Debit card for kids: Everything you need to know

Can you get a debit card for a child?

Children can get a debit card at age 13 if they have a joint bank account with a parent or legal guardian. Younger children can have parents purchase a prepaid Visa or American Express gift card. Prepaid gift cards function similar to a debit card, but the funds are added to the card and not withdrawn from a bank.

Imagine, giving your child the flexibility to make purchases and teach financial responsibility. Your child can earn chore money, which you can deposit electronically for them to spend.

Having a debit card for your child can be very convenient.

Luckily for you, I’m going to show you your debit card options for children. I’ll show you what’s required to get a debit card and how you can get a prepaid card for any minor. You’re one step closer to teaching your child financial responsibility!

21-082 - Debit card for kids Everything you need to know

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Can I get a debit card for my child?

Children can get a debit card at age 13 if they have a joint bank account with a parent or legal guardian. Younger children can have parents purchase a prepaid Visa or American Express gift card. Prepaid gift cards function similar to a debit card, but the funds are added to the card and not withdrawn from a bank.

The youngest age you can get a debit card is 13 years old, but each bank is different. As a minor, a parent or guardian will need to share a joint bank account and receive a debit card. Individuals 18 years or older do not need parental consent to open a bank account and get a debit card.

Children younger than 13 years old may purchase a prepaid Visa or American Express gift card

Prepaid gift cards are technically not debit cards. Debit cards require a bank account to withdraw funds from. However, the funds are added to prepaid gift cards at the time of purchase, so you can’t over withdraw.

Adults can purchase prepaid gift cards and add funds online. There is no bank account required to use a prepaid gift card, which makes them perfect for children.

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What information do you need to get a debit card?

You will need a checking account for your bank to issue you a debit card. To open a checking account, your bank will require two forms of identification and a minimum deposit. You can request a debit card once you have a checking account which is often a free service for being a customer.

Examples of self identification include state ID, Social Security card, birth certificate, or passport.

Open a checking account when you’ve got all forms of identification. You can either talk to member services at your local bank or credit union or open an account online.

The best way to open a bank account is to talk to member services. Your bank should be able to open up an account and print off your cards the same day. Opening an account online will require you to wait for your card to arrive via mail.

Most banks will require you to have an initial deposit and require you to maintain a minimum balance. Typically, the initial deposit is small, between $25-100. The minimum balance is often around $5 and you may be charged a fee for dropping below.

How to get a prepaid debit card for minors

Prepaid gift cards can be purchased at most retailers or online. Each prepaid gift card has a one time purchase fee. Prepaid gift cards can often be purchased between $25 and $200. Adults can register the card online and reload the balance at any time.

You can locate prepaid gift cards at most major retailers, like Target, Walmart, or Walgreens. Look for prepaid gift cards in the gift card section. Alternatively, you can purchase them online at any major retailer’s website, including Amazon.

The purchase fee is based on the gift card’s value. Lower valued gift cards often have a purchase fee around $3. The highest fee is typically around $5.

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Summary: Debit card for kids

As you can see, it is possible to get a debit card for individuals 13 years or older. Children under 18 years old will need a parent or guardian to open a joint bank account. Individuals 18 years or older can open a bank account and get a debit card for themselves.

In order to get a debit card, you need a checking account as the funds are withdrawn from checking. You will need two forms of identification and an initial deposit (set by the bank) to open an account. Forms of identification may include state ID, Social Security card, birth certificate, or passport. A debit card may be requested after the checking account is set up.

Children under 13 years old can use a prepaid gift card. Prepaid gift cards can be purchased online or at most major retailer’s gift card section. There is a fee for purchasing a prepaid card, but the card can be reloaded online.