The total number of debit card users in the United States is more than 5 billion people!
But, just how old do you have to be to get a debit card?
Lots of teenagers and kids are looking to open a bank account and get their own debit card, but may be unsure of what the age requirements are.
In short, the answer is, it depends on the bank or financial service used. Those as young as 6 years old can actually get their own debit card from banks with some places having no age requirements at all.
In today’s post, I’ll cover a little about what age you can get a debit card and give you a few banks and financial service companies who hand them out to younger customers.
Benefits of Giving Kids & Teens a Debit Card
Having a debit card is beneficial for a few reasons:
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- They don’t have to worry about losing cash.
- Cards can make purchasing stuff much more convenient.
- It can make it easier for parents to provide their kids with money
- Cards can help to teach minors about finance.
The final one is important. There’s lots of research which shows that giving kids an early financial education pays off in the future.
Sadly, in school, we aren’t taught enough about finances. No one tells us about the importance of budgeting or how to start saving.
This means that many of us have to learn as adults, and that can come along with mistakes like overspending and not saving. That’s why it’s so important for parents to teach their kids about money and banking from a young age. Financial life with no bank account is much harder. It makes paying bills, paying for purchases, improving your credit and many other things much easier. Not to mention it’s much harder to receive and send money without a bank account.
Giving kids and teens their own debit cards can be a good way to do this.
How Old Do You Need to Be to Get a Debit Card?
Those under 18 can get a debit card with some places offering them to those who are under 13 years old. The catch is that one parent is usually required to be the joint owner until the child turns 18 years old, or it’s the parent who must request the card if using a financial service company (more on that below).
I’ll go into the age requirement in more detail below.
There are two main ways for a minor to get a debit card:
One: Through a checking account – As young as 6 years old
Banks do not allow those who are younger than 18 years old to open a bank account by themselves. But, many do allow parents to open joint checking accounts or family accounts that include debit cards for their children.
Depending on the bank, the youngest age a person could get a debit card is 6 years old. Other banks set the minimum age higher than that, like at 13, 14, 15, 16, or 17 years old.
Here are some banks that allow minors to get their own debit card:
- Minimum age requirement: 8 years old
Capital One offers a fee-free bank account for teens and kids that includes a debit card. There are no monthly service fees or balance requirements. Parents can lock and unlock the card as they choose and get alerts too.
This is a join account, but parents and kids have their own mobile app logins for MONEY. So, this allows kids to manage their money, while providing parents with visibility and control.
- Minimum age requirement: 6 years old
The Chase First Banking account is a bank account that’s designed for those who are 6 years old to 17 years old. It’s available to Chase checking customers and it’s designed to help teens and kids build good money habits.
A parent must have a qualifying Chase checking account before they can add a Chase First Banking account.
It’s important to note that only the parent or guardian who opened the account can fund, view, or manage this account. But, kids get their own debit cards.
Parents get a lot of control with the account. For example, they can do things like:
- Manage where and how much money their child can spend.
- Set up account alerts to help track their kid’s purchases.
- Approve or decline money requests from their kids.
- Set limits on how much their child can withdraw at ATMs.
This account has a zero monthly service fee too!
- Minimum age requirement: 13 years old
The Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking Account is an account available to those who are 13 years old to 17 years old. This is a joint account. So a parent who is an Alliant member must be the joint owner of the account.
There is no minimum balance required and no monthly service fee charged either. It comes with a contactless Visa debit card for the parent and one for their child too. There’s also an app that can be used to manage money.
You can set limits too, like daily card debit card limits of $100 in cash ATM withdrawals, and $300 in spending. And, the parent joint owner has full account access and can set up transaction alerts to monitor their teen’s spending.
It’s a good idea for parents to check with their bank to see if there are any joint account options that offer debit cards available for them and their children.
Two: Through a prepaid debit card service – Some have no minimum age requirement
If you don’t want to go with the traditional banking route – perhaps your bank doesn’t offer debit cards to teens, and you don’t want to switch – then you could try a prepaid debit card service.
For parents, what’s good about prepaid cards is that they can load the money onto the card and they don’t have to worry about things like the account going overdrawn.
Here are some places that offer debit cards to kids and teenagers…
- Minimum age requirement: No minimum or maximum age requirement
Greenlight offers a debit card for kids. You can even set savings goals with it. Parents can get a Greenlight debit card for their kids that can be used almost anywhere that MasterCard is accepted.
Now, this costs anywhere from $4.99 a month to $9.98 a month depending on the plan you choose. It offers real-time transaction notifications, and it gives parents flexible ATM and other spending controls. And, parents can even turn the debit card on or off directly in the app.
- Minimum age requirement: No minimum age requirement
FamZoo offers prepaid cards to kids and teens. There are also lots of educational tools available that can help kids to save, invest, and just learn about finance in general.
Parents can automatically track purchases giving them more control over what their kids spend. There are free card load options and prices start at as low as 63 cents per card per month.
- Minimum age requirement: 6 years old
GoHenry is a kid’s debit card and financial app. It’s designed for those who’re aged 6 years old to 18 years old.
Parents can set rules that determine where and how much their kids can spend. And, they can get real-time notifications that offer instant updates about their kids’ spending. Cards can instantly be blocked or unblocked if they are lost, stolen or damaged.
What’s good about GoHenry is that you can try it for free for a month.
After that, it costs $3.99 a month per child.
Giving children or teenagers their own debit card can be a good way for parents to teach them about finance. And, it can just be a whole lot more convenient.
For example, if your child is going out for pizza with friends, giving them a debit card to use is much more convenient and safer than giving them cash. Also, if a parent wants to pay their child for doing chores or babysitting, they can just give them money to spend on their debit card.
Hopefully, this post answered your question about how old you have to be to get a debit card! Remember, you can always check with your own bank to see what options they have available to minors who’re looking to get their own debit card.
Give these options a try if you’re looking to get a debit card for kids or teens.