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Best Debit Cards for Kids & Teens: Our Top Picks & Choosing Tips

This post unpacks the best debit cards for kids. We'll walk you through the best options for youths and teens.
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Are you looking to teach your kids financial responsibility? Giving them access to their first debit card is an exciting experience and a venture into their financial literacy. It’s never too early to teach your kids about the value of money and the power of saving.

As an adult, it’s your job to give your child the right debit card and start them on the path to building wealth. Some cards have higher fees than others, and some offer better rewards and functionality than others.

This post unpacks the best debit cards for kids. We’ll walk you through the best options for youths and teens.

Best Debit Cards for Kids

Dozens of banking institutions offer kids savings accounts and debit cards. You have options for facilities with traditional banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. We curated this list of the top debit card facilities for kids and teens.

All options on this list include FDIC Insured (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) facilities. This ensures your child doesn’t lose their savings in the event of a financial catastrophe, such as a market collapse or if the institution folds or goes bankrupt, ala Bear Sterns circa 2008.

While these debit card facilities have several similarities, the functions and fees of the facility differ. Let’s unpack the details of the top-rated debit cards for kids and teens.

Our Top Choice – The Greenlight Prepaid Mastercard

  • Monthly Account Fee: $4.99.
  • Reloading Fee: $0.
  • ATM Fees: No fees on ATM withdrawals.

The Greenlight Prepaid Mastercard is our top choice for the best debit card for kids. This facility is specifically designed for kids, with the slogan, “the debit card for kids, managed by parents.” That pretty much sums up what you can expect from this facility. The Greenlight card is issued by Community Federal Savings Bank.

The Greenlight Prepaid Mastercard
The Greenlight Prepaid Mastercard

An account management fee of $4.99 per month includes up to five cards on a single account. Custom cards are available at $9.99 each. Greenlight doesn’t require your kid to have an independent bank account.

You can link your kid’s Greenlight account to your parental account and transfer money between cards using the Greenlight app on your mobile device. The Greenlight debit card is available to kids of all ages and includes a set of robust parental controls.

Greenlight Features Include:

  • Allowance and chore management.
  • Real-time notifications on transactions.
  • Parent-paid interest on their savings.
  • Compatibility with Google Pay and Apple Pay.
  • Ability to block spending categories.
  • FDIC insured accounts.

If you’re looking for more options on your kid’s debit card, you can choose one of the additional plans. The Greenlight Invest package has a $7.98 monthly service fee, allowing kids and parents to invest while benefiting from educational investing advice and information.

Greenlight Max has a monthly service fee of $9.98, and it’s a top-tier plan. Parents and kids can invest, receive cashback on purchases, and earn interest on savings. You also receive identity theft protection.

Greenlight has no initial setup fee, no required minimum deposit or balance, and no age restriction.

BusyKid Spend Card Prepaid Visa, Ages 5-17

  • Monthly Account Fee: $3.99 (up to 5 cards)
  • Reloading Fee: $0 when funding with a debit card or bank account.
  • ATM Fees: $1.50.

The BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Card is issued by MVB Bank, Inc. This reloadable prepaid debit card operates on the Visa network, and the monthly fee for BusyKid includes up to five cards. BusyKid has parental controls to monitor your child’s spending habits.

The standout feature of this card is its ‘BusyPay’ function. BusyPay allows family and friends to load money to the card by scanning a QR code. Another interesting feature of the BusyKid card is that it accepts reloading from multiple sources. So, it’s a great choice for kids with divorced parents that need to receive funds from two or more parties.

BusyKid Spend Card Prepaid Visa
BusyKid Spend Card Prepaid Visa

Parents have equal access to the kid’s account and have the option of transferring money while maintaining privacy from the child’s other parent.

Features of the BusyKid card include:

  • Allowance and Chore management
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay compatibility.
  • Real-time transaction notifications.
  • Kids can donate to charities or buy stocks with no transaction fees.
  • App provides parents with a complete transaction history.
  • FDIC insured accounts.

Another interesting feature of the BusyKid card is its 20% discount when paying annually. Family members can use the BusyKid app when managing chores.

FamZoo Mastercard Prepaid Card, All ages

  • Monthly Account Fee: $5.99
  • Reloading Fee: $0 with qualifying bank transfers or direct deposits.
  • ATM Fees: No fees charged.

FamZoo is a kid’s debit card facility issued by SouthState Bank, N.A. It functions more like a family money management tool. Then parents can use their cards to make instant deposits to their kid’s accounts and set up IOU accounts. You get four cards for free, and consecutive cards cost $3 each.


Family members can utilize FamZoo’s services, with children under 13 years using the “on behalf of” card in their parent’s name.

Features of the FamZoo debit card include:

  • Allowance and Chore management.
  • Real-time transaction notifications.
  • Savings goals and targets for kids.
  • Financial literacy features
  • FDIC insured accounts.

The monthly account fee with FamZoo covers the entire family. It makes FamZoo a cost-effective option for families requiring several cards. You also have multiple subscriptions offers to minimize costs. FamZoo offers financial literacy tools and educational features to help you teach your kids about handling money, saving, and investing.

GoHenry Prepaid Mastercard, Ages 6-18

  • Monthly Account Fee: $3.99
  • Reloading Fee: $0
  • ATM Fees: $1.50.

The GoHenry debit card is issued by Community Federal Savings Bank. It operates on the MasterCard network and comes with a 30-day trial. After the trial period ends, you’ll need to pay a $3.99 monthly account fee per child. So, it’s the most expensive account fee for any facility on this list.

GoHenry acts as an allowance manager app more than a banking app. However, it allows parents to load money from their account to their GoHenry’ Parent Account’ and transfer money to their kids’ accounts.


The card and account come with flexible parental controls. GoHenry assigns each child a ‘Gift link,’ allowing the convenient transfer of funds from family and friends to the kid’s account. The GoHenry app features financial literacy content called ‘Money Missions, ‘ preparing them for financial responsibility as they mature.

GoHenry provides kids with a free debit card and options for customized cards for a service fee of $4.95. Other features of the GoHenry account include:

  • Allowance and Chore management.
  • Real-time transaction notifications.
  • Blocking of unsafe spending categories.
  • In-app Financial Literacy and Money Missions
  • FDIC insured accounts.

GoHenry has some great features, but the high account fees and lack of features make it the least suitable card on the list. However, it’s a good choice for divorced parents, charging a per child fee and doesn’t allow separate funding sources.

Best Debit Cards for Teens

Teens require a specialist card for their needs. They tend to go out more with friends, and they need a card on hand to fund their lifestyle. We curated this list of the best debit card options for teenagers.

Copper Mastercard Debit Card

  • Monthly Account Fee: $0
  • Reloading Fee: $0 when using a qualified bank transfer
  • ATM Fees: $0 when using AllPoint or MoneyPass ATMs

Copper is a Fintech company with its products provided by Evolve Bank & Trust. It offers a checking account and debit card for teens. While Copper isn’t a conventional bank, it provides banking services for teens and has a range of financial literacy features to teach teens how to handle their finances and investments.

Copper Mastercard Debit Card
Copper Mastercard Debit Card

Copper offers account holders a range of advanced security features with zero account fees, no overdraft fees, credit checks, or account minimum. Some of the top features of the account and card include:

  • Automatic allowance deposits.
  • Financial literacy tools and responsibility.
  • Compatibility with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Real-time transaction notifications.
  • Direct deposits.
  • Compatibility with Cash App, Venmo, and PayPal.
  • FDIC insured accounts.

Copper also provides a direct deposit facility for teens with part-time jobs. They can receive their paycheck up to 48 hours early. The Copper debit card offers an excellent choice for teens in the family, and it operates a 5% referral fee system for introducing new clients.

Current Visa Debit Card, All ages

  • Monthly Account Fee: $0
  • Reloading Fee: $0
  • ATM Fees: $0 when using one of 40,000 AllPoint ATMs

Current offers banking services for teens, backed by Choice Financial Group. Current is more than a debit card. Teens access its mobile app with a suite of products, including banking services and financial literacy education. It is one of the most tech-advanced options for teens, with a cool-looking card.

Current Visa Debit Card
Current Visa Debit Card

Parents can open a Current debit card for younger kids 12 and under, but Current specifies their debit card, and its app features are “designed for teens.” Some of the features available with Current include the following.

  • Allowance and Chore management.
  • Donations to charities using the ‘Giving Balance’ feature.
  • Transaction round-ups with Savings Pods.
  • Real-time transaction notifications.
  • FDIC insured accounts.

Step Visa Card, Ages 6+

  • Monthly Account Fee: $0
  • Reloading Fee: $0
  • ATM Fees: $0 when using one of 30,000 ATMs in Step’s network

Step is a free banking service for teens powered by Evolve Bank & Trust. There are no monthly account fees, overdrafts, service, or minimum fees. The Step Visa card is a secured credit card facility, not a debit card, allowing teens to build their credit score before they venture into the world of adult finance.

The child’s spending is limited to the amount in their account only, and they don’t have any options to access credit. Step is available for kids of all ages. However, under-18s need an adult sponsor to access the service, and the sponsor also needs a Step account.

Step Visa Card
Step Visa Card

The sponsor has access to the child’s account with flexible parental control for spending. Older teens can manage their finances themselves, and parents can open ‘Parent Managed Accounts’ for younger kids.

Features of the Step account and debit card include the following:

  • Automatic allowance deposits.
  • Compatibility with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Credit builder services for teens.
  • Design and implement savings goals.
  • Real-time transaction notifications.
  • Direct deposits.
  • FDIC insured accounts.

The Step account scales with your financial needs. Start them on the Parent Managed Account and upgrade to a sponsored account until they can manage their money themselves.

How Can A Debit Card Teach Your Child Financial Responsibility?

If we look at the financial wellness of the United States, it paints a scary landscape. 61% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck in 2021. Some 56% of Americans don’t have enough savings for a $1,000 emergency expense, and in Q4 2022, we saw the lowest savings rate in American history.

The fact is America is a consumer society. We value spending, not saving. To prove this, the amount of credit card debt in America is at historic levels, with more than $890 billion outstanding as of Q2 2022. The average American has an outstanding credit card balance of $6,271 across four credit card facilities.

How To: Save Money for Your Children’s Future

As a parent, it’s your job to instill financial responsibility and literacy in your children. Teaching your kids the value of saving is important if you want them to build good spending and saving habits. Let’s critical that they learn how to budget and how to avoid using credit for consumer purchases.

Registering your child for a debit card with a bank is a great way to get them on the right track to financial success in life. Giving them cash is a bad idea. It’s easy to spend and impresses the value of spending over saving.

By depositing their allowance into their savings account and issuing them a debit card for spending, you teach them how to manage the facility. You can show your kids how to access their online banking, showing them their account balance and transaction records. This exercise shows them where they’re spending their money.

Debit cards allow for effective budgeting. They also provide a similar platform to a credit card, preparing your kids to handle these facilities properly when they qualify. So, ditch the piggy bank, and open a savings facility for your kids, complete with online banking and a debit card.

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What are the Features of a Kid’s Debit Card?

What do your kids receive in benefits from signing up for a debit card? A kid’s debit card comes with the following features.

  • A minor (under 18) must have independent control and use of the card and account.
  • The debit card must be accepted by retailers and online.
  • The card must feature parental controls and spending control.
  • The debit card must have the functionality to handle transfers.

Some parents may forego their kids’ traditional debit card facility, giving them a prepaid debit card instead. These cards allow the parent to load their child’s allowance onto the card once a month, with the child spending it as they please.

However, it’s important to note that this option might not be the best choice for your child’s financial education. This strategy teaches your kids the importance of spending over saving, and that’s not what we’re trying to accomplish with this exercise.

A debit card attached to a savings account and online banking is a much more effective tool for teaching financial literacy to your kids. Plus, prepaid cards usually have high service fees for deposits, withdrawals, and transactions.

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Do Banks Provide Debit Cards for Kids?

Banks do provide debit cards and checking accounts for kids. However, you’ll have to open a joint checking account for them. You’ll be able to get them a conventional debit card, not a prepaid card, to manage their finances.

The age limit for checking accounts varies with banks, so check the website before applying. It’s important to check with the bank that you won’t receive overdraft fees. One of the advantages of going this route is you receive a free debit card for the kids checking account.

Banks usually won’t charge any monthly fee for this service, making it a good choice for parents and kids. It allows you to avoid the costs associated with managing the account and depositing or spending/ withdrawing money. Most banks offer free ATM withdrawals within their network.

Speak to your bank manager about your kid’s debit cards and checking or savings account options. You don’t have to go into the branch, call your banker or make your inquiry online.

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What are the Pros and Cons of Kids Debit Cards?

Kids Debit Card Pros

  • A debit card teaches your children the value of money and how to save.
  • It’s a great way to teach them financial literacy and how money works.
  • You can set spending limits on their cards to avoid impulsive spending.
  • You can block certain websites and vendors, keeping your kids from making spending mistakes.
  • Most prepaid cards and debit cards don’t charge overdraft fees because there’s no way for the kids to go into overdraft.
  • Many prepaid debit cards include useful features like setting interest rates in savings accounts.
  • You have options to incentivize your kids with payments for completing chores at home.
  • Amy cards come with access to an app for user-friendly depositing.
  • The app usually has financial literacy information to improve how your kids handle money.

Kids Debit Card Cons

  • Unlike debit cards from conventional banks, the options on this list include a monthly account fee.
  • In most cases, you’ll have to pay fees for reloading the prepaid card.
  • Some cards charge ATM fees.
  • There is no rewards program, and most don’t offer a cashback rewards system.
  • Some cards have age limits, while some don’t.
Kids Debit Card
Kids Debit Card

Tips for Choosing a Kids Debit Card

Choosing a debit card for your kids isn’t as challenging as you think. The best option is to get them an account with your bank. These debit cards have the lowest fees, giving your kids the closest facility to a real checking account.

Fintech companies provide a similar service, and they also have parental controls and the ability to reload the card when rewarding your kids for completing chores. This strategy teaches them the value of money instead of just loading their card and letting them spend.

Do You Need a Prepaid Card?

Prepaid cards are very different from bank-issued cards. While they don’t offer a checking account and online banking for kids, they give them a facility they can use for managing their money. The prepaid card also prevents your kids from over drafting their account and accumulating penalty fees.

What about Added Features?

Green light and FamZoo offer your kids a range of features with their debit cards. They have a dedicated app that kids can use to manage their money and learn about financial responsibility and literacy. You get options for parental controls on spending, the ability to block payments to certain providers, and automatic payments for completing chores.

How Often Do You Reload the Card?

You can reload the card whenever you want with minimal fees for depositing and reasonable monthly fees. The options for loading allowances and payments for chores are a fantastic way to help your kids understand how money works and what to expect when they enter the real world.

Kids Debit Card
Kids Debit Card

In Closing – Which Debit Card is the Best Choice for Kids?

Teaching your kids how to handle money at a young age will benefit them in the future. In the past, parents would keep the family finances from their kids to avoid stressing them out. However, this strategy does a disservice to the child.

By teaching them financial responsibility and literacy at a young age, you better prepare them for their financial future. The kids learn the value of budgeting and saving at an early age. Debit or prepaid cards allow you to pay your kids their allowance early.

You can control their spending habits to ensure they don’t develop a bad relationship with spending money on unnecessary expenses. The reality is there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but the options on this list give you a great starting point for your kid’s financial future.


Oliver Dale is Editor-in-Chief of MoneyCheck and founder of Kooc Media Ltd, A UK-Based Online Publishing company. A Technology Entrepreneur with over 15 years of professional experience in Investing and UK Business.His writing has been quoted by Nasdaq, Dow Jones, Investopedia, The New Yorker, Forbes, Techcrunch & More.He built Money Check to bring the highest level of education about personal finance to the general public with clear and unbiased