Best Debit Cards for Kids

Today, the banking system seems not to cover the needs of young people. Individuals under 18 have very limited opportunities when it comes to cashless operations. However, many companies started to understand this issue and offer pre-paid debit and credit cards for kids and teens.

Moreover, such solutions are helpful as they teach children financial literacy from an early age. Such cards for kids usually come paired with a financial app for different financial operations and learning tools.

What is a Debit Card for Kids?

This is a debit card that is opened by parents and allows children to use money while giving parents the ability to control such financial activities. Kids and teens can use this card to send or receive money, make payments online or withdraw the money, and even invest or donate. Moreover, such cards usually help kids learn money management fundamentals.  

So, here are some of the main features to look for when choosing such a debit card.

How to Choose a Debit Card for Kids and Teens
The main thing to look for is the trustworthiness of the company. You need to make sure it’s safe to transfer money to the card. While a debit card is a great way for kids to learn financial literacy and understand fundamental money functions, there are also a lot of risks that come along.  
Parental control
The main point of giving cashless payment tools to your kid or teen is being able to keep track of this process. The card company needs to provide an option to control the activity in real-time and lock a card if something is going wrong. A useful feature here is also receiving instant notifications.
One more way to control your kids’ card is to set spending limits or block specific merchants. 
Chores management and Allowance 
Setting tasks and being able to pay for them is a common feature of cards for kids that is available within an app. This helps children and teens learn that they have their own responsibilities and generally shows how the job market works.

When choosing an app, you can decide whether you need a pre-defined list of chores or you want to create your own. Many apps allow parents to pay automatically when a task on the list is done.
The majority of apps also allow setting a weekly transfer for kids, an allowance. Then, some apps have an option for a teen or child to decide how much of this allowance they want to save or donate.
Savings
This is another fundamental feature of debit cards for kids. Having the ability to save, children learn the basics of money management and how to use them wisely.

The companies in this field can offer an option just to save money or set up a certain percentage to be taken from each allowance. Moreover, some cards allow to set up saving goals to motivate a kid to do so.
Additionally, many debit card platforms allow for kids to earn interest on savings which are paid by parents.
Investing
This is more of an advanced feature that allows investing their money in real companies by investing in stocks. Some apps allow kids to make decisions themselves and some need approval by parents.

This feature teaches kids and teens what are financial tools and how to use them to make additional money.
Charity
This is an additional feature that allows kids to donate their money to charity. There is usually a list of such trusted organizations selected by the card company and a kid can choose among these organizations. A kid can usually give a one-time payment or schedule a regular fixed payment which can be a percent of allowance.
Additional educational content
Debit cards for kids play an educational role itself but some companies provide additional resources for learning financial literacy. These can be a set of lessons to read or watch or quizzes available on a mobile app.

6 Best Debit Cards for Kids

So, let’s see what are the best debit cards for kids to choose from.

1

Greenlight Card

Greenlight Mastercard Prepaid Debit Card

The card by Greenlight is a very popular option out there as it gives access to cashless transactions and at the same time teaches, kids to spend and save money.

A parent can transfer money instantly via the Greenlight app or set up automatic deposits on a weekly or monthly basis. With real-time online transactions and ATM withdrawal notifications, parents can control how their children spend their money. Moreover, a parent can set ATM cash withdrawal limits. If a kid makes an inappropriate purchase, a parent can block the card. Additionally, parents can create a chores list and then pay children for their work within the app.

Kids and teens can learn how to spend wisely with the Greenlight app. Kids can set their saving goals and get interest on savings. Moreover, they can learn how to invest by investing in stocks.

  • For ages 8 – 22
  • The price is $4.99 to $9.98 depending on the services included
  • App Store Rating: 4.8

Greenlight offers:

  • Chore management
  • Parental control (store and ATM controls)
  • Investing features (buying stocks)
  • Saving features (setting personal saving goals and getting interest on savings)
  • Creating custom card designs with photos
  • Cash backs

Check out our detailed review of Greenlight.

For more detailed comparisons, go to these articles:

Chase First Banking Card

Another alternative is a debit card for kids by Chase First Banking. It is powered by Greenlight and basically offers the same as Greenlight card but with no monthly fee. However, to get this card, you need to be a client of Chase.

2

BusyKid Card

BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Card

The card and the app by Busy Kid offer similar features that Greenlight has. There is a feature of chores management when children can earn money when they do the given tasks. There is an in-built list of chores based on the kid’s age or you can set custom ones.

Operations with the money are divided into 3 categories within the app: 

  • Save (up to 10% of their weekly allowance automatically)
  • Spend with Visa Prepaid Spend Card
  • Share (donating 1% of what they make). 

Also, kids can invest in stocks.

However, there is some fee for various actions with the card and within the app.

  • For ages 12-18
  • The price is $19.99 per year for 1 card
  • App Store Rating: 3.7

BusyKid offers:

  • Automatic savings up to 10% on a weekly basis
  • Chore management
  • Investing in stocks
  • Donating option

Check out our detailed review of BusyKid.

3

Current Card

Current Visa Debit Card

Current offers a banking app and a debit Visa card for kids to receive, spend and save money and for parents to control all the card activity in real-time.

Kids get the ability to purchase online or in stores with Apple or Google pay or save money dividing them into categories. The app has also an option to donate money to charity.

Parents can automate allowance payments and set chores to complete. You also can set spending limits or block specific merchants. Parents can also pause the card from the app.

  • For age 13 – 22
  • The price is $36.00/year per teen, the premium plan is extra of $4.99/month.
  • App Store Rating: 4.7

Current offers:

  • Automated savings (“Savings Pods”)
  • Setting up saving goals
  • Spending notifications
  • Cash backs
4

FamZoo Card

Check out FamZoo

FamZoo Mastercard Prepaid Debit Card

This card is one more way to open an account for a kid and be able to control it. The card also has a system of chores kids can be paid for automatically. It also employs penalties for missed work. 

The app includes 4 categories for splitting money – spending, saving, investing, and charity. You can set up a percent for each category and the money will be divided automatically. Parents can also define a savings interest rate.

Parents can instantly transfer money or schedule it. Parents are also notified in real-time of how their kid spends money and can lock the card if anything seems wrong.

A unique feature of FamZoo Card is that parents can schedule payments to charge kids for their share of recurring family expenses (like monthly internet payments) to show them how much common things cost.

  • For age 6 – 22
  • The price is $5.99 per month per family (4 debit max)
  • App Store Rating: 4.6

FamZoo offers:

  • Chores management
  • Setting up saving goals
  • Setting savings interest rate
  • Expense sharing
  • Ability to donate
5

GoHenry 

Check out GoHenry

GoHenry Mastercard Debit Card

GoHenry is one of the first banking apps that comes with a debit card. There is a chores management option when you set tasks and kids get paid when it’s done. There’s also the ability to set up automatic weekly transfers.

Parents have control of their children’s card; they can decide where and how much kids can spend as well as block a card when needed.

Children can receive the money directly via the GoHenry app. They also can set up small and big savings goals as well as give to charity.

Additionally, GoHenry recently added quizzes for learning financial literacy, “Money Mission Quizzes.”

  • For age 6 – 18
  • Cost: $3.99/month for each child
  • App Store Rating: 4.7

GoHenry offers:

  • Chores management and setting allowance
  • Setting up saving goals
  • Setting savings interest rate
  • Donation feature
  • Educational quizzes

Check out our detailed review of GoHenry.

6

Copper Card

Check out Copper

Copper Mastercard Debit Card

Cooper card is not for kids but rather for teens. This debit card is free, the company doesn’t charge monthly fees and there’s no minimum balance requirement.

Along with the card, the company provides tools for teens to spend, receive and save money (and receive interest on savings). Parents get real-time notifications but no other spending control beyond that. Moreover, parents can set up automatic money transfers to linked accounts of teens.

The app includes a lot of interactive quizzes to learn money management.

The app has no chore management or investing options.

  • For age 13 – 18
  • Free card and app
  • App Store Rating: 4.8

Copper offers:

  • Setting allowance
  • Setting up saving goals
  • Parental control the spendings 
  • Educational quizzes

David is an advocate of financial literacy. Having previously worked as a financial advisor and being a father of two daughters, he wants to show solutions to improve financial behavior.

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