Debit Card Options for Teenagers

Piggy Bank or Credit Card

Are you looking to get a debit card for your teenager? Several major banks offer bank accounts with debit cards specifically designed for teenagers. It is also possible to find teen-specific prepaid debit cards that aren't part of a bank account.

Capital One MONEY

MONEY is a debit card from Capital One that is designed to help teens manage their money. It is linked to a MONEY bank account, which was ranked as the best online-only checking account for teens by NerdWallet.

There is no minimum deposit requirement to open an account. Furthermore, your teen will not be subject to account maintenance fees and can withdraw funds free of charge at over 38,000 Allpoint ATMs.

To receive a MONEY MasterCard debit card, you must also enroll in text alerts. You can open an account online or by calling 1-800-289-1992.

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union offers a fee-free checking account that is listed as a top option for teens by Investopedia, NerdWallet and GoBankingRates. The account is accompanied by a VISA debit card that can be used for purchases and ATM transactions. Your teenager must be at least 13 years old to join, and there is no minimum deposit requirement.

Your teenager will also enjoy the following benefits:

  • Monthly ATM rebate of up to $20
  • Mobile banking

To facilitate account management and control spending, a $300 spending limit and $100 daily withdrawal limit applies. In addition, the account may also incur overdraft fees if the debit card purchases exceed the available balance.

You can apply for membership by completing an online PDF application (instruction for submissions will be sent within one business day) or visiting a local branch. Completed applications can also be faxed to (773) 462-2124. Upon approval, you will be able to open a checking account for your teen.

Wells Fargo

Teen holding credit card

With a Wells Fargo Teen Checking Account, your teenager can have access to a debit card that can be used for purchases and ATM withdrawals. This account was ranked as the top brick-and-mortar option for teens by both NerdWallet and Investopedia.

Your teen must be 13 years of age to open an account, and a $3 monthly service fee will apply, though it can be waived if you select online statements. However, overdraft fees will be assessed if he or she spends more than what's available in the account.

To open an account and retrieve a debit card for your teen from Wells Fargo, visit a local branch or schedule an appointment online to meet with a banker.

Union Bank

When you open a Teen Access® Checking Account with Union Bank, which also happens to be the top GoBankingRates choice for teens, you can request a MasterCard debit card. The card is free and there is no monthly service charge for this account. Additional benefits to consider include:

  • Online banking and bill pay
  • ATM access
  • Account alerts
  • Pre-set limit capabilities

There is a minimum deposit requirement of $100 to open the account. Overdraft fees also apply, and you will assessed a $5 fee to receive monthly paper statements.

If your teenager is between the ages of 13 and 17 and would like to apply, call 800-238-4486, submit an online request, or visit a local branch.

TD Bank TD Go Card

TD Go is a prepaid, reloadable debit card is designed for teenagers and can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. This card was rated as NerdWallet's best prepaid option for teens. While this card isn't tied to a bank account, it can only be purchased by a TD Bank accountholder.

Funds can be added via a parent's TD Bank checking account. Spending is limited to the account balance, which eliminates the accrual of overdraft fees. In the event the card is lost or stolen, you can request a replacement and the remaining funds will be transferred to the new card. (A $5.00 card replacement fee applies for this service).

Some additional perks to consider:

  • Zero-liability protection against fraud
  • Real-time expense tracking
  • Pay-per-use roadside assistance
  • Digital wallet capabilities

You can purchase a TD Go card online or at any branch. There is a $4.95 card enrollment fee, a $1.00 load fee and a $2.50 monthly dormancy fee if your card is inactive for more than 12 months.

Picking Your Teen's Debit Card

When evaluating debit card options for your teenager, there are a few factors to consider.

  • Account fees: For prepaid cards, these figures can be found in the cardholder agreement. If you decide on a bank debit card, ask the bank about cross-account transfers, overdraft, monthly maintenance, balance inquiry and ATM withdrawal fees.
  • Overdraft protection: Overdraft protection is not applicable to prepaid cards, but could save you a bundle if your teen exceeds the available account balance on the bank debit card.
  • Online account management: Is there a website or online app that allows you to manage the account from your fingertips? If so, can you set account alerts or spending limits?

Should You Get Your Teen a Debit Card?

A debit card can help your teenager learn to budget. It can also teach them about the importance of working hard to earn money. Moreover, the fact that the card's use can be monitored allows parents to monitor their teenager's spending habits. However, before opening an account, be sure to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine if the account you're considering will best suit your teen's needs.

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Debit Card Options for Teenagers