What age can you get a debit card?

What age can you get a debit card?

Most minors get their first debit card at 16 years old, although some institutions will allow children as young as six to get a debit card with parental approval.

As a parent, having your child get a bank account with a debit card can be a blessing. You can add money directly to their account so they can spend it as needed.

Luckily for you, I’ll show you which age you can get a debit card. I’ll even show you some of the best places for a minor to get a bank account or debit card. You’ll be on your way to making your first purchase in no time.

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What Age Can You Get a Debit Card?

In the U.S., you must be 18 years or older to open your own bank account with a personal debit card. For minors under 18, most banks offer minor traditional checking accounts (joint accounts) or even prepaid debit cards that children can use with parental approval. Some institutions provide these options for minors as young as six, but accounts are opened for those 13 years or older on average.

Debit cards give minors the freedom to spend their money themselves while also offering monitoring options for their parents. By signing off on the account or creating a co-account with your child, you enable them to start becoming financially literate while guiding them along the way.

Where can you get a debit card for a minor?

Here are some of the many institutions that allow minors to access debit cards connected to a joint banking or savings account:

  • USAA Youth Spending Account: This account is for those nine years or older with parental monitoring. It offers no monthly fees, overdraft protection, and ATM/debit cards.
  • Bank of America Joint Account: This is a joint account between the parent and a child at least 13 years old. It offers no monthly fees and a debit card with parental monitoring.
  • Chase First Banking: Chase First Banking is a debit card for children between 6-17 years old with monitoring and control options for their parents. You must have an adult Chase account to add to your child’s feature. The child does not have to have an account, as this card is connected to the parent account, and the parent decides on the funding.
  • Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking Account: This account offers one of the highest interest rates for minors, making it an excellent option if your teen is already working and saving their money. For teens ages 13-17, there are no maintenance fees or balance requirements, and it comes with a debit card and a box of checks in both account holders’ names.

Can I Open a Bank Account by Myself?

You must be 18 years or older to open a bank account by yourself unless you are a legally emancipated minor. According to U.S. law, minors may only open joint or custodial accounts with their parents or legal guardians.

Joint Accounts

If you’re a minor looking to open an account with access to a debit card, a joint account is your best bet. 

Joint accounts are shared accounts where both the minor and the co-account holder can access the account funds. They usually come with debit cards, ATM cards, or both.

The parent may be able to set up withdrawal limits in a joint account, but features vary depending on the institution.

Custodial Accounts

The parent or guardian manages custodial accounts until the child reaches legal age. This is a kind of savings account that a parent opens for a minor, but it does not provide the minor with a debit card or much control over the account until they become a legal adult.

What Are the Benefits of a Debit Card?

Having a debit card is an excellent way for minors to learn about money management. By only accessing funds already in the correlated account, children can quickly learn how to manage their spending without the risk of accumulating debt.

Debit cards are relatively easy to acquire and have no impact on your children’s future credit score. Some offer enticing rewards options on top of their convenience and easy-to-use online features.

FAQs: getting a debit card

What’s the Difference Between a Debit Card and an ATM Card?

An ATM card can only be used for ATM transactions like withdrawing or depositing money into an account. A debit card is multi-functional, accepted as payment in most places, and functioning as an ATM card when needed.

Can a Minor Have a Credit Card?

A minor cannot open a credit card account but can become an authorized user on a parent or guardian’s credit account.

What Is the Recommended Age for Getting Your First Debit Card?

Providing your child with a debit card is a personal decision. While debit cards are available for children as young as six years old, more cards are distributed between 13-16 years of age for joint-account holders.

Summary: What age can you get a debit card?

As you can see, you can get a debit card as young as six years old with the right financial institution. However, most banks will require you to be a teenager. You can either open a joint bank account with your parents or have a custodial account.

Having a joint account with your parents will allow you to receive a debit card. A custodial account is managed by your parents, but does not come with a debit card.


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John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.