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

Your mum, dad, and older sibling all have debit cards. When will it be your turn to get one? You probably think you need to wait until you’re 18.

Or, you’re a parent wondering when you can give your responsible teen a debit card of their own to manage.

So, how old do you have to be to get a debit card?

This guide is going to help you answer this question.

Age Requirements for Debit Cards

The minimum age requirements for a debit card vary from bank to bank. While many debit cards are only available for teens 13 or older, there are options for kids as young as six years old.

About 20% of American teenagers have a debit card. It’s of note, however, that regardless of the bank’s age limit requirements, in the US, a child under age 18 must have a parent or guardian on the account.

If you aren’t sure at what age you can get a debit card for your child, query with the bank directly.

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

Essentially, the minimum age for debit cards depends on a few factors, including:

  • Whether the account is monitored by the parents
  • Which banking institution you use
  • What the account is being used for
  • How much money is in the account
  • Whether it is a prepaid card or a standard debit card

These will determine whether your child is eligible for a debit card. There are also some more subjective factors to consider, such as your child’s maturity level and financial literacy.

Why Should I Give My Kids a Debit Card?

Studies show that the earlier you give your kids financial education, the more effective the lesson would be. Research suggests children develop a basic understanding of money by the age of three and form many of their financial habits by the time they turn seven.

A debit card for minors can help them develop good financial habits such as:

  • Managing a budget: Having a particular weekly or monthly budget to manage teaches children and teens a valuable lesson about spending. Once that money in their account is spent, it’s gone.
  • Responsibility: It’s their responsibility to look after that debit card.
  • Wants vs. needs: Raising your kids to be smart with money gives them a vital life skill. They might want that item, but do they need it?
  • Independence: With a personal account, they are given the opportunity to manage their own financials from a young age.

It’s understandable that as a parent or guardian, you will need to feel comfortable with your child having a debit card. You’ll be the best judge of whether they can handle a debit card and the responsibility it entails. Once again, at what age you can get a debit card largely depends on the child’s maturity level.

Children and Money

Allowing Kids to Manage Their Money Safely

Debit cards for teens are also a safe and convenient way to give kids money. There are many benefits to managing your child’s money via a debit card:

  • Safe: You can manage your kids’ finances online or allow them to handle it themselves with monitoring while also avoiding cash handling.
  • Convenient: It is much easier to handle purchases via a debit card.
  • Manageable: A debit card with parental controls allows you to manage your child’s spending.

What Sorts of Debit Cards for Kids Are Available?

There are several different options you can provide your child with when looking for the right debit card for them:

Prepaid debit cards for kids

Prepaid debit cards are not linked to a bank account but are topped up with money that the child or teenager can use. They are usually reloaded online, and the parent can monitor the expenditure on the card.

Family bank accounts

Parents can add their kids to their personal accounts or create a family bank account. The parents or legal guardians can put spending limits on the kids each day and monitor the spending on their debit cards.

Personal debit accounts with parental controls

Children can have their own debit card with a personal account, but parents can view the account and have parental controls, including spending caps. This option is usually for bank accounts for teenagers rather than kids under 13.

Are There Alternatives to Debit Cards for Kids?

There are alternatives to debit cards if you want to teach your kids a different way to manage their finances:

Credit cards

Kids cannot obtain their own credit cards until they are 18 or over. However, some banks, like American Express, allow you to add your child as an authorized user from the age of 13. Others like Citibank, Chase, and Bank of America have no minimum age requirement for adding a child to your account. Credit cards for teens sometimes have stricter rules, like Discover, which only allows them to be added if they are 15 or older.

Savings accounts

Savings accounts allow your kids to save up money rather than spend it. For instance, Capital One’s Kids Savings Account is available to any child aged eight or over. There are no charges to open or maintain the account monthly.

Debit Cards for Minors

There are numerous debit cards out there, but our top five includes the following:

Greenlight Debit Card for Kids

The Greenlight debit card and app are a great way to incentivize kids to manage their money. The account is an app with parental controls, where guardians can set an amount for a specific task and have their kids accrue money over time.

Chores can earn them money, and the app also allows them to set their own personal savings goals over time. The greenlight card for kids also allows parents to send allowance transfers to the app directly.

The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account

The Capital One account is available from the age of eight and allows parents and kids to both have access to the same account. The debit card is free, and there are no monthly premiums to pay on the account. The card is also the best for ATM access. If you don’t have a Capital One account, the app can also be linked to any account you have.

FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card

FamZoo offers prepaid debit cards for kids and a kid-friendly mobile app with a wide range of educational tools. It features savings goals, chore lists, real-time alerts, and instant transfers. For kids under 13, FamZoo issues “on-behalf-of” cards. In this case, the parent is the legal cardholder, and the card is used to track purchases made on the pre-teen’s behalf.

Chase Debit Card for Kids

The Chase Debit Card for kids is available for minors from the age of 6 up to 17. The card is highly rated as it also allows kids to learn about banking as they use the card. There are no monthly fees, spending caps can be set, and there are also alerts that get sent to parents’ phones when your child uses the account.

GoHenry

GoHenry is a debit card and app that allows users to set money goals and develop their financial knowledge. Kids can earn money through chores, set their budgets, and feel responsible for their own accounts with a personalized card. The app is tailored to kids and teens but can be used by the whole family.

How to Choose the Best Debit Account for a Minor

There’s more than just the age requirement for a bank account to consider when finding a debit card for your kids. Try answering the following questions:

  • Does the debit account allow you to set spending caps?
  • Can I monitor my child’s expenditure and get a notification when they spend?
  • Does the debit account have a minimum deposit, monthly fee, or setup fee?
  • Does the app allow my child to learn about money?
  • Can I set monthly allowance transfers to the account?
  • Does the app allow parents and kids to set savings goals?
  • What security measures are available on the account to protect my child’s money?

In a nutshell, the best debit account for your family will depend on how old your child is and how much control you would like to have over their spending.

Key Takeaways

There are a number of different debit cards and other financial alternatives to help your kids manage their money from ages six upwards. What you’re looking for in a debit card for kids depends on your child’s maturity level and how you want them to develop their financial skills.

Ultimately, kids grasp the basics of finances from a young age, so the earlier they’re given some financial responsibility, the better. With spending caps and parental controls, kids can safely develop their financial knowledge with the support of their parents.

FAQ

How old do you have to be to get a debit card at Chase?

The Chase debit card age requirement is 6 to 17.

How old do you have to be to get a Paypal debit card?

Paypal debit cards are not available for minors and can only be obtained if you are 18 or over.

How old do you have to be to get a debit card at Bank of America?

The Bank of America has a Minor Savings Account that must be opened and managed by a legal guardian or parent. There is a minimum deposit of $25 and the account comes with a debit card that can be used by the child up to six times a month before fees are incurred.

How old do you have to be to get a Chime debit card?

The minimum age for a debit card with Chime is 18. Minors cannot get a Chime debit card.

How old do you have to be to get a debit card at Wells Fargo?

At Wells Fargo, minors can open an account with a legal guardian or parent when they are between 13 and 16.

ABOUT AUTHOR

To be honest, I never wanted to become a writer. My dream job was a software developer/engineer or a graphic designer. But, as I’m far more skillful with words than maths, I got a degree in English language and literature. Now that I’ve been a content creator for six years, I’d never think about any other profession. I write as if my life depended on it. But don’t think writing is all I know of. When I get tired of it (yeah, it’s possible), I do yoga or play the guitar. When inspiration strikes me, I grab my camera and go out for a photo shoot. Although I prefer the nice weather, I could freeze to death for just a few good snaps.

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