords a free ID Scan service to see whether or not your kid’s SSN is lively on any credit score accounts. 

What if I nonetheless have questions?

Ask! I am unable to stress this sufficient: Your youngster wants you to safeguard their private data. If you are having hassle understanding the privateness coverage or have a particular query, contact the corporate straight and ask for assist. Not solely will their response tackle your issues, you may additionally study what sort of customer support you possibly can anticipate should you join their product.

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The editorial content material on this web page is predicated solely on goal, unbiased assessments by our writers and isn’t influenced by promoting or partnerships. It has not been offered or commissioned by any third celebration. However, we might obtain compensation once you click on on hyperlinks to services or products supplied by our companions.

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